The Colonial Cup is the decider. Since 1970, it’s the race that finalizes it all. This year, 12 horses, the last 12 standing, line up to secure a big check and clinch the Eclipse Award.
Why he’ll win the Colonial Cup . . .
1. Divine Fortune. Because he’s got the engine, because he hated the ground at Far Hills, because he loves a flat track, because he’s already beaten Decoy Daddy, Nationbuilder and Dynaski this year.
2. Dynaski. Because he possesses the most raw talent of any horse in the race, because he’s finally rounding into form after three runs this year, because he skipped the Noel Laing.
3. Tax Ruling. Because he has the stamina to win the Iroquois and the speed to win the training flat at Shawan, because he often follows a debacle with a tour de force, because the trainer’s newborn son needs new shoes.
4. Sermon Of Love. Because his Noel Laing was sneaky good, because every weekend a different horse wins the big one, because it would leave all of us shaking our heads one last time for 2011.
5. Your Sum Man. Because he hasn’t finished off the board in four tries this year, because he stays, because he needs to prove the 2009 Grand National wasn’t a fluke.
6. Nationbuilder. Because of Jonathan Sheppard.
7. Organisateur. Because his Grand National was brilliant, because Black Jack Blues is on the farm.
8. Here Comes Art. Because speed is always king, because his jockey pulls off miracles, because he’s fresh and because he’ll be fun to watch on the front end.
9. Decoy Daddy. Because he’s the most consistent horse in training, because he jumps, because he stays, because he has speed, because he deserves it.
10. Lead Us Not. Because Will Haynes deserves it.
11. Arcadius. Because he needed his run in the Grand National, because he’s won at Camden, because of Brian Crowley, because he’s steady as syrup, because the Eclipse ballot needs another candidate.
12. Italian Wedding. Because . . . see Nationbuilder.