• Week Of 2/9 - 2/15
  • SU9
  • MO10
  • TU11
  • WE12
  • TH13
  • FR14
  • SA15
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, February 15, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-7-10
H Horse Comment
1 YOU BET YOUR GLASS Continues to be incredibly sharp and this is an interesting move entering him for $15k. Looms the one to beat.
2 MAJOR GRACE Was entered Thursday, but did not race due to weather cancellation. Recent form doesn’t stack up well here.
3 ANDY BARAN Raced quite well off the 4-week layoff last time. Figures to build off that effort and looms a logical factor in this spot again.
4 ACTION BRAD Form has been in and out recently. Was sent off at 61-1 when last seen at this level and was OK. Probably a longshot.
5 STORMIN RUSTLER It appears that he has tailed off a bit in his last two starts. Still, not racing bad. Looks like an exotics candidate.
6 LATE NIGHT JOKE Yet to earn a check in 2014 so that makes things tough here. Will need to turn his form around to contend here.
7 DAMON BLUE CHIP Just missed last time, but raced well. There is not much to say other than he is a contender at this level each time.
8 EXPLODENT I would say it is hard to make a case here given his current form. Haven’t seen enough in his last pair of starts to consider.
9 AVOGADRO HANOVER Has been doing good work to pick up solid, consistent checks. Loses Tetrick and a barn change this time though.
10 DIABLO SEELSTER Claimed out of that last start, so always the question of the barn change. Still, racing quite well at this level.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 6-4-5-3
H Horse Comment
1 ASTON BLUE CHIP Back to back efforts that are simply not good enough to win this race. Will need to step things up considerably here.
2 AMERICAN FORCE Has not raced since July. Last qualifier was an improvement but I have to imagine that he needs a start or two.
3 TEA PARTY PATRIOT Barn change here. His Illinois form is solid and suggests that he can compete with this group as well. Top player.
4 MISTER ACCUMULATOR Looks like a different horse since joining the Miller barn. On that angle and with that QUA, will take a lot of play.
5 SUPERFICIAL Raced well at times last year and showed good progress in his qualifiers. Would be no surprise if he is ready to roll here.
6 ROCK FAME Speed last time and tired. Still, that was another step forward. This horse is going to keep getting better. My top selection.
7 ANOTHER DIAMOND Really doesn’t bring any solid form to the table right now. Hard to consider him a contender in this group.
8 NOBLE LOGANS LOU Echo the sentiments of the foe to his inside. Just cannot consider him until I see some kind of improvement.
9 BIG TURN ON Appears to be in a similar spot to where he was last time. That likely doesn’t bode well for his chances here. Not for me.
10 CREW DREAM Has not raced since September and you would think he needs a start. That said, you cannot ignore Lewis/Callahan now.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 5-10-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 WESTERN TRADEMARK Improved on the drop in class last time. This field has several class droppers so this looks like a tougher spot.
2 MCSTRAIGHT First of the four class droppers in this group. Could wake up in this spot, but I prefer other class droppers to this one.
3 BEACHFRONT Winner of that qualifier is a serious horse. Miller may have chosen off, but this horse can hit the ticket at a decent price.
4 FOUR STARZ TRACE Made an aggressive move to the lead before tiring in the stretch. Still, he fits well in this spot and was Miller’s pick.
5 ROCKNROLL JEWEL Finally gets away from post 10 and while this field is tougher, if he was favored last time, he should be here as well.
6 ALEX BULLVILLE Certainly can make a case for him on the class drop. Typically, on the move to this level, he would perform very well.
7 RELENTLESS DREAMER Exits the same C-1 event as ‘Alex, but has some ground to make up on him. Consider using him underneath.
8 ONE SHARK ROAD While he has won four of his last five races, this is going to be a much tougher task. Has to prove it here first.
9 RACING ROCKY Beaten favorite at this level two starts back and did not fire his best in a claimer last time. I am skeptical with him.
10 MEGA LIGHTNING Moving down in class again and he might go overlooked in this spot. If he is a square price, I would strongly consider.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 7-2-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 REDNECK OUTLAW Moves inside here and does have a win at the track recently. Still, improvement is required for him to contend now.
2 ON THE RADAR He was 55-1 last week, so don’t overreact to that mile too much. He can win, but make sure you demand value here.
3 TREND SPOTTER Moves to a new barn on the move here. Seemed the move to The Meadows made a difference. Appears better now.
4 GRAB YOUR KEYS I imagine he will take money considering he is coming out of a 1:49.3 mile. Still, he might be overbet given that.
5 CASINO KING Coming off a win, but he was 22-1 in a C-2 there and is now moving up to face tougher. Will play against the repeat here.
6 ATLAS ALLIANCE I could see liking him in this spot. Moves inside a bit and came home in 26.3 last week. Still, must get fair value.
7 PEMBROKE DEWEY Far from a bad effort last time at this level as he was finishing well. Just has to stay a little bit closer from here.
8 SHEER BRILLIANCE Still waiting for him to step up his game. He should be more competitive at this level. Andy does go elsewhere now.
9 CALL ME BUD Broke through with a win on the driver switch to Callahan last time. Now steps up against tougher, but exits a fast mile.
10 DONT FOOL WITH ME Things didn’t work last time at this level and now he will have to overcome post 10. Can’t see him blast off last.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 9-2-5-1
H Horse Comment
1 COBALT MAN Continues to do good work. Caught a shuffle in the pocket last time and might go overlooked off that trip. Interesting option.
2 COLOSSAL Took time off over the Super Bowl break and seemed to return as good as he left with that qualifier. Looms a logical player.
3 TWINCREEKS JESSE Not a bad qualifier, but getting down to ¾ in 1:28 and only finishing in 28 tells me he needs a start. Wait and see.
4 MOJO TERROR Stepping up off a win in a good effort. He was only 3-1 when last seen at this level. I can make a case that he can repeat.
5 BETTORS GLASS Ran into a buzz-saw last week as Dial Or Nodial was back on top of his game. Will take play off that effort. One to beat.
6 FLEM EN EM N This horse has ability, and if Tetrick had stuck here, I would have given him a closer look. I will be watching him closely.
7 SOUTHWESTERN DREAM It’s really hard to predict he will turn things around. But he has so much class, it wouldn’t shock me. Watch tote.
8 SHORTSTACKED Getting some class relief, and that cannot be ignored. This field is very competitive, but he figures to be a bit better.
9 PANESTHETIC Paced off the screen last time after getting pounded at the windows. Double-jump up in class, but I think he wins again.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 4-7-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 LIFE UP FRONT Assigned this post due to the difficulty of the field. Hopes to save ground, tow along and earn a share. Longshot here.
2 EMERITUS MAXIMUS Not a bad first start on the move up. Figures to build off that effort and likely to take play again. Win contender.
3 ROAD UNTRAVELED Liked him last week and he took advantage of a perfect trip to win. That 19-1 price is gone, though. Still a player.
4 DIAL OR NODIAL I just have a feeling he is going to win right back. When this horse gets in a groove, it stays that way. Repeats here.
5 ALEXIE MATTOSIE Took the tough route into contention last week before tiring. His price won’t dictate his win chance. That is value.
6 HERE WE GO AGAIN Continues to race well in some tough spots. This might be the toughest yet. Have to figure a minor award is ceiling.
7 EASY AGAIN Led between calls last time, then got stuck in the pocket. If he gets clear sailing tonight, he can win this race, too. Contender.
8 HYPNOTIC BLUE CHIP I still think his best work comes from off the pace. Loses Campbell thought who is out with an injury. Tough call.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 7-4-3-6
H Horse Comment
1 WILLY MUCHA Being the only C-1 pacer here, he is a longshot and I think this race came up tough as well. Will need to step up his game.
2 THUNDER SEELSTER Moves up off a win that was visually impressive. When Alagna figures out a horse, you need to take notice.
3 DREAMLANDS ART Record now stands at 1 for 36 for the past 2 years. That 1 win came at the B-2 level, which is what he faces here.
4 FREDDY DAY HANOVER I think he was compromised by the early pace last time. Couldn’t come home much faster. He can win this.
5 VOICE OF TRUTH Has not raced in 6 weeks and certainly didn’t have any form going into that. Maybe Tetrick that makes a difference.
6 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE Was compromised much like ‘Freddy last time. If he can stay closer, I think he can find a way onto the ticket.
7 MUDSLIDE Exits a particularly strong qualifier. Facing softer than when he was last here. There are positive angles indicating a big effort.
8 KEEP GOING Racing well lately and will be at the mercy of pace at trip from here as he figures to come from off the pace. Tough call now.
9 UP UP AND OUT I think he is in a tough spot much like Keep Going. He will have to come from far back and pass some very good horses.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 9-2-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 STORY BOOK Callahan goes elsewhere here as this horse comes in off an even qualifier. Faces a very tough group here. Longshot.
2 AMERICAN PAPARAZZI That’s actually not a bad effort last time and that race on the 11th was tough. He is much better than that.
3 JLDON’TWASTEMYTIME Was in the same race as American Paparazzi a couple races back. Fits well in this spot. Logical contender.
4 UF ROCKIN DRAGON Owns a win here, granted it was against softer. A little concerned about the 2 for 20 mark. Still, a contender.
5 OK FERRARI Just has not gone fast enough to win this. He will need to take a big step forward to be competitive here. Longshot.
6 SER JON Caugth Capital Account last time who was 1/5 in that spot. That said, this is still a move up in class. Call him an exotics player.
7 ROCK STAR Rallied well last time and seems to be cycling forward. Will take a lifetime best, but will be tossing on the bottom of tickets.
8 PRONOLOGY Z TAM Has not raced in 10 weeks and is coming out of a slow qualifier too. Likely needs a start before hitting his best start.
9 BARBARIAN Ran into a couple of big miles in his last 2 starts. Now he faces a field that he can perform better. I expect a big effort here.
10 ASHLEY’S HUSBAND This is a nice horse, but I have concerns about the trip he will encounter and the layoff. Will watch this time around.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 SKY IS THE LIMIT Pulled a huge upset last time. I honestly thought that on paper he was the only horse that couldn’t win! Loses Tetrick.
2 HUMILITY It just seems like he never wins to me. I like the horse, he is honest and a good earner. Will continue to use him underneath.
3 BERKSHIRE BEAR He was second over, but just couldn’t quite get there. Was outkicked by the winner, too. He can rebound this time.
4 BURKENTINE HANOVER Continues to race well. Probably shouldn’t have lost last time, but like others, he is still a win contender here.
5 AMERICHI Beat a good horse at Yonkers last time. Doing good work lately and draws well for this. Looms a logical contender once again.
6 IMA GIGGITY FOOL I cannot believe he wouldn’t go by last time. This nw4 is tougher than the C-1 he just faced. Bottom of exotics only.
7 MAGIC TRICKS Obviously, he is going to need to improve if he is going to be competitive at this level. Earlier form was solid. Watching.
8 LUCKY HOUSE Claimed away from Burke and given a month off following the claim. They find a tough spot for her first start for new barn.
9 QUIK MAGIC He is going to have to stay closer if he is going to contend. The outside draw may prohibit that again. Not sold on chances.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-9-7-2
H Horse Comment
1 CCS LOVER N Not a factor last time at this level. Good to draw inside in this large field. Still will have to step up to contend here.
2 SMOKEALITTLESMOKE Exiting a stronger race than this, so on that alone he is worth a look. Figures to improve quite a bit in this spot.
3 CC RACY I just cannot recommend him given his current form. Would need to step things up substantially to contend here.
4 WILDRIDGE SAM Coming off a sick scratch. Shows good form at Freehold, but I believe this is a tougher assignment. Bottom of supers.
5 AIRBURST HANOVER I think you take a chance here and forgive the miscue last time. His effort from the 16th can win this race. My pick.
6 NY ICE Just 1 for his last 33 and his recent form just isn’t up to par. Looks like a longshot once again in this spot. Not sold on chances.
7 YES YOUR MATTJESTY I think the move to Callahan will attract plenty of attention. Off his last mile, he figures to be a logical contender.
8 ROO ROO RUSTY Has not been able to race back to that effort at the beginning of December. He will need to improve from recent form.
9 LETTHEROCKBEGIN Showed speed last time and caught a shuffle. That wasn’t a bad effort. I can make a case for him in here. Player.
10 FLIPPER J Making his second race back off the layoff. His first effort wasn’t good enough and this post really hurts. Watching one more.
11 ASTREOS FLASH Not bad last time. Post 11 doesn’t thrill me as he is tuck behind CC’s Lover N. Will need to get lucky with a trip here.
12 LEAP OF FAITH Making his third start back off the qualifier. The draw isn’t going to help matter. Looks like a longshot once again.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 9-5-2-4
H Horse Comment
1 MORGAN SHARK He wasn’t supposed to lose that last race. With the class droppers in here, he will offer more than 4/5 for backers.
2 ARSENAL I liked his first effort back off the two month layoff. Despite the fact that he loses Tetrick, I think he is a legitimate contender here.
3 ERLE DALE N This horse has a lot of back class to him. Tim goes elsewhere, but I will be watching very closely. He fits with this group.
4 BLATANTLY GOOD It’s getting close to the point where you have to figure he is going to jump up and race better. Lets see if this is it.
5 CAM B ZIPPER Exits the same race as Blatantly Good where he was a shorter price and finished better. Interesting contender for hot barn.
6 RIVER RUN FOR RYAN Solid win last time, but he is going to get tested for class here. Loses Tetrick as well. Betting against the repeat.
7 SILENT SWING He seems to be back on top of his game, but he struggled at this level earlier in the meet. Leaves me with mixed feelings.
8 TARPON HANOVER I think it takes the right spot for him to jump up and win. This looks like a tougher spot than what he fits best in.
9 ABELARD HANOVER He has to be favored on this class drop. His last effort was better and he looks like the logical favorite and my pick.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 7-9-10-8
H Horse Comment
1 OUR CULLENSCROWN N That nw18000 is a bit tougher than a C-1 here so I will call this a class drop. Has a right to be better. Contends.
2 STALLONE BLUE CHIP If you can forgive that last effort, you can make a case for him in here. Still think he is best used underneath.
3 ROCK THE WIND He doesn’t win often enough for me to pick him at a short price. If he beats me so be it, but I will use him in exotics.
4 ETHAN HANOVER While that qualifier wasn’t bad by any means, he is coming off a near 3 month layoff. Will be keeping tabs for later.
5 FLYING INSTRUCTOR Last few starts are not going to get the job done here. I will need to see some signs of improvement before I play.
6 DUE WEST HANOVER Similar to Rock The Wind, he just doesn’t win often enough for me to pick on top. But, he must be used in exotics.
7 SHOOBEE’S PLACE I am going to make him my top selection. Exits a much better race and wasn’t bad. I expect he is better this time.
8 BOLERO ANDREW Stepping up off a fast mile, but his efforts at this level were not good enough. Maybe he earned some confidence.
9 THAT’S JUSTICE I will take a shot with him as well being a key factor. Seems to always offer a price and is sharp right now. I like him, too.
10 I FOUGHT DALAW He could go overlooked as he is exiting the same race as Shoobee’s Place. Zeron might be blasting this time around.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-6-8-10
H Horse Comment
1 NEW KIND I liked his first effort here. Made a bold move and tired. He is an interesting alternative to the favorites. Keying around him here.
2 STIUMULUS PLAN Been sent off at long odds since the meet started and has not make much progress. Looking elsewhere for winner.
3 ITSAHARDROCKLIFE If he can race back to his effort on 12/7, he can earn a part of this. I need to see him race better first though.
4 GRATIAS DEO Shows good efforts at the C-2 level. Didn’t like his last mile, but I can see tossing him on the bottom of superfecta tickets.
5 FEARLESS CHIP Not bad in his first start back off the bench behind Capital Account. With a trip I can see him clunking up for a share.
6 DINNER AT THE MET He has surprised me being as good as he has been. I think this race is a bit tougher, but he is the one to beat.
7 TELL STIENAM Last start was OK, but like others not quite good enough to win against this group. Fringe player for bottom of exotics.
8 SHADOW MARGEAUX Last three starts have been solid. He wasn’t able to hold off Dinner At The Met. They square off once again.
9 PARAPROSDOKIAN Will have a lot of ground to make up from this wide draw. Not sold on his chances of getting involved from here.
10 PIERCE To me, he just finds ways to lose. From post 10, I would have a hard time picking him on top of some of the others here.