Race Reviews

  • Week Of 11/22 - 11/28
  • SU22
  • MO23
  • TU24
  • WE25
  • TH26
  • FR27
  • SA28
Track Handicapper Darin Zocali's Bio
Darin Z  RACE REVIEWS by Darin Zoccali A thoroughbred and standardbred racing announcer and analyst, Darin works for several racetracks including the Meadowlands, Parx Racing at Philadelphia Park and Tioga Downs.  He is also a regular fill in on Sirius XM Radio's Down The Stretch broadcast.  He is a graduate of St John's University (class of 2005) and is one of the youngest announcers/broadcasters in the racing business.

Race Reviews For Friday, November 27, 2015

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-4-9
H Horse Comment
1 MASSIVE CLOUT Swedish homebred has gotten off to a nice start. The potential horse to beat was 22-1 when beating a rather soft group last week. The upside this colt owns with only two lifetime starts makes him the more enticing option.
2 BARNABY RUDGE Yet to put forth a bad race in his young career. I like the move he made to the lead in his last start. Respect the connections and there is no reason why he should not deliver another good effort here.
3 BON APPETIT Kawartha form has tailed off as the races got tougher. Miller chose off to drive another longshot. Not sold on chances yet.
4 DOMINO VOLO Took plenty of support last time and promptly went off-stride. If he stays trotting, he can obviously improve against this group and that was his first start in five weeks. Wouldn’t blame someone for taking another chance.
5 BLINTZ Sent off at 142-1 last time and was not a factor. That was his first start in 2 months, so keep any eye out for any improvement now.
6 SHESONEINAMILLION Win at Freehold came against far lesser. An even effort last time at Philly. This is a tougher assignment. Watching.
7 LONOKE VALLEY CHIP Stung early last week and things went south from there. He is better than that effort indicates and with a trip in a live outer flow, he has a chance to rebound and land a share of this.
8 LUNCH WITH JACK Even if you toss out his last, this is still a colt that is 2 for 30. Would need to improve. Prefer others with more upside.
9 MOULIN ROUGE Chestnut filly put it all together last week with a 22-1 upset to kick off the card. That price is long gone and she will need to be every bit as good to rally from this difficult spot. She will be coming again in all likelihood.
10 TREY’S NIGHTSPEED Took an aggressive shot last time and faltered late. Expecting this filly will be left with too much to do. Longshot.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 1-10-9-2
H Horse Comment
1 CHOCOLATE XPLOSION One of many that caught a buzzsaw last week. Moves inside with Krivelin. Positive angles going into this one.
2 JACK’S REEF Exits the same race as the rival to his inside. This field is not as strong. There is some upside here as well. Logical player.
3 PHOTO KING Took on the bottom level at Saratoga last time without much success. Shuffled a bit in that race. This barn can pop though.
4 THE B STREET FAN Exits a similar class to the rival to his inside. Current form hasn’t been bad. Might be able to work his way into this.
5 MAUREL N HARDY Just 1 for 33 on the season thus far. Last effort was an improvement, but he still would need to improve further here.
6 WHAT HUSTLER Rallied a bit from a tough spot last time. Another with just one win on the season, but did draw an ideal post. Minor share.
7 KAYSTONE WASABI Clearly needed that last start. Making just his second start off the four month layoff. Could improve, still waiting.
8 ARMSTEAD KYRA Just an even try against a softer amateur group at Freehold. Has some speed and could be a pace factor from here.
9 LASER LUCY Also chased a well-meant winner last time. Tough draw but her last effort puts her in play. Obviously she does need a trip.
10 CRAZED N LINDY Sat the pocket behind the favorite last time. He raced well there. Must overcome the post, be he appears best here.
11 GO SEE LO GO Gelding has won 16 of 41 starts, but against lesser in Minnesota. Needs to improve on his last few starts to contend.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 6-9-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 LO RAIL CROSSING Winner of last was a top trotting mare in her best form. Loss at the bottom level at Freehold is a concern. Tricky call.
2 WINDSONG ILLUSION Has been racing in amateur events lately. Form there is OK, but I will take a wait and see approach this time.
3 TAKE HEART Hard to be thrilled with his recent form. Hoping a change in scenery will turn things around. Another to watch one first.
4 FEISTY LOVE Typically, Vernon form doesn’t have a ton of success here. But, this field is filled with questions and she is clearly the most consistent trotter in the field. Respect the Marohn/Gill combination. But I question just how good this mare is. Tough call.
5 MASS APPEAL Has now made breaks in three of her last four. She did win the other start. Still would like to see her stay trotting first.
6 ULSTER Barn change cannot be ignored here as Spagnola’s horses have been sharp to start the meet. Winner of that qualifier has talent and the runner-up owns a win over JL Cruze. In this field, this gelding could be a handful.
7 KIWI PRES Improved effort last time, but that was just a 31-second final quarter as the beaten favorite. Just 3 for 42 lifetime. Tricky call.
8 SOAPY SAP This mare has had a long career here. She made her first Meadowlands start on May 29, 2006, nearly 10 years ago. This is the 96th pari-mutuel start at The Meadowlands. Recent form has been light, but would love to see this mare hit $500,000 lifetime.
9 INNER PEACE When he trots, he clearly has talent as he is averaging nearly $1,500 per start. But his breaks in stride occur too often to feel strongly about his chances. I can’t dismiss him, but I can’t key on him either.
10 HAWAIIANCAVIAR Beaten at the bottom level at Freehold two starts back. His start last week doesn’t inspire much confidence. Longshot.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 NEW JOEZ Filly sports just a 1 for 25 record. Winner of her last start was favored in the Three Diamonds but endured a rough trip and raced erratically on the backstretch. That said, she would need to put forth a much better performance here.
2 GLAM CAM This mare has winning big track experience. Her last three haven’t been very sharp, but keep a close eye on her. A share.
3 SOLID QUEEN Gets another move down in class and draws well. This field isn’t overloaded with sharp horses and it wouldn’t surprise me if she paces away from this field. Bottom line, she is probably just better than these. Price will reflect that.
4 DELIGHTFUL PLAN Filly owns just 2 wins from 33 starts. Her last effort wasn’t bad and the winner was a key barn change who has upside. Given her record, it is hard to love her in the top spot, but she is a key exotics player.
5 G NOTE Plainridge shippers have not had much success so far this meet. Her Philly effort makes it tough to endorse her. Not just yet.
6 MOJARRA HANOVER This mare has a long history of winning races here. Her last effort was an improvement. I could see her going overlooked here and there are times she takes money when you least expect it. Worth including.
7 FOUR HOUR NAP Encouraging first start since shipping in from the Midwest. Dane has brought over a few and they are likely to only get better over time. She has a chance to step up her game and contend for the win here.
8 DAY TO PONDER Mare enters this off back to back solid tries at Vernon. She might fit well here, but still skeptical of the Vernon form.
9 DEUCES FOR CHARITY Mare has hit the exacta in half her starts this year, granted on smaller ovals. Her 1:52.2 performance at Ocean Downs is a track record for mares. This mare may go overlooked here at a square price.
10 LARJON LAURA Exits the same race as Glam Cam. She was just even in her start here. The post doesn’t help. Mixed feelings now.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 3-6-4-1
H Horse Comment
1 ES MUCHO Complete turnaround last time. Bongiorno flying high after a career weekend and this horse fits this class again by a few hundred dollars. This field is a bit tougher on paper, but a repeat is not out of reach.
2 GREY ICE He has won here before, in spots like this. He would obviously need to improve off his most recent performance. Tough call.
3 FONDANT Gelding is prone to the miscue. He has also faced better than this and he has some class to him as well. If he stays trotting, he can certainly beat this group, but that is a big “if.” Risk and reward here.
4 VEGLIANTINO Mare has hit the exacta in nearly half her starts and she raced well here earlier this year. Her recent form is mixed but she has a chance to get back to her best form here. I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss.
5 CELEBRITY COWBOY Continues his descent down the class ladder. He is facing the lightest field he has seen in some time, but he has been burning a lot of cash lately. Difficult to predict when the form reversal is going to come.
6 KEYSTONE THOMAS Could not have won that amateur event any easier and we have seen trotters move from the amateur ranks to this level with success before. He has speed and should be factor from the time they leave the gate.
7 CELEBRITY STIMULUS Last few starts have been better, but against softer. Will need to step up his game in this spot to contend for a win.
8 THANKYOUKESSEL Has rallied well in his last pair and Lachance’s horses have been sharp to start. Will need to work out a trip here.
9 SKYWAY CRUISER Last pair have not been bad and he seems to have a bit of speed. Will need to utilize it from this outside post. Maybe.
10 BLOOMFIELDCANTIFLY Snuck into the super last time at 93-1. Now will have to overcome the widest post. The trip could be an issue.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-3-7
H Horse Comment
1 ODDS ON AVENTURE Winless in 23 starts this year. Mare appeared a bit short in her qualifier and may need a race off the brief layoff.
2 JANIE BAY She has been hit with back to back wide draws to start the meet. Now, she moves inside for a barn that is very dangerous. She finished with interest last time and is a logical candidate to lay closer and finish better. The pick.
3 GALARINA Raced very well at a big price last time and didn’t throw in the towel. Caught a ship-in on a barn change. The price is gone, but any return to that most recent effort would make her very tough in this spot.
4 WEEKEND GETAWAY Her last two starts were not bad at all and now she will try her luck back on the track where she took her lifetime mark earlier this season. She lands on the list of contenders here.
5 PRIVATE PERFORMANC She didn’t have much luck on the move up in class last time. This is not going to be any easier. Watching one.
6 KAMWOOD LAUGHTER Mare defeated the bottom level at Freehold last time and now moves up the ladder. Will wait and see with her.
7 SLEAZY DOES IT This mare hasn’t been bad lately and I respect Surick in this spot. She has big track experience. Not without a chance.
8 GAME OF DREAMERS She was in good form earlier in the year and I like this stable. But she is a tough sell off three double-digit losses.
9 HARPER LEE Just 1 win in 40 starts this season and her lack of speed puts her in a tough spot here. She will be left with a lot to do.
10 SIR LEHIGH Z TAM Drop in class, but it’s hard to understand what happened last time. Catches a wide draw as well. Respect the fact that this mare owns class, but this wide post and that last start makes things a tough sell for me at a short price.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-10-6-8
H Horse Comment
1 MISS DEFIANCE She was a blowout winner last time and now moves back up the ladder to face a much tougher assignment. There are some legitimate open mares in this field, so a repeat here would be a surprise.
2 BULLVILLE MAGGIE That was a solid try last time at Pocono, but this is a three year old filly facing a really tough group. A longshot.
3 K J’S CAROLINE Mare has had a decent year and she has had some tough trips lately. But, this is not an easy spot. She is tough sell.
4 MISS MACHQUEEN We have already seen a Flamboro shipper win this meet, albeit against softer. Tough to know where she fits here.
5 RADAR CONTACT Gritty win last time where she fought back to win. This mare defeated the top class here earlier in the season and now she has a perfect post as well. It goes without saying that she is going to be very formidable here.
6 CLORIS HANOVER This mare has gone some good miles here this year and she is dropping in class, although this field came up very tough for the condition. If you are intent on shopping for a price, you can do a lot worse than this lass.
7 THAT WOMAN HANOVER This is a highly talented mare who has gone some very big trips here. Her qualifiers could not have looked any better and the only question is whether she is ready off the layoff. I am watching very closely.
8 ROCK ME GENTLY Three year old filly has been facing some very tough company and now she faces some tough older mares. This filly is talented and her last race aside, she may just bounce back tonight.
9 SAYITALL BB Classy mare couldn’t quite get to Radar Contact last time. Here she faces that rival again and overall, this field is very salty. She will need to take a step forward to contend for the win.
10 JERSEYLICIOUS Classy mare faced the best of the division last time and was only beaten 5 lengths. A good matchup here with Radar Contact and I have to envision Callahan getting aggressive with her from here. Main rival.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-1-4
H Horse Comment
1 WAITING ON A WOMAN Classy gelding was a sharp winner last time against some of his main rivals here. There is no reason that he shouldn’t be capable of repeating that effort. Looms a logical contender to repeat.
2 IN NOMINE PATRI He handled the class hike last time well. He was shuffled and finished with some trot. He didn’t lose by much and he is going to offer a square price. I wouldn’t blame anyone for taking a shot here.
3 CADILLAC CRUISER Nice closing effort last time and the winner of his last reappears against him here. His racing style seems to suit the big track well and he is a viable candidate worth including at a square price.
4 UVA HANOVER He handled the move up in class well last time and certainly was finishing with trot. It seems that the confidence builder did him a lot of good and he looks like a viable contender once again.
5 LADY WINDSOR Mare certainly is not in bad form, but she catches a really tough group here. Waiting to see how well she fits in with these.
6 CROSBYS CLAM BAKE He is certainly the speed of the speed and is likely to be the one cutting the mile. He will need to hold off his rivals once again, but he did have things his own way last week and couldn’t last. A pace factor.
7 UPFRONT BILLY Gelding won off the layoff and now moves up the ladder. He has plenty of back class and has beaten better than these before. He will be tested in his second start back, but certainly cannot be dismissed.
8 HOUSE OF CASH Really have to respect this stable when they get a horse on a roll. This is a very tall order and the outside post will not help, but leaving out a sharp trotter from this stable at a square price is not wise. Contention runs deep.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-5-4
H Horse Comment
1 ARTIC BYRD This mare has been racing well, albeit at a different level than this. Inclined to watch a start before endorsing her.
2 MY SWEET MANDY Owns a win over the rival to her inside. Her effort at Pocono concerns me though. Taking a wait and see approach.
3 PANCAKES This mare has won here before and I respect this stable which is off to a solid start. I would have liked to have seen her perform a bit better last time at Plainridge, but don’t be surprised if she races well here.
4 REAL DRAMA Another with a proven history of success here. Her last couple of starts have not been bad and she should fit nicely at this level. This mare is versatile and race on the lead or from off the pace. She has a shot, too.
5 RIVER RUNS THRU IT Chased a classy mare in those qualifiers and goes out for a barn with a proven track record this year. The layoff is the question here and she likes to win as well. There are things to like with her.
6 LIZZIE’S DREAM Just 1 win from 36 start this year. She is coming off back to back solid efforts, but now faces tougher and loses Zeron.
7 EXOTIC BEACH Mare went right down the road two back against softer. She stepped up and raced well from a difficult spot. The move to the bigger track appears to be helping her and she would be hard to dismiss here.
8 PURITY Dropped down and showed improved speed last time. This field is tricky and she will need to improve further to contend here.
9 EXHILARATED She was compromised by the pace and trip last time and she was passing horses late. The post won’t help, but she can find a way to rally for a share of this.
10 VALENTINA DE VIE Mare has been in decent form lately, but she is another that will be at the mercy of the trip. Will watch one start here.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-5-10-9
H Horse Comment
1 KARETS Dead-heated for the win against softer. Moves up to tackle tougher, but enters this rather sharp. Worth including at a price.
2 SHARP EDGE Making his second start of the meet. He was a beaten favorite against softer last time. Has a right to improve. Maybe.
3 CHUCKNLINDY Wiped out last time. Moves inside as well. He was 30-1 last time and has to turn the tables on Detroit Rapper here.
4 YOU ROCK MY WORLD Tough trip first over last time. Wasn’t bad last time and this gelding has some class as well. He fits at this level and can certainly improve off his last start. Win candidate.
5 JERSEY STRONG Filly has been facing better and she should appreciate the class drop. Tough tackling older, but she has been holding her own against similar recently. Perfect post. One to consider.
6 LADY CLARABELLA Qualified in fine fashion and she has plenty of class. The layoff is the concern here so we may want to take a wait and see approach with this filly. But she will be ready sooner rather than later.
7 SHOW BIZ HALL Colt has talent and added Lasix in that qualifier. But, Marohn did choose off of him and he is another that has been off for five weeks and may need a start.
8 DANISH DURANGO Added Lasix last time and responded with a solid effort. He will need to turn the tables on Detroit Rapper, but he might take a step forward in his second start off the layoff. Contender.
9 CANDY STASH Made an aggressive move on the class hike and performed well. He got a little tired late and will need to build on that effort here, but he is another that can take a step forward.
10 DETROIT RAPPER He benefited from a series of miscues in the stretch, but he finished with good trot. Can he duplicate that performance from post 10 again? The price will not be as inviting, but he is a logical win candidate.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 YANKEE TATTLER Mare needed her first start off the layoff. She might improve here. Not sure if she can win, but may spice up exotics.
2 MARTY PARTY Improved on the class drop last time and now she moves down the ladder again. Good challenge from the mare to her outside and the winner’s circle likely goes through one of these two mares.
3 ALIBI SEELSTER Responded to the barn change with a winning effort. On the far turn, it looked like she was going to explode home, and although she won, it looked as though she had more in the tank. Still, she can improve here, too. Logical win candidate.
4 PAN LUIS OBISPO Tough trip last time and she was better than that race line indicates. She is a logical alternative to the two favorites and the price will certainly be better. Will call her the top selection this time.
5 DEPTH MORE DEPTH Added Lasix last time and made an aggressive move to the lead. Never like to see a horse slow up with first time Lasix though. Will wait to see if she improves here.
6 GIMMESOMEROOM She was 95-1 last time and didn’t make much of an impact against similar. Would need a turnaround here. Longshot.
7 WELL EXCUUUSE ME Added Lasix last time and finished with a bit more interest. That is an encouraging sign and she has a right to move forward off that effort. One to consider for exotic gimmicks.
8 JUNGLE GENIE N Won in her first North American start and I like any mare that closes in sub-28 at Freehold. She could be any kind right now and maybe we should strike while the iron is hot and the price is square.
9 ALESSANA HANOVER She gets a touch of class relief here, but she is 0 for 21 on the season. Will wait to see if she improves this time.
10 MARMARIA Not facing very strong fields in Indiana recently. Respect the barn change, but might be best to watch her first start here.
11 ROSIE DE VIE Not a bad qualifier, but she is another coming in off a layoff. I am going to watch this start and keep tabs for later.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-2-7
H Horse Comment
1 KAYLA AS Has made breaks in three of her last four, granted she did win one of those. More questions than answers right now, so I will watch this first start and will keep tabs for next time.
2 NATURAL KEMP Gelding has some ability and the barn change is certain to draw some attention. Qualifier wasn’t bad and this field doesn’t have a ton of depth to it. Should land a share of this.
3 COCOACABANA Filly has had her issues and is prone to the miscue. I want to see her stay trotting in a start before considering.
4 WHATAWORKOUT Encouraging first start off the long layoff and he should only improve off that performance. Catches a field with some questions and he looks like one of the shortest priced favorites of the night. Will be tough.
5 TALBOT HERCULES Earned a win at the bottom level at Freehold. This is going to be tougher and I will take a wait and see approach.
6 DOC SIMON’S DREAM Form has been mixed leading up to this. She didn’t have much chance last time. She has a right to improve in this spot and she might offer a square enough price.
7 EASTON ROAD Gelding has been racing well of late, but has been a small track specialist so far. Curious to see how he performs here.
8 ONE DIRECTION Not bad in that qualifier but has been off for almost three starts. Will watch this time, but there is some upside here.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-9-7-4
H Horse Comment
1 YOU LITTLE RASCAL Made two moves last week, but came up empty in the lane. She will need to improve off that performance here.
2 ARABELLA J Not much of a factor the other night at Yonkers. Recent form is lacking. Will take a wait and see approach for the time being.
3 ANNAKATE Just 1 for 29 this season and her recent form hasn’t been sharp either. Changes barns, but I will watch this time out.
4 NATY Not bad in her last pair and this stable is off to a solid start this meet. She appears to fit at this level and is one to consider here.
5 BORN TO DREAM You can certainly make the case that she needed her last start. Perfect post and I expect improvement. The pick now.
6 ASSET MANAGEMENT She has raced well here before. Did squander a pocket trip last time. Might improve this time around. Consider.
7 JUST SAYIN Added Lasix last time and raced well. Any further improvement would put her in play. Respect the connections. Contender.
8 GOLDSTAR LEGEND Enters this off a win against softer and steps up to face stronger. This might be a bit too tough. Will watch closely.
9 FUTURE LIFE Mare has some seed and she has been racing well. Respect any horse than has won 30 of her last 66 starts. Contender.
10 SPECIAL KIM Not a bad effort last time. The post is tricky and she is winless on the season. More inclined to use her underneath.