• Week Of 1/5 - 1/11
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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 10, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 CHECKNYOUOUT Third place finisher from last was 2nd in a nw5000L5 in his next start. Winner hasn’t raced. Must pick it up from here.
2 LATTE HALL Winner of last race was a solid 4th against C-1 company last out. Last effort was better. Likely cycling towards a big effort.
3 WONDER BUNS Towed along in that qualifier behind a pair of FFA-types. Was 46-1 when last seen at this level. Retains longshot status.
4 EAGLE SAY Winner from last was well-beaten in a B-2 last week. Runner-up was 4th in a $20k claimer. Exiting better races than this.
5 NF SOARING Winner of last came back to be 5th, beaten 7, in a C-1 next out. Pilatus (3rd) was 4th at this level next out. Appears to fit.
6 THROUGH THE NIGHT Runner-up from last mile was 4th in $5,000 condition event at Northfield last out. This is a class drop. Contender.
7 MR GREENWELL Did not factor at this level last time. Exits same race as NF Soaring. Think this gelding will improve. Could bring value.
8 SALOME MARVEL Making just his second start in past 2 months. See how Kilted Pride did in Thursday’s 9th. Shows solid Vernon form.
9 HASTY PROFFITT Showed major improvement in that last qualifier, but was chasing a horse that was 0 for 2013. I will watch one.
10 HEIDI FALLS Made a break at the wire last time. Post 10 makes things tricky. Worth noting who he beat in that QUA, Temple Of Doom.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 BULLET POINT Trip didn’t work out last time. This mare is better than that finish, but still will need to step up to beat this group.
2 HOT LIST Winner of that last mile stepped up to this level in her next start and finished 6th. That doesn’t bode well for this Burke-trainee.
3 MATTIE TERROR GIRL One of the sharpest horses at the track. That last mile was very impressive. I think she passes the class test.
4 BIG MCDEAL Campbell sticks here despite her last mile being a disappointment. Curious if this spot is just a little too tough right now.
5 RAMALAMA Favorite from last week burnt some cash. Gets a new pilot in Pierce. Forgiving bettors will get a better price this time around.
6 KEEPERS DESTINY Continues to race very well, but she just doesn’t win that often lately. Seems like a logical exotics contender again.
7 LORRIE PLEASE Smart money was right last time and she has been very good lately. This barn has been very good this meet. Logical.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 7-4-8-10
H Horse Comment
1 CICELY HANOVER Has not raced in almost 4 weeks. Winner of last raced Wed. at Dover. Runner-up was 5th in a $10k claimer. Tough call.
2 DOO WEE RUSTY Winner of that Qualifier is a B-1 type mare. Record stands at 0 for 8 and I think she may be over-bet in this spot.
3 ESTEEMED MEMBERS Did not factor after being shuffled back last time. Note, she was 58-1 in there while beaten by a few of these.
4 ALWAYS ON A ROLL Out of the 5 exiting the Wednesday’s Whim race, she stands out. Third race back off the bench. Short-priced chalk.
5 ARROYA BLUE CHIP Despite being Marcus Miller’s choice, I just do not see enough to go on to consider in this spot. Wait for later.
6 SHESELLS SEASHELLS Did not offer much pop in the stretch last time and now Trace chooses off. Need to see some improvement.
7 WINE MARKET This is a live value play to me. She was better with 2nd time Lasix last time. My gut tells me she is sitting on a peak effort.
8 J HIGH She has been just OK in her 2 starts here, granted neither trip was good, first over both times. I will be using, hoping for a trip.
9 MILLERS BIRD Back to back breaks which seems to be an issue for this mare. Lasix hasn’t seemed to help much. Longshot here.
10 HANDSOFMYCREAMPUF Exits the same qualifier as ‘Rusty and was right behind that filly. Lightly raced with some upside now. Using.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-9-7
H Horse Comment
1 COMMANDER K That C-1 was tougher than this on paper. Had to need that start as well. A logical candidate to improve and contend.
2 MYSTICAL CON Has not raced in 5 weeks where he was 76-1 against this level. Didn’t offer much in that spot. Retains longshot status.
3 REV IT NOW Class dropper as well. Winner from last is in a B-2 later on. Has to overcome his slow starts. Expecting a better effort now.
4 UF TEBOW HANOVER See how Hasty Proffitt (2nd in that QUA) did in Race 1 earlier. Concern is if he can stay trotting here. Tough call.
5 HOBOKEN SONNY Winner of that qualifier was 7th vs. nw25k at YR. Third-place finisher raced Thurs. at YR. Likely needs a start.
6 WHEELS Has a proven history here. Changes barns off a tough trip. Winner from 12/20 was 6th, beaten 8 vs. nw8k at Wdb. Tough read.
7 FLASHBACK Winner from last raced Thurs. in a $15k claimer at The Meadows. Must make up 5 lengths on Ima Que T. Underneath.
8 PAULA’S BRADY Not a bad effort last time, but not good enough to keep Callahan. Might be in a tough too deep in this group.
9 IMA QUE T Showed solid improvement from her first to second start. Has the speed to overcome the outside draw. Contender in here.
10 MR ORLANDO Neither 2nd or 3rd place finisher from last has raced since. Outside draw with speed from post 9 is problematic. Watch one.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-9-8
H Horse Comment
1 WILLOW GRAM She is exiting a race that produced a next out winner in a B-2 in Stage It Right. Very sneaky player in here if overlooked.
2 MISS COCO LUCK In a field this complicated, I am betting that she has tailed off. Third-place finisher from last raced Thurs. at Yonkers.
3 VY HANOVER Miller chooses off despite the class drop. Exiting a good race. I think Zeron picked up a very live mount here. Contender.
4 MARINADE HANOVER Stepping up off a win. Runner-up from last was 2nd, beaten 1, in a C-2 last week. Too sharp to ignore right now.
5 ASTREAS NOTICE Brutal trip last time and now gets class relief. Wouldn’t shock me if she is in line for better. Makes for interesting race.
6 CRAZY EIGHTS Mare that beat her last time was 2nd in a B-2 last time. That bodes very well for her chances in here. Live at a price.
7 GRACE SEELSTER See how Wattaqueen (5th in last) did at YR on Thurs. in a race softer than this. Tough to read on this move to a C-1.
8 MY TALLIA IDEAL Has been facing better than this on paper, but is not alone in that. With the right setup, she can certainly get involved.
9 DESTINY’S CHANCE I think she deserves to be favored in here off that last mile and the class drop. Connections likely to take money.
10 SOLID QUEEN Really disappointing in the Niagra Final as she burnt some cash at 1-2. This isn’t going to be much easier from post-10.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 4-9-6-2
H Horse Comment
1 SMOOTHER RIDE Sharp effort last time and he has the look of a horse cycling forward. Catches a very good field though. Still, I will use.
2 IL MAGO Throw out that last mile as going first over against Quick Deal is not going to work. Back in a better spot. Obvious contender now.
3 THE TRIPLE LINDY Finished just behind Smoother Ride last time and was finishing well. I can see tossing him on the bottom of exotics.
4 BLACKTUXWHITESOCKS Despite Pierce choosing off, this is the horse to beat. Was only 3.90-1 against FFA company last time. Logical.
5 CANBEC FRIDOLIN Also exits that same race as both #1 and #3. Wasn’t a bad mile, but someone in this race has to be a longshot.
6 WORLD CUP Had to need that last start as he saved ground. He has plenty of class to him and might be overlooked in here. Value play.
7 HARNBOR POINT Pierce gives him a call and we all know how good his best is. The board will tell you if he is ready to fire or not here.
8 TOBER Nearly dropped and popped at a monster price last time. Will not offer 35-1 here, but still could bring good value. Very tough race.
9 LAUDERDALE Winner of that last mile is a monster and won the FFA last week. Adds class and talent to the toughest race of the card.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-7-8-9
H Horse Comment
1 SPIRIT OF DESIRE Was 138-1 with Lancaster and 2-1 with Callahan. The Captain chooses off so believers will get a price. Interesting.
2 THE SUMMER WIND Gets mild class relief here and she wasn’t bad against similar on 12/6. See how Big McDeal did in race 2 tonight.
3 MOMMA ROCK She fell during pre-race warm-ups last time, thus the reason for the scratch. Off that, I will need to see a start first.
4 NEVERMIND FRANCO N She finally got to a level that was too tough. The good thing is, this is a bit softer. Logical bounce-back potential.
5 SO NICE Both the 2nd and 3rd place finishers were in race 3, so see how they did. Miller chooses off despite a very impressive qualifier.
6 CANARY ISLAND Really has not been bad lately. Winner from 12/5, runner-up from last raced at YR on Thurs. Might toss in some plays.
7 STAGE IT RIGHT She was really good last time and has come off the qualifier very sharp. Logical option as Miller’s choice of three.
8 CHEYENNE MIRIAM Favored against these types last time. Winner and runner-up from last race in the FFA in race 2. Cannot dismiss.
9 MARTY PARTY Gets some key class relief here as she has been facing better than this for some time. Still, lack of speed is a concern.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 9-2-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 TWIN B SPIKE MAN Exits a tougher than usual B-2, despite short field. Went a tough mile in there too. Has a right to improve in here.
2 HERE COMES NUMBERS Stepped up and faced tougher in his last 2 miles. He was a decisive winner at this level on 12/13. Contender.
3 MC TINY’S HOPE Stepping up the ladder off a blowout win at 4-5. Recent form has been solid and she likes to win. A player on move up.
4 MCKENZIE’S STAR Clearly has tailed off since her win at Dover. She will need to turn her form around in a tough spot. Longshot.
5 VIPER BLUE CHIP Don’t hold that recent 11 length loss to Sweet Justice against him. The layoff is a bit of a concern. Still, cannot ignore.
6 SHEENA’S SHADOW On paper, she is exiting the softer of the B-2 heats. But, she has class to her and is on the improve. Live player.
7 WALLTOCOUSINS Very consistent, but recently has a hard time getting his nose on the wire. Continue to use in your exotic plays.
8 MUSCOLO Has come back pretty sharp off the layoff. Exiting a softer C-1 than Mc Tiny’s Hope thought. Might be in a tough spot here.
9 DEADLIEST CATCH Pierce has to like this 4YO. He has always had potential and promise. He might just be the best in this group.
10 HOWE’S MAGIC His last effort was a little bit better, and he was well-supported in there as well. Might need one more notch lower.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-5-8
H Horse Comment
1 ALITTLEEASTERMAGIC See how Marinade Hanover did in the 5th race C-1. Coming off an improved effort. Driver change to Campbell.
2 GORDYYY’S PET Recent form has been suspect. This field is more along the lines of a $15k claimer, which looks a bit too steep for her.
3 TIMESWEETENEDHONEY Has not been a factor recently. Would need to see a start here with marked improvement before considering.
4 LOVE YOU ALWAYS Looms a major contender on the class drop and catching a field that has some question marks. Logical favorite.
5 BUSYBEINGFABULOUS She was OK last time, but not great. That said, this is not the toughest of C-2 events. Should be better here.
6 TERROR RISISNG Winner from that last start was in race 7 at Yonkers Thurs. Last couple of starts were marginally better. Needs more.
7 CRUISE QUEEN Exits the same race as the inside mare and wasn’t particularly affective. Again, this field is not as tough. Expecting better.
8 KARDASHIAN She is sharper than most of these as she has won 3 of her last 5. Saratoga form would maker he a contender in here.
9 MAGNETIC DRAW Only one start since November 12th, so I have to think she may be a little short still. Will be watching this time.
10 BAD FEELING Took a lot of play last time, but disappointed. Like others, is facing a softer group. Expecting a better effort in this group.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-2-1-7
H Horse Comment
1 LITTLE BITTY LIES Coming off an easy win on the move down in class. This will be tougher, but certainly not out of reach. A contender.
2 RIVERFEST She had a case of second-itis at this level earlier in the meet. Back to the right spot and she figures to be very tough now.
3 TIGER’S TOO GOOD He has won in a similar spot here in the past. The breaks in his last pair, along with the layoff make him a tricky read.
4 STIR ME UP Broke a couple of times in his last start and that seems to be a bit of a pattern lately. Appears too risky to play right now.
5 MAJESTIC STONE An even try last time, but he might have been a little short for that. Note the driver change. Could be better here.
6 POINTE OF HONOUR What has happened since arriving from Yonkers? One of these nights, he has to wake up. A total wild card.
7 MY MAN CAN Has been OK lately, but with his back class he really should be beating these fields. He remains a contender at this level.
8 FRISKY STRIKE Was a bit better than the gelding to her inside last time. She has some speed and appears to be sharp. My top pick.
9 CELEBRITY STIMULUS Exits a ridiculously fast qualifier, so it is impossible to gauge that effort. Off a 6 week layoff, I will watch one.
10 MR FENWICK Was wildly overbet last time and was a dead set play against. Now drops and moves outside. Likely to improve now.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-8-5
H Horse Comment
1 ELLISARRO HANOVER He has been OK lately. This field is tougher though on the slight move up in class. Likely to tow along now.
2 LUV YA TYLER Has just one start since 11/12 and it was a 47-1 win. That said, I will be betting against the repeat in this spot.
3 GREY ICE Andy has to drive Temple of Doom for wife Julie, but this gelding was good last week. He might offer the best value in here.
4 MAGGLIO Prior to that sick scratch he was in good form. This is a bit tougher spot and I would rate him a fringe player this time.
5 TEMPLE OF DOOM He was tons better last time and is likely going to take plenty of money off that effort. One of several that can win.
6 MARION MONACO Turned a perfect pocket trip into a win last time. Things get tougher here and I think this will be substantially tougher.
7 COE LEADER Wasn’t bad last time and is exiting a tougher race than this. He never seems to take money and he is very interesting.
8 OMNIPOTENT Scored as the 4-5 betting choice last time. Defeated Temple Of Doom, among others. Cannot be ignored off that effort.
9 AS YA’LL LIKE IT The puzzle continues as this mare was really good in a B-2, not so much in a B-1. This race falls between the two.
10 BROOKROAD KNIGHT Could see him rounding into form. Rewarded with the outside draw in a very tough field though. Tough task.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 8-1-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 SWEET LIKE CANDY Couldn’t chase down the favorite last time. No problem. She figures to be really tough this time. Logical contender.
2 LIGHTNING PAIGE She has been facing better and this move down the ladder should help her. Campbell’s choice of three as well.
3 HANDSOFFMYCUPCAKE Tough trip last time against a really sharp mare. Willing to forgive that, but she was just 1 for 22 last year.
4 SHAWNEE DANCER She doesn’t have a ton of early speed, but this post should keep her closer. Harder is just 2 for 34 on the meet.
5 ADDYS WAY Out-raced her odds last time. Marohn driving very well and coming off a career season. Might toss into my superfecta plays.
6 ANOTHER HANOVER She probably needed that last start and has a right to improve. Backers are likely to get a square price again.
7 BETIT TO GETIT She has been really head strong in her starts and that typically costs her. She was finishing well last time. Tough call.
8 TASHIA She has been disappointing off her initial effort. On the move down in class, I might give her a shot this time. She must be better!
9 RHAPSODY ROSE Hasn’t raced in three weeks and I typically want to see the Rosecroft invaders before I wager on them. Wait and see.
10 MYSTICAL DIVA Stepping up off a win, but she moves into a pretty tough spot and loses Campbell. Not sold on her chances this time.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-2-1-10
H Horse Comment
1 LEXUS ARTIST She showed her win was not a fluke with a decent effort on the move up the class ladder. She fits well in this spot.
2 PARDON Just an even try last time, but against a better group of mares. I expect her to be better in her second start for this barn.
3 DRAGON RUFFLES Wonder if the betting public will give her one more chance at this level. I am inclined to shy away on the win-end.
4 SPOTLIGHT ON Dropping down the class ladder and coming out of some much tougher races. This field is substantially softer. I like her.
5 MY SWEET MANDY She was not a factor last time and I will need to see an improved effort at this level before endorsing her.
6 TWIN B ELITE Getting some class relief, but she is a hard sell off her last three starts. I will be watching closely for signs of improvement.
7 FASHION MAJORETTE Exiting the same race as Twin B Elite, but with an uninspiring performance. Another to watch for a better showing.
8 PRECIOUS ROSE N So last time the front didn’t work either. Note the barn change now. I guess now is the time to jump on board.
9 ARTIC BYRD Yet to reproduce that winning performance from November. I think this level is a bit too tough for her. Not using this time.
10 SMOKE PAN MIRRORS Stepping up off a win, but loses Gingras in the process. Still, in this field, she can earn a minor award. Using.