05/12/2013 1:17PM

Preakness Stakes: Normandy Invasion to skip race

Barbara D. Livingston
Normandy Invasion, most recently fourth in the Kentucky Derby on May 4, will skip Saturday's Preakness Stakes.

Normandy Invasion, the fourth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby, will not run in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes and instead will make the $1 million Travers on Aug. 24 at Saratoga his next major objective, owner Rick Porter said Sunday.

Porter said Normandy Invasion would make his next start in either the $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 27 or the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park on July 28.

Porter made the decision Sunday after talking with his trainer, Chad Brown. Immediately after the Derby, Brown said he wanted to skip the Preakness, but on Monday, he said he wanted to keep an open mind.

Though Normandy Invasion appeared to be galloping well at Belmont, the decision was made to have a fresh horse for the second half of the year.

“Winning the Preakness would be great; running second or third wouldn’t do us any good at all,” Porter said. “And it might not be any good for the horse. The risk/reward [factor] is what it came down to. I said the risk/reward in the Preakness doesn’t make any sense. We need to give the horse time off; let’s get some weight back on him.”

Initially, Porter said he and Brown discussed pointing Normandy Invasion to a race in mid-June, such as the Pegasus at Monmouth Park. But then he and Brown decided to wait until the end of July to run him.

“Our goal should be to try to have a fresh horse for the Jim Dandy or the Haskell and get to the Travers,” Porter said. “I’m just being conservative; no other reason he couldn’t run back. You don’t get many chances to go off the second choice in a classic and not run, but I’m making that decision. Coming back in two weeks would be a mistake long term.”

[2013 PREAKNESS STAKES: Latest news, video, and more]

The defection of Normandy Invasion leaves nine definite starters for the Preakness, with Vyjack being a possible 10th runner.

The definites are Orb, Departing, Itsmyluckyday, Goldencents, Oxbow, Will Take Charge, Titletown Five, Mylute, and Govenor Charlie.

Kentucky Derby winner Orb, who galloped at Belmont on Sunday, was scheduled to work at 6 a.m. Monday at Belmont and ship later in the morning to Pimlico.