Normandy Invasion works at Churchill Downs.
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Normandy Invasion works at Churchill Downs.
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Anne M. Eberhardt

Normandy Invasion Posts Smooth Final Move

Wood Memorial (gr. I) runner-up goes five furlongs in :59 flat at Churchill Downs.

Wood Memorial (gr. I) runner-up Normandy Invasion  has been getting "sharper and smoother every day he's been here," trainer Chad Brown said at Churchill Downs the morning of April 27, after the Tapit  colt breezed five furlongs in :59 flat in preparation for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

In his final major work for the May 4 Derby, Churchill clockers caught the Fox Hill Farms contender in splits of :11 4/5, :23 1/5, :34 4/5, and :46 3/5. Normandy Invasion galloped out six furlongs in 1:11 4/5 under exercise rider Javier Herrera.

"He worked good; he worked by himself and the time was a little quick, but he did it easy, galloped out, and came back super," Brown said. "He's really settled in nicely and couldn't been doing any better. Now he'll have a couple of easy days; he'll walk tomorrow and probably just trot the following day, then have some routine gallops leading up to the race."

Normandy Invasion was second by a late-closing three-quarters of a length to the undefeated Verrazano  in the April 6 Wood at Aqueduct Racetrack.

"The biggest change (since then) is he continues to get a little sharper acting in his gallops and breezes, even just around the barn," Brown said. "I think this horse is really maturing and getting speedier."

Normandy Invasion was bred in Kentucky by Betz/Kidder/Gainesway/Graves/D. J. Stable/Cole and was purchased for $230,000 at the 2010 Keeneland April 2-year-olds in training sale.

Chad Brown talks about how Normandy Invasion looked: