• Week Of 5/12 - 5/18
  • SU12
  • MO13
  • TU14
  • WE15
  • TH16
  • FR17
  • SA18
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, May 17, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 8-9-7-10
H Horse Comment
1 SOME KINDA SPUNKY Interfered with and suffered broken equipment last out. Searching for first win of the year. Appears a longshot.
2 PIERRE LAVEC Reasonably sharp horse is coming off a solid try at Tioga. Winner of last made a break in next start. Looms a player.
3 FOUR STARZ F Last effort is a bit troubling. Stopped after being parked to the ¼. Horse that he beat on 4/17 came back to win next out.
4 CURRENT CRISIS Never made it to the gate last out. Beaten a combined 47 lengths in last 2 starts here. Driver is a leading amateur.
5 NOWERLAND NATHAN Made a break last out at Freehold. Horse he beat on 4/17 was 3rd in a nw2500 next out at Saratoga. Price.
6 DRILL SERGEANT SAM Finished 3rd behind Whatnblazes who he meets again here last out. Skeptical off back to back rail draws at Fhld.
7 SAM’S HONEYBEE Did she tow along last time, or is she just faster than these? Either way she won’t be 93-1 here. Likely short price.
8 TREMENDOUS HIT This is a sneaky price play as he has drawn back to back 8-holes at Freehold. Last mile was decent. Top amateur.
9 WHATNBLAZES Is he fast enough at this point? Could only manage to be 6th in the Amateur event here earlier. Still, is much sharper now.
10 CELEBRITY PLAYBOY Classy gelding recovered nicely last time. He was 4/5 last time. Despite post 10, I assume he will take action.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 1-1A-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 CORKY Was collared by an impossible longshot last time. Still, that was his first start of the year and he is part of an imposing entry.
1A MUSCLE MOUNTAIN Broke through with a stakes win in The Simpson last out. Along with Corky, this entry is a single on many tickets.
2 SMILIN ELI Homebred qualified in fine fashion, but I caution the runner-up from that heat was making his 1st start. Tough task to win this.
3 AMALFI COAST Runner-up from last qualifier is a chronic-breaker and he was all out to beat him. Gelding is a cut below the favored entry.
4 SUPER CLASSIC Has to make up 10 lengths on Muscle Mountain, not to mention Corky. Trotted in 1:56.4, so he could battle for a share.
5 KING MUSCLES That was not the strongest Dexter Cup we have ever seen and he might be over bet for showing that line. Fringe player.
6 TIMO DEO Raced very well in that 4/20 qualifier behind Corky. I do not like that he regressed last time. Still, on ability, I put him 2nd to chalk.
7 THE FRANCHISE I question the strength of the field he was 2nd in and now he draws outside against a better group. Not sold on chances.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-3-6
H Horse Comment
1 SOLID QUEEN Runner-up from 5/3 was a good 3rd against similar next out. That bodes well for this mare. Gingras up will attract attention.
2 QUEEN OF ROYALTY I like the race she came out of on 5/3 behind Radar Contact. Runner-up from that mile was 5th against better.
3 DREAM’S BAR Beat the same mare (Charolettes Maggie) that Solid Queen beat, in similar fashion. They should be close in the wagering.
4 ARIA J Stakes winner qualified behind one of the best 2yo filly pacers of 2012. Love the back to back 26-final quarters. Appears ready.
5 SANGAAL Has lost at least 6 lengths in the final 1/8th of a mile in each of her last 3 starts. That is a concern despite the class drop.
6 NOVASCOTIA HANOVER Runner-up from that qualifier was the Sweetheart winner last year and is a perfect 8 for 8 this year. Contender.
7 DE VINS GIRL While she is getting some class relief, she catches a select but tough field here. Likely to be last early. Siding with others.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-6-8-1
H Horse Comment
1 CORLEONE HALL Exits the Weiss series which is a bit tougher than what he is facing here. Winner of that series is 4 for 4 on the year.
2 JOEYSCASH This colt is going to need to be much faster here. Hard to get a real gauge on that QUA, as he was beaten 10 lengths.
3 RAVEN VICTORY Runner-up from that qualifier is a solid trotter and if this colt can stay flat, he showed last year he has ability.
4 CAJOLE HANOVER Went from awesome to the empty as he never made the gate last week. Which trotter shows up? Softer spot.
5 THE FRESH PRINCE Could only watch as Cajole Hanover trotter right past him last time out. He needs to make up 7 lengths on that foe.
6 HERE’S JOHNNY Much better last week behind a horse that was well-supported at the windows. I like the improvement. Contender.
7 ZOLI Miller got aggressive with him and he just got tired last time. Can he trot home faster than :31? Tough recommend on top.
8 LIGHTNING POWER Put the hobbles on and it seemed to make a difference. Runner-up from that QUA won a nw2 at Pocono next out.
9 LAUGHING KING Gelding was in too deep in The Simpson, but his efforts at Vernon put him on par with this group. Potential value.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-6-2
H Horse Comment
1 DIG FOR DOLLARS Finished behind a champion mare in Maven in that qualifier. Catches a salty group here. Needs best in this spot.
2 FROM ABOVE Just had too much to do last time but he was finishing well. Moves back up to a level that was tough on 5/3. Tricky.
3 WALDORF HALL Got a start under his belt last time behind a mare that is razor sharp right now. I can easily see him improving here.
4 TEMPLE OF DOOM Also exiting that strong race won by Beatgoeson Hanover. Gets some class relief and he should be a factor here.
5 COCO LINDY This is a very fast trotter and he has 3 qualifiers under his belt leading up to this. On back clas, he must be considered.
6 MACS BAD BOY Defeated an honest trotter in Proud Moment last time and faced a pair of good ones last out as well. Intriguing price play.
7 MYSTICAL STARLIGHT This field falls somewhere between her last 2 starts in terms of depth. That makes her an exotics contender.
8 SUMMER INDIAN The wild card of the field. Remember when he trotted in 1:52.4 in April. Wish I knew which trotter was showing up.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 8-1-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 VINTAGE OAKS She stepped up to win twice in her freshman season, but her qualifiers tell me that she will need a start. Up against it.
1A MISS STEELE Filly is starting to break through. She turned a pocket trip into a sharp victory in The Simpson. One of the obvious players.
1B PEACEFUL EZ FEELIN Smallish filly raced better last time, but I am still not sold that she can beat a field like this. Fringe player.
2 DOC BOYCE Not bad last time, but that was in a nw1 and this will be much tougher. She is a candidate to vie for a minor award.
3 LADY DYNAMITE She was a bit steppy last time, but she raced first over into a fast mile. I expect her to contend for win honors in here.
4 QUEEN OF MORE Did a god job throughout the Weiss series to earn checks in all the legs and final. This is a move up in class, though.
5 VIDA DE VIE She has to make up 9 lengths on Miss Steele in this spot and contend with others as well. She can compete for a share.
6 SOUTHWIND COCOA Filly has some upside as she can build off that first start back. That was a quick mile too. Logical contender.
7 TIME TO KILL This is another filly that I can see improving quite a bit. Finished 2nd in the Breeders Crown. I think she is a serious player.
8 SHARED PAST Both qualifiers were strong and despite just the 1 win last year, she had a nice season. This barn is red hot as well.
9 SILVER CREDIT That wasn’t a bad effort behind a very intriguing three year old in Possessed Fashion. Someone has to be a price here!
10 WORLD TOUR Loses Gingras and gets caught in a tough spot in the 2nd tier. She would need to improve to compete with this field.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 9-1-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 MAJOR LOOK That start showed marked improvement and while this field is tougher, I think she is moving in the right direction. Contender.
2 IDEAL IN VEGAS Strong back to back wins, but she is unproven here. I might toss her on the bottom of some tickets. Tough call.
3 LOVE YOU ALWAYS Just had no chance from post 8 last time at Philly. She has won here, but against softer. I think she is in tough.
4 ABROKENART HANOVER Very sharp right now and she is just a length away from a three-race win streak. Steps up, but is a factor.
5 JK FINE ART Earned a good confidence builder last time after trying the Matchmaker. She was 3rd against similar when last here.
6 SUMMERTIME LEA Hard to argue with a horse that is 9 for 10. This barn has cooled considerably, but this filly is too good to ignore.
7 BULLET POINT Pulled off a 22-1 upset with the addition of Lasix last time. She beat Major Look last out and will probably be a better price.
8 MYSTRA I guess off her last mile she is a longshot in this group. She has speed if Simons wants to use it, but I am leaning elsewhere.
9 MARTY PARTY If she can race back to that mile from 4/10, she can be a contender here. Has the speed to overcome the draw. Maybe.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 BIG SKY BATS Mare is now 0 for 13 on the year but the horse that beat her last time would be 3/5 in this field. Looms as the favorite.
2 RINGSIDE LAURYN She has consistently been facing better and one of these nights, she is going to pop. I am banking on tonight.
3 TSMLIL ORPHAN ANDY Tetrick opted to go elsewhere and his recent form just has not been up to par. Passing despite the class drop.
4 DOUBLE UP HANOVER This looks like the type of spot he typically would wake up in. I am expecting a solid effort. Exits a strong race.
5 MR CANDYMAN Off a series of qualifiers and breaks, this is just not the type that I would be drawn too. Passing on this longshot.
6 B L CLASS ACT Exiting a pretty quick mile at Pocono. Note that this gelding defeated a similar group back in March. Cannot be dismissed.
7 FOUNTAINBLEAU VOLO What do we do here? He was bet on the class drop last time and just did not fire. Perhaps, one more chance.
8 SCHALOM G Got parked last time and paid the price. Prior two efforts put him in the mix with these. He is an exotics contender here.
9 LATTE HALL Beat a C-2 group one month ago, so we know that he fits with this group. Parker needs to get him involved early. Maybe.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-7-9
H Horse Comment
1 ALL LAID OUT Those two qualifiers are not bad. The runner-up from that last QUA is the 2012 Peter Haughton winner. Watching closely.
2 SPECTATOR K We know he has speed, but I am a little concerned how far he will carry it in this field that has a lot of depth. Tricky.
3 SUPERSTAR HANOVER She had a nice season last year at 3, but we all know how tough the transition from 3 to 4 is. Tabbing for later.
4 MARCUS BI He found a spot that he could do damage two starts back, but I feel this is substantially tougher. Has ground to make up here.
5 WALLTOCOUSINS I guess Gingras has to show loyalty to Burke, but on paper, this is the better horse right now. I will play accordingly.
6 PEGASUS BLUE CHIP Dating back to March 22nd, Burke is just 6 for 58. I need to see this horse stay flat before I can endorse.
7 ANOTHER AMARETTO I have always felt that this trotter has plenty of ability, but he can break at any moment. That QUA was strong.
8 HELIOS I think he is in career form right now. Love the effort he gave behind D’orsay last time. That mile should make him favored here.
9 CAMERON CHIP She is still not showing the late kick of Cameron Chip of old, but is doing just enough to land in the exotics. Using.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 10-5-3-9
H Horse Comment
1 FAIRLEY LEGAL Coming off a 4th place even finish at the bottom level at Freehold is not a ringing endorsement here. Siding against.
2 LOUISE KEMP Made a break leaving the gate last time. That field was tougher, but that makes this filly a wild card. Driver change here.
3 SUZELLE HANOVER She moves inside now, so I think we need to consider that she really had no chance last time. Worth including.
4 SINA Did not love either qualifier as she will have to come home in faster than 30-seconds here to contend. Watching this time.
5 VARIETY GIRL I like the improvement she showed in her second start and she figures to take another step forward here. I am using.
6 VALLAS COWGIRL She is yet to trot fast enough to win this race and Campbell has opted to the filly to her inside. I will be watching one.
7 ALSTON HALL See how Shared Past did in the earlier NJSS event. This filly has some go to her, and this barn can get one ready.
8 MERGATROID That qualifier isn’t very encouraging and while she raced well in the MASS Sire Stakes, this is a whole new ballgame.
9 ONLINE EXCLUSIVE She showed a little more speed last time, so perhaps she is moving forward. This barn is on the improve as well.
10 WYGANT LADY I think she is clearly the favorite after being 2nd to a potential Hambo hopeful last time. Expect speed. One to beat.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-8-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 ERGO HANOVER See how Raven Victory did in race 4. Obviously if he won, move this colt right on up. Either way, he is a contender.
2 STIRLING BULLET Beaten 16 lengths when last seen here and the Dexter was probably an ambitious spot any way. Watching this time.
3 PALM BEACH CHIC That 3 year old filly open event was tougher than this. Going out for this barn, moving inside, dropping down. Lookout.
4 LEIGH ANN Recent lines at Saratoga are good. Mare that beat her last time came back to be 4th in nw2 next out. Mixed feelings here.
5 ZUPPA INGLESE Nice win last time, but the horse she beat is 0 for 9. She will need to go faster than 1:58 in this spot. Tricky call.
6 BOUNCING BAX Finished a good 2nd last time behind Vida De Vie who would fit in this field. This filly is getting some class relief. Player.
7 PEAKS AND VALLEYS Those Florida qualifiers are always tricky to read and this four year old is lightly raced. I’m likely watching one.
8 CRAZY ABOUT PAT The move inside helped last time and that field was probably a touch softer than this. Still. This colt has a chance.
9 LA HOLLYWOOD I am not really sold on the strength of that last field at Tioga. This gelding was well-beaten when last seen here.
10 ORDER BY KEEPER Colt has gone in the wrong direction and now moves to post 10 as well. That concerns me. I am siding with others.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-8-2
H Horse Comment
1 FEELINGMIGHTYGOOD Back to back tough spots from post 10 where she had too much to do. Likely can stay closer from here. Maybe.
2 LIGHT OF DAY Exits a qualifier where the runner-up has not lost this season. That was a strong field. Off that, she is a contender here.
3 LIGHTNING PAIGE See how Dream’s Bar did earlier in the card. That was a good effort from post 9. She is a logical contender here.
4 LIZ’S LIL K K I suppose she was better last time, but she has been getting off so bar back, that I can only use sparingly at this point.
5 JETTA BLUE CHIP She is likely to improve in her second start and with that improvement she can contend in a wide open field like this.
6 CAROLSTERN She is rallying just enough to get involved enough to earn a share. I will use her accordingly and toss her underneath.
7 SHAKER REI How does that last mile stack up in here? I am not sure. I think she will need to be faster in this spot, but I might include.
8 SHAYNA BABY Is that confidence builder going to get her going in the right direction? I guess we will see speed once again. Maybe.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 10-2-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 MC TINY’S HOPE Never involved last time, but does show 6 wins from 15 starts. I might toss on some tickets if the price is right.
2 TIGER’S TOO GOOD If you tell me that he will stay trotting here, I’ll tell you that he wins. I don’t think the price will be right, but he’s tough.
3 CAITIR Did enough to warn a share last time and might be in line for a similar journey. Will toss on the bottom of my exotic tickets.
4 KENDA She was a good 2nd last time and I like the improved speed that she showed. I think she can earn a share of this with a trip.
5 MISS CONNOR If she trots, I think she has a chance to be a contender here as she has been facing better in the recent past. Player.
6 SIMONE HALL Not sure what happened last time but this filly was 2nd in the Kentucky Sire Stakes last year. I think she is a factor here.
7 SUGNA Made a break last time, which always raises an eyebrow. I think this gelding needs to show some improvement in this spot.
8 THAT’S A NO NO As the races have gotten tougher, his form has gone in the wrong direction. I think this will be a tougher task as well.
9 PEGASUS POINT Just doesn’t have the speed to overcome a wide post like this. I am betting that he is left with too much to do.
10 AEQUITAS His effort from 2 starts back will put him right in the mix. I think we will see speed from this spot as well. Another contender.