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Normandy Invasion
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Chad Harmon

Normandy Invasion Examined by Hoof Specialist

Fox Hill Farm's Tapit colt will miss Travers but could make Pennsylvania Derby.

Fox Hill Farms' Normandy Invasion  was examined by hoof specialist Ian McKinlay at Saratoga Race Course and will miss the Travers Stakes (gr. I), owner Rick Porter said July 12.

The 3-year-old Tapit  colt could return to training in less than a month if all goes according to plan in treating the abscess that caused him to miss two planned works. This leaves a race like the Sept. 21 Pennsylvania Derby (gr. II) as an option for his next target. 

McKinlay gave a positive prognosis for Normandy Invasion, according to Porter. Normandy Invasion ran fourth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) in his most recent start for trainer Chad Brown.

"I talked to Ian at length and he was impressed and surprised at how clean and simple things were and how easy it would be to get it dried out," the owner said. "He's going to give it some support and build a wall so the foot can grow into the wall, and the horse will probably be back in training in 2-3 weeks."

Before McKinlay examined Normandy Invasion, Porter said he would follow whatever course of treatment thought best for the horse, even if it meant missing the rest of his 3-year-old season.

"Chad and Ian know we do not want any shortcuts of any kind; we’d be very willing to let the horse take two or three months just being a horse in the field down in Kentucky to let the foot grow out if that's what it takes," Porter said. "That’s the main thing I was telling Ian; we know we’ve got a very taleneted horse here, and Tapits generally get better with age, so I’m not worried if we don’t run this horse again till he’s 4. He said, 'You can do whatever you want, but I’ll have this hoof 100% long before he’s 4.'"

Porter said a spot on the bottom of the colt's foot and a spot on the coronet band will require the treatment that will cause him to miss racing during the Saratoga meet. Normandy Invasion skipped the Preakness (gr. I) and the Belmont (gr. I) stakes to target the Aug. 24 Travers, and Brown had planned to use the Curlin Stakes in upstate New York July 26 as a prep for that event.

"We’re giving up on any of those races, and right now we've got an eyeball on the Pennslyvania Derby, but we'd give up on the whole year if we have to until we get the foot right," Porter said. "The good news is, from what they saw today, the prognosis is excellent that Ian will get the foot back to exactly the way it was before."

Normandy Invasion, bred in Kentucky out of the Boston Harbor mare Boston Lady, has a win and two seconds from six starts, with earnings of $400,240. He posted runner-up finishes in the 2013 Wood Memorial (gr. I) and 2012 Remsen stakes (gr. II).