05/02/2013 4:54PM

The Haiku Handicapper: Kentucky Derby field

Barbara D. Livingston
DRF Breeding's Joe Nevills, the "Haiku Handicapper," selects the Phipps homebred Orb to win the Kentucky Derby.

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

Black Onyx
Clicks with Breen, Bravo
His best might not be enough
With that brutal post

Calumet reborn
A legacy to uphold
He ain’t Alydar

Hard-nosed, gritty colt
Gets Churchill’s gutsiest jock
Post three’s no problem

Golden Soul
Backed into his spot
Soundly thumped by many here
Safe to move along

Normandy Invasion
Trouble, excuses
Plagued his two most recent starts
Bad luck won’t fly here

Closed fast at Fair Grounds
Seems he’s still seeking his niche
Tough spot to find it

Giant Finish
Last-minute entry
Preakness credentials are strong
What’s this race again?

West Coast’s top prospect
Rank San Felipe still haunts
Can he keep his cool?

Stunning Oaklawn score
But he lacks consistency
Middle of the pack

Palace Malice
Cot Campbell’s hopeful
Honest, but lacks marquee wins
Eye for exotics

Lines of Battle
Foreign invader
At least he can’t do much worse
Than Daddy Long Legs

A Gulfstream standout
Had no response to Orb’s charge
When the chips were down

Falling Sky
Wilting pacesetter
Will love it in Iowa
But not in this spot

Curse of Apollo
Meets undefeated record
Longer streak prevails

Charming Kitten
Dirt resume’s blank
Should like distance, Churchill’s track
Don’t count this one out

Handles traffic well
And picks up white-hot rider
A serious threat

Will Take Charge
Regally-bred colt
Seeks to avenge big bro’s flop
Not sure what you’ll get

Frac Daddy
Made good on last chance
Still a non-winner of two
But loves Churchill Downs

Java’a War
A lights-out closer
Dirt might be his third surface
Shades of Dullahan?

Embattled trainer
And Fair Hill convalescence
Too many red flags

Fear the Kitten (also-eligible)
On the AE list
Tries to go from claim to fame
In over his head

Who wears the roses?
Orb rolls, Shug, Phipps celebrate
Three and 10 follow

DianeHerseth More than 1 year ago
Back to you Joe: Horseflesh in Haiku Our poetry in motion Today we find out
Old timer More than 1 year ago
Very cool! I am impressed that you can come up with 20 of these things! I can't argue with your picks. Orb looks formidable plus hot jockey. Revolutionary has Calvin so he definitely has a good shot.. Palace Malice a live longshot. IMO Java's War will have too much ground to make up. Verrazano doesn't want any part of 10 furlongs. But we'll see.
Wesley Wright More than 1 year ago
With the sloppy track everything changes by race time. The frontrunners deserve a chance.
Ken Wiener More than 1 year ago
Very clever verse Mr. Nevills!
Wesley Wright More than 1 year ago
And down the stretch they run.... Orb is surging Revolutionary is right there too Java's War has too much ground to make up As they hit the winning pole is it Orb, Revolutionary of Java's War; A three way photo finish for the 2013 Kentucky Derby