• Week Of 6/22 - 6/28
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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, June 27, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 7-10-5-9
H Horse Comment
1 HERROYALHIGHNESS It appears this filly will need to race into shape. She was 61-1 last time. I expect improvement, but may need time.
2 KEYSTONE ACE Shows a series of breaks in stride which is a logical concern. I need to see him stay flat in a pari-mutuel race.
3 MISTER B’S WAY Added the trotting hobbles following back to back breaks. It is worth noting that Tetrick chose off. Mixed feelings.
4 MISTRESSWITHMUSCLE Defeated in softer company last time. Note she did earn a check in the Sire Stakes Final. New pilot tonight.
5 ROYAL ICE Much improved on the class drop last time. He seems to have a nice move in him. Perfect post for Trond to time it right.
6 SCACCO MATTO Was not able to duplicate that 55-1 performance. I think tonight they take back and make one move. Still a longshot.
7 LIGHTNING FORCE Added Lasix last time and raced well. Still has to solve Muscle Midas in this spot. But, the price will be better.
8 DUOLOTTACHEATIN Did not have much luck when trying this company before. Was a little better at Vernon, but this is tougher.
9 JJ ALEX No idea what happened at The Meadows, but he rebounded nicely at Pocono. Has some class to him, so he must be in the mix.
10 MUSCLE MIDAS Good to see this $300,000 Lexington-select yearling win his 3 year old debut. Post 10 is tricky, but he looms as the chalk.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-2-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 BROKEN RECORD If the dam of this colt looks familiar, it’s because he is a ½ brother to Hambletonian winner Vivid Photo. Cost $27,000 at Harrisburg and seems to be coming along slowly. Will be keeping tabs on him going forward.
1A SWITCHBLADE HALL Colt is a kin to a six-figure earner in Numismatic ($138k). Cost $17k at Lexington. Both baby races were even.
2 FRENCH LAUNDRY Dam Creamy Mimi ($927k) won the Hambletonian Oaks. From the family of Pizza Dolce, too. Cost $115,000 at Lexington. Both siblings were just OK. His baby race efforts have been excellent so far and we know Takter has them ready to go.
3 WOLFPACK MUSCLE Just a $5,000 Harrisburg buy. Nothing from his family with a mark since a 1984 foal. Has a lot of work to do.
4 GUESS WHOS BACK First foal from an unraced dam. He did cost $90,000 at Harrisburg though. From the immediate family of the marvelous Poof She’s Gone ($1.3 Million). Love to see that 27-second sprint to the wire. Looms as the threat to French Laundry.
5 MOUNTAIN TOP His dam was a nice race-mare, earning over $460k. First foal from that dam with one slow baby race. Watching for now.
6 MUSCLE BLUES A kin to a pair of six-figure earners. From the family of Armbro Keepsake ($882k). Cost $42,000 at Lexington. It seems that improvement came with the addition of trotting hobbles. Using in exotics.
7 TRUE BLUE STRIDE This is a three-quarter brother to a fast trotter named He’s A Demon, who earned over $314k and trotted in 1:53. He did cost $160,000 at Harrisburg as well. Has a classic old-school breeding on the dam side. Baby races are good. Huge potential.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 STACIA HANOVER Second foal from a dam that earned six-figured. Half-sister has paced in 1:52. Cost $35,000 at Harrisburg and this family produces honest horses. Her baby races have been awesome and Zeron goes here over the sister to Put On A Show!
2 ROCKNROLL ALLNIGHT A kin to a trio of winners. From the family of Wake Up Peter, as her dam is a half-sister to that proven commodity. This is also the family of the $1.9 Million earner Worldly Beauty. Showed good progress in that second baby race.
3 SWEET DEAL Dam was a nice race-mare, earning nearly $200k. I would like to have seen a little more pace at the end of her miles.
4 THE SHOW RETURNS Out of the wonderful mare, Stienam’s Place ($1.4 Million). This is the full-sister to world champion Put On A Show ($2.4 Million). The pedigree is impeccable. She cost $180,000 at Lexington and I love how she is developing. What’s not to like?
5 HIGHLANDOPHELIAROC Comes from a family that is simply loaded. She is a full-sister to Mybrothergeorge ($326k) and is a half-sister to My Masterpiece ($391k), Armbro Animate ($1.3 Million) and Artisitic Vision ($634k – dam of Rocknroll Heaven). Huge upside with her.
6 SHES READY TO ROCK Lone sibling to race has a mark of 1:58.2. She cost $42,000 at Lexington. Dam did earn over $400k, but she is in against some power and appears to have her work cut out for her.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 MOJARRA HANOVER This mare tailed off through the Cathedra Dot Com series. She is the lone C-2 mare in the field. Must bounce back.
2 CLEAR VIEW HANOVER This mare is worth a flyer in this spot. She has won here before and she had to need that race. My top selection.
3 MARINADE HANOVER She offered some late pop at the end of her last mile. So she may be improving. Does love Miller. Minor award.
4 VICTORIA MAY N She sprinted home in 26.4 when last seen here. That was her best effort yet. I like that she returns here. Must include.
5 WESTERN EMPRESS The winner last week, Major Look, was just awesome. Has a perfect post now and cannot be dismissed right back.
6 MISS MACHQUEEN Huge rally with the addition of Lasix against softer. Lachance gives her a big call choosing her. I will be using a bit.
7 BALLINEEN Clearly she has a right to improve, making her second start. Always skeptical of these NYSS horses coming back at 4 though.
8 WANNA WIN Came up sick last week and missed a start. This field is very similar and she was a fringe contender last time. Use sparingly.
9 MACHAROUNDTHECLOCK Exits the same race as several of these so she must be considered. Not sold on the win, but can hit the board.
10 CAROLSIDEAL She exploded to pull off the upset in that series. Now steps up and moves outside. Not sure the value will be there now.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 2-3-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 DEMONS N DIAMONDS Dam is a half-sister to Whitewater Rapids ($239k). She cost just $20k at Lexington. Her efforts so far are just OK.
2 SATURDAY MORNINGS All four siblings are winners. From the family of Gleam, a Hambletonian Oaks winner of $587k. Filly cost $32,000 at Lexington and certainly seems to have some speed. She was collared late last time, but was trotting 27.3 through the wire.
3 MISSION BRIEF Her dam is most known for her colossal 50-1 Breeders Crown upset. Lone sibling to race has a mark of 1:54.3. This filly cost $150,000 at Lexington and goes to Burke. Broke first time out, but she was awesome in her next start. Plenty fast.
4 MAGDA HAZE First foal from an unraced dam. Homebred is from the family of Muscle King ($571k) and Queen Serene ($748k).
5 SHES ON FIRE Lone sibling has not produced a mark yet. From the family of Flawless Bluestone ($589k) and Toss Out ($409k).
6 RULES OF THE ROAD Has one winning sibling of two starters with a mark of 1:59.2. Biggest name in recent pedigree is Water Star who earned $209k. Filly has broken stride in 2 of 3 baby races, which is a concern. Mixed feelings.
7 SOUTHWIND CARTIER First foal from an unraced dam. Best performer in recent pedigree is Celtic Merchant ($301k). Won at first asking.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 7-6-8-9
H Horse Comment
1 SWEET JUSTICE I am always afraid he can bounce back without warning. He has trotted 1:51.1. Obviously not the same horse right now.
2 DEWYCOLORINTHELINE He was pounded at the windows last time and scored by a neck. Steps up into a much tougher spot now.
3 WAR CRY HALL Raced really well, beaten by an incredibly sharp mare. This field came up even tougher, so he will need even more now.
4 AND HEEZ PERFECT Never known to be a big track horse. Last race produced a very tough trip. Needs to come off a helmet here.
5 IL MAGO Has now wheeled off back to back wins and moves into a tougher spot. His speed is his biggest weapon. A pace factor for sure.
6 APPOMATTOX He owns a ton of class, but has not raced in over 5 months and note the barn change. That said, his qualifier was excellent.
7 MISTERY WOMAN Added Lasix for that qualifier and looked tremendous, beating a couple of these. Expect her to be firing off cover here.
8 UNDERCOVER STRIKE He has been facing some of the toughest trotters in the world lately. Gets class relief, but still catches a tough field!
9 SPIDER BLUE CHIP Typical Sylvester qualifiers, bringing him along slowly. He is gearing up for the Hambo Maturity. May need a race.
10 WISHING STONE Wrapped up his season in the breeding shed and is ready to race. His qualifier tells me that he will need a start from here.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 8-7-5-9
H Horse Comment
1 ROCKET ROSY This mare is a total wild card. Typically Rosecroft shippers struggle here, but she was very good in Ft. Washington! Tricky.
2 MAJOR LOOK Went a monstrous first over mile last time. Now moves up to a tougher spot. If she is sharpening up, I wouldn’t sell short.
3 ART IDEAL Added Lasix and stopped. That scares me. Now Zeron chooses off as well. I need to watch a start and see improvement.
4 SCANDALOUS HANOVER Sat the pocket to The Captain in that qualifier. That final quarter concerns me though. Not sure what to expect.
5 ICOMMANDMYSPIRIT Ran into a very good and sharp mare at Philly and couldn’t get involved from the wide draw. This is much better!
6 MATTIE TERROR GIRL The class drop sprung her to victory last time. She was competitive at this level too though. Must be included now.
7 MONOCHROMATIC Exits the same race as the likely chalk. This mare raced really well here and might prove the value play of this group.
8 SPEND IT ALL I really like this mare. Seems to always show up and she owns a win at this level from post 10. She may go overlooked!
9 SWINGING BEAUTY She has speed and she can finish things off. A dangerous combination. Tough draw, but a logical contender again.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-5-4
H Horse Comment
1 PICTURE THIS Was rough behind the gate and it cost him all chance. He was trotting well in the lane. My top selection on the drop in class.
2 LAUDERDALE Made an aggressive move at Philly and just got a little tired. I can forgive that. Not sure the price will be very good though.
3 BOADICEA HANOVER Has the look of a “wise-guy” mare. Moves inside following a strong final quarter. Don’t take too short of a price.
4 LIGHTNING STORM Seems to be on a good race/bad race patter. Many will like the move to Tetrick. I don’t see much value with him.
5 FOR YOU ALMOSTFREE His last three starts are all good. Beaten favorite against a good group last time. There are some things to like.
6 KING’S CAVALIER Was only a fringe player when last seen here at the bottom level. Seems to be better now, but I am still skeptical.
7 COCO LINDY He has a lot of back class and note the winner of that last qualifier. Likely to need a start, but I will be watching closely.
8 GAELIC AND GARLIC Turned a perfect pocket trip into a win at Yonkers. I am always weary of that. I think I will watch this start now.
9 HESGOTLEGS Made the lead from post 8 at Yonkers which deserves a reward. Still not finishing his miles well. Need to see one here.
10 BIG SKY STORM Had he drawn well, he would have been bet and I would have considered. Just not sure he can get into the race here.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 6-9-5-3
H Horse Comment
1 HURRIKANE ALI Half-brother to Driven To Win ($985k). He cost $63,000 at Lexington. Like the improvement with each baby race start.
2 TICKET TO ROLL Full-brother to Ticket To Rock ($1.1 Million) and a half-brother to Miss Scarlet ($518k). Didn’t improve in 2nd baby race.
3 EDWARD TEACH Full-brother to Fiyonce who is currently a three year old with earnings of $129k. He is just the second foal. Dam was a nice race mare, earning over $364k. From the family of Freedom Hanover ($443k). Baby races have been decent.
4 MR TAMBOURINE MAN Half-brother to Tug River Princess ($1.8 Million). Comes from a family of 5 winners. Hasn’t been great yet though.
5 DEALT A WINNER From the family of Timesareachanging ($1.5 Million). Dam is a kin to 6 different six-figure earners. You have to love the way this guy has been finishing his baby races. It is worth noting that he is already a gelding. Must be included.
6 TOUCH OF LUCK First foal from a dam that earned $58k. Dam is a half-sister to Right Touch ($489k). On the track this colt has done very well and I admire the improvement when considering being shipped out to The Meadowlands. Key contender.
7 WOK N ROLL K First foal from a dam that earned over $332k. No other big names in her immediate pedigree. Hasn’t been strong yet.
8 ORIGINAL ZIN Full-brother to Mortal Zin ($271k). Dam was a nice one, earning over $214k. Have to like the imporovement he showed too.
9 WESTERN PIONEER Did Nancy Johannson find another Westen Vintage type-bargain? There is pedigree in the extended family, including Noble Ability ($1.7 Million). He has looked awfully impressive so far and looms as the horse to beat.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-6-3
H Horse Comment
1 PROVE UP Not a bad qualifier to make his return. Typically, he is a $15k to $20k claimer which would fit here. Interesting if price is right.
2 DREAM LAKE An even try in his first start back off a 4 week layoff. Gelding has a right to improve off that start. Worth a long look now.
3 BLUTO Added Lasix and loomed boldly before flattening out. With second time Lasix, he has a legitimate right to improve. Top contender.
4 VIDA DE VIE Back to back solid tries at this level. Was the beaten favorite last time. Still seems to fit well at this level and must consider.
5 CAPTAIN PRIMEAU Had a little bit of trot at the end of the mile, but his form remains rather flat. I would use on the bottom of supers.
6 UPFRONTSTRIKESGOLD Finished a solid 3rd in the Flower Child final. His last two starts were better and seems to be rounding into form.
7 DNIEPER His last quarter is of concern last time out. Recent form doesn’t do much to endorse his chances. Brett Miller chose off, too.
8 TACTFUL WAY Lightly raced four year old carries a slew of breaks with him to the gate. Qualifier was not up to par either. Longshot.
9 CROSBYS CLAM BAKE Dropping from the C-1 level where he did trot in 1:54.3. That may go a long way in this group Top contender now.
10 WHATNBLAZES Exits the amateur races for a return to the C-2 level. Note, he was 2nd at this level while sent off at 82-1. Hard to predict.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-7-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 CASHAWAY Full-brother to Authorize ($385k) and Act Now ($257k). Both of those were and are top NJ-sired contenders. Comes from the family of Delinquent Account ($1.4 Million). Has looked awfully good in the mornings so far. Cost $105k at Lexington, too!
2 STRUT MY STUFF Lone sibling has a mark of 1:54.2. Comes from the family of All Speed Hanover ($819k). I like the fact that she kicked in with a 27.3 final quarter in that second start. Worth noting this was Campbell’s choice. Cost $55,000 at Harrisburg.
3 IDEAL NUGGETS First foal of a dam that earned over $117k. Top earner in the recent family is Major General ($345k). Both baby races were solid and she cost $47,000 at Harrisburg. Some things to like.
4 ROCKNROLL OLIVIA Look at the dam, Cathedra Dot Com ($1.5 Million). Full-sister to Simply Business ($871k). Dam is a full-sister to Cabrini Hanover ($1.3 Million). She has not raced up to her pedigree thus far.
5 CRESCENT CITY Dam earned over $100k on the track. Four of the dam’s siblings earned six-figures. Filly cost $10k at Lexignton.
6 SMART ZONE Comes from a fine family that produced Justanotherpoorboy ($550k), High On Emotion ($706k) and Running Book ($659k). She has looked excellent on the track so far and produces an intriguing matchup with Cashaway.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-9-4
H Horse Comment
1 MR CENSI Comes from an unraced dam. Lone sibling to race took a mark of 1:54.1. Has looked pretty good in the mornings so far. Using.
2 ROCK SHOOTER Half-brother to Sand Shooter ($471k). Did not develop further in his second baby race. Regressed into a break. Tricky.
3 VEGAS ROCKS From the family of Stonebridge Kisses ($1 Million). Was not a factor in either start thus far. Needs to show more first.
4 TOO DARN HOT First foal from a dam that earned over $283k. Dam is also a full-sister to Kikikatie ($1.2M). Looks the part on the track too.
5 BRUCE’S MAGIC This dam has done nothing but produce winners. She is 5 for 5, including Master of Desire ($222k). Sharp win, too!
6 HURRIKANE HOUDINI Half-brother to the talented Cheyenne Miriam ($326k). Has not made any impact on the track yet. Must improve.
7 GRATIAN HANOVER Immediately family has been modest. Best sibling has a mark of 1:58. Colt needs to find more punch late. Watching.
8 WEAPONS DELAER Dam earned over $169k and he is a kin to a pair of six-figure earners. His first baby race was a good one. Maybe.
9 SID ROCK First foal out of a nice mare that earned over $344k. From the family of My Little Dragon ($2.1 Million). Think he has talent.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-5-4-7
H Horse Comment
1 VALLAS COWGIRL Was not a factor in The Flower Child. Added Lasix last time and did trot home a little faster. Bottom of supers, maybe.
2 CELEBRITY GAUWITZ Has not raced since October and those were Freehold races. Have to believe he needs a couple of starts first.
3 GASLIGHT He was a little bit better last time. Perhaps he is starting to turn a corner. Still offers a price for those that believe. Maybe a slice.
4 PT’S BOOMERANG Out-raced his odds last time. Faces a softer group here. Concern is the 2 for 46 record. I will be using underneath.
5 KEYSTONE WYATT He has speed, which may take him a long way in this field. Concerned about the longer stretch and if he can last.
6 STURDY AS A HALL I thought we would see improvement last time and he took a step backward. Hard to predict sudden improvement.
7 YOZHIK His last start may have been an indicator that he is making progress. I am not sure he can win, but is worth including at a price.
8 BEAU JOE I know Zeron chose off, but I am going to pick him. Chased a horse that would be odds-on here. Second race back. Positives!
9 TOUCH OF CHARM This mare is probably in the best form of this group, but she has been a small track specialist. I will be using a bit.
10 MR JIM DANDY Did well in the amateur events until recently. Now draws the far outside, without much speed. Looms a longshot here.
14 Fourteenth Race Entries
Picks: 7-1-2-4
H Horse Comment
1 EMBASSY SEELSTER Solid try at this level last time. She is just 1 for 17 this year and was only coming home in 29 there. Still fits here.
2 SYNERGY SEELSTER Really out-raced her odds last time at 63-1. Good to see her passing horses in the stretch. One to consider now.
3 GE’S JODY Recent form has not been good and I have my concerns about that and the move to The Meadowlands. Looms a longshot.
4 ALWAYS ON A ROLL Beaten favorite in each of her last two starts. I think she is best coming off a helmet. Still is a logical contender.
5 ANGEL OFTHE WEST Her recent form is a real concern. If she can get back to previous form, she has a chance. Still is a tough sell.
6 RIGHT ON MOLLY Speed last time. She is still 0 for 11 this year, but I guess if she can build off that last effort, she has a chance here.
7 DELICIOUSLYNAUGHTY I was encouraged by her most recent start. That was a positive sign and could be a sign of better things to come.
8 SPELL TO CAST Coming off a sick scratch and has now missed three weeks. Her form has not been strong and she needs to improve.
9 PARDON Coming off a better effort. Still is just 1 for 16 on the year. She still needs to find more in order to contend for the win here.
10 FULL EXPLOSION Coming out of C-2 at Ocean Downs. That is very tricky spot for this. Freehold form is not a positive indicator either.