05/02/2013 10:44AM

Kentucky Derby: Normandy Invasion runs off during Thursday training

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

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