04/28/2014 11:46AM

Normandy Invasion gets green light for Alysheba

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Barbara D. Livingston
Normandy Invasion will return to Churchill Downs, where he was fourth in last year's Kentucky Derby, for the Alysheba Stakes on Friday.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – One year after finishing fourth in the Kentucky Derby, Normandy Invasion will return to Churchill Downs to take on a strong field that includes Eclipse Award winner Will Take Charge in Friday’s Grade 2 Alysheba Stakes.

Trainer Chad Brown decided to send Normandy Invasion to Louisville on Sunday, shortly after he breezed four furlongs in 48.35 seconds at Belmont Park. Normandy Invasion had worked a bullet five-eighths in 59.03 eight days earlier.

“The horse is really training well, and I like the timing of the race,” Brown said. “He showed he liked Churchill Downs when he trained there for two weeks last year, and he certainly ran well in the Derby.”

Normandy Invasion was beaten 3 1/2 lengths by Orb in the 2013 Kentucky Derby after making a strong middle move and sweeping to the lead nearing the stretch. Normandy Invasion did not start again until defeating optional-claiming company at Gulfstream Park on Feb. 22, setting a one-mile course record in the process. In his most recent start, Normandy Invasion was second-best behind Palace Malice in the Grade 2 New Orleans Handicap.

“The choices were to run him in the Westchester for a lot less money against Palace Malice or bring him here for the Alysheba,” said Brown, who trains Normandy Invasion for Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm Inc.

Along with Normandy Invasion and Will Take Charge, the field for the 1 1/16-mile Alysheba figures to include Appealing Tale, Bradester, Dynamic Sky, Golden Ticket, and Moonshine Mullin.

Normandy Invasion was scheduled to fly to Louisville on Monday.

Matthew Pribble More than 1 year ago
There's a reason this article is about Normandy Invasion, many people see his talent and hope he can stay healthy for a complete season. If he does he has the potential to be the best older horse this year. This could be the first real step in that type of season, taking down WTC this friday should prove why he gets so much attention. N.I. has the stage this friday and we shall see how good he really is. No excuses. Good Luck.
Kendall Daniels More than 1 year ago
For a horse with 2 wins out of 8 career starts (and neither of the wins in a graded stakes), Normany Invasion sure gets a lot of attention. I believe this will be another race that he fails to win because of (insert excuse here). I like Moonshine Mullin in a shocker....
Daniel Ledbetter More than 1 year ago
I'm a big fan of Will Take Charge and enjoy seeing Lukas continue to make noise in major stakes races with horses like him, but I don't see the point of running in a race like this on short rest other than because it's on Derby weekend. Lukas has already mentioned plans of running WTC in the Stephen Foster, not to mention other major races later in the year, so why not skip lesser races and save him up for tougher ones? He didn't seem to get asked for his best in the Oaklawn Handicap, but he still felt like a horse that may need a short break off of two grueling prior races the way that he won that race. I could be wrong, but it does leave me a little concerned. That being said, this is the way his connections have chosen to go with him, so here's hoping that WTC runs well on Friday and has a great year.
zkid9914 More than 1 year ago
Lukas has been divorced five or six times. He needs MONEY! His other horses aren't doing nothing. WTC has to pay the way my friend.
Mark Hoeft More than 1 year ago
People are still talking about Lukas and giving Will Take Charge a break. Lets see.... 2nd Jim Dandy 1st Traverse 1st Pennsylvania Derby 2nd Breeders Cup Classic 2nd Donn Handicap 2nd Santa Anita Handicap 1st Oaklawn Handicap Yep, he really appears to be struggling on short rest. I'm a Lukas fan, and I say if the horse is fit to run, then keep running him D. Wayne! In my opinion, he and Palace Malice are the two best older horses in the country. Game On Dude will find a way to get beat in November again as usual while running a very light 7 yr old campaign
Mark Hoeft More than 1 year ago
I forgot 1st in the Clark Handicap over Game on Dude.
John Alfieri More than 1 year ago
There's no E in Travers
Edward Nelson More than 1 year ago
I like NI's chances here, WTC has had a tough early part of the year and should be taking a break
tim More than 1 year ago
Not to mention Will Take Charge was not at all that impressive when he did get his first win as a 4 year old. He was all out to beat Grade 3 caliber horses like Revolutionary and Golden Lad. May be signaling a downward form cycle. Definite bet against Friday.
Ricky Williams More than 1 year ago
Check his works before that one Tim. They backed off. This one will be a paid work out in front of a large crowd. Also i see Revolutionary having a bang up year.
BoughPena More than 1 year ago
Normandy Invasion has the edge over WTC. This time NI is tighter, and distance being shorter than in his last. Normandy Invasion will probably go off @ 8/5 since most money will be on WTC. I particularly find the distance short for WTC, he may get up in the last couple of jumps if pace is fast enough. Last Beyer for NI is faster than WTC's. I also noticed that WTC didn't have his usual kick. He had to work a little harder to win his last. He may even bounce.
Matthew Pribble More than 1 year ago
Third out off a layoff should be double tough. I felt he bounced a bit last out while P.M. had his own way with M. Smith aboard. Very athletic and likes the CD strip, the one to beat.
Greg More than 1 year ago
Will Take Charge wins this easy.2/5.
Albert Johnson More than 1 year ago
He was AWFUL in his last race;probably should have been DQed
Mark Hoeft More than 1 year ago
He won the race (a Grade 1) and that makes him awful? Normandy has won a maiden and an allowance. Give me the seasoned horse
tim More than 1 year ago
He won, yes. But by his great standards, that was one of WTC's dullest efforts since last year's triple crown. That was anything but a good field he beat and he was staggering all over the place.
Ricky Williams More than 1 year ago
W.T.C.! Winner in a paid workout.
Robynrokn More than 1 year ago
That last was a Grade 1 in name only, to save Oaklawn's handle.
Janice Palmer More than 1 year ago
This will be Normandy's 3rd start following a 10 month layoff. I think he just might be rounding into top form now, ready to run a big one! Just hope he has no problem with a possible off track due to the rain.
Eric Rickard More than 1 year ago
Should be a good field. A little disappointed that it is only a seven horse field. However, this is what racing has turned into. Look forward to the weekend at Churchill. Best of luck to all.