• Week Of 1/12 - 1/18
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  • MO13
  • TU14
  • WE15
  • TH16
  • FR17
  • SA18
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 17, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-6-3
H Horse Comment
1 AMERICASH EXPRESS Winner of last was a good 3rd in a B-2 next out. Second race back, Callahan’s choice of three. Positive angles.
2 MISS LEE Exits the same race as Americash Express, so I could see her being better, but still like the angles on inside mare more.
3 HOLD ON TIGHTLY Another coming out of that same C-1 event. Moves inside and drops to the level of his most recent win. Will improve.
4 EPIC TALE Adds Lasix tonight, so that might explain his last effort. Given time off since then and drops down. I think he will bounce back.
5 RUSH N SUPREME Not a bad try last time as he chased a classy trotter there and was locked in with trot to the wire. Logical win candidate.
6 OVER AND OUT Surprised Pierce chose off here. That last mile was better than several in that same event. Won at this level, too. Logical.
7 SPECTATOR K Has made breaks in all three of his most recent races. If he ever stays trotting, he can be a contender. That’s a big if.
8 BOSSY VOLO Certainly enters this race in good form, but Rosecroft shippers have been a underperforming so far. Still, he might fit here.
9 HOME BREW Hard to endorse off the 5 week layoff and a 2:02.4 qualifier. Shows some decent races in Canada, but I will watch one.
10 FOUNTAINBLEAU VOLO Dauplaise hands the lines over to Miller, so that might attract attention. Still, his form has not been good. Tricky.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-4-1
H Horse Comment
1 WORLD CUP That stretch rally was sparkling last week. Now, things get much tougher. A win would be a surprise in this select group.
2 AMIGO RANGER He has been doing good work to pick up checks at this level, but has not been able to break through. Expect similar.
3 SWEET JUSTICE He just keeps on rolling. I think Daylon Magician will really challenge him tonight, but he has been so good. The pick.
4 NOT AFRAID If you watch his last race, it’s hard to pick him over Sweet Justice. He was steered out with dead-aim and couldn’t get to him.
5 DAYLON MAGICIAN Miller had a handful of horse during that mile. That was a great first start back. He is a major danger to Justice!
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-10-7
H Horse Comment
1 HANDSOFFMYCREAMPUF Simply left with too much to do last time. Plenty of upside and a better draw. She is a logical contender now.
2 MILLER’S BIRD Out-raced her odds last time. Miller took her over Ubettorbeturlife, so that is a positive here. Things to like this time.
3 SHESELLS SEASHELLS She has been just towing along recently. She has the most experience of the field, but the least upside.
4 DOO WEE RUSTY The way she stopped last week is a concern because she raced on Lasix for the first time. I might watch this time.
5 THE PERFECT DREAM Unable to win at the bottom level at Monticello and that makes her a tough sell in this spot. Longshot here.
6 WINE MARKET This mare just isn’t finishing fast enough for me to consider at this point. I suppose I will toss her on the bottom of exotics.
7 UBETTORBETURLIFE She probably should have been better last time. Miller chooses off, but she is still a candidate for the exotics.
8 ARROYA BLUE CHIP Yet to earn a check in her young career and I would need to see her get closer before I can consider her.
9 REAL COMFORT Now 0 for 13 and although she seems to be improving, this is a very difficult assignment. Looking elsewhere for winner.
10 J HIGH She is moving in the right direction, and she showed talent winning in a good mile last year. Expecting another positive effort.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 9-1-10-6
H Horse Comment
1 ZOLI Horses exiting the Super Bowl typically do well when they move to a nw2 in their next start. Loses Miller, but is still a contender.
2 THE SPECIAL ONE Better last time, but it is worth nothing he was beaten at 202-1 in his last start at this level. Has to improve a bit.
3 CRAZELYN I didn’t see enough in that qualifier to suggest that she is ready off the 5 week freshening. Will be watching this time.
4 THE FRESH PRINCE Same story here. Has been off for 6 months with just one qualifier since. Likely will need a couple of starts.
5 SHINER HANOVER Making his second start back off the layoff, but that wasn’t exactly an inspiring effort. Another I will wait and see.
6 DOT DOT DOT DASH Coming off a near 2 month layoff, but went to the bench in good form. Can he trot fast enough for this? Tough call.
7 DELCREST BIG RED Yet to be closer than within 4 lengths on the wire, and he just doesn’t show enough late punch to consider here.
8 INVESTOR VOLO That qualifier on the 4th shows that he does have ability. But he comes with the risk of a miscue. I will use, sparingly.
9 PERFECT ALLIANCE Clearly the horse to beat here. She has plenty of class to her and that qualifier was very good. Prepping for Singer.
10 ACADIA AS Only made 1 appearance so far this meet, but it was a winning one. Has speed and should be prominent from the bell.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 5-7-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 ASTREAS NOTICE Comes back at this level following another dull effort. She just hasn’t found her best form recently. Cannot endorse.
2 BAZOOKA TERROR Racing pretty well right now. Winner of last was 3rd in a C-1 last week. That tells me she can hit the ticket here.
3 LOOK ANNIE HALL The move from C-2 to C-1 is usually tough and I don’t think she is exiting a very strong race. I will let her beat me.
4 MY TALLIA IDEAL Would have thought the class drop may have helped some, but it didn’t. Perhaps this time she will be better.
5 CRAZY EIGHTS Was not able to duplicate her 12/20 effort last out. I think she is better off a helmet and I expect those tactics. Callahan up!
6 CRUISE QUEEN Just got caught last time but it was a good effort. Barn tends to keep them sharp and she will contend despite move up.
7 LOCAL ART I maintain the move from B-2 to C-1 produces the biggest form reversal in classified racing. She will be much better here!
8 JB ROSE Has not been able to race back to that win and her last pair of efforts are concerning. I need to see her take a step forward.
9 TWIN B ELITE Major improvement on that move down. She may go overlooked here and I think she has a shot to hit the ticket, at least.
10 BETTOR B GENUINE Has only one start since November 17th and draws post 10 as well. I think she needs a start here. Not ready yet.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-7-1
H Horse Comment
1 NEWPORT VOLO Not bad last time and she comes right back at this same level. Figures to save ground and try to earn a share of this.
2 BLUE’S INTHEKEYOFC Added Lasix in that qualifier and was better. Draws well for this. Skeptical on the win end, but may use in exotics.
3 WARRAWEE OLAY Faced much better when last seen, granted that race was a disaster. Off 5 weeks as well. I need to see a start.
4 MR ORLANDO Was not a factor last time. Win at Philly was OK, but I am still skeptical at this level. Taking a wait and see approach.
5 TIGER’S TOO GOOD Thought he was a winner at the top of the stretch last week. Big effort off the 32 day layoff. Will be better tonight.
6 CHANGED IT ALL Not bad on the move up the ladder and his speed will make him a factor. I put him side by side with Newport Volo.
7 POINTE OF HONOUR Hinted at better last time as he finished with some interest. I don’t want to miss the boat when he does rebound!
8 CELEBRITY LOVIN Stepping up off a win, but against a far lesser group. This is a major test for class and I need to see one at this level.
9 HELIOS Was wildly overbet last week, but the break was unpredictable. Will he bounce back? Maybe, but I wont be taking a short price.
10 BEAU JOE Drop and pop winner last time at Rosecroft, but back to the level he was 77-1 at when last seen here. Longshot again.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 2-3-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 LIGHTNING PAIGE Stepping up off a confidence building win. She found this level too tough in the past. Campbell likes this mare, though.
2 BIG MCDEAL I was extremely surprised that Campbell chose off. This mare is extremely good at this level and is my top selection here.
3 MARTY PARTY Tough disqualification last time. The good news is this mare gets to race in a B-1 again. Looms as the mare to beat.
4 BILLMAR SCOOTER I think she has tailed off a bit. Callahan opts off now as well. Would need to take a step forward to contend for win.
5 JINGLEJANGLEJINGLE Consistent mare has been knocking on the door. That 1 for 26 is glaring and she is best used underneath.
6 MANDY’S MATTJESTY She draws better here, which should make her speed more effective. Figures to be a pace factor and then some.
7 BEST BOSS Back down to the level of her most recent win. Has she gone totally off form, or will the move down wake her up? Tricky call.
8 CHEYENNE MIRIAM Coming off back to back decent efforts and she is at the right level here. Another contender in a wide open race.
9 CHEER THE LADY N Interesting to see Callahan go here. He must think this mare has ability. Tote board will give further clues.
10 SO NICE Figures to be better in her second start back off the bench, but she will have to overcome this wide draw. Passes a few.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 2-3-8-10
H Horse Comment
1 H AND M’S HIT Was not a factor at this level last time. That was a sharp win at Yonkers and perhaps he is ready for better. Maybe.
2 SMOOTHER RIDE Gets some class relief, but obviously Miller has to drive for wife, Julie. Still, Simons picks up a live drive here.
3 SHEENA’S SHADOW Took a lot of play last week and was a bit disappointing. She is better than that, and I expect a bounce back effort.
4 CAPTAIN PRIMEAU He was OK last time, but I think he needs one level below this to be at his best. For bottom of exotics in here.
5 MC TINY’S HOPE Raced well despite the move up in class. This mare is sharp right now and she is one of several contender in this spot.
6 RIVERFEST Rolled home to a sharp win last time from a tough spot. This level did prove a bit tough for her last time. Still, can improve.
7 FOR YOU ALMOSTFREE Loses Gingras off a disappointing effort. He will need to step up his game here. Believers get better price now.
8 CORAGGIOSO He is the wild card as this was one of the better 3 year olds in 2012. Is he ready off the one qualifier? Watch tote board.
9 WORTH THE MONEY AS Nice win last time, but if he wasn’t able to beat the C-1 level, I think it is hard to make a case at this B-2 level.
10 VIPER BLUE CHIP Adds Lasix here, so that may explain why he backed up in the pocket. He could be much better this time around.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-10-4
H Horse Comment
1 ABROKENART HANOVER Just the one qualifier since her last start. But she shows a series of breaks prior to that. Need to see a race.
2 PRECIOUS ROSE You could see that win coming last week. Not she moves back up the ladder. But new barn might have her peaking.
3 HANDSOFFMYCUPCAKE Solid effort at this level. If Lightning Paige won earlier, then move this mare up. Looks like a prime contender.
4 MARINADE HANOVER Enters this off back to back wins, but loses Miller in the process. This will be a tougher assignment. Still can win.
5 UNRED HANOVER She finished a very respectable 3rd against better 2 starts back. Logic says that she should handle this. My selection.
6 RHAPSODY ROSE Was a non-factor last time at this level. She may have needed that start, but I will be watching for improvement.
7 KZ BEACH GIRL That last effort is rather discouraging. She has been hit or miss lately, so that makes this a guess. Playing against.
8 MOMMA ROCK She fared well against better in December, but just the one start since then. I will be watching this race closely for her.
9 SARANDON BLUE CHIP She is on a bad-race, good-race pattern, so perhaps that makes this a solid try? Another guess here.
10 IT’S DE LOVELY Getting some class relief so that will benefit here. Loses The Buckeye here, though. I can see her hitting the ticket.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-9-7
H Horse Comment
1 GREY ICE Good effort last time again. This is the right spot for him and he will be in contention turning for home. A logical contender.
2 MUSCOLO Racing very well here and you have to like the way he rallied last week. The best is, he seems to always offer a square price.
3 HERE COMES NUMBERS Coming off back to back sub-par efforts. Needs to get back to his prior form. I will be watching closely.
4 THE TRIPLE LINDY You can see his form turning the corner again. He could be sitting on a peak effort. Must be included on all tickets.
5 AISLING His last 2 efforts have been disappointing. You aren’t supposed to lose while 3/5 on the lead at Yonkers. I will use underneath.
6 BROOKROAD KNIGHT He out-raced his odds last time and while a win may be a bit tough, you have to include him in exotic plays.
7 MARION MONACO Another coming off back to back solid efforts. This gelding’s speed make him a threat from start to finish. Can’t dismiss.
8 TWIN B SPIKE MAN Pulled off the upset last time, but now he moves up in class and has to prove that was not a fluke. Playing against.
9 TEMPLE OF DOOM Took a ton of money and won. The price will be short again and in this field, he is far from a cinch. Still, a contender.
10 OMNIPOTENT When she trots, she is really good. But she is always a risk and with a field with this many options, I will look elsewhere.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-7-5
H Horse Comment
1 SMOKE PAN MIRRORS The move up to this level did not work last time. Granted, she had post 10 as well. I expect better in this spot.
2 UP FRONT CRUISER I think we can draw a line through her last mile, she is better than that. Believers will get a very square price now.
3 OLE MISS Pierce goes elsewhere, but the combination of class relief and post improvement is enough to catch my eye. My top selection.
4 PARDON Just missed last time to a popular play on a barn switch. If Precious Rose was good earlier, then move this mare up. Logical.
5 WILLOW GRAM Good effort behind Marinade Hanover last time, so see how that mare did earlier in the card. She fits in here as well.
6 NOTREADYTOBENICE Outraced her odds to finish a good 3rd at this level 2 starts back. Her last mile at Yonkers was soft, though.
7 SOLID QUEEN My gut tells me she will be better here. No chance last mile and she will offer a fair price as well. I am using at a price.
8 UP FRONT KELLIE JO She really should have been better than that last effort at Yonkers. Her effort at this level indicates she fits.
9 GRACE SEELSTER That move from a $15k claimer to a C-1 is not easy, so she raced really well last out. Has to be left in the discussion.
10 ALITTLEEASTERMAGIC Stepping up off a win, but this field just looks like a tough spot for a recent C-2 winner to repeat on the move up.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 2-7-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 SKYLINE ROAD He was entered in some tough spots last year, so his connections must like him. See how Corragioso did earlier, too.
2 STIR ME UP It was odd, because he was used quite a bit in pick 4’s last week and was still 36-1, but raced very well. Might be live again.
3 CURRENT CRISIS Obviously the move to Miller will attract plenty of attention. 4-1 is a fair price on this horse, but avoid if overbet now.
4 SUPER DUKE That trip just wasn’t going to work last time. Callahan doesn’t opt off too many from this barn, so I will play against.
5 HOWE’S MAGIC Has found the move to The Meadowlands to be tough. But perhaps this is the class relief he needs. Expect better.
6 FOUR STARZ SPEED Draw a line through his last race. Prior form was solid, but that was against softer. Still, I wouldn’t ignore him.
7 WHEELS That last mile was dominant and I like that the connections pull him from the claimer. They don’t want to loser him. Can repeat.
8 NF SOARING This field is much tougher than what he just beat. The good news is, he won’t be odds-on this time. Still think this is tough.
9 MCKENZIE’S STAR Gets class relief, but this field came up tough on paper. I need to see him take a step forward for me to consider.
10 SPICE IT UP LINDY He wasn’t bad last time and the class relief will help. But is he really going to come from last to beat these? I say no.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-3-10
H Horse Comment
1 DREAM’S BAR I loved her last week and she scratched. I just think she is better than these and she is my best bet of the night. Will win.
2 SPECIAL KIM Inherited the role of the favorite last week when Dream’s Bar scratched. But, she still got beat. Expecting her to hit ticket.
3 BROOKLYNS BEST Made up some ground last time, but she wasn’t exactly flying through the stretch. Use sparingly in the superfecta.
4 THE REAL TONE Form just has not been there, despite the recent class drop. I need to see her take a step forward from here.
5 TIMESWEETENDHONEY Same feelings with this mare. Just has not shown me enough to consider quite yet. Retains longshot status.
6 PERSUASIVE HANOVER She has been OK, picking up minor awards. In this field it wouldn’t shock me if she gets up for 3rd or 4th.
7 ANGEL OF THE WEST I like the driver switch back to Callahan, as he has been hot. I put her in a similar category to Persuasive Hanover.
8 LAUGH AWAY While that last mile looks better, she still only cane home in 30.2, so I am still not sold that a better effort is coming.
9 TERROR RISING Just not much to go off of in her recent form. This field is very top heavy. Hitting all in the 4th spot of the superfecta.
10 WE BE AMERICAN I suppose her last mile makes her a top-3 contender in this group. Although, I do not think she threatens the chalk.