Handicapping the Kentucky Derby with screencaps from The Office

You can go to any number of sources and find thoughtful, pertinent analysis of this year's Kentucky Derby field, from just about every angle imaginable. Instead, you've found yourself on the website of the guy who looks at the race via haiku. I save my thoughtfulness for the day job.

As such, I'm always looking to find new, unorthodox ways to analyze the Kentucky Derby field. In addition to The Haiku Handicapper, I broke down last year's Derby by assigning each runner an emoji to best suit their chances or characteristics. I had a few ideas kicking around in my head for this year's race, so I put up to a Twitter vote, and this was the result....


So be it. The Office is one of my favorite shows, and thanks to the wonders of Netflix, I've watched most of the episodes enough times to recall the scenes that can apply to everyday life. If I come across a plasma screen TV, I know what to say before I even say it.

With this back catalog of Office quotes rattling around in my brain, I wanted to see if I could assign a fitting screencap and/or quote to each entry in this year's Kentucky Derby. No commentary, no context. Just the horse's name and a screencap. This turned out to be a bigger challenge than one might think, but it also produced some pleasant surprises.

Once you're done reading, be sure to share this post with your friends on WUPHF!

#1 - Firenze Fire

Firenze Fire.jpg

#2 - Free Drop Billy

Free Drop Billy.jpg

#3 - Promises Fulfilled

Promises Fulfilled.jpg

#4 - Flameaway


#5 - Audible


#6 - Good Magic

Good Magic.jpg

#7 - Justify


#8 - Lone Sailor

Lone Sailor.jpg

#9 - Hofburg


#10 - My Boy Jack

My Boy Jack.png

#11 - Bolt d'Oro

Bolt d'Oro.jpg

#12 - Enticed


#13 - Bravazo


#14 - Mendelssohn


#15 - Instilled Regard

Instilled Regard.jpg

#16 - Magnum Moon

Magnum Moon.png

#17 - Solomini


#18 - Vino Rosso

Vino Rosso.jpg

#19 - Noble Indy

Noble Indy.png

#20 - Combatant


#21 AE - Blended Citizen

Blended Citizen.jpg

The Haiku Handicapper: 2018 Kentucky Derby

Joe Nevills, sales editor for the Daily Racing Form and columnist for Arabian Finish Line, analyzes the 2018 Kentucky Derby field in the form of Haiku; a Japanese poem of 17 syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five.

#1 - Firenze Fire
Dinked and dunked for points
One turn appears his best fit
This is not his race

#2 - Free Drop Billy
Hard to get too jazzed
When a four-length margin is
Closest loss this year

#3 - Promises Fulfilled
The front of nothing
Still got him nothing last out
A tiring rival

#4 - Flameaway
Never ducks a fight
Prefer him in the Preakness
Love for the Queen's Plate

#5 - Audible
His resume's stout
But future glories could lie
Among the milers

#6 - Good Magic
The Eclipse winner
Did his job in the Blue Grass
Might need one more gear

#7 - Justify
Much-hyped wunderkind
Shrugged off the class jump with ease
Apollo's boots shake

#8 - Lone Sailor
Ran a lifetime best
Off optional claimer loss
Hard to picture it

#9 - Hofburg
Juddmonte Farms doesn't
Mess around breeding cheap speed
If not here, Belmont

#10 - My Boy Jack
The field's deep closer
In tough when the race's best
Have high cruising speeds

#11 - Bolt d'Oro
A stark lack of love
For a two-race hundred-plus
Beyer figure streak

#12 - Enticed
Truly blue-blooded
Sleeper vibes if you forgive
Bumpy Big A trip

#13 - Bravazo
Methinks the truth leans
Toward his ugly last effort
Than Risen Star shock

#14 - Mendelssohn
Top-dollar prospect
Harangued by travel headaches
Ceiling's still sky-high

#15 - Instilled Regard
Survived the bubble
He was there for a reason
Little momentum

#16 - Magnum Moon
Tallied the most points
Showed true colors at Oaklawn
Still a shade of green

#17 - Solomini
Never off the board
But has a nose for trouble
Can't have that luck here

#18 - Vino Rosso
Topped Wood like a pro
Collmus likes saying his name
Could be Todd's third string

#19 - Noble Indy
Not much to pick at
But not enough to enthrall
Keep low on tickets

#20 - Combatant
Always in the hunt
But enters the race seeking
His first stakes triumph

#21 AE - Blended Citizen
Summer potential
But he's just not fast enough
To challenge this field

Down goes Apollo
The fervor is Justified
Then Bolt, 14, nine

The Haiku Handicapper: 2017 Breeders' Cup Card

Joe Nevills, sales editor for the Daily Racing Form and columnist for Arabian Finish Line, analyzes each race of the 2017 Breeders’ Cup World Championships in the form of Haiku; a Japanese poem of 17 syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five.

Friday, Nov. 3

Juvenile Fillies Turf
If the turf's not firm
No one touches Happily
Still tough if it's dry

Dirt Mile
Enters the fray fresh
With the Breeders' Cup's top jock
Mor Spirit looks strong

Juvenile Turf
A foreign horse wins
Canada's Hemp Hemp Hurray
In a small upset

Stellar Wind looks primed
But winless at the distance
Let's go with Elate

Saturday, Nov. 4

Juvenile Fillies
Hasn't turned a hair
No reason that should change now
Moonshine Memories

Turf Sprint
If not Lady A
It's a jump ball for a price
But it's Lady A

Filly & Mare Sprint
Bella's a monster
Skye Diamonds might be faster
The monster gets caught

Filly & Mare Turf
Eli deserves it
Another Euro buzzsaw
Rhododendron blooms

Drefong's greatest test
Comes not from competition
But the Del Mar gap

Tinkering no more
World Approval found his niche
And hits the sweet spot

A punctual break
Only spiked the win margin
Bolt is no shocker

Highland Reel boards planes
And runs big in global tilts
His U.S. streak grows

Asmussen's top Gun
Targets Baffert's battalion
And his aim is true