© Adam Coglianese NORMANDY INVASION (c, 4, Tapit--Boston Lady, by Boston Harbor)
, off since a middle-move fourth in the GI Kentucky Derby last May, stamped himself as a potential force in this year’s handicap division with a geared-down seven or eight-length romp in 1:33.13. Taking up a perfect drafting spot along the inside in fourth early, the prohibitive 1-5 favorite was given his cue by Javier Castellano around the turn to assert four deep. He quickly settled the issue from there, and won as he pleased. Longshot Chee (Empire Maker) was second. Normandy Invasion aired by 9 1/4 lengths when stretched to this trip at Aqueduct in November of 2012, and stamped himself as one to watch on the Triple Crown trail when beaten just a nose by Overanalyze (Dixie Union) in that venue’s GII Remsen S. later that month. A close-up fifth with trouble as the chalk in the GII Risen Star S. at Fair Grounds last February, the $230,000 KEEAPR buy stretched Verrazano (More Than Ready) to 3/4 of a length in the GI Wood Memorial to earn his spot in the Derby starting gate. He looked like a winner in the Churchill slop when he struck the front turning for home, but grew leg weary late to finish 3 1/2 lengths behind Orb (Malibu Moon). His connections opted to skip the GI Preakness S. and GI Belmont S. in favor of a freshening, and were rewarded for that decision here. Lifetime Record: 7-2-2-0. Click for VIDEO.
O-Fox Hill Farms Inc. B-Betz/Kidder/Gainesway/Graves/DJ Stable/Cole (Ky). T-Chad C Brown.
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