• Week Of 7/14 - 7/20
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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, July 19, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 ANOTHER TRANSCRIPT ($20,000 – LEX-SEL) Exits a very strong race. He is improving, but has some ground to make up on favorites.
1A ANOTHER DESCRIPTION ($47,000 – LEX-SEL) Impressive rally in his pari-mutuel debut. Youngster will have to overcome the wide post.
2 SHEER ACTION ($25,000 – LEX-SEL) That’s not a bad mile at Goshen. Obviously, this race will go much faster. Still, already a winner.
3 JJ ALEX ($20,000 – HBG) Has made breaks in two of his first three tries, so I am inclined to see if he stays flat this time around.
4 GREAT SOCIETY ($50,000 – LEX-SEL) He was favored in that first NJSS leg, but things haven’t gone too well. Needs a rebound effort.
5 PAPARAZZI ($60,000 – HBG) Broke when looking like a sure winner last out. Callahan goes here over Trixton. That is a big call. Player.
6 SKATES N PLATES (Homebred) Those are 2 tough races he is exiting, but he hasn’t gone a mile fast enough to win this. Needs more.
7 TRIXTON ($360,000 – LEX-SEL) Most expensive yearling from last year appears as advertised. He beat Hill I Am, a NJSS Champion!
8 CHERRY HILL PARK (No Sale Info) Made a bold blitz toward the leaders in his debut. He clearly has some talent. There are things to like.
9 RAGAZZO DOLCE (Homebred) Yet to race up to his pedigree. He is prone to the miscue as well. I will be watching for more improvement.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 10-8-5-7
H Horse Comment
1 B B SMASH Wasn’t a bad effort last time at Goshen. Limited mile track experience and he will need to pace faster. Still a wide open race.
2 POLISHEDPERFECTION Back to back solid tries at the $5,000 level at Monti. That puts him on par with the rest of this group.
3 CHESTER HANOVER Owns a lifetime mark of 1:59 and he will need to step things up to win this race. Looks like a longshot in here.
4 IN THE MIX Recent form has been rather dull and he owns just 1 victory in the last two years. Another longshot in this field.
5 BAMBINA’S SORELLA She has plenty of speed and Yarock has won several of these Amateur events. Looms a major contender.
6 DOCDOR LAUGHING He has speed as well, but his stamina has been lacking lately. Normally I shy away from these types at M1.
7 WHATAORSE His form does go in and out, but he has won 7 times this year, so that cannot be ignored. One of several contenders.
8 DANGER SIGN N Has a very accomplished amateur driver and he is coming out of some tougher races at Scioto. A logical player.
9 DISTINCT COLOR Defeated ‘Bambina at Goshen, but this gelding will have to contend with a wide draw. He is a $7500 claimer, though.
10 ARID N Another sharp $5,000 claimer and he is coming off a win against B B Smash at Goshen. Note, he made over $62,000 last year.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 2-8-9-6
H Horse Comment
1 JAIPUR Winless in 11 lifetime starts which makes him a tough recommend in the top slot. Gets post improvement. Tows along for a share.
2 BALLET SLIPPERS Really like this filly’s first start off the freshening. That is the kind of mile she can build upon. Looms a major contender.
3 THE FRESH PRINCE Gets a better post here and has the look of a colt that might be able to stay closer and earn a part of this.
4 KIJAFA Exits a strong division of The Reynolds. But her form has not been sharp enough to merit win consideration yet.
5 MERGATROID Showed speed last time but the fact that he is coming home in over 31 seconds with Lasix is a concern. Not for me.
6 WE’VE GOT IT ALL Added trotting hobbles and he stayed flat last time. While a win would surprise me, he is fast enough to hit the board.
7 VOLCANO SHANO Shows a mark of 2:02.3 at Ocean Downs. Obviously, he will need to go much faster here. Looks like a longshot.
8 CHA CHA MAGIC Used post 1 to her advantage earning a check in the Hudson. She is 0 for 10 and will be a short price in this field.
9 CLEMENTINE DREAM I guess someone had to be 2nd behind All Trot, but I liked the way she finished and her last qualifier. Contender.
10 GOOD SKIES Now 0 for 15 and just doesn’t have the early speed to overcome this post. Retains his longshot status.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-8-4-11
H Horse Comment
1 SAM’S HONEYBEE Good effort at Plainridge last time as he seems to do his best racing in the stretch. Might like the long stretch here.
2 THEHOUSEISROCKIN Has been facing some tougher fields and he does own 19 wins in the last 18 months. Might toss on some tickets.
3 CURRENTCRISIS Exits the same race as Sam and raced very well. Krivelin knows his way around this oval and this is a major contender.
4 WHATNBLAZES Sharpest horse in the race for Offenberg. He has hit the board in 15 of 20 starts. A logical favorite and a tough customer.
5 NEON DREAM Earned a blowout win last time at Saratoga, but against softer than this. Can he jump up with that effort again? Tricky call.
6 NOWERLAND NATHAN His form seems to go in and out lately and I am not sure he is fast enough to win this race. Looking elsewhere.
7 TRAVELIN PREACHER Coming off a win at Monti and he has rounded into form. Faces tougher in this field. Call him a fringe player.
8 WYGANT PRINCE Now just 1 for his last 41 but he does hold a class edge over many of these and I rate him a contender this time.
9 REALLY REALY SWEET Cannot knock any horse that wins half her starts in a given year. This will be tougher. Tough call with her.
10 MAJESTIC JO Fear the post really makes things difficult for her as there are 2 trailers and she doesn’t pack much speed. Not for me.
11 JIMMY SHIN Made the successful move from the $5,000 Claiming ranks to the Open level at Plainridge. He is sharp. Interesting.
12 BENNS SURE THING Tough post and I am not thrilled with his final quarters either. Looks like he is up against it in this group.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 9-3-7-4
H Horse Comment
1 SEASIDE GAL ($2,500 – HBG) Filly’s form has gone in the wrong direction and I need to see some improvement before I can consider.
2 WITHMEWITHOUTME (Homebred) She did pace in 1:54.3 in a NJSS so there is come upside here. Like the Gaitway qualifier, too.
3 SANDBETWEENURTOES (Homebred) Obviously she looks like a filly with a bright future. Seems to offer versatility, too. Major player.
4 KATE CAN’T WAIT (No Sales Info) Beautifully bred filly is on the improve and I like the speed she showed last out. Looms a contender.
5 CLEO DE JANIERO ($15,000 – HBG) Showed good improvement from her first to second baby race. That said, she will need to pick it up.
6 ATSALLRITE HANOVER ($75,000 – HBG) Her last baby race was a bit better, but still think she needs to improve a bit to contend here.
7 NIKITES (Homebred) Her dam had a great career and this filly obviously has some speed to her. Looks like a filly with a bright future.
8 MAGNIFIQUE ($4,000 – LEX-SEL) She improved in her 2nd start and is coming out of a tougher race. Likely to arrive late on the scene.
9 ACT NOW ($40,000 – LEX-SEL) Chased after Sand’ in her last try and she was gaining late. Really like this filly. A major contender.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 SHARED PAST Looks like the favorite in this field as the NJSS Champion. She was favored in her Elegant Image Elim. Hambo Oaks next.
1A THISTLE DHU Her effort against older horses was not bad last time. Back in against her own gender and she is a nice entry-mate to have.
2 TIME TO KILL At this point, her three year old season has been disappointing. She has been keeping tough company. Might wake up.
3 DÉJÀ VU TOO She tailed off throughout the Survivor Series and at this point she would have to be considered a surprise in this field.
4 MISS STEELE Filly was a very good 2nd in the NJSS Final. She was not able to get close to Bee A Magician last time. This is softer.
5 WYGANT LADY This is a good looking filly on the NYSS circuit and perhaps the connections are going to take a shot in the Oaks. Maybe.
6 FASHION ATHENA Made an unfortunate break after showing good speed last time. Needs to rebound and stay trotting here. A Player.
7 DEMENTED This filly is prone to the miscue, which is a concern. She also has some ability. I will be watching closely this time.
8 COFFEECAKE HANOVER Has added Lasix in her last two starts. Her effort behind Frau Blucher was a good one. Not without a chance.
9 LADY RIVIERA The sister to Chapter Seven showed solid improvement last time and could be cycling forward. Tough post this time.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 HAY BEAUTIFUL Mare is coming off a bit of a layoff and a sick scratch, so that is a concern. Catches a strong group here. Tough field.
2 BEST BOSS She is racing well and draws a cozy spot for this event. Sharp mare looms a logical contender in a very contentious event.
3 RAMONA DISOMMA She is making progress and each race has been better than the one before. Could be ready to break through.
4 LIGHTNING PAIGE Her form has not been that sharp recently and she catches a very tough field. I consider her a longshot here.
5 ABROKENART HANOVER Endured a very tough trip last time but still raced very well. Does lose Gingras, but is still a contender.
6 MISS ANNIE J Mare reached a level that was just a bit too much recently. This field is tough as well, but I expect a rebound effort here.
7 QUEEN OF ROYALTY She too, has been facing some tough company. Got beat by a very nice mare at Tioga. Might toss on some tickets.
8 BELL ON WHEELS The Open at Saratoga is not easy and I think it is on par with this field. Contention runs deep in this very tough field.
9 SARANDON BLUE CHIP Speaking of contenders. This filly has gone some huge miles here before. Is she ready off the layoff? Tough.
10 CAROLSIDEAL One of the sharpest mares on the racetrack recently. This field is much tougher than the last she faced.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 9-6-1-3
H Horse Comment
1 KLM EXPRESS Gelding has been facing some tough company and he dominated the C-2 level here before. Draws well and has a chance.
2 B L CLASS ACT Had no shot in that start on 6/26 and other than that his form looks pretty solid. I would include him in some exotics.
3 PURE BARRE Was a very good 2nd last time and this mare seems to be in solid form as well. Looks like a contender in a solid group.
4 SHOELESS WHITE SOX Did not get close last time and while this 8YO has back-class, I will need to see a better start here.
5 FOUNTAINBLEAU VOLO I think this C-1 level is a bit too tough for him right now. I will wait for him to face a softer group at this point.
6 LUCKYCHARM HANOVER He has burnt some cash recently and he probably should have won last week. Using underneath again.
7 EPIC TALE Coming off a sick scratch and a bit of a layoff. His form has not been that sharp either. He looks like a longshot.
8 SENOR GLIDE Gelding is getting some class relief and he is going to find a spot that he can win sooner or later. Watching closely.
9 YOUR SO VAIN Never looked comfortable last week. Connections hoping to get him to the Hambo. Trotting hobbles are back on now.
10 STIR ME UP Doesn’t have the speed to overcome the draw and I think he will have to pass them all, which doesn’t appear likely.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 7-4-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 HOT BEACH GIRL Recent form has not been sharp and she doesn’t seem to get away from the gate all that well. Looking elsewhere.
2 ARIANE HANOVER Last pair of starts have not been good, granted she shows broken equipment last time. Needs to rebound here.
3 IHEARTQUESTIONMARK I am not sure what happened two starts back, but other than that, this mare has raced OK. Using underneath.
4 LIZ’S LIL K K She is getting some needed class relief as the field she faced last time was much better than this. Could be the one to beat.
5 DAWN’S LEGACY This mare has not raced in over 7 months and her qualifiers are just OK. I need to see a start or two first.
6 KISSMATT Recent form has been lacking and she is now 0 for 19 on the year. I will be looking elsewhere for the winner.
7 JK LETITGO This filly has been in against some tough company this year and her last qualifier says she is ready. A logical contender.
8 SUPERSTAR DREAM She has been OK recently, but I would say a minor award is more likely than a top-3 finish. Use sparingly.
9 CAROLSTERN She is a chronic slow-starter and while she can motor late, she is often left with too much to do. Looking elsewhere.
10 SAD STORY Has been off for some time and she doesn’t have the speed to overcome the draw either. Not using in this race.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 DARRON HALL Stepping up here into a tougher field from those races at Saratoga. Has speed and could be a pace factor here.
2 WINDSUN GALLIANO His year got off to a great start. He has changed barns recently and he figures to fit in this field. Logical contender.
3 WALLTOCOUSINS This just looks like the spot where he really can do damage. In fact we have seen him beat this field before. The pick.
4 VAPORSTAR Loses Tetrick, but Harmon almost blew up the tote board with him three starts back. I will be using him in some exotics.
5 PILATUS Caught a tough favorite last time, so this should be a little bit softer. Still a little concerned by that 31.2 final quarter. Using a bit.
6 SCRATCH OFF Recent form has not been too sharp and I will want to see a start here before I can consider. Watching this time around.
7 KENDA She fits at this level and she seems to always offer a reasonable price. I think she will be 9/2 or better again. So, I am using again.
8 MARCUS BI Just 1 for 18 this year and his last 3 starts, he has been beaten a combined 51 lengths. Needs to be better in here.
9 PERMANENT JOY Coming off a win, but this will be substantially tougher. Doesn’t have the best record here either. Looking elsewhere.
10 GLIDE MANTO GLIDE Form at Harrington has been sharp, but these Harrington shippers have not performed that well here this meet.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 9-5-6-7
H Horse Comment
1 SWAN IN A MILLION Stepping up off win, but this is going to be much tougher. He will be a longshot in this very talented field.
2 ANOTHER AMARETTO He has raced well when facing a field he can handle. This field I think is a little too much for him for now.
3 WINDSONG HERCULES He needed to drop down to a non-winners event at Mohawk to wake up. This, is much tougher now.
4 SOUTHWIND PEPINO Respect his record in the Midwest. But, this is a whole new ballgame. Facing one of the best trotters in the country.
5 HOT SHOT BLUE CHIP Callahan makes a big call going here over From Above. Remember, this gelding can jump up with a 1:51 mile!
6 FROM ABOVE What a job Silva has done getting this horse to this level. A huge test for class in here, but he is too sharp to ignore.
7 UPFRONT BILLY I have always been a fan of this horse, but he has to make up half-a-dozen lengths on Sevruga. Using underneath.
8 HOLY HALIBUT He too, is a very nice trotter that also needs to make up some ground on the favorite. Also using in the exotics.
9 SEVRUGA That last mile equaled a Word-Record. What a sensational season he has had. Prepping for the John Cashman Memorial.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 6-3-4-1
H Horse Comment
1 BETHEL HANOVER Winner of that last mile is in The Yonkers Trot on Saturday. Still, will have to defeat Vintage Oaks. Exotics player.
2 ERGO HANOVER At this point, he has been a disappointment. Trotting hobbles have not moved him forward much, either.
3 VINTAGE OAKS She chased Detour last time and this field looks more to her liking. Looms a logical win contender in this field.
4 ALL TROT Exploded against nw1 company last out. This is going to be a much tougher task, but make no mistake, he can win again.
5 LITTLE BITTY LIES Filly has been racing pretty well lately and is coming out of the Detour Hanover race as well. Things to like here.
6 HERE’S JOHNNY Has no chance from post 10 last time and he raced very well in the Survivor Series. I like him quite a bit in here.
7 DOLOTTACHEATIN He has been racing well also, but this race did come up tougher. While I will include him, looking elsewhere on top.
8 TORNADO Finished well to be 3rd last time, but that was at 91-1. I will need to see a duplicate of that mile to believe he can win this.
9 CULTURED PEARL Coming off a sick scratch and a layoff, which is not a combination I care for. He is dropping down a bit though.
10 M C’S DIAMOND Filly has some speed, but her stamina is a major issue. I will be looking elsewhere for the winner in this group.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-3-9
H Horse Comment
1 MERRY MAIDEN Made an unfortunate break last time. Catches a field that should be more to her liking. Contender, if she stays trotting.
2 BROADWAYS FORTUNE Form just has not been there recently and I need to see a turnaround before I can consider.
3 LATTE HALL She was OK in that first start off the 4 week layoff. I can see her taking a step forward in here and rate her a contender.
4 CIVIC DUTY She was 94-1 last time and did not factor while racing at this same level. I am looking elsewhere in this field.
5 KRISTINS VICTORY I like this mare in this field. She is progressively racing better, draws better and just needs to stay closer early.
6 RINGSIDE WINNER She took a lot of play last time and she was OK. The price will be better this time, but I am not sold on a win.
7 BEAU JOE Toss out the break at Yonkers. But his last 2 starts here are less than stellar. Speed is his best asset in this field.
8 BIG SKY ANGELINA She just has not been sharp lately and her record now stands at 0 for 17 on the year. Looking elsehwhere.
9 DARLABAR MAN He has some upside to improve as he has been facing better so far this year. I will toss into some exotics at a price.
10 CAPTIAN PRIMEAU Had he drawn better, I would have given him a long look in here. From post 10, his lack of speed hurts.