Fox Hill Farms’ Wood Memorial (G1) runner-up Normandy Invasion tuned up for the Kentucky Derby with a five-furlong work in :59 at 5:45 a.m. Saturday. It was the second-fastest of 52 works at the distance.
With rain in the forecast, trainer Chad Brown didn’t want to take any chances and sent the colt out to train nearly three hours before the time set aside for horses headed to the Derby and the Kentucky Oaks. With exercise rider Javier Herrera aboard, Normandy Invasion turned in split times of :11.80, :23.20, :34.80; and 46.60. He galloped out six furlongs in 1:11.80.
“He worked well,” Brown said. “He worked swift, he worked good, comfortable. I was happy with it. He came back sharp and happy.”
It was the second work at Churchill Downs for Normandy Invasion since he finished a fast-closing second to unbeaten Verrazano in the Wood Memorial on April 6.
“It was more of a maintenance move,” Brown said. “He worked quick, but I thought he did it well within himself. He didn’t work with any company and galloped out well. He came back good. All the serious work is done.”
Brown said the Tapit colt has been eager to train but settled down after getting away to a sharp start to the work.
“He’s just feeling good. I’m good with it,” Brown said. “Hopefully he has an uneventful week leading up to the Derby.”
Reed Palmer photo