• Week Of 2/2 - 2/8
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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, February 07, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 9-8-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 MORE THAN THAT Dominated that last group at Monticello. Obviously, this is a whole new ballgame. Will need more. Marohn opts off.
2 CAN CAN CRUISER Comes off a series of decent efforts. Has been paying his way earning checks, but needs more to win this.
3 HANDSOFFMYCREAMPUF Move to Tim Tetrick will attract some attention here. She was only 3-1 last time for a reason. Contender.
4 CAROBBEAN PACETRY Was only beaten a bit less than 4 lengths when last seen at this level. Still looks like a longshot in this group.
5 YANKEE TATTLER Making her second start back off the qualifier, so she figures to improve. That said, will need to improve a lot to win.
6 ALWAYS ON A ROLL Raced well at this level on the 3rd, but has regressed since then. A bounce back is likely with the class drop now.
7 THE PERFECT DREAM Out-raced her odds when last seen here and then just missed over at Yonkers. Seems to be pretty sharp.
8 DOO WEE RUSTY Looms a logical favorite off her last two efforts. Easily dispatched several of these when last seen here. One to beat.
9 CUT A DEAL This filly interests me. She figured to need that last start and it looks like a good speed tightener. I expect even better here.
10 ARROYA BLUE CHIP Was not close in a similar spot while sent off at long odds last time. Appears the longshot of the field from here.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-2-5-3
H Horse Comment
1 AMIGO RANGER Broke stride last time but he wasn’t a threat to the leaders when it happened. He will need to take a step forward here.
2 WORLD CUP Looked like $1 Million scoring down last week and raced up to it. Clearly, this horse is for real. Major talent, major late kick.
3 NOT AFRAID Could only trot evenly through the stretch despite the pocket trip. Like Amigo, he is going to need to improve to win this.
4 DAYLON MAGICIAN He is still racing back into shape. Likely to go off favored again. Figures to be even better tonight. Still, one to beat.
5 SWEET JUSTICE Obviously we can just throw that last race out. We have all seen what he can do. He will be a major contender again.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 10-4-8-9
H Horse Comment
1 ILARI Has won 2 of his last 3. This is going to be a whole lot tougher now. He was 0 for 28 last year as well. Not sold on his chances.
2 ONE AWESOME MASTER Making his second start back off the long layoff. Likely needs at least another start before hitting best stride.
3 MCATEE Recent form has been dull. But the move to Gingras and out of claimers is interesting. Tote board could give clues on him.
4 EPIC TALE If he trots, he can win. He was better last time. Expect Meittinis to take him back and make one big move. Leave on the ticket.
5 CHECKNYOUOUT He has been OK in his last few starts, but none of those efforts are good enough to win this. Needs to improve.
6 KEVSTER If he can’t do better than that in a B-1 at Freehold, he is going to struggle here. Not sold on his chances against this group.
7 C-O-TO BLUEGRASS Obviously he is going to need to be better than his last effort is he is to contend here. Figures to improve this time.
8 HEIDI FALLS This is the right spot for him and his last effort was good. Still, he hasn’t won since 2012, so I wouldn’t take a short price.
9 ODINO JET If he can race back to that mile on the 3rd, he can win this easily. Appears to be faster than the majority of these. Contender.
10 SALOME MARVEL Has the speed to overcome the draw. Might just be the fastest horse in the race. I will take a shot, despite post 10.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-10-1
H Horse Comment
1 TASHIA Been waiting for her to turn this around but it just isn’t happening. Gets Tetrick now and drops to a new lowest level. Tough read.
2 SMOKE PAN MIRRORS Seems to be at her best against softer than this. Was not a factor at this level in either attempt. Longshot again.
3 RHAPSODY ROSE A bit of a wild card as the class drop is interesting. This barn has been cold so far this meet though. Tricky call here.
4 KARDASHIAN Made the lead last time and never retreated. Now moves up the class ladder. This is going to be much tougher.
5 OLE MISS Just missed to Solid Queen last time. Right back at this same level with a perfect post as well. Looms as the one to beat.
6 PARDON Favored last time and exits the same race as Ole Miss. Versatile mare was not Tetrick’s choice, but she has a big chance here.
7 VY HANOVER Had good late pace when last seen here. Neither effort at Yonkers gives much of a clue here. Needs an ideal setup.
8 CRUISE QUEEN Took a lot of play last time, but didn’t offer much pop in the stretch. Must step it up off that effort, but figures to rebound.
9 MY TALLIA IDEAL Barn is surprisingly 0 for 25 on the meet. Post is a concern as she needs the right kind of setup to get involved here.
10 DREAM’S BAR She is in really good form right now. Has the speed to overcome the post and is simply too sharp to ignore right now.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 10-3-7-4
H Horse Comment
1 BOY OF MINE Was able to earn a minor award when last seen at this level. Consistent check-getter doesn’t win often though. Underneath.
2 HEY BUDDY MAC Has not put forth a good effort in over 2 months and his recent form at Dover just doesn’t indicate he can win this.
3 CLEMENTINE DREAM Big effort, out-racing her odds in the Super Bowl Final. Faces a tough customer in Perfect Alliance. Major threat.
4 DIZZY RIZZY Compelling win in her last start here. Would have liked to see her stay flat at The Meadows. Still, she figures to contend.
5 STRIKER ACE Brings solid form across the Hudson, but this is going to be much tougher. Just not sold she can trot in 1:53. Wait and see.
6 ZOLI Was left in the wake of Perfect Alliance last time. Frankly, he has 9 lengths to make up on that foe. Looks like a tall order tonight.
7 DOUGH DOUGH Costly break in the second round of the Super Bowl. That said, this horse has talent and might go overlooked in here.
8 HOME TURF Seems to have regressed off that win in the opening round of the Super Bowl. This is a tough field to turn things around.
9 WARRAWEE OLAY Races are sporadic and her form is not up to par. Looks like the longshot of this group given her recent form.
10 PERFECT ALIANCE Stamped herself one of the major players going into the Singer. I think she is just better than these. Wins again.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 7-9-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 MYSTICAL DIVA While she did her best work against softer than this. Her try in a B-2 was sneaky good. Remains in sharp form for this.
2 MARINADE HANOVER This mare is in good form as well. She is facing a little bit tougher of a group this time, but is too sharp to ignore.
3 KEYSTONE WANDA When last seen against similar here, she was not much of a factor. Looks like a longshot based on that effort.
4 LIGHTNING PAIGE Good looking win two starts back, but it seems that the B-1 level is just a touch out of reach. Needs a step forward.
5 BEST BOSS She has been back to her old self in her last two starts. Perfect post for her rallying style. Figures to be passing several late.
6 AMERICAN IN PARIS Looked like a different horse with the addition of Lasix. Still, this race is tougher and I don’t want the short price.
7 CHEYENNE MIRIAM I have a feeling she is going to go overlooked in this race. She hasn’t been bad at all. Right level. Things to like here.
8 CHEER THE LADY N Trip didn’t work out last time. Might have been a good learning experience. She really wouldn’t shock me either now.
9 SO NICE She has really come back nicely and off her last two starts, there isn’t a whole lot not to like with her. Expect speed tonight, too.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-7-2-4
H Horse Comment
1 OVER AND OUT This is a much more demanding spot than the C-2 that he was victorious in. Looks like he is in too tough this time.
2 TIGER’S TOO GOOD Campbell had a really tough decision in this race, I thought. Big vote of confidence by sticking here. Nice win in last.
3 CORAGGIOSO I honestly can’t figure out how the bettors will respond. Needed that start, but this race came up tough. Very tricky read.
4 FOUR STARZ SPEED If you throw out that YR race, he looks awfully good in this spot. Races are getting tougher, but he’s getting better.
5 RIVERFEST Like her despite Campbell opting off. Perfect post for her rallying style. Figures to work out a trip. Top selection in this puzzle.
6 WHEELS Couldn’t fend off Four Starz Speed who sat the pocket behind him last time. This race came up tough though. Very tough call.
7 BROOKROAD KNIGHT Getting some class relief and Marohn has found success with him here before. Might be overlooked this time.
8 FIRSTCLASSPRINCESS She has a world of talent, but this is her first start back in 16 months. Interesting Trond turns to Tetrick already.
9 GREY ICE Not sure what happened last time. If you can get past that effort, you can make a case here. Will offer a price for believers.
10 MAGGLIO Not a bad horse by any stretch. Just catches a tough post in a very tough field. Not liking his chances this time around.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 9-4-2-1
H Horse Comment
1 THE SUMMER WIND Moves down to a level that is similar to the one she won at in November. Class relief likely will help. Top contender.
2 SHAWNEE DANCER Threw in a clunker at Yonkers last time. Was racing well here prior to that. Expect a rebound effort this time.
3 KZ BEACH GIRL Difficult to land on her given her last two races. Likely to offer a large price again. Retains her longshot status.
4 SPIRIT OF DESIRE Callahan has a proven track record with this mare. Gets back in the bike here at the right level, too. Looms a player.
5 ADDYS WAY Didn’t race badly in either start at this level here. Not sure she can win, but an in the money finish would not shock me.
6 SOLID QUEEN All out to turn a perfect pocket trip to a win against softer. I think this is going to be a much tougher task. Watching this one.
7 HOBE SOUND Brings very good Yonkers form over here. Hard to gauge how that fits into this group. Harris is having a good meet.
8 CRAZY EIGHTS She was a visually impressive winner last time. But, now she loses Callahan and faces a tougher group. Needs best.
9 SARANDON BLUE CHIP She was absolutely flying last time. We know the talent she has, but she also comes with some risk. Tough call.
10 WHISTYS PARADISE Not in bad form by any stretch, but just catches a difficult field with the widest post. Likely going to tab for later.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 1-8-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 SPICE IT UP LINDY Did not improve with the move down in class. But now he gets post relief too. Could prove very interesting in this spot.
2 RAY HALL Really didn’t like his effort in the Super Bowl, just looked rough throughout the mile. I want to see him put forth a better effort.
3 CELEBRITY LOVIN Showed how tough it is to go from the C-2 to C-1 level last time. I think a minor award is going to be his ceiling again.
4 FRISKY STRIKE Really shouldn’t have lost that last race. Some of his efforts here were decent. Gives mixed signals for this race. Tricky.
5 UPFRONTSTRIKESGOLD Has not been disgraced when trying the C-1 level, but also hasn’t broken through. Looks like a fringe player.
6 PT’S BOOMERANG Thoroughly dominated that $15k claimer when last seen here. This field is a tougher assignment. Still, has a shot.
7 CAPTAIN PRIMEAU He was gapping the pocket when he went off-stride when last seen here. That troubles me. Not sold despite drop.
8 HELIOS If Andy can just get him to stay closer, he is going to be very tough to hold off. Stretch rallies are visually impressive. Contender.
9 RAVEN VICTORY Sold for $20,000 at the January sale. He will need to go faster here in order to contend. Watching his first start here.
10 HERE COMES NUMBERS He had been facing better, but not doing very well. Qualifier was just average. Not sold on his chances yet.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 9-2-10-1
H Horse Comment
1 HASTY PROFFITT Took a ton of money last time and raced well. Figures to take action again and looms a contender again as well.
2 PLAY FAIR Really think he does his best work when allowed to rally off a helmet. Expecting a better effort this time around with that trip.
3 A LISTER Racing well at Monticello, but this is obviously going to be much tougher. Also just 1 for 40 in 2013. Watching this time around.
4 ACADIA AS Caught a buzz-saw last time, so I will forgive that. This is a much softer field. Wouldn’t be surprised if she raced better.
5 CIVIC DUTY He has gotten on quite a roll at Freehold and earns a shot at The Big M now. Lets see how far his speed takes him here.
6 CREDIT BLUES Hard to gauge how that Dover form is going to translate here. I will take a wait and see approach for the time being.
7 KING’S CAVALIER Hasn’t raced in a month and seemed to be tailing off as well. I have to believe he will need a start now. Wait and see.
8 PILATUS Picked up checks at this level with regularity, but not sure he is ready to jump up and win. Using on the bottom of some exotics.
9 CURRENT CRISIS I am going to take a shot on him here. Moves to Gingras and drops to a C-2. I think that combination results in a win.
10 SKYLINE ROAD Didn’t race badly when last seen here in a C-1. This is a softer group and he figures to be a contender despite the post.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-1-3
H Horse Comment
1 I DO IT MYSELF Raced well, including a victory at this level at Yonkers. Bettors will like the pickup of Miller as well. Things to like here.
2 MY SWEET MANDY Improved at Monticello last time, but she was really supposed to beat that group. This is going to be much tougher.
3 RACHEL CUHENO Shows a positive effort at this level at Yonkers. Recent form at Freehold is just OK though. Using underneath.
4 NUTMEGS DESIRE Looks like the lone speed and possesses the best form in a field that lacks both of those qualities. Strictly one to beat.
5 NUTMEGS CIDER Seems to have tailed off since that win at Philly. Will need to turn things around if she is going to contend here.
6 MISSSASSY ATTITUDE Recent form at Monticello just isn’t going to take her very far here. Looks like a longshot once again.
7 BETTOR B GENUINE Has a solid try at the $15k claiming level at Saratoga but her last two starts are not up to par. Looking elsewhere.
8 JB ROSE If she can race back to that win earlier this meet, she can certainly contend in this group. Looks like a contender for exotics.
9 ROCK CONCERT Has not won since 2012 and is not in good form either. Looks like a big longshot in this field. Looking elsewhere.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 MARION MONACO Facing several of the same trotters he saw last time without success. Callahan chooses off. Looks like a longshot.
2 OMNIPOTENT She was finishing well last time and might go overlooked in this field. Probably will offer the best value in this group.
3 MC TINY’S HOPE Can’t argue with what she has been doing. Just razor sharp right now and she must be left in the conversation. Player.
4 TWIN B SPIKE MAN Can’t get no respect, but keeps getting his picture taken. Inflated odds are gone, chances of winning aren’t. Contends.
5 TEMPLE OF DOOM Racing well right now and that last trip was tough, too. Figures to be a factor once again. Price likely to be short.
6 THE TRIPLE LINDY Favored last time but got nailed coming down to the wire. Looks like the likely favorite again in a very tough race.
7 BANKER VOLO Coming off back to back clunkers. Still, he is a talented trotter and can turn things around with warning. Contender as well.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-9-4
H Horse Comment
1 HURRIKANE SCHMUMMA Zeron’s choice gets back to the track that she seems to like the best. One of several contenders in tough race.
2 LOOK ANNIE HALL Shows a win at this level earlier in the meet. Still, she should be able to beat the C-1 level at Freehold. Tricky call.
3 LEXUS ARTIST Callahan had a really tough choice in here. This mare was in good form before the Yonkers try. Expect her to contend.
4 BUSYBEINGFABULOUS Things didn’t work out from post 10 last time. I don’t think she will be favored this time and is worth a look.
5 TWIN B ELITE I am going to try her on the class drop. She was aggressively handled last time and I like to see that. Hope for square price.
6 ARIA J Has not raced in 4 months and is coming off a pair of marginal qualifiers. Likely going to need a start or two before her best.
7 KAMWOOD LAUGHTER Recent form just has not been sharp. Not much to base a recommendation off, so I will wait for another time.
8 LANCO EXPRESS Always skeptical of wire to wire wins from post 1 on a half-mile track. This is going to be tougher. Underneath maybe.
9 GODDESS’S ROSA Callahan chooses the barn that has been hot for him, but this mare has just been OK. This is a softer group. Player.
10 WE BE AMERICAN Doesn’t seem to have the kind of speed you need if you draw post 10. Will wait for a better spot. Not this time.