05/02/2013 10:44AM

Kentucky Derby: Normandy Invasion runs off during Thursday training

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Barbara D. Livingston
Exercise rider Javier Herrera tries to restrain Normandy Invasion, who went quicker than planned on Thursday morning.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – What was scheduled to be an easy day for Normandy Invasion turned a little more eventful when the Kentucky Derby candidate ran off with his exercise rider Javier Herrera during his morning gallop at Churchill Downs.

After visiting the starting gate, Normandy Invasion galloped comfortably through the lane when he appeared to bobble nearing the wire. Around the turn, Normandy Invasion began to pick it up and was in full flight down the backside before Herrera got him pulled up.

Daily Racing Form’s Mike Welsch clocked Normandy Invasion in 38.83 seconds from the seven-furlong pole to the half-mile pole, which could almost be considered a blow-out if one had been scheduled.

"Down the backside he tried to run off a little bit," trainer Chad Brown said at the barn. "I broke his routine up a little bit taking him to the gate. He was great in the gate, but just a little tough to pull up today. He’ll have an easy gallop [Friday]; he’ll be fine."

Normandy Invasion, who has been pegged as a late-running horse, has been sharper in his workouts and his regular training in part by design. Brown has said he would like Normandy Invasion to show enough quickness out of the gate to secure a good position under Javier Castellano.

- additional reporting by Mike Welsch

[KENTUCKY DERBY FIELD: Contender profiles and handicapping videos]

Marc E. Coakley More than 1 year ago
I've liked this horse for over a month now.. loved how he closed but still think he wont win but definetly hit the board..im boxing 3-5-10-12-16 for the perfecta and trifecta..and boxing 5-10-12-16 for the super..100 on Orb to win. and I always throw 20 to win on a long shot and I like Frac Daddy he has raced at church hill 2 times and hit the board twice 1 win 1 place
ralph More than 1 year ago
Let's see,this guy ran off and other day Orb kicked the wall 3 or 4 times when he was frightened by some motor.A real subtle way of giving you the exacta.Play it both ways
Lady Zen More than 1 year ago
Little bit of a handful there!! But, he was traveling nicely......
Mike Rutledge More than 1 year ago
I think NI will run 2nd or 3rd, I will use him in tri & sup.
Chuck Seddio More than 1 year ago
Think this horse is a plodder,he reminds me so much of the cliffs edge,always close but just not fast enough. Im using lkyday and orb,fla race is key race for this years derby
Janice Palmer More than 1 year ago
It may have been unplanned, but the horse just simply looks like he REALLY wants to run, IMO. I can't see that as a negative for the Derby as long as Javier can get him to settle early in the race. Normandy looks ready for a HUGE effort on Saturday.
Cover2 More than 1 year ago
Not a good sign, but was moving pretty good in wood at end to pas vyjack
WafflesCharly More than 1 year ago
Him hanging in the last 16th, and his sharpness out of the gate would be aided if they would add blinkers . I believe Chad's theory of training him, I just would like blinkers. This little un planned 3f blow out, if anything, will help his explosiveness which should be his best asset Saturday. I really like this horse. Even though he has not beaten winners, seems to get better and better as distance increases.....if only he had blinkers :-/
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Considering what I have experienced getting horses ready for a race, my face would be hurting from smiling so much, based on what I saw. They waited too long to change his running style, but maybe not , according too Norm . HE LOVED that, and showed it . Could work out nice for him, I've seen a change since his last race . He still has too beat Orb, its Shugs' turn, and has a legitimate chance .
Phillip Rodgers More than 1 year ago
I 'll ike the horse but I don't think he has the right acceleration to win the derby. The " getting to him" excuse has gotten old. Ill wait till he goes by someone before donating.