Steeplechase handicapping: Grand Finale at Colonial Cup

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Like the horses, jockeys, trainers and owners, the TIHR handicappers can see the finish line to the 2013 steeplechase season. One more stop, with seven races to go, and the season is over.

Joe looks home free in the season series – dubbed the “Race for the Guinness” with 53 winners (from we’re guessing 175 races or so; we have to look it up and we missed Saratoga). Sean is second with 46 and Tom third with 42. That case of Irish stout is going to taste great.

First race. Maiden hurdle. Big, competitive field in the year’s final maiden race. Group from Charleston maiden figures to be tough.
Joe: Top Striker, Artie’s Jasper, Cape Savannah.
Sean: Cape Savannah, Top Striker, Artie’s Jasper.
Tom: Cape Savvanah, Dreamin Fool, Top Striker.

Second race. Raymond Woolfe Stakes for 3-year-old hurdlers. First four from Gladstone at Far Hills, plus new arrival from Ireland for Sheppard in Codrington College.
Joe: Cry Vengeance, Codrington College, Class Cherokee.
Sean: Schoodic, Codrington College, Class Cherokee.
Tom: Schoodic, Class Cherokee, Codrington College.

Third race. Timber. Old pros, newcomers, something for everyone in here. Nationbuilder won over the course in March.
Joe: Nationbuilder, Straight To It, Old Timer.
Sean: Nationbuilder, Straight To It, Snow Secret Gin.
Tom: Nationbuilder, Straight To It, Schoolhouse Woods.

Fourth race. Colonial Cup. The year’s final Grade 1 could save everyone a whole lot of angst in the championship voting if the right horse wins. Come on Divine Fortune, Demonstrative, Gustavian and Italian Wedding. Make it happen.
Joe: Divine Fortune, Demonstrative, Gustavian.
Sean: Divine Fortune, Demonstrative, Gustavian.
Tom: Divine Fortune, Gustavian, Pierrot Lunaire.

Fifth race. Starter allowance. Pretty tough group but a few drop out of even tougher groups.
Joe: All Together, Absolum, Prime Prospector.
Sean: All Together, Absolum, Prime Prospector.
Tom: All Together, Pleasant Woodman, Saint Dynaformer.

Sixth race. Allowance hurdle. Another good group with loads of depth.
Joe: Alburj, Powerofone, Where’s The Beef.
Sean: Alburj, Where’s The Beef, Powerofone.
Tom: Albany Road, Alburj, Where’s The Beef.

Seventh race. The finale is a training flat. Looks like a gift for Address Unknown.
Joe: Address Unknown, Promised Destiny, Laterly.
Sean: Address Unknown, Promised Destiny, Soho Star.
Tom: Address Unknown, Promised Destiny, Stephen’s Revenge.