Kentucky Derby Contender Examined by Hoof Specialist

Kentucky Derby Contender Examined by Hoof Specialist

Normandy Invasion has been troubled by an abscess that did not respond to normal treatment and was examined by hoof specialist Ian McKinlay at Saratoga Race Course July 12.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

Fox Hill Farms' Normandy Invasion was examined by hoof specialist Ian McKinlay at Saratoga Race Course and will miss the Aug. 24 Travers Stakes, owner Rick Porter said July 12.

The 3-year-old Tapit colt could return to training in less than a month, however, if all goes according to plan treating the abscess that caused him to miss two planned works. This leaves a race like the Sept. 21 Pennsylvania Derby as an option for his next target.

According to Porter, McKinlay gave a positive prognosis for Normandy Invasion, who ran fourth in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands in his most recent start for trainer Chad Brown.

"I talked to Ian at length and he was impressed and surprised at how clean and simple things were and how easy it would be to get it dried out," the owner said. "He's going to give it some support and build a wall so the foot can grow into the wall, and the horse will probably be back in training in two to three weeks."

Before McKinlay examined Normandy Invasion, Porter said he would follow whatever course of treatment thought best for the horse, even if it meant missing the rest of his 3-year-old season.

"Chad and Ian know we do not want any shortcuts of any kind; we’d be very willing to let the horse take two or three months just being a horse in the field down in Kentucky to let the foot grow out if that's what it takes," Porter said. "That’s the main thing I was telling Ian; we know we’ve got a very talented horse here, and Tapits generally get better with age, so I’m not worried if we don’t run this horse again 'till he’s four. He said, 'You can do whatever you want, but I’ll have this hoof 100% long before he’s four.'"

Porter said a spot on the bottom of the colt's foot and a spot on the coronet band will require the treatment that will cause him to miss racing during the Saratoga meet. Normandy Invasion skipped the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont to target the Travers, and Brown had planned to use the July 26 Curlin Stakes in upstate New York as a prep for that event.

"We’re giving up on any of those races, and right now we've got an eyeball on the Pennslyvania Derby—but we'd give up on the whole year if we have to until we get the foot right," Porter said. "The good news is, from what they saw today, the prognosis is excellent that Ian will get the foot back to exactly the way it was before."

The colt out of the Boston Harbor mare Boston Lady has a win and two seconds from six starts, with earnings of $400,240 and runner-up finishes in the 2013 Wood Memorial and 2012 Remsen Stakes.

Originally published on

About the Author

Claire Novak

Winner of the 2011 Eclipse Award for Feature/Commentary and the 2008 Louisville Metro Journalism Award for Sports Writing, Claire Novak has melded her love for human-interest journalism and the equine breed into a successful Turf writing career. Since her first freelance article on racing was published at in 2005, her byline has appeared in the New York Times, ESPN The Magazine, and on, among others. She lives near Lexington and, when not writing about racing, can often be found jumping her Thoroughbred, Bob.

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