01/10/2013 6:29PM

Normandy Invasion eyes Risen Star

Barbara D. Livingston
Normandy Invasion (left) finishes second to Overanalyze in the Grade 2 Remsen.

Trainer Chad Brown said it is unlikely his top Kentucky Derby prospect Normandy Invasion will run here this winter. Normandy Invasion was beaten a nose by Overanalyze in the Grade 2 Remsen to conclude a 2-year-old campaign that also included a 9 1/4-length maiden win. A son of Tapit, Normandy Invasion is owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farms.

“We’re probably leaning towards running this horse two times before the Derby, and we might start in the Risen Star” at Fair Grounds, Brown said. “That track may just setup a little better for this horse than Gulfstream. I’m a little concerned about the way the one-mile-and-one-sixteenth race is configured here with the short stretch. It just might not be conducive to a horse like Normandy Invasion . He could also wind up having his final prep in the Wood, considering he’s already run well at Aqueduct. I’m not sure he’ll see any action here.”

Normandy Invasion had his first local work last weekend, going a bullet half-mile in 48 seconds at Palm Meadows.

“He was a little sharper than I wanted, but it was his first work back and the horse really wanted to do something,” Brown said. “He’ll start working on a regular basis now.”

[ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays]

Brown said he does have some other 3-year-olds he’s hoping could develop enough during the winter to compete in one or more of the major Derby preps here later in the meet.

“Air Squadron should have won a maiden race the other day, and I think he’s going to be a nice horse,” Brown said. “He’s got a good pedigree, and he’ll definitely get two turns on dirt. If we can break his maiden soon enough, it wouldn’t be out of the question he could make one of the big races later on. I have some other young horses who haven’t started yet or just weren’t 2-year-old types ready to come back. I don’t know if they’ll all be Derby horses, but with the new points system, all you have to do is show up in that last race.”

Brown also said none of his 3-year-olds who competed in the Breeders’ Cup, Balance the Books, Noble Tune, or Watsdachances, have breezed yet since arriving at Palm Meadows.

“All those turf horses have been training well and will have one race before we leave here, although I’m not sure where or when just yet,” Brown said.

Brown also reported that Dayatthespa is recovering nicely from injuries suffered during her fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Matriarch at Betfair Hollywood Park on Nov. 25. The setback was the lone blemish on Dayatthespa’s record in six starts at 3.

“She tried to jump the rail, cut herself up, and wound up having to be stitched around her tendon,” Brown said. “She still hasn’t been back to the track yet, but she’s looking and feeling good. The plan was always to rest her this winter and bring her back in the Honey Fox, but we’ve missed too much time now to make the race.”

The Grade 2 Honey Fox will be run March 16.