Race Reviews

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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, January 30, 2015

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 FREE ROLLIN Caught a rough trip from the widest post last time. This gelding wasn’t bad two starts back. Still is winless since a bottom-level win at Tioga in August 2013. Catches a field with some questions, so he can get involved.
2 THOUGHTFILLY Tough sell for this mare given her recent form. Enters this off a miscue as well. Looking elsewhere for the winner.
3 ALL ABOUT JUSTICE Raced better last time while showing good speed from a wide draw. Now moves inside off an improved effort and the 11YO figures to take a step forward as a win contender tonight.
4 PHOTO MASS Saratoga shippers had success earlier in the meet. This barn has had its struggles tough. Qualifier wasn’t bad. Tricky call.
5 CAPTAIN PRIMEAU Was left with too much to do last time. He isn’t going to win while being asked to make up that much ground. His efforts from two and three starts back put him in play as a contender here.
6 WHATNBLAZES Just 1 win from his last 28 starts. It did come at this level and his last start wasn’t bad against a better group. There seems to be a lot of speed in this race, so maybe sitting off Captain Primeau wouldn’t be a bad move.
7 PERMANENT JOY Reunited with Tetrick which has been a winning formula in the past. His recent form is suspect. I am watching closely.
8 SONNY MCDREAMEE This gelding is now 1 for his last 57. That win came against a soft group at Pocono. Hard sell given current form.
9 WALLTOCOUSINS Gelding certainly has speed, which he will need from here. Needs a bit more stamina. Will force the pace from here.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-9-3
H Horse Comment
1 GAMBLERS ANONYMOUS This mare has put forth five solid efforts from five lifetime starts. She will try the bigger track for the first time and will certainly need to race faster than she ever has. But, she is not without a chance.
2 QUIKSTARTMYHEART Yet to hit the board in five tries in her brief career. Slowed dramatically at Yonkers last time. Remains a longshot.
3 MONA MONA Just 1 win from 18 starts. She out-raced her odds last week finishing 3rd up the pylons at 42-1. It is worth noting, she saved every inch of ground last time and never left the pylons, so it couldn’t have been an easier trip.
4 SAFE FROM TERROR Dropping out of the Wordly Beauty series where she raced extremely well against some very solid mares. Any of her last three efforts make her strictly the one to beat here and the price will reflect that.
5 AMERICAN TRUTH Making her second race back off the layoff and she wasn’t bad last time. Gets Timmy T tonight and can improve.
6 ARABELLA J I am yet to see a start from this filly that will label her a contender in this group. Waiting for signs of improvement.
7 ROCKNROLL OLIVIA Respectable effort last time at Yonkers. She was a longshot in both Meadowlands tries though. Watching one.
8 WIKEDWITCHOTHEWEST Earns some needed class relied here. She has faced some sharp mares lately. Improvement wouldn’t shock.
9 ALESSANA HANOVER Here recent Meadowlands try was not bad and she has been in solid form virtually her entire career. It will be a difficult task from this wide draw, but she must be left in consideration.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-3-8
H Horse Comment
1 FICO Stung a bit last time and tired. He doesn’t have the most stamina of this group, but the post will help. Pace factor and maybe more.
2 DC FLASHBACK Dover invaders have not had much success this meet with the exception of JL Cruze. He did show improvement last time and catches a rather suspect field. There are things to like here.
3 STONEBRIDGE IDOL That last race is a complete toss-out. Gelding is racing himself back into shape. I wouldn’t toss him too quickly.
4 TWISTED PRETZEL Consistent trotter is lacking a recent win here. At this point, we know what he brings to the table and I would continue to use him accordingly. He is an exotics player each week at this level.
5 LUKAS HALL Was dismissed at 28-1 last time despite the class drop and promptly broke stride. Note the barn change to Julie Miller.
6 MR FENWICK Just 1 for his last 34, dating back to September 2013. He typically provides speed, but I am always leery on the win-end. Therefore, I will take a stand against at what I expect will be a fairly short price.
7 JUSTANOTHERSPUR Just 1 for his last 51 dating back to mid-2012. That lone win came at the bottom level at Saratoga. Not for me.
8 PERFECT PICTURE He wasn’t bad when last seen here at 73-1. Not a bad effort last time either. Perhaps adds some value to exotics.
9 WINDSUN FIREBALL Recent win came against far softer at Freehold. Was last at 60-1 when last seen here. Retains longshot status.
10 DR CAL Showed speed last time, caught a shuffle and raced OK. I can see improvement as he has some class to him Watch closely.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-7-8
H Horse Comment
1 CUT A DEAL Aggressive drive last time and came up empty in the stretch as the favorite. On paper, this field is not as tough, so she merits consideration as a bounce-back candidate. Must respect her.
2 EIFFEL TOWER Ships east with the barn change while making her second start off the layoff. Miller’s choice of three. Worth a look here.
3 MY QP DOLL Steps up off the win, but loses Miller in the process. Need to see a start on the move-up before I can endorse her.
4 PALM BEACH Has not raced badly at Woodbine. Sold for $25,000 at the Tattersalls Mixed sale. On the fence with her in this spot.
5 KZ BEACH GIRL Drops right back down to the level of her most recent win. She was in way too tough last time and you can just draw a line through that last start. She looks like the speed of the speed and looms as the one to deny.
6 TWIN B ELITE Took a step forward last time with. She never saw the pylons, but raced very well. If she can continue to cycled forward, she has a chance to step up and win this race. Price should be decent, too.
7 BLUSH HANOVER Tough trip last time and obviously it did not work out. She was an 8/5 favorite at this level two starts back. Her form has not been good, but this looks like a spot she can step up and really improve.
8 THE SUMMER WIND Appears to be destined to get away last here. She race been racing well and will pass several of these. I envision her rallying for a share, but am not sure she can mow them all down.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 5-7-6-8
H Horse Comment
1 REV IT NOW Slides down the ladder on the ship for Surick. Barn has been off to a slow start and this trotter catches a tough group.
2 BERKSHIRE Also moves down the ladder off two mediocre performances. Tetrick chooses off. Probably best watching a start first.
3 BOSAK Moved all the way down to the bottom level at Freehold and did not perform well. This will only be tougher. Still a longshot.
4 HELIOS I suppose if we throw out his last effort and go back to his race two-back, he can earn a share on the move inside. Still iffy at best.
5 CURRENT CRISIS Made a break prior to the start last time and still got back into the race and rallied for a nice piece of it. If he stays trotting, he certainly is a viable win candidate. Chalk the break up to an aberration and make him the play.
6 MY MUSCLEMAN Disappointed as the prohibitive favorite last time. He has been racing well, but will likely offer a short price once again. You can’t let him knock you out of the pick 5, but I will be looking elsewhere for the winner.
7 GREY ICE Shook free late in that mile and came with a nice rally. That was an improved effort. If he takes another step forward, he has a real chance to win this race. We have seen him win in spots like this before. Contender.
8 UPFRONTSTRIKESGOLD Moves back down to the level of his win, but I wouldn’t expect 12-1 this time. Miller will need to work out a trip, but he is a threat once again. Cannot be ignored back at this level.
9 FLAMING YANKEEE Coming off one of the oddest stretch drives I have ever seen. Towered up like he was going to charge past, and then completely stopped. I have no idea what to make of that effort. Mixed feelings.
10 KEYSTONE SADIE Just an even try last time and now moves to the far outside. Doesn’t look like the trip is going to work out from here.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 6-1-2-7
H Horse Comment
1 MODEST PRINCE Raced huge last week showing speed again. Obviously the class drop aided the cause and now he moves up against tougher. Tetrick chooses off. The price will be better. Not without a chance.
2 ODDS ON AMETHYST He raced great last time, but has missed three weeks leading up to this. His speed always makes him dangerous though. Adds to the competitive balance of this field.
3 COFFEECAKE HANOVER This is the toughest field she has faced in some time. Enters this off a good win, but things get more difficult.
4 TAKE MY PICTURE Gelding has plenty of class and hasn’t been racing poorly. Still, he would need to step his game up a bit to win this.
5 TEAM SIX Pulled off the 50-1 shocking upset last time. Obviously won’t offer that kind of price again, but he should still be fairly decent value in this competitive field. It is worth noting the response this horse has exhibited to the addition of Lasix.
6 LINDY’S TRU GRIT Left for position again, sat along the pylons, but was out-sprinted to the wire by Team Six. He remains very sharp and will surely show speed once again. Looms as one of the major win contenders.
7 MELADY’S MONET Report is he suffered a quarter-crack, hence the missed time. The question is, is he back to himself and is he fit enough off the brief layoff. There are some obstacles and what will be a short price.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 B L CLASS ACT Solid effort when last seen at this level. Rallied well for a nice piece of the pie. This is an interesting field and off his last effort, he looms as one of the major win contenders.
2 BUFFALINO HANOVER Just an even effort last time while sent off at 22-1. If he can build off that effort, maybe he can sneak into the race.
3 ROLLS BLUE CHIP Added the trotting hobbles last time and he was OK, at least staying flat. Any improvement would move him up.
4 MARION MAYFLOWER I was disappointed in her effort last time. She has speed and perhaps the move inside will help. Tough field here.
5 CARNEGIE Steps up off a win as the favorite. He raced OK at this level previously. Expect speed from this starting slot. Has a chance.
6 HILL I AM He looked like his old self winning with style last time. He has found his early speed once again and despite the move up to this level, it is very difficult to watch his last start and not like him right back.
7 WINDELL WINKIE Not bad last time and he has a right to move up making his second start off the five week layoff. He has speed too. Looms a legitimate contender right back for Simons.
8 TAMASIN HALL His lone recent win came at this level. Drops in class for this but Tetrick does go elsewhere. Mixed signals on paper.
9 FOX VALLEY LEGEND Also steps up off a solid win, but I think this level is probably a notch too high. Takes back and makes one move.
10 CANADIAN WILDCAT At the right level here, but the post will make things tough. There is a lot of speed to his inside. Must find a way.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-6-9
H Horse Comment
1 BORN TO FIGHT Showed speed again last time but faltered again in the stretch. Gelding needs to find more stamina, but now making his third start back off the qualifiers, he can step up. One of the win contenders.
2 EVIL URGES Exits a pretty strong qualifier. Moves to the Remmen barn on the ship east. The question is, does he need a start? Maybe.
3 HASTY PROFFITT Faced a stronger group last time and it showed in the result. This field falls between the level of competition he has seen in his last two races. Likely to show speed this time. A pace factor, maybe more.
4 EASTER LEGGS Sent off at 71-1 last time and was never involved. Draws better, but I need to see some improvement at this time.
5 BLUEBIRD KIDSQUEEN Still waiting for her to step up at this level which she performed well at last year. Another good post. Maybe.
6 JAILHOUSE JUICE Got very close to pulling off a monster upset last time. Obviously will not be 120-1 this time. Rallies into it again.
7 LEXIS AMIGO Gelding has not been able to build on his first start here. In fact, he has regressed. I need to see him step things up.
8 SWEET BEN Took money and raced well at this level earlier. I do have some concern regarding his recent Freehold form. Watching one.
9 WORTH THE MONEY AS Disappointed on the class drop last time and he has now burnt cash in back to back starts as the favorite. I expect he will take money again and I do not think I want to take a short price here.
10 GREAT EMANCIPATOR Sent off at 34-1 last time and never got involved. I fear the same scenario playing out from here. Longshot again.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-5-10
H Horse Comment
1 WALK THE WALK Chased after a resurgent Hill I Am last time. He was favored in that spot as well. He figures to move forward in his second start back off the layoff and looms as one of the shorter priced favorites of the night.
2 EXPLOSIVE VICTORY Recent form just has not been sharp, including a break at Yonkers last time. Need to see some improvement.
3 GUARD YOUR HEARTS Very tough sell given his last three starts. Barn change now after selling for $8,500 at the mixed sale. Watching.
4 JUSTIN ON BROADWAY Dominated a softer group at Yonkers and now steps back up here for Harris. Ran into the Super Bowl winner when last seen here, so I would expect a better performance against this field.
5 CAVIAR CALL GIRL Ships in from The Meadows for Schadel. Coming off back to back solid efforts. Will need to go faster. Has a chance.
6 TWICE TOO NICE She was a little bit better last time and may be on the improve. Still think a win is a stretch, but maybe a minor award.
7 ANNIES LIST Stayed trotting last time which I guess is a step in the right direction. Now, she has to start to improve. Still a longshot.
8 STARSABOVEALLERAGE Has won back to back races in preparation for this. This is obviously a tougher spot. Watching a race here.
9 FONDANT Has been more miss than hit since arriving here. Prone to the miscue as well. Another that looms as a longshot in here.
10 WINDING HILL He had speed, but has burnt some cash in his two starts here. I expect he will be better tonight. Don’t sell too short now.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-3-8
H Horse Comment
1 MCKENZIE’S STAR Mare has not found her best form since arriving here. Need to see signs of improvement before I can consider.
2 CHOCOHOLIC Was not able to duplicate the wire to wire performance from earlier in the month. That said, she catches a field with a lot of question marks and I expect that her speed will carry her farther this time.
3 HOW BOUT CASH Worth a long look on the class drop alone. Concerned with how she stopped last time out, but she might just be better than this group and the price will certainly reflect that. Could prove tough.
4 ARUBA VACATION Raced well in his start here and has been facing better than this at Yonkers. Historically, he is better on the smaller tracks but he is worth a long look in this particular field.
5 CAGNES Sent off at 136-1 last time and did not make any kind of impact. Hasn’t hit the board since 2012. Need to see improvement now.
6 ROCK OF CASHEL Showed good trot in the stretch last time and this post should find him in a live outer flow. If he can build on that last effort, he should be considered a win contenders for Ireland’s Alan Richardson.
7 MOST WANTED LINDY Has not shown enough in either start at this level to merit win consideration at this time. Another that must improve.
8 BELL A CHICK Came with a rally last time, but could not catch the winner. Looking for his first win since November 2012. I can see him rallying for a share of this, but not sold on him passing them all.
9 WYGANT PRINCE Earned another amateur win last time and now moves into this tougher spot. Not sold on his chances from here.
10 JIMMER Not bad last time at Yonkers, but I don’t see the speed that he needs to overcome this draw. Looks up against it in this spot.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-4-8
H Horse Comment
1 SCHALOM G Drops in class off a dull effort at 91-1. That said, this gelding catches a particularly difficult bunch. Appears up against it.
2 DREAMS OF THUNDER Raced well on the move up in class in his last pair of starts. This field came up extremely tough though.
3 SPLITSVILLE Came with a major rally last time and now faces a stronger group. There is not much speed in this field, so I am a little concerned about the trip he will get. May have a lot of work to do.
4 MASTER OF LAW Handled carefully last time by Takter. Moves inside and perhaps we will see some more speed from him here. Racing with hobbles for the second time, so Takter may be more confident here.
5 MISTERY WOMAN She was in contention for the win against better last time when she made a break. If she can rebound on the class drop, she has a chance to win this race. The price will not be very inviting, though.
6 CASH POOR Tough post and trip last time when facing better. His previous efforts were solid. Gelding needs to get back to his best here.
7 CLEMENTINE DREAM Drops in class after facing a slightly better group last time. Note her form prior to her last two starts. I can see her responding in this spot and a more than respectable price. Contender.
8 SPIDER BLUE CHIP Gelding raced better last time and now moves down the ladder a bit. He figures to take some play in this spot. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see speed in this spot as well. Still, a very tricky call.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 3-6-4-7
H Horse Comment
1 DELIGHTFUL DRAGON Stepping up off a solid effort where she was defeated by a mare she finds in against her again. She is in decent form and is lightly raced. One of several win contenders in this spot.
2 TREVOR’S BEBE She has been a cut below this level typically as her wins seem to come at the notch below this. Need to see more.
3 PAN LUIS OBISPO Obviously dropping out of a much better race won by a world champion. Note her effort two starts back against better than this. Based on her recent form, she looms as one of the major players.
4 ADDYS WAY Stepping up off a win against softer. She took plenty of play in that spot and this is Marohn’s choice as well. Things to like.
5 INITTOWINAFORTUNE Not a bad qualifier and she has come class to her as well. Has been off for six weeks and may need a race.
6 BROWNSVILLE BOMBER Making only her tenth start of the last two years and she is racing consistently well at this level. Only needs to take one step forward to make her an instant contender here.
7 MONTENEGRO Also dropping in class and has shown good speed in two of her last three starts. She needs to find a bit more punch in the lane in order for her to contend for the win.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 3-6-9-5
H Horse Comment
1 CEDARRIDGETAG All four of his recent performances have been dull. Gelding needs to show improvement to contend here. Longshot.
2 MAJESTIC STONE Dropped in class last time but made a break. Another that needs to take a step forward in order to contend.
3 LAUDERDALE Holds a class edge over this group and off that qualifier, he looms as strictly the one to beat. Will take a ton of money and I expect that all he needs to do is stay trotting and he will win this race.
4 WHERES THE CLICKER Tough trip from a wide draw at Yonkers last time. Recent win came against softer at Monticello. Needs more.
5 VIBE BLUE CHIP A pair of decent tries at this level in preparation for this. He would need to step his game up further if he were to compete with Lauderdale. Looms as one likely to round out the exacta or trifecta.
6 DYNAMITE DAME Not a bad performance last time. I think that was a tough non-winners of two event. His arrow may be pointing upward.
7 A FORTUNE’S LEGACY Monticello form hasn’t been bad. But, she will need even more than that to contend here. Watching this start.
8 THROUGH THE NIGHT Likely needed that last start, but now has been off three weeks again. Perhaps he will step things up now.
9 SCORCHER HALL If he trots, he can certainly go with the best of these. But, that is always the question with him. Always a risky play.
10 MAGGLIO Beaten favorite when last seen and then was scratched sick. Now draws the far outside. I am leaning elsewhere this time.