At the 2011 Keeneland September Sale a bay colt by Tapit caught Eddie Woods and Pete Bradley’s eye while going through book one. The colt failed to meet his reserve of $145,000. Almost six weeks later the Bradley Thoroughbreds Pinhook Venture was able to strike a private deal to buy into the colt. He was placed in the 2011-2012 BT Pinhook Venture and taken to Ocala, Florida to be prepped for the two year old season by Eddie Woods. It was very obvious he was something special from the beginning..
“He was a colt that immediately caught your eye. He was very athletic with a lot of scope. As a pinhooking partnership we don’t often get a chance to buy horses like him. I knew I wanted to be a part of him the minute I saw him,” said Peter Bradley of Bradley Thoroughbreds. “He had one of those minor veterinarian issues that tends to affect sales price more than racing soundness. Essentially by mid-October he had out grown his issues. He was a horse that just couldn’t be passed up.”
The following April he was entered in the 2012 Keeneland April Two-Year-Old in Training Sale. After working a speedy :21 flat for a 1/4 at the preview he had a good following of prospective buyers. There were several interested buyers but Rick Porter of Fox Hill Farms came away with him for $230,000.
In his second start he broke his maiden by 9 1/4 lengths at Aqueduct Racecourse drawing the attention of many. Moving on to the (G2) Remsen Stakes he broke slowly and sat 10th the whole way around. Leaving the backstretch he made a monstrous move picking off his competitors one by one. He made up a lot of ground but wasn’t quite able to catch Todd Pletcher’s Overanalyze. This immediately put this colt on The Derby Trail and in many early “Derby Dozens”.
Entering the (G1) Wood Memorial at Aqueduct on April 6th as a three year old Normandy Invasion’s connections knew they would have to win the race or finish second in order to qualify for the Kentucky Derby. He made a huge run to be second to undefeated Verrazano. Normandy will also get a rematch with him on Saturday.
Normandy Invasion drew post position 5 in a field of 20 for Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, and his odds were set at 12-1 morning line. One of Bradley Thoroughbred’s trainers Chad Brown will saddle his first Kentucky Derby horse on Saturday. Bradley Thoroughbreds and members of the 2011-2012 Pinhook Venture will be cheering hard for Normandy Invasion on Saturday! Hoping to watch him make history and know that we were all somehow involved with such an exciting horse!