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Will Luck Be On Normandy Invasion's Side?

Overanalyze (no. 1A), ridden by Ramon Dominguez and trained by Todd Pletcher, wins the 99th running of the grade 2 Remsen Stakes for two year olds on November 24, 2012 at Aqueduct Race Track in Ozone Park, New York. (Bob Mayberger/Eclipse Sportswire)
Heading into Saturday’s Grade 1, $1 million Wood Memorial, trainer Chad Brown would just like to see Normandy Invasion catch a little good fortune.


In his four-start career, the Fox Hill Farms colt has started in post position No. 9 three times and No. 10 in the other. He also has had issues breaking from the gate, and, in his most recent start – the Grade 2 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds – stumbled after a tardy takeoff.


“For whatever reason, he acts well in the gate, but he hasn’t broke well out of the gate,” Brown said Friday morning while watching Normandy Invasion go through an easy gallop at Belmont Park. “He’s not in a hurry leaving the gate. The last two times, after breaking a step slow, he’s pretty much almost clipped heels, in both the Remsen and Risen Star, or stumbled onto the heels of another horse. And then it made the bad breaks even worse.”


Even with trouble, Normandy Invasion has been impressive. He blazed home late in the Grade 2 Remsen last November to miss by a nose to Overanalyze. In the Risen Star, he came seven wide on the turn and finished fifth, just 1 ½ lengths behind the winner, long shot Ive Struck a Nerve.


“He’s always drawn outside; this is the first time he’s drawn inside [post position 2], so I’m curious if he gets some benefit not having to lose a length or so,” said Brown. “He’s got a good post and if he can get out of there a little better – I’m not looking for him to be up in the race, just get a clean break and gain two or three lengths. That’s all I think we need.”




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