05/06/2013 1:35PM

Preakness Stakes: Normandy Invasion back under consideration

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John Bambury
Normandy Invasion leads the Kentucky Derby field coming off the far turn.st turn of the Kentucky Derby.

ELMONT, N.Y. – After initially saying he didn’t plan to run Kentucky Derby fourth-place finisher Normandy Invasion back in the Preakness, trainer Chad Brown on Monday reserved the right to change his mind.

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“I kind of retreated to not knowing what I’m going to do,” Brown said Monday at his Belmont Park barn. “I want to see how my horse trains this week. I’m not sure he is a Belmont [Stakes] horse. It’s not totally out of the realm that I run in the Preakness then give him a break.”

Brown has said that a major summer goal for Normandy Invasion is the Travers at Saratoga on Aug. 27.

Given the hot early pace of the Derby, Normandy Invasion, ridden by Javier Castellano, made an earlier-than-anticipated move to the lead, taking over from pacesetting Palace Malice outside the quarter pole. He maintained the lead until inside the eighth pole when Orb went past him. Normandy Invasion flattened out a little bit late and finished fourth, beaten 3 1/2 lengths.

Brown was happy that Castellano gave his horse a clean trip and was able to save ground around the first turn. Brown understood when Castellano took Normandy Invasion outside down the backstretch to follow Verrazano, who was considered one of the contenders and who was stalking the quick pace.

Around the far turn, Normandy Invasion made a three-wide sweep and collared Palace Malice before the quarter pole. Brown said the early move Castellano made often times works out on wet tracks.

“On a sloppy track and you make a move like that and get the jump, a lot of times it works out and you get home,” Brown said. “A lot of horses behind you are tired from chasing a big pace and they’re getting hit with a lot of the track the whole race. You don’t see a lot of passing going on when the track is deteriorating to that point.

“So, really, at the top of the lane he moved into a quick pace, but I did think I still had a good shot to win the race coming off the final turn,” Brown added. “The mile and a quarter is a different animal. There’s running on a sloppy track and making a move and running on a sloppy track at a mile and a quarter – it’s a long way to go. My horse ran well and got a clean trip, and that’s what I was looking for.”

Brown said that Normandy Invasion was due in New York from Kentucky on Monday and that he would probably go back to the track on Wednesday. Brown said he wanted to evaluate Normandy Invasion’s energy level before making a decision on the Preakness.

“He’s always been a light horse, everyone knows it, but he can run,” Brown said. “His energy level was terrific at Churchill, at times he was a little aggressive, but I really wasn’t worried about it. That’s who he is, and as you can see he ran his ‘A’ race. I want to see more of that.”

Normandy Invasion, a son of Tapit owned by Rick Porter’s Fox Hill Farm, won a maiden race by 9 1/4 lengths on Nov. 2 at Aqueduct and did come back in 22 days to run a strong second – beaten a nose by Overanalyze – in the Grade 2 Remsen, earning what remains his career-best Beyer Speed Figure of 99.

Perl More than 1 year ago
Please run him, Chad. Or this Preakness will be a snooze fest. With a more patient ride he might be able to challenge Orb in the final furlong.
Jef Fawell More than 1 year ago
You're right on!! Keep him 3rd or 4th on 1st turn and we have a hell of a shot!!!
Steven Simonovic More than 1 year ago
Good! More money will pour on him to keep odds up on my horse!
Douglas More than 1 year ago
Mike Watchmaker : Your wisdom in horse racing has always been at a high level ! Your viewers as you well know "each have a mind of their own" . 75% of your readers are great people - down to earth nice for this industry . The other 25% : well you know whom they are : very poor sportsmanship - poor losers - probably was bullied in school . My point Mike is : You Know / Jay Knows , "Where" NORMANDY INVASION belongs on this years ( Early 3 YR Old List ) . All of this Trash Talking about how this colt has only won 1 race ha ha haaaaaa : just goes to show - the smarts of some people . I totally agree with your 1st / 2nd picks thus far : its a "No Brainer" at this point . In fact : this was how I seen it even before the Derby . The Derby showed me two things : ORB has the game set plan at not changing a thing in his form "running style" Strong Late Closer . . . . . NORMANDY INVASION has the heart of a Champion - and will get there
Tom Hickey More than 1 year ago
You have two owners (Vyjack and Palace Malice) saying the horses basically ran off withe the riders. Seems like these owners are putting in horses that aren't ready for the big show, or is this common? Not enough seasoning?
tommy tutone More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, all too common...... On the other hand........Gotta be in it to win it.
Raymond Hackinson More than 1 year ago
HEADLINE- Is Todd finished? I'm sure his ear old charges are now done for the year. He'll have nothing in the way of winning until the two year old season heats up.
tommy tutone More than 1 year ago
Check out Fridays' Oaks results.
Biggar W More than 1 year ago
Check the 2013 trainer standings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
By the way Normandy Invasion has only won 1 time, in case you want to make more excuses up. He had the lead for a New York minute and was passed by 3 horses, period. Am I missing something and if itw asn't such a Hot, Hot pace thanks to Pletcher/Smith, NI may not have ended up 4th.. If Vyjack runs, I like to see what happens with him on a dry track
prose More than 1 year ago
Man, are you deluded? Vyjack was nowhere. He was never competitive in that race and won't ever be against the best horses of his generation or any other generation. Get it? You're dissing NI but NI has beaten your horse two times now. Go buy a clue. Thanks.
Bryan E More than 1 year ago
Yes, you are missing something. Orb was the best horse but the main reason that all 3 horses passed NI is because their jockeys were not foolish enough to chase that pace and then go wide to try to take the lead before the head of the stretch in a 1 1/4 race. Do you really think Revolutionary, Golden Soul or Mylute would have been running as fast late if they hadn't still been at the back of the pack when NI was going for the lead?
Martin More than 1 year ago
I thought NI ran just as good a race as the winner considering the pace scenario. If he goes to the Preakness, I'll now have someone to try to beat Orb.
Ed Bullens More than 1 year ago
Anonymous - Are you suggestioning the reason Vyjack finished over 50 lengths back was he didn't like the surface? Looking forward to your future attendance at the windows. Thank you.
Richard More than 1 year ago
BLAW, BLAW, BLAW, THE JOCK MOVED TOO SOON, THE MUD IN HIS FACE, WHAT ELSE?? THE HORSE JUST DIDN'T HAVE THE FINISH....SOO WHAT NOW!? GO FOR THE PREAKNESS AND LET THE BS GO, HE'S A HORSE AND I WISH I OWNED HIM..
wolves More than 1 year ago
Jay Jay is extremely weak......any PRO has figured this out, but most haven't
Dave More than 1 year ago
I have to agree. Give him the best horse, and he's usually solid. But man, his rides on Unlimited Budget and NI leave a lot to be desired. I thought UB would get the kind of trip Sylmar had off of a really hot pace, but Castellano had her way too close.
Tyren M More than 1 year ago
I wished Rosie could have kept UB.
Jake Jordnas More than 1 year ago
you have no clue ,,,,, JJ is a top jockey , And I am a PRO handicapper
zkid9914 More than 1 year ago
Are you a winning PRO handicapper?
Highlander92 More than 1 year ago
When did the Travers become a 1-1/2 mile race. I'm sure you meant 1-1/4 miles, 10F.
Van Cushny More than 1 year ago
No way NI stays 12 furlongs in the Travers. The Preakness is his best shot to win a Classic, although it might be a better idea to run in the Peter Pan and let him win the 1st stakes race of his career.
Van Cushny More than 1 year ago
Should read "No way NI stays the 12 furlongs of the Belmont"
Van Cushny More than 1 year ago
Forget the Peter Pan for NI, I didn't realize it was being run this Saturday; the Peter Pan used to be run 2 weeks before the Belmont.