The Haiku Handicapper

"The Haiku Handicapper" is a recurring segment in which Joe analyzes a race's field or makes predictions on a race card or award show in the form haiku: A Japanese poem consisting of 17 syllables in lines of five, seven, and five.

Like any idea worth following up on, the concept for The Haiku Handicapper came in the midst of some idle doodling during a college lecture. Looking for an outside-the-box way to analyze the 2008 Breeders' Cup Classic, Joe recalled an email sent to him by former Thoroughbred Times co-worker Ed DeRosa in which he announced he would be out of the office with a haiku. It was all a blur from there.

It was fun to write, a challenge trying to get a point across within the rigid guidelines, and nobody else was doing it. The Haiku Handicapper debuted in the Michigan-Bred Claimer blog in November 2008, and has since appeared in the Daily Racing Form, Arabian Finish Line, Thoroughbred Times, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association website. Seven years later, he still writes every haiku in the same notebook.

The Haiku Handicapper currently appears regularly on the DRF Breeding website during the Triple Crown races, Breeders' Cup, Eclipse Awards, and other major events.

Click here to read the latest Haiku Handicapper piece, predicting the 2018 Kentucky Derby.

Click here to read the very first Haiku Handicapper on the 2008 Breeders Cup Classic.

An archive of Haiku Handicapper pieces from The Michigan-Bred Claimer blog can be found here.

What readers have said about "The Haiku Handicapper"

"This makes me happy."
- @rogueclown, Twitter

"The Haiku Handicapper is basically my favorite thing."
- @PenelopePMiller, Twitter

"It's getting to where I can't watch the race without first checking out your haiku."
- Old Timer, DRF Commenter

"One of my favorite Derby traditions. Always very good!"
- @thinlizzy17, Twitter

"One of my favorite features from one of my favorite racing guys."
- @rdickey249, Twitter

"This. Is. Genius!!!!!"
- @StreamHorseTV, Twitter

"The most creative [Kentucky Derby] analysis you'll read."
- @trifectabox, Twitter