Normandy Invasion
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Normandy Invasion
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Brown Mulls Options for Normandy Invasion

New Orleans or Oaklawn Handicaps likely next for Tapit colt after his allowance romp.

Owner Rick Porter has picked out a couple of stakes options for Normandy Invasion  following the colt's record-breaking return to action in allowance company Feb. 22 at Gulfstream Park.

Trainer Chad Brown said the 4-year-old son of Tapit  was doing fine on the morning of Feb. 23.

Porter mentioned either the $400,000 New Orleans Handicap (gr. II) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots March 29 and the $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) in Arkansas April 12 as likely next starts. Both races are run at 1 1/8 miles.

Making his first start since finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) May 4, Normandy Invasion rolled by 7 3/4 lengths in a one-mile allowance/optional claiming race in which he bettered five opponents. Racing in the red and white colors of Porter's Fox Hill Farms, his time of 1:33.13 broke the main track record of 1:33.71 set by Commentator in 2008.

"He came out of his race in good shape so far," Brown said. "We were very pleased with his performance. It was great to see the horse get back to the races. Hopefully, this will be a good start to the year for him."

A foot abscess and other minor ailments cut Normandy Invasion's 3-year-old season short, but he had been breezing steadily since December at Palm Meadows, Gulfstream's satellite training facility in Palm Beach County.

"He really exceeded all expectations," Brown said. "Thankfully, he looked good this morning when he came back. It's on to bigger races, hopefully. We're going to see how the horse trains before we commit him to a race, but we're keeping all of our options open."