• Week Of 12/22 - 12/28
  • SU22
  • MO23
  • TU24
  • WE25
  • TH26
  • FR27
  • SA28
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, December 27, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-4-1
H Horse Comment
1 CASSA’S IMAGE Filly made some money on the NYSS circuit. Is coming off a win, but that was 2 months ago. Qualifier was fair. Using.
2 LAUREEN Until the moment she broke, her last mile was a huge improvement. Still, hasn’t hit the ticket since August 2012. Curious here.
3 RAPHAELL His 2 wins have come at the nw1 and nw2 company at Freehold and Saratoga. Not sold he is up to this field. Longshot.
4 DOUGH DOUGH Enters this off a 5 week layoff and can make a miscue. But that win at Philly makes her a player in here. Can’t sell short.
5 CLEMENTINE DREAM Looks like a compelling favorite in this field. Chased a monstrous winner last time. Note, she was 9-5 in that group!
6 SECRET INGREDIENT Was 2nd in the ONSS Super Final last year. But he has been disappointing since. Raced well here in the spring.
7 YOU ROCK MY WORLD Burke is coming off a 2 for 21 weekend and this horse is 1 for 29. Not taking any short price despite barn change.
8 ETIENNE Just 1 for 21 and enters this off a 4 week layoff. Runner-up from that last mile is 0 for 16 and hasn’t raced since. This is tougher.
9 ZOLI Exits the same tough race as Clementine, so this gelding will take play also. Still, he is just 1 for 30 so I am using strictly underneath.
10 ATASTEOFDONATO Adds Lasix for this, which can always move a horse up. Finished 3rd behind Etienne last out. Not sold on chances.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 7-9-5-8
H Horse Comment
1 SCIROCCO CALIEGIRL Likely to take a little play exiting faster miles at Pocono. But, he should have been better last time. Mixed feelings.
2 ALWAYS ON A ROLL This barn struggled with new acquisitions last week. Wins came at the bottom level at Plainridge. Longshot here.
3 HANDSOFFMYBROWNIE Winless in 9 tries as this filly was unable to beat maidens at Rosecroft. That doesn’t bode well for this try.
4 ESTEEMED MEMBERS Broke an 0 for 26 streak. But, the runner-up in there has been 4th and 5th against maidens at Philly since.
5 J HIGH Gapped cover last time and really should have been better. Good-sized filly might appreciate the bigger track. Worth a look here.
6 FUN FILLY Sent off at 78-1 last time and obviously needed that start from post 8. Still just 1 for 18 and her form doesn’t thrill me either.
7 UBETTORBETURLIFE If you throw out that one race from post 8, her form looks solid in this field. Shows late interest. Big track may help.
8 WINE MARKET Flattered by Esteemed Members who this filly defeated on 11/27. Not sure why she broke last time. She can rebound now.
9 HURRIKANE SCHMUMMA Loomed up before flattening last time. She raced well for this barn in the past. Looks like a surprise package.
10 WEDNESDAY’S WHIM Off her last mile and these connections, she figures to take play. That said, she is far from a sure thing in here.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 9-8-5-4
H Horse Comment
1 PAULA’S BRADY Barn change for this 7YO. All 4 of his wins this year have come at the $10k claiming level or less. This is tougher.
2 PILATUS Regressed into a dull effort last time in a race that fell apart in the stretch. Needs to race back to his 12/13 effort. Tough read.
3 SPECTATOR K Given his current form, it is just hard to endorse him right now. Not showing any stamina in the stretch. Must improve.
4 BLUEBIRD KIDS QUEEN Enters this off a 3 month layoff. He would need to improve over that Freehold form to contend in here.
5 ITZAZIAM He is consistently moving forward, but that race last week totally fell apart. That said, he catches a similar group here. Player.
6 GOTTHEMUSICINYOU Was off 6 months prior to that last start. While he should improve, now he was off another month. Longshot.
7 LEIGH ANN That nw2 company at Saratoga is a notch below this group. Runner-up from last was 8th in nw2 next out. Doesn’t bode well.
8 R SAM I am going to forgive that slow mile as it was in the slop. Several others are coming out of a race I don’t like, so I will be using a lot.
9 RUSH N SUPREME He has been facing much better in those last 2 starts and I think he fits extremely well in this group. My top selection.
10 FOUR STARZ SPEED Burnt some cash last time when he was out-trotter by 2 huge longshot. He should earn a part, but price will be short.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 8-1-5-9
H Horse Comment
1 SEA CRUISE HANOVER Found that last level at Yonkers too much to handle. This is a move down in class. Miller’s choice fits well here.
2 CAROLSIDEAL That was a much improved effort last time as she didn’t have the easiest of trips, grinding it out. Tough to guess right now.
3 RUNAWAY TRAY Form has been consistent, but she hasn’t won that often this year. She certainly will be a pace factor and maybe more.
4 DRUNK AND DRAMATIC She would have been a longshot in the C-1 she scratched out of. Form is OK, but this will be tougher.
5 PARDON Cycled forward in her last 2 starts in Chicago, but Miller chose off. Toscano sends this one out for the first time. Intriguing.
6 LOVE YOU ALWAYS Form just hasn’t been there and that last effort was a total clunker. Looks like the longshot of this group.
7 NOTREADYTOBENICE She is the type that needs the right spot to be effective. Not sure this field is any softer than the last she faced.
8 IF I DIDN’T CARE Back to back sub-28 final quarters while passing horses at YR may attract more than due attention. I’ll get suckered in!
9 MISS COCO LUCK Miller was aggressive with her when favored last time and she just got tired. Expect better price, change in tactics.
10 SARANDON BLUE CHIP Burnt plenty of cash making a break last time, which she has been known to do. Still takes money. I play against.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 7-3-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 WINWOOD SCOUT Graduated to this level with a win last time. Still, that was a much softer group and he will need to improve in here.
2 HAUL’N FANNY Hard to endorse a horse showing her kind of form including a loss at the bottom level at Freehold here. Longshot.
3 COCOTIER Figured to be bet off the board last week and was, but the trip just didn’t work. Likely to be better and still will be favored.
4 BOY OF MINE Continues to race well and pick up consistent checks. The problem is, the wins are few and far between. Just 2 for 30.
5 DIZZY RIZZY Qualifier was visually impressive. Moves to a new barn here and draws well. Could easily see her being a factor in here.
6 DIVINATION Filly worked out a good trip and was able to tow along for a share of this. Won’t be 57-1 this time. Likely sitting a solid effort.
7 RAY HALL Really had no chance with that trip last time and the presence of Cocotier will inflate his price a bit. I will take a swing with him.
8 PAPARAZZI KID Similarly to Winwood Scout, this horse broke through at YR against softer and will also need to step it up in here.
9 BIG SEA LIGER Added Lasix in his last pair of starts, but still not seeing the improvement you would hope for. Retains longshot status.
10 RONAN Really not thrilled with the field he beat last time and post 10 means he will have to blast. Off 5 weeks as well. Wild card in here.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 6-4-3-7
H Horse Comment
1 FAST AND FIESTY If you throw out that mile from post 8, her form isn’t bad. She has made $179k this year and will still offer a price.
2 CAT CORA I think the mare to her inside is a bit better, but this mare might take a bit more money off her last mile. Needs a big effort.
3 BULLET POINT Really liked her last week and she didn’t exactly beat a soft group of mares there. Draws well and may offer square value.
4 KEEPERS DESTINY Tough loss last time at Yonkers. She looks like the best of the Yonkers shippers and her price should indicate that.
5 EIGHTHUNRDOLARBILL She is yet to race back to that 11/1 mile at Pocono. If she does, she can certainly be a contender in here.
6 HOT LIST Which mare shows up tonight? If you throw out the last race in the slop at Yonkers, you can really make a strong case here.
7 BEST BOSS Will this be the end of the line for this mare? One interesting note, this will be her 4th different driver in as many starts here.
8 MARTY PARTY Last pair of starts have been better and I slide her somewhere between the inside 2 and Hot List. Not without a chance.
9 LORRIE PLEASE The 4 week layoff is a concern, but this mare has had a very solid season. Contention runs extremely deep in this race.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-8-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 SMOOTHER RIDE Winner of that qualifier is a nice trotter. Will he stay trotting is the question. Miller opted here over a last out winner.
2 BIG PAYOUT Put forth just an even effort last time that given the trip probably should have been better. Seems a cut below the best here.
3 BANKER VOLO I think last week was one of those miles that everyone bets him off of. Had plenty of trot and moves inside. Contender.
4 AS YA’LL LIKE IT He has been really sharp his last few starts and moves back up the class ladder now. Loses Andy though. Tricky call.
5 IL MAGO He is tough to guess right on as you never can tell when a good effort is coming. His best would be good enough in here.
6 SWISH He has been really good since the barn change and handled the move up the class ladder quite well last time. Looks like a player.
7 COE LEADER The red sea parted and he burst on through to grab the win. Zeron chooses off now though and he is facing tougher.
8 ON THE TAB Hard to argue with his current form as there is very little to knock with this Burke trainee. Looks like the one to beat now.
9 HE’S SPOOKY Another entering this event off an upset victory. He beat Little Brown Fox last time, too. Still, this field came up tough.
10 ICE MACHINE It was about this time last year that this guy really hit his best stride. But, recently he has tailed off again. Must turn it around.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 7-3-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 PRINCESS CRUISER This mare worked her way to a level that was just too much. Still, she should have been better last time. Tough call.
2 CLASSY LANE ROSE Fraley barn off to a much better start than last year. Throw out that last mile where she had no shot. Interesting.
3 BILLMAR SCOOTER She was an easy winner against a field that was probably a bit softer than this. Still sharp and will be tough again.
4 SIR LB’S Z TAM Continued to tail off into a mistake last time. This mare will need to turn it around for a barn that has been doing well.
5 JINGLEJANGLEJINGLE Tough loss last time. If Best Boss won earlier, this mare will take even more play. Either way she is a contender.
6 LIGHTNING PAIGE Perhaps blasting from post 10 just didn’t work out for her. Note, she was only 9-2 against Billmar Scooter on 11/29.
7 BIG MCDEAL Tough loss last time as she was a part of that blanket finish. See how Bullet Point did earlier, too. Tough to ignore now.
8 THE SUMMER WIND This was one of the Burke trainees that just did not fire last time. I would expect better tonight. Price should be fair.
9 IT’S DE LOVELY I have to admit, I was shocked that Miller opted here over Princess Cruiser. Obviously, will need a better trip this time.
10 MOMMA ROCK Showed a little bit of interest at the end of that mile. But is she really circling this whole field from last? Longshot again.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-5-1
H Horse Comment
1 QUEEN OF ROYALTY Making a double move up the class ladder after dominating a much softer group. This will be much tougher now.
2 ROYAL KNOCKOUT Moves down the class ladder into a softer spot now. Still, I will need to see her take a step forward here.
3 WILLOW GRAM Not a bad qualifier and this mare may have ability. I am going to watch this start very closely for future consideration.
4 NEVERMIND FRANCO N She has now pulled off 2 upsets so far this meet and will offer a price once again. I wouldn’t dismiss her here.
5 JANIE BAY Came with a flying finish again, but just ran out of ground. She draws a perfect post now and will be the one they must hold off.
6 STAGE IT RIGHT Made short work of that group at Yonkers while adding Lasix for the first time. Hard to ignore her off that kind of mile.
7 DESTINY’S CHANCE Has missed 3 weeks since that last mile here and note she didn’t fare too well at this level before. Tough read.
8 LOCAL ART Moves down the ladder off a mile where she was never involved. Has a right to improve in here, but will need to step it up.
9 SHAWNEE DANCER Out-raced her odds last time and almost got the job done. Callahan goes elsewhere, but this mare has a shot.
10 OLE MISS It’s hard to know how that last field she beat would stack up in this particular race. Will need speed from this outside draw.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 10-6-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 CAPTAIN PRIMEAU I think this group is a bit too much for him. But, I never seem to guess right here, so whatever I say, do the opposite.
2 PEMBROKE HEAT WAVE Miller chooses off this mare who just hasn’t been the same this year. Will wait for a return to her better form.
3 POINTE OF HONOUR That last mile is probably a toss-out. Previous form was solid. I suppose he can hit the ticket with a smooth trip.
4 WALLTOCOUSINS Consistent gelding was better last time so perhaps he is ready for a better effort here. One of the likely contenders.
5 OMNIPOTENT I suppose you can chalk the break up to the half-mile track. But he was gapped and not going well before the break.
6 H AND M’ HIT Has now put forth back to back wins while moving up in class. That is good to see and he enters this very sharp. A player.
7 TEMPLE OF DOOM At his best, he beats this field. His qualifier was OK, but he has documented issue and enters this off a 5 month layoff.
8 BERKSHIRE Seems that he needs a touch softer than this to fire one of his better shots. Wasn’t able to take advantage of inside draws.
9 MARION MONACO He really should have been better last time, I thought. Loses Gingras and he will need to improve in this spot.
10 LIVE JAZZ Talented gelding has gone some huge miles in his career. He has suddenly re-found his form and that is dangerous here.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-10-9-8
H Horse Comment
1 BETIT TO GETIT She was a little calmer last time, but you can tell she is still a little headstrong. This filly has ability. One night, she’ll pop.
2 SPIRIT OF DESIRE Stepping up the ladder of an upset victory, but she loses Callahan in the process. This will be a much tougher task.
3 SPOTLIGHT ON Not exactly a smooth trip last out and she seemed to be finishing well. I would toss her in some tris and supers here.
4 TASHIA She is either going to win tonight, or be one of those mares who just always runs out ground. Smoother trip coming. Top selection.
5 KZ BEACH GIRL Didn’t handle the move up to this level last time. Gets another crack at it, but I am going to wait for a softer spot.
6 KEYSTONE WANDA These types coming out of these nw6 races at Yonkers have not been faring well so far this meet. Looking elsewhere.
7 RIVER RISING Echo the sentiments on the mare to her inside. Loses Zeron and she is going to need more to contend in this group.
8 HANDSOFFMYCUPCAKE She is coming off a win, so I give her a bit better of a shot than the other 2 Yonkers invaders. Possibly a share.
9 MANDY’S MATTJESTY That was a good effort last time. She is outside again, but has the speed to get the jump on the filly to her outside.
10 MATTIE TERROR GIRL Loved her last week and she returned dividends. Moves back up, but she was a good 2nd at this level two-back.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 8-2-9-5
H Horse Comment
1 OVER AND OUT Was a bit short of his best effort when moving up to this level last time. Draws inside and will likely tow along for a share.
2 MC TINY’S HOPE That was the kind of effort last time that will attract attention here. This field is much softer and she will be very tough.
3 MISS LEE Seems to need softer than this to fire her best shot. This is not the strongest C-1, but still think it is a bit too tough for her.
4 PLAY FAIR Was a 3.90 favorite last time, so that tells you how competitive that field was. Still, he should have been better. Tough read.
5 FRISKY STRIKE Barn change to Burke here which has been hit or miss so far this meet. Will need to go faster here. One of the players.
6 AMERICASH EXPRESS While he is coming off a win, that race was 2 months ago. Although , be warned a Monti shipper won last week.
7 BLAZED That last effort was not up to par and he will obviously need to turn things around here. A 31.4 final quarter won’t get it done.
8 MY MAN CAN This gelding has been a disappointment this year. That said, his best would beat this field by a pole, so he is my pick.
9 REV IT NOW Cannot argue with his current form. Will try The Meadowlands for the first time and he has big track experience. Interesting.
10 HOLD ON TIGHTLY Seems that this C-1 level is just too much. Tetrick will need to blast from here. Waiting for the drop in class again.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-5-6-10
H Horse Comment
1 DELIGHTFUL DIVA First of a handful of these that is getting a drop in class. Still, will need to be much better than those last 2 starts.
2 ALITTLEEASTERMAGIC Did not fare well from a tough spot last time at this level. With a smoother trip, she can land a share.
3 THE REAL TONE Also getting some class relief off a dull try last time. Just 2 for 41 doesn’t bode well and I will be looking elsewhere.
4 LIZS LIL K K Enters this off a 4 month layoff. Neither qualifier indicated that she is ready for her best. Looking elsewhere for now.
5 BAD FEELING Another class dropper that is drawing better. Wouldn’t be surprised if Pierce utilized this filly’s speed. A contender here.
6 SAM SWIFTY This barn is going well and this mare has proven success here. Looks like a logical choice to use in the exotic wagers.
7 GODDESS’S ROSA Recent form just has not been sharp and she would need a form reversal in order to get involved in this group.
8 MARINADE HANOVER On paper, this mare looks almost impossible to beat. Really the only mare with any kind of form. Heavy chalk.
9 HAPPY SURPRISE Loses Berry and her recent form just has not been very good. Another that would need a complete turnaround.
10 CRUISE QUEEN Given the strength of this field, this mare will take play on her connections alone. Expect her to hit the ticket somewhere.