Normandy Invasion out of Preakness

May 13, 2013 

BALTIMORE — The trainer of Normandy Invasion said his fourth-place finisher in the Kentucky Derby will miss the Preakness and get ready for a summer campaign that includes the Travers Stakes in August.

Trainer Chad Brown said Sunday that after a talk with owner Rick Porter the decision was made to rest the colt rather than bring him back on two weeks' rest.

Normandy Invasion took the lead in the stretch of last weekend's Derby before finishing fourth, 3½ lengths behind Orb.

Orb went for a 1½ -mile gallop around Belmont Park on Sunday, and is set for his final workout Monday before being vanned to Baltimore for the Saturday's Preakness.

The declaration of Normandy Invasion left the potential Preakness field with ten probables, including Orb and Holy Bull Stakes winner Itsmyluckyday.

Trainer Rudy Rodriguez said a decision on whether to run Gotham Stakes winner Vyjack, who finished 18th in the Kentucky Derby, might not be made until Wednesday when entries are taken.

With trainer Al Stall Jr. and jockey Brian Hernandez Jr. watching from the grandstand, Illinois Derby winner Departing — one of the new shooters expected for the Preakness — worked a half-mile in 502⁄5 seconds over a fast track at Churchill Downs on Sunday morning in preparation for the 13⁄16-mile classic.

With former jockey Larry Melancon up, Departing worked on his own while producing fractions of :131⁄5, :252⁄5, :381⁄5 and galloped out 5 furlongs in 1:034⁄5.

"I wanted him to go a little slower the first part than the second part and he hit right on what we were looking for," Stall said. "He did enough to get the day off tomorrow. He is a gelding and doesn't carry a lot of weight. He had galloped two miles on Thursday and a spirited mile and half Friday."

Owned by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, Departing is scheduled to walk Monday and then train Tuesday and Wednesday morning before shipping to Pimlico Race Course on Wednesday afternoon. Stall said he has a 2 p.m. flight Wednesday and would be in Baltimore in time for the Preakness draw that afternoon.

Departing will be the second Preakness starter for Stall, whose Terrain finished seventh in 2009 behind eventual Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra. Like Terrain, Departing did not run in the Kentucky Derby prior to the Preakness.

"After the Louisiana Derby, the Kentucky Derby was off the table with the point system," Stall said. "It worked out well for us. The Illinois Derby billed itself as a prep for the Preakness and hopefully we can make it successful for the Illinois Derby."

Itsmyluckyday worked a half mile in 471⁄5 between races at Monmouth Park on Sunday afternoon in preparation for a start in the Preakness. Elvis Trujillo was aboard for the move.

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