• 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 Saturday, January 04, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 GEORGE JETTISON Callahan lands here, which is a big call. Went a very tough trip last time and must be left in the conversation here.
2 WHITE MOUNTAIN TOP Last few starts have not been up to par. Her was 51-1 when last seen against a similar group here. Longshot.
3 BLATANTLY BEST Tough trip last time but his prior form was very good. This is the right level for him and he looms a legitimate player.
4 COWBOY TERRIER Just ran into a buzz-saw last time in Dovuto Hanover. That was a very solid effort. Off that mile, he is favored here.
5 ABBEYLARA Was in an impossible spot two starts back and a very tough spot last time. Deceptively sharp right now. Major contender.
6 LUCKY MAN Out-race his odds in his first start back, but was not as good last time. This field falls somewhere between those 2. Tough call.
7 VOICE OF TRUTH Has not been a factor in either start yet. This is not any easier. When he gets class relief, I will pay close attention.
8 EDDIE SWEAT I am going to forgive him coming out of that 1:48.4 mile. Pierce got along great with him two starts back. He can rebound.
9 OUTRAGEOUS ART Moves down the ladder off a dull try. Winner from that last mile came right back to win again. Not without a chance.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 UNADORNED HANOVER Last qualifier was clearly better. Was ambitiously spotted at times. Might need a start or two off this layoff.
2 SWEET WATER JACK The 1 for 22 mark is a concern, but he raced well last time, making 2 moves. That said, Campbell goes elsewhere.
3 SOME FAMEOUS BEACH Love the breeding on this colt and he has shown flashes in the past. Feel this colt has a lot more to offer still.
4 HOTUNDERTHECOLLAR Recent form has been suspect. Hasn’t raced in one month as well. Looks like a longshot until proven otherwise.
5 CAPITAL ACCOUNT Very impressive win at first asking. Looms another short price and off that last mile, he stands out in this field. Chalk.
6 BERKSHIRE BEAR That was a sharp rally at the end of that mile. Considering that was the first start off the qualifier, he figures to move up.
7 NITRO’S WIGGLE Added Lasix last time, was left uncovered and stalled. With the right setup and trip, he can be much better in this spot.
8 ROCK STAR It is tough to judge a horse that is a $10k claimer and gauge him against nw2 company. I recommend watching a start.
9 UF ROCKIN DRAGON Qualifier was OK, but this horse was winless in 2013 and just 1 for 17 lifetime. I’ll need to see a start before playing.
10 NOBLE LOGANS LOU Yet to hit the board in 8 lifetime starts, although he did out-race his odds
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 DIABLO SEELSTER Aggressively driven last time and just got tired in the stretch. Zeron chooses off now. Still, an exotics contender.
2 VICTORYDAZE WILWIN Off to a slow start last time and just never got into the race at Yonkers. He was successful at the $15k level.
3 SCREEN THE CALL Not a bad try at all last time. Very consistent and is at the right level. Looks like a Burke trainee that will take play.
4 EXPLODENT That last field he faced was just better than this. His win at the C-1 level is encouraging. He has a big chance to score here.
5 CRUISING YANKEE Things just have not worked out since the claim. Note he is still racing above the level of that claim. Not just yet.
6 MATTADOR D Bongiorno put a masterful drive on him last time. This horse has a big move in him and will handle the move up just fine.
7 ROCKNROLL SPECIAL Despite being in suspect form, this horse keeps getting bet. I think that ends tonight. Must turn things around.
8 FALL BLISS Moves up along with Mattador D. I like the move up as the connections want to protect him for $20k. Do not sell him short.
9 HACIENDA Out-raced his odds last time. He just never seems to get bet and he is useful to try and toss a price into the bottom of exotics.
10 MAYFLOWERMOONSHINE Shows a mixed bag of efforts. Tonight’s problem is the post combined with his lack of speed. Tough task.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-9-8
H Horse Comment
1 AHEAD OF THE CROWD He can improve tonight. He was off 3 weeks and had post 10 last out. Just not sure he is good enough for this.
2 AXIOM HANOVER The Lasix seemed to help a little last time. He is still a chronic slow starter, but I can see him starting to move forward.
3 CRUIJFF Even by watching the replay, there just isn’t much to take from that last mile. Connections will figure him out sooner or later.
4 BOOGIEWOOGIEBRIAN Caught a buzz-saw last time and raced very well in the process. This field is not as tough. He is a major player.
5 EX DREAM Just can’t take anything from that last mile. Have to continue to watch for signs of improvement for the time being.
6 APPLE A DAY That trip just wasn’t going to work last time. Hopefully, Berry will find a helmet to follow from this ideal post. Can rebound.
7 WILL KANE I suppose some people will jump here with the driver change. I admit, this horse has a very interesting profile. Watch tote.
8 ITSAHARDROCKLIFE Gets another shot at ‘Paparazzi tonight. He will need to step his game up a bit to catch him. Likely 2nd or 3rd best.
9 AMERICAN PAPARAZZI Off nearly a month, but it is hard to argue with his form. If he overcomes the layoff, he is strictly the one to beat.
10 FEEL THE BLUES His speed makes him interesting here. Miller chose off, but if Gingras blasts, he will be a pace factor at the very least.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 2-9-7-4
H Horse Comment
1 KEEP GOING Blowout victory last time at Philly. This field is a bit tougher. Miller choosing off is also a signal. Likely watching this time.
2 CASHENDASH HANOVER He was decent two starts back but his last effort prompted the class drop. Will prove tough back at this level.
3 LYONS JOSEPHJNR Just has not done enough recently to merit consideration in this group, despite connections. Waiting for later.
4 COBALT MAN With the exception of the 12/21 mile, he has been pretty sharp. New pilot in the bike tonight. A contender for win honors.
5 MISSISSIPPI HIPPY Thos last couple of fields are a little better than this, so he can probably race better here. Wouldn’t argue if you like.
6 APPLEY EVER AFTER Wire to wire last time at Philly. However, the 3rd place finisher was 8th in a nw8000L5 next out at The Meadows.
7 WILLY MUCHA Liked him last week. This will be tougher, but that was a fast mile. The move from C-1 to B-2 is steep, but he can handle it.
8 SILENT SWING Miller opting off here speaks volumes, I think. That was just an even effort last time. Will need to be better than that here.
9 COLOSSAL Continues to race well as he hasn’t missed the exacta since the meet started. Seems logical to build exotic tickets around him.
10 MEGA LIGHTNING Last mile doesn’t inspire much confidence. Will need to blast again, problem is that didn’t work last time. Longshot.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-7-8
H Horse Comment
1 SPECIAL FORCES Gingras lands on the other Burke trainee here. This is a very good horse though. Last mile, had no shot. Square price.
2 ABELARD HANOVER He is the reason why the ALL button is your friend in the Early Pick 4. He has to be better than last time. Tricky.
3 FAT MANS ALLEY Another rock-solid effort last time, and once again escaping at a juicy price. He will offer a decent price again in here.
4 HYPNOTIC BLUE CHIP Campbell makes him the favorite by choosing him. What a marvelous rally last week. He has come back sharp!
5 MACHS BEACH BOY Really took a lot more tote action than I anticipated last time and raced well. He can’t be dismissed off his last mile.
6 BETTOR’S EDGE His effort last week was disappointing. But is that enough to just dismiss him here? We know how good he can be.
7 AROCKIN HANOVER He just keeps coming the stretch as well. Loses Campbell and Bongiorno gets a big opportunity here. Logical player.
8 DYNAMIC YOUTH Cane Pace winner from 2012 has a decent year in 2013. He was beaten by ‘Edge in his last start. Still, another player.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-9-8
H Horse Comment
1 TROON Out-raced his odds last week, finishing a close 4th behind a serious horse. He can sit, save ground and earn a share once again.
2 BIG GAME HUNTER Don’t be too hard on him, he is dropping out of the two fastest miles of the meet, so far. He can rebound in this spot.
3 SAWBUCK HANOVER I can see him taking a step forward this time. Had to need that last start and likely will offer a decent price. My pick.
4 TELL US MORE Showed good speed last time, but I think his best game is from off the pace. Expecting a change in tactics tonight.
5 LATE NIGHT JOKE That was some rally last time as the Fraley barn has really turned things around here. This will be a tougher task.
6 MAGIC TRICKS I liked his effort last time and he somehow has escaped at more than 20-1 for 3 consecutive starts. That price is gone now!
7 CARD KNOCK LIFE Tough trip last time at Monticello, but that was a really soft field. He may be able to rally for a small part of this.
8 BURKENITE HANOVER Caught a very good horse last time who came back to win again. Off that, he has to be considered a major factor.
9 MUSCLE BEACHBOY Liked his last effort as well. He has the speed to overcome the draw and is hard to leave off your tickets in here.
10 PANPERO FIRPO He faced better fields than this in all three of his starts so far this meet. Off that alone, I can see tossing him in at a price.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 1-8-5-9
H Horse Comment
1 SONIC DANCER See how Willy Mucha did on the move up to a B-2 earlier in the card. Clearly fits at this level and is a logical contender.
2 DRAGON RIDGE Went from razor sharp head first into a brutal trip where he stopped. Now he has been off 5 weeks. Has to need a start.
3 STORMIN RUSTLER Third place finisher from last time was 5th in a $15k claimer last week. That mile didn’t impress me enough for this.
4 DREAMZZZZ R FOR U Easy winner last time while heavily favored. This is a move up the ladder into a tougher spot. Mixed feelings.
5 EAGLE JOLT Despite the class drop, Miller opted off. Gelding has been off for 4 weeks, but he fits on the move down. Can win, if ready.
6 WESTERN TRADEMARK Has to make up a bit of ground on ‘Dreamzzzz and then some on the rest of the field. Watching this time.
7 STAND BY CAM See how Keep Going did earlier in the card to use as a gauge. He was an OK 3rd when last seen at this level. Unsure.
8 ALEX BULLVILLE Off a 13-week layoff and a sick scratch, he had to need that last start. A better effort here wouldn’t surprise me at all.
9 BOLERO ANDREW He is exiting a faster mile than most of these and Miller sticks with him. Likely to take some play, but I will try to beat.
10 SIX GUN He didn’t approve with the addition of Lasix last time and now moves to the far outside post. Needs a form reversal at this point.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-3-6
H Horse Comment
1 IMA GIGGITY FOOL Both qualifiers are good and I like the fact that he had a pair. He just might be ready to do. Intriguing at a square price.
2 FOX VALLEY ACTION Toss out that last race, he had no shot. He hasn’t been that good since the claim. Tricky call, but he can improve.
3 MANCHESTER Good try last time. If Late Nigh Joke raced well in the 7th against better, than move this guy way up. Either way, contender.
4 TARPON HANOVER That was a major improvement on the class drop last time. This horse has talent and he may be sitting on a big mile.
5 ANDREW LUCK Did the Colts win today? Exits a fast race from an impossible spot. He will be much better here. Looms a logical player.
6 HUMILITY Making his third start back off the layoff and if he is going to show improvement, now is the time. Using in my exotic tickets.
7 BIG ART Paced a strong final quarter last time and perhaps if he can stay a bit closer, he can make his way onto the ticket. Exotics value.
8 ONE BAD SHOT If you like Manchester, I would say you have to use this gelding, especially if Late Night Joke raced well. Interesting.
9 MILITIA MAN No chance mile last time. Obviously his prior form was solid. If Siegelman utilizes his speed, he will be a pace factor.
10 TERROR HIGH Campbell put a good mile into him in that qualifier, but off a near 20 week layoff and post 10, he has to need a start.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-3-8
H Horse Comment
1 FREDDY DAY HANOVER No chance in that last mile. Moves inside and he can save ground and tow along for a share. Pierce chooses off.
2 SEEK THE DRAGON Gets a move down the ladder back to the level of his most recent win, where he was 6/5. Looks like the favorite.
3 CAM B ZIPPER His last effort makes his a major player in here. Only has to be ready to fire off the four week layoff and he will be tough.
4 STOLEN CAR Solid effort from post 10 last time and if Willy Mucha raced well in the 5th race tonight, that is worth noting here. Contender.
5 CEE PEE PANIC Seems to have tailed off a bit since that win. He can step up and race better, but I think a minor award is his ceiling.
6 SALEVSTER STALLION In my opinion, the B-2 to C-1 class drop is the largest in Classified racing here. I am expecting a very big effort.
7 BLUERIDGE WESTERN Also making the B-2 to C-1 drop, but is making his second race off a long layoff. Off last, I think he needs 1 more.
8 FITZ’S Z TAM That last start was mildly encouraging as it was his first in 3 weeks and wasn’t bad. He can build on that effort here. Maybe.
9 SAMANDAR Winner from last is in the Open-2 at Pompano tonight. Horse he beat 2 starts back was 2nd in a C-1 here on 12/21. Interesting.
10 PRINCE SHARKA Winner from that last mile was 10th in a B-2 last week. He raced in the 3rd tonight. Contention runs very deep in here.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 7-4-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 YO CHEYENE ROCKY Pierce chooses to come back here and this is a softer spot than his last pair. Expect Pierce to be aggressive here.
2 BAKIN ON THE BEACH He arrived here in excellent form, but his last 2 starts have been anything but. Need to see a rebound first.
3 DELCO ROCKNROLL Callahan opts off to drive the favorite. This horse has been pretty good lately. This field is tougher than last though.
4 ALEXIE MATTOSIE I thought he would be a bit better last time. That said, this field seems a little more manageable than last. Can rebound.
5 ERLE DALE N Brings a mixed bag of efforts to the table and has been kind of hard to predict. It may be this is a bit too tough for him.
6 RAGE N RYAN Those races he is coming out of at Dover are not exactly easy. That said, his last mile was a step back. Very tough call.
7 TOWNSLIGHT HANOVER Another nose and he would be racing in the FFA Handicap. That is good enough for me. Strictly, one to beat.
8 SECOND WIND N Shows some very solid efforts and his qualifier at Dover was OK. He has been off six weeks though, may need a race.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 3-6-2-9
H Horse Comment
1 SHEER BRILLIANCE Gelding has plenty of back class. Recent form has been just OK. May take the short route, hopes to shake free late.
2 DREAMLANDS ART Getting significant class relief and is exiting some better races than the rest of these. Looms as the one to beat.
3 DIGITAL Z TAM Not a bad race at all last time as he was full of pace coming down to the wire. He merits strong consideration off that mile.
4 VERY UPSET RICHIE He is pretty sharp right now. I do think this is a test for class and he will need to step things up to contend here.
5 SKY DESPERADO Slid down the ladder at Yonkers throughout the fall without any success. That doesn’t bode well now. Longshot.
6 MAY DAY Exits what was a very good race and is dropping down the class ladder too. I would give him a very long look in this field.
7 PANESTHETIC He has not burnt money in each of his last pair of starts. Likely to take play again, but I will be looking elsewhere this time.
8 SPENDER HANOVER That move from the C-1 to B-2 is tough as shown by his last race. He will need to dial it up a bit this time around.
9 ONTHECLOCK HANOVER Getting some class relief here, so it is worth watching him very closely in this group. Bottom of exotics?
10 NATHAN FEELSGOOD Loomed up boldly last time, but simply came up empty in the stretch. Now he moves to post 10. Tough task.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-1-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 IDEAL AMERICAN That last qualifier looks pretty good in this field. Already have seen a first time starter win this meet. Obvious contender.
2 GOODATBEINGBAD Just doesn’t bring much form into this event in his three lifetime starts. Still looks like a longshot for now.
3 RECHARGE Broke through with a win last time, but he will need to go considerably faster in here. For the bottom of exotics, only.
4 OFFICER Didn’t do much in his first lifetime start. Likely to improve this time around and that is enough to toss him into tris and supers.
5 SHADOW MARGEAUX Wasn’t bad considering the trip he had to overcome. He is a strong candidate to improve with a smoother journey.
6 ROCK FAME Only has one lifetime start and he didn’t make it around flat. Recent qualifiers do show progress and he should be left in mix.
7 ART HSITORY Just towed along last time without making any moves. Hasn’t raced in the past 4 weeks either. Watching once again.
8 PIERCE Looms as the horse to beat off that qualifier. That said, it was 5 weeks ago. Surprised connections didn’t qualify him again. Chalk.
9 MACH TO THE MAX I am just not sure he is fast enough. He was all out from the pocket to pace in 1:55 and lost ground. Very tough read.
10 HEY DOC Big difference between beating maidens in a 2:00 mile at Rosecroft and this. I need to see him do it here. Still a longshot.