02/22/2014 3:26PM

Gulfstream Park: Normandy Invasion easy winner in comeback

Barbara D. Livingston
Normandy Invasion, making his first start since the 2013 Kentucky Derby, cruises to a 7 3/4-length victory under Javier Castellano.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Normandy Invasion rewarded trainer Chad Brown and owner Rick Porter for their patience by launching his 2014 campaign with an easy 7 3/4-length victory in an entry-level optional $25,000 claiming race here Saturday.

Normandy Invasion covered the mile in 1:33.13, breaking the mark of 1:33.71 set by Commentator in 2008.

The start was the first for Normandy Invasion since his fourth-place finish in the 2013 Kentucky Derby.

Under confident handling from jockey Javier Castellano, Normandy Invasion rated off a swift pace set by Risk Factor before moving four wide to challenge for command entering the stretch. Normandy Invasion quickly opened a commanding advantage, and then was taken in hand and was just cruising to the wire. He paid $2.40.

“When they train as well as this horse and they physically look this good – he’s never looked better in my opinion –you’re quietly confident they’ll go out there in the afternoon and do it,” said Brown. “But as a trainer, I don’t care who you are, I don’t think you’re ever certain they’re going to do it until they actually cross the wire. But he was sound, training better than ever.

“We were confident to put Javier back on this horse. They get along well together, and we hope this is the start to a very good year.”

Brown credited Porter with being patient enough to give Normandy Invasion the necessary time off to recuperate from the little issues he had coming out of last year’s Derby.

“This horse, the Derby was hard on him,” said Brown. “Could we have put little band-aids on him and gotten him to the Jim Dandy and Travers? Probably. But Rick Porter is really the quarterback here, he calls all the plays, and when I relayed to him what this horse’s condition was and all the options, he didn’t hesitate about stopping on this horse.”

[Clocker Reports: Get Mike Welsch’s clocker reports from Gulfstream Park and Palm Meadows]

Brown said he has nothing specific picked out for Normandy Invasion’s next start.

“This one-turn mile was a good starting point, but we’re looking to run this horse in those two-turn dirt handicap races, really anywhere,” said Brown. “This horse doesn’t need a specific racetrack. He’s pretty versatile, so we’ll nominate to everything. I’ll just relay to Mr. Porter how this horse is doing and we’ll discuss together where we should run.”

Wesley Wright More than 1 year ago
Very impressive win. A very big far striding colt. He may be a late bloomer like WTC. Lets see what he does after this big win.
Felton Suthon More than 1 year ago
Come on down to New Orleans!
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
Have to agree with Art. Sometime between the actual fractions and time during the running of this race and the writing of this article, more than 1.5 seconds got shaved off the time. I thought that only happened when Game On Dude runs, twice.
Perl More than 1 year ago
Fantastic performance. It will be a huge challenge for him to stay sound. But this is a good shot across the bow for all the wisecrackers who criticize the DRF coverage of this horse. He's a really nice animal with lots of potential. He sizzled that speed-favoring track today with an explosive move from off the pace.
Mike Heads More than 1 year ago
Mike Welsch might have to retract his story of Normandy Invasion breaking track record in 1:33.13. He should know as a clocker that it is impossible to finish the last eighth under wraps in 10.78 of a mile race.
art More than 1 year ago
just saw a replay of this race on bloodhorse.com. fractions called out and posted on the screen were 24.50/46.61/1:10.31/1:22.35/1:34.78 what gives ????????
WWW More than 1 year ago
surprised they gave Jay Jay the mount considering he cost them the Derby.
AzHorsePlayer More than 1 year ago
Looked really good...how does this horse though go from 1-2 to 1-5 during the running of the race...this is getting old:(
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
racing is really on a suicide watch when they keep allowing that to happen
Terri Zeitz More than 1 year ago
The odds went from 1 to 9 to 1 to 5, before the race started. I was there at the track.
AzHorsePlayer More than 1 year ago
He was 1-2 when loading in the gate I have it recorded
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
watched replay on twinspires.....clearly 1-2 during running of race....seems like a lot of dough came in after he broke cleanly