• Week Of 4/28 - 5/4
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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, May 03, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 7-6-1-3
H Horse Comment
1 GLISTER HANOVER Showed good trot in a blanket finish last time. Tricky post for a closer like him. Can build on that last effort.
2 CAJOLE HANOVER Is a half to 4 winners, including a 6-figure earner. $26,000 Yearling must stay trotting. Exiting a so-so qualifier.
3 MOMS FORTUNE Liked how aggressive he got last time. Also parked out a 99-1 shot down the backstretch. Expect more improvement.
4 THE FRESH PRINCE Won here as a 2YO, so that is a plus. Prone to the miscue. Winner of last qualifier is The Dexter Cup favorite.
5 THE FRANCHISE Worked out a good cover trip last time, but came up flat in the stretch. Regally-bred colt must find improvement.
6 CANTAB ABS That was a big mile in his 2013 debut as he came from far back and finished up nicely. Appears a logical favorite.
7 CRAZY ABOUT PAT Ran into major traffic in the stretch and might have had more trot than any in that field. Top pick at 3/1 or higher.
8 ONLINE EXCLUSIVE Winner of that qualifier is a nice filly. This lass raced well as a 2YO and was stakes placed. Prepping for stakes.
9 VARIETY GIRL Runner-up from that qualifier finished 5th next out in a nw5000L6 at Yonkers. Likely will watch this filly’s debut.
10 ZOLI He was a cut below those in this field that raced last year. Now makes his 3YO debut from post 10. I think this is too tough right now.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-9-2
H Horse Comment
1 REAL COMFORT Yet to hit the board in 7 lifetime starts. Winner of that last start was dominant, wiring the field by open lengths.
2 MAGNA BLUE CHIP All five siblings to race have won. $42,000 Harrisburg yearling is gearing up for New York Sire Stakes.
3 CULT STATUS She has paced in 1:51 already and has major stakes experience. Qualified well, behind a champion. One to beat here.
4 BETTOR’S BABE Has been off for over two weeks now and her two starts since shipping east have been even. Will watch this time.
5 LET HER ROCK Exits the same qualifier as Cult Status and she did finish in 27 flat. Barn is known to take it’s time with these types.
6 CRAZY EIGHTS Broke through on the class drop at Pocono last time. Graduates back to the nw2 level here. Like the confidence-builder.
7 IDEAL A LITTLE Interesting that she raced on Lasix in her first qualifier, but not the last. Was better there as well. This filly has talent.
8 OLIVIA V Winner of that qualifier, Authorize qualified in 1:54 last week and is in the Simpson (Non-betting) later. Let’s watch a start.
9 JK SONGSUNGBLUE Qualified behind the 2 year old filly champion who is also in the Simpson tonight. Clearly has some ability.
10 FEELINGMIGHTYGOOD Good effort in her Meadowlands debut. That said, this field is much tougher from top to bottom. Longshot here.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-4-8
H Horse Comment
1 IL MAGO Four year old certainly likes this track, but his recent form has gone in the wrong direction. Would need a big bounce-back mile.
2 LEXIS AMIGO Coming off a lifetime best effort in the slop. This race us considerably tougher. Would need another career-best here.
3 SUMMER INDIAN Went a huge mile here in his 2013 debut. But things have not gone well since. Exits a strong qualifier, but must rebound.
4 ICE MACHINE Made an uncharacteristic mistake last time, so I suggest just tossing that out. Should be a major factor once again.
5 WISHING STONE He is making the kind of progress that you want to see. FFA Championship Series starts next week. He looks ready!
6 UNDERCOVER STRIKE Had a big season in Canada in 2012, but he makes the move here for the FFA Series. Loved his qualifier.
7 SEVRUGA No Guccio tonight, so he can improve. Still think he might be a half-step behind Wishing Stone at this point. Fringe player.
8 ARCH MADNESS He is also making the progress you want to see. Gearing up for the FFA Series as well. Tough post this time.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 SILVER CREDIT I like how this filly finished in her qualifier. She raced well in some minor stakes last year. She might need a start. Tricky.
2 SUZELLE HANOVER Always admire any horse that wins at first asking. Things will get a whole lot tougher here, though. Needs more.
3 ORDER BY KEEPER Not a bad try last week, and he will have to contend with Possessed Fashion again. Looks like an exotics player.
4 POSSESSED FASHION I loved his effort last week and he figures to be even tighter tonight. Hambo hopeful is clearly the one to beat.
5 HOWE’S MAGIC Shows a win at Pompano, but moving from the nw1 in Florida to this spot is quite a leap in class. Longshot this time.
6 ROBIN WOULD Started that Weiss series nicely, but his last pair of starts were not up to par. Gelding needs to turn his form back around.
7 ONLY IN MY DREAMS Added the trotting hobbles and seemed to respond. Still, I need to see it when the money is down. Watching one.
8 HERE’S JOHNNY Nothing wrong with a sharp first over effort in his first start of the year. I expect improvement. Seems an exotics player.
9 WYGANT LADY Impressive win in that lower condition series. Obviously, this is a whole new ballgame. I will be watching this time.
10 LOUISE KEMP Runner-up from last could only manage to be 6th in nw1 at Pocono next out. That doesn’t bode well. Watching this one.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 6-9-8-10
H Horse Comment
1 QUEEN OF ROYALTY Tried the Matchmaker but was overmatched there. Has not found her best stride since. I’ll watch this time around.
2 RADAR CONTACT Brutal trip last week and she got a bit steppy while parked on the first turn. Back class must show. Has to be better!
3 DE VINS GIRL Has been off for over three weeks with a sick scratch since. Effort on 4/12 makes her a player here. Mixed feelings.
4 GOTTASEEABOUTAGIRL She now shows breaks in 2 consecutive miles, that’s a concern. I want to see her stay pacing before I consider.
5 MISS SAND CREEK Exits the same race as Queen Of Royalty. Shows a win at The Meadowlands and she was OK at the B-2 level.
6 DRAGON PRINCESS Makes a move up in class as she was a well-meant winner last time. Perfect post, she looks like a live mare again.
7 LOVE YOU BYE A Burke trainee that doesn’t seem to take much play recently. Her last start was not that sharp. Appears a fringe player.
8 SANGAAL She has been facing better and this field looks like the type that she can relish against. Expect her to come rolling late.
9 GORDYYY’S PET Mare has been racing well lately and she is coming out of a very good race as well. Looms a major contender here.
10 BEST BOSS Her best would make her a prime player here. Just one start this year. I do like the 26.4 final quarter. Might use in supers.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 1-8-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 ME AND CINDERELLA Have to admire the efforts he put forth in The Weiss. This will be a bit tougher, but this colt is sharp. Interesting.
2 SUPER CLASSIC Qualified behind the presumptive Dexter Cup favorite. Barn is known for its patience with these types. Watch one.
3 KEYSTONE ACE Where did that qualifier come from? That was a big effort. Will he stay trotting here? Poliseno trainee is the wild card.
4 COCOTIER His most recent effort was an improvement. He is still prone to a break from time to time. Looks like a longshot here.
5 SHOW TICKET That is a fast qualifier. I must note that 4 of the other 6 horses in that QUA broke. Still, he was stakes placed last year.
6 MUSCLE MOUNTAIN His last effort has to be considered a disappointment. Still believe there is talent here. He’ll put it all together soon.
7 EXPLOSIVE ACTION I like the improvement he is showing and really like how he finished his last 2 qualifier. NYSS is in his future.
8 MY MAN CAN He had to need that last start and if Possessed Fashion won race 4, then move this colt up. Expect speed. Major player.
9 SIX GUN HALL Earned a confidence builder at Harrington last time, but a minor award was his ceiling here in the past. Longshot.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-2-9
H Horse Comment
1 GORDYS FILLY YENTA She caught a much tougher field last time and it showed. The field came up pretty salty, too. Needs A-plus effort.
2 BIJOU THEATER Winner of last has won five in a row, so that race was tough. She raced well here earlier. Merits consideration now.
3 RUB THING No chance last time, but her effort here on 4/19 was disappointing as she really didn’t have much of an excuse. Tough call.
4 LADY’S ART Just missed in The Night Styles Final as she came with a big effort. Have to consider all three mares exiting that series.
5 LOVE CANAL Filly is on the road to bigger and better things. She is a stakes winner in Canada and is the one to beat in her 2013 debut.
6 SIR JILLIAN Z TAM Mare’s record now stands at 0 for 11 on the year. Lachance’s horses have hit the board often here. Use at a price.
7 LOOKINFORAGOODTIME Defeated a favorite on the class drop last time. Still don’t think that race was particularly strong. Needs more.
8 JOANNIEHASAFANNY Steps back up off a win last time, but she was overmatched at this level on 4/12. I will be watching this time.
9 DAY BLUE CHIP Drifted out in the stretch last time and disappointed as the overwhelming favorite. She won’t be 1/5 here. Tricky call.
10 ABROKENART HANOVER Held off the favorites in the Night Styles Final. If she shows speed again, she will be a factor. Lasix helped!
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 THE CHANCELLOR Gelding has now won 3 of his last 4. Can’t ignore this horse when he is sharp. I do feel this race is a little tougher.
2 FROM ABOVE All of a sudden, his pedigree has made an appearance. Once big-priced yearling seems to be thriving for Silva. Threat.
3 WHEELS Every once in a while this gelding can jump up with a big effort. But off his last pair of efforts, it is hard to predict. Longshot.
4 CAMERON CHIP Aggressively handled last time and it didn’t work out. If he is allowed to take back and follow cover, she can earn a piece.
5 DASH FOR THE CASH Caught a much tougher B-2 field last time. Gets a better post, but this field came up pretty tough. Needs best.
6 ELLEN’S ISLE Do not ignore this barn change, as Czernyson horses looked sharp in qualifiers last week. Mare has a class edge on many.
7 ALL ABOUT JUSTICE This gelding is exiting a particularly tough field at Pocono and he has won here before. Second race back. Maybe.
8 BROOKROAD KNIGHT Exits a good qualifier, but has not raced in six months. I anticipate this gelding will need a start first.
9 BROADWAY ROCKS Exits the same race as ‘Justice and raced a bit better. Previous pair of efforts were strong. Looms a contender.
10 MELADY’S MONET Continues to race well and is exiting a good race. The post is a bit tricky, but he is too sharp to dismiss. Player.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 8-6-7-5
H Horse Comment
1 PILATUS His last race was a little better, but he catches a good group here. Likely to sit in, tow along and try to earn a share of this.
2 DOUBLE UP HANOVER He is getting class relief again, but it’s hard to just predict a turnaround here. But it is possible. Tricky call.
3 PEGASUS BLUE CHIP Burke got him to stay trotting in that qualifier and he came home in 27.2. Still needs to step up to win this.
4 TSMLIL ORPHAN ANDY Exits a very strong qualifier, but was 14 lengths back there. I need to watch another start before I can consider.
5 SPECTATOR K Yes, he was an impressive winner last time, but that was a much softer group. This will be much more difficult. Tough call.
6 JAILHOUSE JUICE He finally put together a peak effort. He has a big move in him and it looks like he is figuring this game out. Player.
7 HELIOS Keeps plugging away, earning checks. He came with a nice rally up the pylons last time. See how From Above did earlier.
8 FASHION ATHENA Did what she was supposed to do in that qualifier. She was a top-5, 2-year old filly trotter last year. Kicks off her year.
9 PAISLEY Found the C-1 level to be a bit too much last time and this field is equally as tough. He will need to improve from that last mile.
10 PERMANENT JOY Earned a nice win last time against a good group, but I don’t like this spot or this draw for him. Longshot this time.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-11-9-10
H Horse Comment
1 LAD PINE A four year old with only 7 lifetime starts, 3 since 2011. He has been facing softer than this recently. Looms a longshot.
2 SWIFT KID Seems to be battling it out for minor awards recently. He has been facing better than most of these. I wouldn’t dismiss him.
3 CAMPO BASSO Has made a break in 2 of his last 3 starts. Recent form has been a bit on the dull side. I will be watching this time.
4 TOTALLY ADDICTIVE Form has gone in the wrong direction lately and his struggles at the $10k claiming level don’t bode well here.
5 IMA QUE T Last pair of starts have been decent and while it would take a step forward to win this, he is an exotics contender.
6 SAM’S HONEYBEE Coming off a sick scratch and a break which is a concern. A form reversal is required now. Still a longshot.
7 MARCUS BI Has a class edge on many of these and this looks like a spot he can jump up and race well. Miller did choose off, though.
8 PEGASUS POINT Last four starts just do not go a long way in inspiring much confidence. I need to see some improvement here.
9 PAPER BACKED LINDY Stepped up with a big qualifier last time, but will he stay trotting? If he trots, he will be a handful. Tough.
10 TIGER’S TOO GOOD His lack of early speed makes things difficult from this post. But he is in better form than most. Short price coming.
11 BIG SKY ANGELINA Mare has been racing well lately and I think this post will not hinder her too much. Just needs a trip from here.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 9-4-5-3
H Horse Comment
1 CHAROLETTES MAGGIE Last two starts have been encouraging and she might be cycling forward. Interesting player in wide open race.
2 CAROLSTERN Mare has been hampered by some tough posts recently, and her form has been in and out. Mixed feelings at this point.
3 AUBSESSION Just did not get away from the gate well last time. She will need to stay closer this time. Still, I expect improvement.
4 IF I DIDN’T CARE Gets some class relief which will help as she is back at the level of her most recent win. She figures to be a handful.
5 CHEYENNE PATTI Coming off a decent effort last time and she had been facing better than these earlier these year. Logical contender.
6 SHAYNA BABY Showed speed last time and that race was actually better. I would continue to watch for further improvement.
7 PICKED BY AN ANGEL Making her second start off the layoff, so she figures to be better. Still, I need to see a little more at this point.
8 DREAM’S BAR Back to back runner-up efforts at this level. This field came up tougher than what she faced in those events. Fringe player.
9 HOW ‘BOUT A SMOOCH Mare certainly has plenty of speed and she is exiting a very good qualifier, obviously. I wouldn’t sell too short.
10 SOLID QUEEN Nice effort last time, but this move up is imposing as this C-2 is tougher than most. She will need a lifetime best.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 9-7-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 ANDIE SOPHIA Kicks off a field that holds a great deal of talent. Finished behind an up and coming Czernyson filly in that qualifier. Maybe.
2 DEWEY LANE Good to see her win that qualifier, but that field wasn’t too strong and she will need to go much faster in this group.
3 MISS STEELE Beat a nice filly in that qualifier and she obviously held her own in some tough races last year. Many things to like here.
4 DREAM IN CHOCOLATE She seems to be an improving type, but she will need further improvement in this group. Tough test.
5 LADY DYNAMITE Clearly the hobbles have made a big difference and this filly could be on her way now this year. One of the players.
6 FIND THE MAGIC While her last 2 races have been OK, she was still beaten a combined 20 lengths. I need to see a start here.
7 TIME TO KILL Her runner-up effort in the Breeders Crown behind To Dream On makes her the chalk here. Had trot in that qualifier.
8 TRUE DAY DREAM She had a very nice season as a 2 year old and faced older males in that qualifier. She might need a start, though.
9 DÉJÀ VU TOO Czernyson barn looked awfully good in the morning last week, and this filly was a big part of that. Looks primed, ready.
10 PALM BEACH CHIC Prepping for the New York Sire Stakes. First start of the year and post 10 tells me to watch this time around.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 10-11-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 HABANERO Showed speed last time and raced well. Not sure how aggressive Miller will be here. But this gelding is one of the players.
2 WALLTOCOUSINS Also showed speed last time, but tired a bit. I think we will see a less aggressive drive here. Appears a fringe player.
3 ORDER BY CORLEONE He has not won in the last 2 years, so that is a bit of a concern. Still, he is racing well and is worth a look.
4 BIG SKY BATS Made an aggressive move last time as the favorite and just got a little tired. She is 0 for 11, but looks chalky off her last.
5 CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM Now 0 for 15 on the year and her last effort here just didn’t show enough to merit consideration now.
6 SAVAGE PRIDE Raced better last time, but this is a move up from the bottom level at Freehold. I need to see more at this point.
7 GETINONTHESECRET See how Spectator K and Tiger’s Too Good did earlier and use that as a gauge. She will need to stay closer.
8 PUZZLEMENT Coming off a series of just even tries. At this point, it would take a form reversal for him to jump up and win this.
9 BREWING MASTER Exiting similar races as the foe to his inside with similar results. I will be passing on both of them at this time.
10 FOUNTAINBLEAU VOLO Tote board might tell the tale here as he is getting some needed class relief. He might be much better here.
11 CAITIR Coming off a sick scratch and saddled with the second-tier. Still, holds a class edge on many of these. Might be overlooked.