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Found at the Derby
Nancy Rafal


It was Real Quiet (1998) that California Chrome (2014) morning.

The Sunday Silence (1989) was felt in Omaha (1935), Needles (1956),
Baden-Baden (1877), Kingman (1891), Spokane (1889), and Seattle.

“Slew (1977) the Dust Commander (1970) with a Silver Charm (1997),”
shouted the American Pharaoh (2015).  “Shut Out (1992) the Dark Star (1952)
with a Cavalcade (1934) of Winning Colors (1988).”
This signaled the Assault (1988)
of the Big Brown (2003) Typhoon II (1897) by the Vagrant (1876) Lord Murphy (1879).

Sunny’s Halo (1983) was Bubbling Over (1926) as the Day Star (1878) Affirmed (1978)
the Forward Pass (1968) of the Majestic Prince (1969).  

An Unbridled (1990) Sea Hero (1993) decided to Strike the Gold (1991)
with Gato Del Sol (1982), while the Northern Dancer (1964) Shut Out (1942)
the Iron Liege (1957) with a Whirlaway (1941) Bold Venture (1936).

The Jet Pilot (1947) made a Forward Pass (1968) and will Spend a Buck (1985) as he plans
to Go for Gin (1994). This Genuine Risk (1980) released the Fusaichi Pegasus (2000),
a Charismatic (1999) Burgoo King (1932), on the Lookout (1893) for Macbeth II (1888).
Leonatus (1883) began a Hindoo (1881) Chant (1894) while His Eminence (1901) Clyde Van Dussen (1929)
played Exterminator (1918) on Stone Street (1908). Omar Kahyyam (1917) mounted the Flying Ebony (1923)
rug with no Regret (1912) and sailed with Apollo (1882) to Thunder Gulch (1995).

“I’ll Have Another (2012) Foolish Pleasure (1975),” pleaded Pensive (1944) Sir Barton (1919).
The Agile (1905) Ben Ali (1886) ran to Elwood (1904) for the Twenty Grand (1931) he could
Carry Back (1961) to Tim Tam (1958).

Meanwhile the Gallant Fox (1930) Regretted (1915) that he could no longer do Manuel (1899) labor and sat down
on Wintergreen (1909) Ridge Determined (1954) to start an Animal Kingdom (2011) on a Black Gold (1924) Orb (2013).

At the Meridian (1911) of the Pink Star (1907), John Paul Jones (1920) shouted, “Behave Yourself (1921)!”
But Lieut. Gibson’s (1900) Super Saver (2010). of the Winning Colors (1988).
made a Spectacular Bid.(1979) for the Pleasant Colony (1981) on the Riva Ridge (1972).  

Although Ferdinand (1985) put his shoulder to the Grindstone (1996), George Smith (1916) sped
through the Swale (1984) and down the Mine. That Bird (2009) seemed to be living the life of Riley (1890),
but Joe Cotton (1885) turned out to be the Authentic (2020) author of the Smarty Jones (2004) comics,
which Justify(ed) (2018) its Swaps (1955) Worth (1912).

Later, at the Country House (2019), Lil E. Tee (1992). who was Always Dreaming (2017),
Ponder (1949)ed the Citation (1948) for the Old Rosebud (1914). Tommy Lee (1959) offered a Plaudit (1898)
when he got a Brokers Tip (1933) from Judge Himes (1903). The War Admiral (1937) rang out
a Proud Clarion (1967) to the War Emblem (2002), but was greeted by a bitter Cannonade (1974) from the Kauai King (1966).

All this was recorded with Street Sense (2007) by the Secretariat (1973) on the Venetian Way (1960)
in the Middleground (1950) of Johnstown (1939), Decidedly (1962) under the influence of Whiskery (1927).


© 2020 by Nancy Rafal.
Used with the author’s permission.



Nancy Rafal lives in Baileys Harbor, Wisconsin, where she is the current Door County Poet Laureate. Her work can be found in many editions of the Wisconsin Poets’ Calendar and other publications. Nancy is part of a trio of women who cowrote Slightly Off Q, published by Marsh River Editions  in 2004.



Post New Comment:
Fun and clever!
Posted 09/15/2020 02:03 PM
Great addition, Nancy!
Posted 09/15/2020 12:14 PM
Wow!A Winner!
Posted 09/15/2020 12:12 PM
How fun to read your poem, Nancy! Susan Moss
Posted 09/15/2020 12:00 PM
How clever, Nancy....Read it several times.
Posted 09/12/2020 12:40 AM
How wonderfully clever!
Posted 09/10/2020 08:28 PM
Janet Leahy:
This is wonderful, I've read it again and again. Thanks Nancy.
Posted 09/06/2020 12:23 PM
amazing Nancy. Awesome�can�t think of enough words. What fun to write, and my daughter-in-law who breeds horses will love this poem. So enjoyable.
Posted 09/05/2020 11:39 PM
Wonderful poem Nancy. What fun. Barb Germiat
Posted 09/05/2020 12:05 PM
Amazing! Whoever is in charge of the Kentucky Derby should mount this at Churchill Downs! Marilyn Zelke Windau
Posted 09/05/2020 11:39 AM
Posted 09/05/2020 10:09 AM
Stephen Anderson:
Incredible and interesting how you wove all of this together, Nancy!
Posted 09/05/2020 09:29 AM
Larry Schug:
I'll bet this was a fun piece to write and the research must have also been fun. I bet it just ran away with you once you got out of the starting gate.
Posted 09/05/2020 08:42 AM
Kay N. Sanders:
Bravo, Nancy!
Posted 09/05/2020 08:27 AM
Beyond Brilliant! This was awesome!!
Posted 09/05/2020 07:56 AM
Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, Nancy! ♥️😊♥️
Posted 09/05/2020 05:51 AM

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