• Week Of 12/29 - 1/4
  • SU29
  • MO30
  • TU31
  • WE1
  • TH02
  • FR03
  • SA04
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 03, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-9-6
H Horse Comment
1 ALWAYS ON A ROLL Took a step in the right direction last time. She exits the same race as several of these and will offer a square price.
2 HURRIKANE SCHMUMMA Really liked her effort last time. Zeron got aggressive with her despite her price. Less value, but a contender.
3 WINE MARKET Added Lasix last time, but was unable to get involved. Miller will need to keep her closer tonight from the start.
4 SHESELLS SEASHELLS Shows a lifetime mark of just 2:00, and was not a factor at this level at Yonkers. She needs to turn things around.
5 CAROBBEAN PACETRY Appeared a tad short at the end of that qualifier. With only 5 lifetime starts, there is upside. Tabbing for later.
6 UBETTORBETURLIFE Seems to be cycling forward and raced well against several of these last time. Logical contender right back here.
7 MAGNA BLUE CHIP Stepping up the ladder off a win after 15 consecutive losses to start her career. Water gets much deeper here.
8 J HIGH Aggressive drive last time and raced quite well. Made 2 moves in the process. Likely will offer a square price this time around.
9 WEDNESDAYS WHIM Won last week at a very short price, but I would say she is far from a lock this time. There is other value to be found.
10 CICELY HANOVER Solid efforts in her last pair of starts at Philly. Mare that beat her on 12/2 was 8th next out, so that is a concern.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 SMOKIN BARRIE Stepping up to the classified system off a few improving efforts. Draws well and appears a logical contender here.
2 QUANTUM LIGHTNING Moves down the ladder following a dull try against better. Has been off a month, but that’s a trend here. Player.
3 LEAH’S EX Stepping up off a pair of marginal efforts. She shows a couple of miles at Vernon that would make her a contender here.
4 CELEBRITY LOVIN Winner of that last mile was 6th, beaten 5 lengths in a B-2 here last week. This is a much softer spot. Interesting.
5 WESTERN CREDIT Horse that beat him on 11/29 was 4th, beaten 3 lengths in nw4500 at Stga next out. Tricky read off the break.
6 ODINO JET Runner-up 11/18 came out of that race to be 8th, beaten 3 lengths in a $15k claimer here on 12/13. Likely needs to improve.
7 RULES LITTLE MAN Winner of that last qualifier was 6th in the FFA Hcp in his first start back. New barn, but will he stay trotting?
8 SIMONE HALL This mare has been facing better. Winner of her last came back to win his next 2 starts. Should prove tough on the drop.
9 LINDY MCDREAMY Winner from that last mile was 6th, beaten 8 lengths in a C-1 trot here on 12/27. This is softer. Not without a chance.
10 MYSTICAL CON He was 76-1 in an identical situation last time. It is hard to predict a different result. Looms the longshot of the field.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 10-2-7-8
H Horse Comment
1 BUSYBEINGFABULOUS Runner-up from that last mile came back to win last week. Exits a quick mile. Would like to see her stay closer.
2 GODDESS’S ROSA Out-raced her odds last time while beaten by the favorite. This barn is sneaky good right now, too. Interesting player.
3 BLUE MONSTER Beaten over a combined 31 lengths in her last pair at lower levels at Freehold. Hard to endorse off that form.
4 OK AMELIA Defeated the bottom level at Rosecroft last time out. This is going to be a much taller order and she is a longshot for now.
5 LIZ’S LIL K K Not a bad try in her return off the break. She has a right to improve and might off a square price for exotics consideration.
6 NUTMEGS CIDER Winner of that last mile came back to be a good 3rd in a B-2/B-1 last week. That’s a plus. I like this mare on the drop.
7 DRAGON PRINCESS We all know she loves this track and she is dropping to the bottom level. A hint of her best form is good enough here.
8 SWEET BET Disappointed as the 2-1 favorite at this level on 12/6. That was a tough night, with wind and rain. Better last time. Overlay.
9 THE REAL TONE She did pace home in under 28 seconds last time, but lost ground in the process. Expecting long odds once again.
10 SMOKE PAN MIRRORS She was in too tough last time, and the winner of that event came back to win again next out. Drops and pops.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 10-2-5-4
H Horse Comment
1 NEWPORT VOLO Winner of that last mile was 5th in a B-2 in his next start. This is softer. Perhaps a ground saving trip can land him a part.
2 MUSCOLO Obviously Andy will drive for wife Julie. Runner-up from last was 2nd in a B-2 next out. That bodes well for this spot. Logical.
3 CURRENT CRISIS Callahan chose off this time. Raced well last out, but with Callahan going elsewhere, I have my doubts. Tough call.
4 JIMMER Winner of that last mile came right back to win a $25k claimer at Stga next out. This gelding is better than that 11/29 mile shows.
5 HELIOS Won from an impossible spot last time. Granted, the race fell apart. The 3rd place finisher from there did win a C-2 next out. Player.
6 CHANGED IT ALL Dropped and popped last time. Moves back up to a level that was too much on 12-6. Tricky call despite Callahan’s vote.
7 MR ORLANDO Turned a perfect trip into a win against softer at Philly. Did show speed from a wide draw there. Still, watching this time.
8 COMMANDER K Qualified off a dull try last time. Problem is, winner of that qualifier is so fast, it is hard to get a read on him. Pass for now.
9 FEEL THE PRESSURE This mare has ability, but also comes with issues. Clearly needed her first start back. May need another one.
10 MACS BAD BOY Getting some necessary class relief which will go a long way in here. Exiting a very fast mile behind a next out winner.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-1-4
H Horse Comment
1 IT’S DE LOVELY Narrowly missed pulling off a shocker last time. Inside post can keep her closer. Curious if she can duplicate that effort.
2 NEVERMIND FRANCO N Stepping up off another win. This mare doesn’t get the respect she deserves. She is likely to be a price again!
3 UNRED HANOVER Enters this off a 2 month layoff, but this mare has talent. Qualifier was strong and she could be ready to fire right away.
4 JINGLEJANGLEJINGLE Tough defeat to such a classy mare last time. Knocking on the door the last pair and is a logical contender again.
5 MATTIE TERROR GIRL Somehow she got away at 4-1 last week. This is a step up, but she is incredibly sharp right now. Will prove tough.
6 LIGHTNING PAIGE Showed speed last time and was trapped in the pocket, but offered even pace when free. Needs to improve slightly.
7 FAST AND FIESTY Interesting contender here on the class drop. She had an excellent 2013 season and may go overlooked in this field.
8 ART IDEAL Not every day we see Burke at 15-1 on the morning line. But, this mare had a perfect cover trip with no pop last time.
9 SIR LB’S Z TAM Was shuffled to last at the top of the stretch, swung to the far outside and closed willingly. Can get up for a piece of this.
10 SHOOTOUTTHELIGHTS Had a tough trip last time and finished well. The problem is, the same appears likely. Needs a smoother journey.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 8-1-5-3
H Horse Comment
1 APPOMATTOX Surprised to see Zeron choose off here. Finished well behind Up Front Billy last time. Makes for a formidable Fielding entry.
1A NOT AFRAID He clearly has found his best stride and is developing nicely. Will have to trot faster and faces tougher, but he is a contender.
2 BLACKTUXWHITESOCKS Had the kind of sneaky late trot that gets some attention last time. Gets Pierce tonight too. Expecting better.
3 SWEET JUSTICE Here is the acid test he has earned. Could not be more impressive to date. If he wins this race, then Katie, bar the door!
4 DASH FOR THE CASH A very nice horse, but with Campbell going elsewhere, I think this looks like a very tough spot for this gelding.
5 IL MAGO Zeron must have really liked him last week. The Lasix really seemed to help as well. He is moving up to a tougher spot. Player.
6 AMIGO RANGER Gingras always goes to the better Burke horse, and he isn’t driving here. Still, a nice horse that can earn a piece of this.
7 E W FISHER Has to need that last start. The question is, is he ready now? Zeron doesn’t seem to think so, but he figures to improve here.
8 QUICK DEAL You need to ask yourself, do you think he will stay trotting? My advice, what him score down, closely Qualifer was awesome.
9 DAYLON MAGICIAN Millionaire returns to the races off three good qualifiers. My guess, he has to need a start. Watching very closely.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-9-7-8
H Horse Comment
1 MARTY PARTY Facing a tougher field top to bottom here, so is going to need to step her game up. Sits and saves ground throughout.
2 BIG MCDEAL Steps up off that win, but she has beaten this level before. Seems to like it better on the bigger track. Cannot be dismissed,
3 BULLET POINT Did catch a bit of a shuffle last time and was locked in, but only offered even pace when free. Will need to be better here.
4 BLISSFUL ROMANCE Not a very encouraging effort most recently at Yonkers. That’s back to back duds. Hard to endorse off that form.
5 BEST BOSS Seems she got to a level that is a bit too much for her. This is not going to be any easier. Needs absolute best to contend.
6 LORRIE PLEASE Very game in defeat last week. She went an absolutely monster trip. If she is not overbet off that, I will be playing her.
7 KEEPERS DESTINY She also raced well last week as Dave Miller gunned her 3-wide to the half. Hung in gamely. Cannot be ignored now.
8 EIGHTHUNRDOLARBILL She was the beneficiary of the race setup last week. She can win again, but will it work out the same? Player.
9 RAMALAMA Hard to argue with her recent form. Kakaley comes over to drive her. Deserving favorite, but this is a very difficult field.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 6-8-3-7
H Horse Comment
1 THE TRIPLE LINDY I wonder if this level is just a tad out of reach right now. Had a great trip last out, but did not fire off cover. Needs more.
2 CANBEC FRIDOLIN Getting a touch of class relief on paper, although this is hardly a softer spot. Needs to work out a trip for a share.
3 COWGIRL HALL Visually impressive in each of her last 2 starts. However, the 3rd place finisher from her last win was 9th in a B-1 last week.
4 WORLD CUP Tailed off into a sick scratch and now has been off for 5 weeks. Drops in class but is likely to need a start. Waiting for now.
5 SMOOTHER RIDE Just an even try last time in what was a pretty fast mile. This field is tough as well and he will need to step it up.
6 AISLING Everyone saw him flying last week. He might be overbet off that mile. If he offers decent value, I can endorse playing him here.
7 HERE COMES NUMBERS Never really had a chance last time and I can see him racing better with a trip. Tossing on the bottom of plays.
8 BAKER VOLO Just couldn’t quite get to Il Mago last time. That’s ok, as that foe benefited from first-time Lasix. A contender right back.
9 TOBER Yes, he is getting class relief and was 2nd at this level on 11/29. But he also loses Pierce. So there are conflicting signals right now.
10 HARBOR POINT Chances are, he needs this start, especially from post 10. But, don’t sleep on him for too long, he will be ready quickly!
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 6-1-3-7
H Horse Comment
1 JANIE BAY She was aggressively steered to the front and it didn’t work. I think she is better off a helmet. Expect those tactics tonight!
2 RHAPSODY ROSE Making her second start back off the qualifier while shipping in from Rosecroft. Won here last year. Sneaky longshot.
3 NARANCIA HANOVER Not a bad try behind a mare that came right back to win in style last week. She was favored, too. Very logical.
4 VY HANOVER Rallied from far back and finished a solid 3rd last out. Does lose Zeron though here. Perhaps she can land a minor award.
5 SWEET LIKE CANDY Moves to the Burke barn, a popular angle. Winner of that qualifier was in race 5 tonight. Tote board tells the tale.
6 PHONE TERROR She was really buried and had just an awful trip last time. Might be worth the gamble if she offers a square price here.
7 SHAWNEE DANCER Back to back decent efforts, offering good value both times. Given a similar scenario, she can easily hit the ticket.
8 KZ BEACH GIRL Faces older for the first time at the meet, similar to ‘Narancia. Her best can put her in the mix for a minor share now.
9 STAGE IT RIGHT Tough beat last time, but she burnt some money in the process. Buckeye opts to another mare here. Still a player.
10 SARANDON BLUE CHIP The wild card in an impossible race. She was good last week. Loses Gingras. Will she mind her manners?
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 6-10-5-7
H Horse Comment
1 LE SENATEUR A L Had too much to do last time and is likely to stay closer from this draw. Still, will need to offer more punch late.
2 TWIN B SPIKE MAN Exits that very fast Quick Deal qualifier. Concerns are the breaks. Just cannot trust him to stay trotting at this point.
3 CADILLAC CRUISER Last pair have been just OK and it seems this particular level might be a notch too high for her. Looking elsewhere.
4 VAYA CON DIOS Exits the same race as ‘Cadillac, but was better. Winner of that race was 7th in a B-1 here last week. Can compete here.
5 ELLISARRO HANOVER Almost pulled off a shocker last time. Winner of that race was 4th, beaten 4-lengths in a B-1 last week. Maybe.
6 OMNIPOTENT Big rally at the end of that last mile. Comes right back at this same level. Looks like a logical contender in this group.
7 TEMPLE OF DOOM He was way overbet last time as he had to need the start. He has a right to be better here. Expecting much better.
8 SEA RAVEN He was decent last time. Winner of that last mile was just an even 6th, beaten 6 lengths in a B-1 last week. Tricky call now.
9 THE BUDSTER Veterans last pair of starts have been better, but I think he might be left with just too much to do from here. Tab for later.
10 MAGGLIO Exits the same race as Sea Raven, but was better. Post 10 won’t help, but he has early speed. Expecting Campbell to blast.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-10-8
H Horse Comment
1 LIGHTNING TREASURE Recent form has been just OK and she is coming off just a 1-win season. I am watching this time around.
2 ADDYS WAY Exits similar races to ‘Treasure, but this mares form is not even as good as that. Therefore, I cannot endorse her now.
3 SPIRIT OF DESIRE The bettors are going to jump on the move to Callahan and this mare was good last week. That 138-1 is long gone!
4 N Y YANKEES Qualifier didn’t trill me. Losing ground through a 58-second back half-mile doesn’t peak my interest. Needs this start.
5 QUEEN OF ROYALTY I think she will be better than last time, this field isn’t as strong. But I am not certain that can add up to a win.
6 LOCAL ART Out-raced her odds last time where she was 92-1. Draws well and will be in a live cover flow. She can hit the ticket here.
7 MY TALLIA IDEAL Similar to ‘Desire, I think this mare is coming out of a better race than most of these. She is a top 3 contender now.
8 ANOTHER HANOVER If Sweet Like Candy won the 9th race, then move this mare way up. Barn change off the claim. Interesting player.
9 OLE MISS She appeared overmatched at this level last time from a similar spot. I cannot see her winning from last here. Longshot.
10 AMERICAN IN PARIS Adds Lasix off that last mile. Note, that angle didn’t work last week with a Burke-trainee. Still, she looks tough here.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 2-10-5-4
H Horse Comment
1 PERFECT PICTURE Since her win, she had 3 tough posts and a first over trip. Draws inside. I can see her towing along for a piece.
2 FOR YOU ALMOSTFREE That effort on 11/29 at Yonkers impressed me. Had no shot last time. I can easily see her being overlooked now.
3 PEMBROKE HEAT WAVE Continues to search for her back class. Hard to make an excuse last time. I need to see some improvement.
4 ALL ABOUT JUSTICE Had no chance given the trip last week. Effort two starts back was solid. Could be sitting on a better race. Maybe.
5 GREY ICE It wasn’t far off from this time last year where he scored in a similar situation here. Exits that fast qualifier. Dangerous, if ready.
6 LUV YA TYLER See how Super Duke (3rd in last start) fared Thursday night. Always skeptical of those race falls apart 50-1 upsets.
7 BROOKROAD KNIGHT Aggressive drive last time and just got a bit tired late. See how Ellisarro Hanover did in race 9. Looms a factor.
8 LIMITLESS I guess he was a little bit better last time at Rosecroft, but it is hard to consider him a contender here, given his recent form.
9 SHEENA’S SHADOW Off nearly one month. Last race wasn’t bad, but she does lose Pierce in this spot. This field is softer than last race.
10 HOWE’S MAGIC He just was not beating Sweet Justice and Lauderdale. The post hurts, but Pierce seems to like him in this spot. Player.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-4-1
H Horse Comment
1 DON’T BLAME HER Really surprised she hasn’t been better since that qualifier. Catches a couple of tough mares in here. Underneath.
2 ENDURING DELIGHT Not a bad effort last time against a better group. She finished with some interest. This spot is softer. Must consider.
3 UP FRONT KELLIE JO She picked up a pair of small checks at this level recently. Yonkers race is a toss-out. Deepest of exotic tickets.
4 MYSTICAL DIVA I think she will be tough in here. She is coming out of a very fast mile and both her efforts here are solid. Logical player.
5 LEXUS ARTIST That was not a strong field she beat last time, and she had a perfect trip, too. I didn’t have her last time, now will I in here.
6 DRAGON RUFFLES Added Lasix and raced much better overcoming trouble early in that mile. Indicators are she is sitting on a big race.
7 CHAROLETTES MAGGIE Just has not been a factor at this level. I need to see her get some class relief before I can consider her.
8 ARTIC BYRD Is she ready to duplicate her win from 11/29. Yonkers efforts were OK. This field is tougher than what she beat last month.
9 MY SWEET MANDY A couple of decent tries at the C-2 level, but she burnt a lot of cash last time. Moves up and loses Andy Miller.
10 GLASS IN THE SAND Enters this off a win. Runner-up from last mile came over here and won last week against nw2. This is tougher.