06/06/2014 1:47PM

The Haiku Handicapper: 2014 Belmont Stakes

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Barbara Livingston
The Haiku Handicapper favors Wicked Strong to pull the upset in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.

DRF Breeding staff writer Joe Nevills analyzes the Belmont Stakes field, in post position order, in the form of Haiku; a Japanese poem of 17 syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five.

Medal Count
Distance in his blood
Dirt could be third-best surface
Forecast: Even trip

California Chrome
History beckons
For a blue collar hero
Toughest challenge yet

Matterhorn
Under new colors
Beaten by more than six lengths
In his last three starts

Commanding Curve
Derby runner-up
Must prove he’s the next Jazil
And not Golden Soul

Ride On Curlin
Showed up to each dance
With a new partner in tow
A live one each time

Matuszak
Like Incognito
Pedigree outweighs record
That fact will remain

Samraat
Local boy comes home
Never turns in a bad run
Might be past his range

Commissioner
Indy’s last hurrah
Yet to live up to the hype
But he’s bred for this

Wicked Strong
In his element
Back in the Empire State
Will be a factor

General a Rod
Fashionably late
To put his hat in the ring
A milquetoast prospect

Tonalist
Mud-drenched prep winner
Continues up the ladder
The air gets thin fast

Prediction
A hard-fighting Chrome
Is worn down by Wicked Strong
Five, eight fill super

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Old timer 9 months ago
Say it ain't so, Joe! Nice and on the money comments on each contender. It's getting to where I can't watch the race without first checking out your haiku. I cannot fault anyone for supporting either Wicked Strong or Ride on Curlin. However I'll be rooting for Chrome to hang on. Interesting that the Brooklyn was run in 2:27, quite a fast time.
Robert Danna 9 months ago
If Chrome gets his way on the lead, no one catches him that was proven in the Santa Anita Derby. I think Wicked Strong is the New York Fav. however, he was tiring in the Derby and how can he get an extra quarter mile with that performance. As far as Commissioner goes yes he has a chance but who wants an upset with a Clown who shows up for only one of the three races, that's like BLAME Beating Zenyatta in the Breeders Cup Classic, where was he and Rachel in 2009 at Santa Anita, at home because of the surface, The Great ones win on all surfaces no matter who they run against.. Picking your spots may get you a WIN but, How many TRUE race fans can recall what BLAME did in his career other than the BC Classic in 2011 - Go Chrome defeat the so called BLUE BLOOD VREEDING and prove once and for all, it's not who's your Mom and Dad - It's who you ARE inside !