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Profile of an Invasion

Posted by Brian Mulligan on 4/23/2013 7:09:29 PM

With the days dwindling down, we’ll try to profile some of the contenders for the Kentucky Derby and hopefully give online sports betting site players an insight into their level of quality.

Normandy Invasion, a son of Tapit, has never run a bad race and is coming to the Derby with a focus for winning the whole thing.

Educated when wide in his racing debut, Normandy Invasion took some time off and then ran away and hid to break his maiden.

Then he proved he was the real deal closing to get beat a nose in the Grade 2 Remsen by Overanalyze.

This runner was training at Palm Meadows and training well this winter but his trainer Chad Brown knew that his style was not right for Gulfstream.

He had a rough betting sites trip in the Risen Star at Fair Grounds. He bobbled after breaking slowly, lugged out while rank on the first turn, came 7 wide into the stretch but fell a length and half short when a pretty solid fifth.

Some figure the Risen Star was just a bad prep but not according to Todd Pletcher, who has several horses gearing up for the Kentucky Derby.
Pletcher: “I think Normandy Invasion’s race at the Fair Grounds was sneaky good. We keep looking and every kind of speed figure shows it was a fast, big number race. But, I don’t thin k the race was horrible.”

Going into the Wood Memorial on April 6, he trained fast and steadily and it nearly paid off in spades.

After being bumped slightly at the break, he was getting to the unbeaten Verrazano when beaten only three quarters of a length while recording a 94 Beyer Speed Figure.

He proved in the Wood that he could close into a slow pace against two unbeaten runners as Vyjack also felt his first horse betting defeat in the Wood.

Normandy Invasion’s trainer liked the Wood effort too, Brown: “He adapted to the pace, the winner was impressive. I don’t see any reason why a mile and a quarter third off the layoff shouldn’t really hit him between the eyes. With another race now under his belt, a little added distance, as some racing lucky in the Derby, hopefully it will be his turn to get his nose on the line.”

Brown is also on a roll of late. He has hit at a 24% win clip this year and won with 6 of his first 18 starters at the current Aquequct meet.

Normandy Invasion’s rider Javier Castellano is young but extremely talented. He was number 2 on the rider earning list last year and has won a ton of big races including the Preakness in 2006 and the Breeders’ Cup Classic in 2004. He was also impressed with the Wood performance, Javier: “I’m very proud of this horse. He made a huge run, one more jump and I could have won the race. His gallop out was amazing; I had trouble pulling him up. That’s a great feeling when you’re looking at the big picture and the Kentucky Derby.”

Normandy Invasion’s style suggests that he can get the classic distance of a mile and a quarter but it will come down to the right post, the right ride, the right kind of pace and the trip gods being in his corner the first Saturday in May at Churchill.

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