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Jul 02, 2015

Normandy Invasion comes up short in return race


Stanton, DE ( - Only three horses were in the race, but heavy favorite Normandy Invasion still had problems as he made his first start in more than a year Wednesday.

Trained by Larry Jones, Normandy Invasion went off as the 1-5 favorite versus two other runners in a 1 1/16 miler for older males at Delaware Park. The 2013 Wood Memorial runner-up was forced wide on the first turn by Our Caravan who broke from the inside post and had the lead from the start.

Normandy Invasion pressed the pace from outside of Our Caravan as Gray Beau trailed. Normandy Invasion, owned by Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farms, took the lead on the far turn, but Our Caravan remained on the inside coming into the stretch.

The two battled the length of the stretch with Our Caravan edging to the lead along the rail and posting a length win to spoil Normandy Invasion's comeback effort. Four horses had been early scratches from the race.

"It looked like he got a little tired, but it was okay and the main thing is it looks like he came back good," said Jones. "It will give us some things to work with now since this is the first time he ran for me. It also looked like that when he made the lead, he pulled up like he did in the Derby. He made the lead at about the 1/8th pole in the Derby and he started waiting on horses sort of like he did today."

Normandy Invasion experienced a lot of physical problems since his fourth- place finish behind Orb in the 2013 Kentucky Derby. The Run for the Roses was his last race as a 3-yesr-old and last year he had just three starts.

Normandy Invasion returned as a 4-year-old by winning an allowance race at Gulfstream Park in February followed by a second to Palace Malice in the New Orleans Handicap. He finished 10th behind Palace Malice in the Met Mile for his final start of 2014.

Normandy Invasion now has two wins and four seconds in 10 lifetime starts for $511,590.

Our Caravan, owned by Anstu Stables and trained by Michael Dilger, won for the first time since claiming the Calder Derby on April 5, 2014. The 4-year-old gelding was ridden Wednesday by Alex Cintron.

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