Speaking over the phone from South Florida Thursday morning, trainer Chad Brown confirmed that Normandy Invasion would be coming to New Orleans for the Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds on February 23.
"We're planning on it," Brown said of the 1 1/16-mile Risen Star, Fair Grounds' designed prep for the 100th running of the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on March 30.
The bay sophomore son of Tapit has not run since a fast-closing second in the Grade 2 Remsen at Aqueduct last November 24, but his defeat by a nose in the 1 1/8-mile race has Brown thinking positively about the long stretch run at Fair Grounds.
"He ran good in the Remsen," Brown said, "and he's been training real good down here in Florida. But he hasn't had a lot of experience and I know the [speed-favoring] track at Gulfstream wouldn't be conducive to his style. We're searching for a better situation."
Normandy Invasion breezed a bullet five furlongs at South Florida's Palm Meadows training center in 1:00 2/5 last Sunday.
"We're cranking him now," Brown said. "I'm probably also going to send Hyper up there with him [for the Grade 3 Fair Grounds Handicap] and at some point I'm planning on being there, as well."
Other probables for the Risen Star include Oxbow, an 11 1/2-length winner of the Grade 3 Lecomte at Fair Grounds on January 19; Lecomte runner-up Golden Soul; Grade 3 Delta Jackpot third-placer Mylute; the Todd Pletcher-trained Palace Malice, who exits a runner-up in a Gulfstream allowance; and impressive local maiden winner Proud Strike.