10/06/2010 12:43PM

New Normal a turf standout by chance


New Normal established herself as a top contender for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf this summer by winning her maiden and the Grade 3 Natalma Stakes over Woodbine’s grass course, but it’s by coincidence that she’s an expert on the surface. When she was ready to debut in early August, trainer Mark Frostad said it just happened to be a turf race that was in the condition book, and the rest is history.

“It wouldn’t have mattered had it come off the turf,” Frostad recalled. “We still would have run her. She was a big, strong, plain bay, a good-looking filly. We had no reason not to like her. She was doing well in her works but wasn’t blowing anything away. Her first race really tipped us off. She ran very well but was in a lot of trouble. It was quite encouraging, and then she won her maiden race impressively. When she stepped up, she kept on taking on all the challenges and doing well with them.”

New Normal had traffic problems and ran a little greenly when fourth in her debut and then graduated on the front end in a seven-furlong maiden special Aug. 28.

New Normal held off two promising Todd Pletcher-trained shippers, More Than Real and Street Chimes, when she captured the one-mile Natalma on the lead under Javier Castellano. Her final time of 1:36.51, over a course labeled good, was 1.19 seconds faster than the clocking that victorious Pluck registered in the Grade 3 Summer Stakes on the same card.

“When she ran six lengths faster than the colts, that’s what really perked me up,” Frostad said. “That certainly legitimizes her. They were three races apart, so I don’t think there was any difference in the surface.”

Frostad said Castellano was impressed with New Normal, who earned an 88 Beyer Speed Figure in the Natalma. That figure is eight points higher than division leader Winter Memories was given for her win in the Miss Grillo at Belmont Park last Sunday.

“Javier told me he waited as long as possible before he really asked her, and she responded nicely,” Frostad said. “He thought she ran a super race. She was very strong. He had trouble pulling her up. Farther is no problem.”

New Normal is a Kentucky-bred owned by her breeder, Robert Evans. The daughter of Forestry is out of New Economy, who captured a pair of graded stakes on the grass at Calder, the La Prevoyante and the My Charmer.

Distorted Economy, a 3-year-old colt out of New Economy, failed to win in five grass starts, before turning the corner in the summer. He was recently second in the Grade 2 Super Derby at Louisiana Downs, after ending up third in the El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar on Sept. 3.