• Week Of 6/29 - 7/5
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  • MO30
  • TU1
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  • TH3
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  • SA05
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 Saturday, July 05, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-2-4
H Horse Comment
1 K R’S CRUISER Very tough race to handicap. This gelding has been good in his last pair. Loses Miller though. I can see him on the ticket.
2 LEGENDS LUCK I can’t see this horse not taking serious money. The driver change will attract much attention. Back to back sub-27, too.
3 RYAN AGAIN Did his best last time, but was never really a threat to the winner. No one was moving behind him though. Still a longshot.
4 SOUTHWIND TERROR Sent off as an overwhelming favorite and made an ill-timed break. Won’t be 3/5 here and can win if he paces.
5 SIR RICHARD Z TAM I am surprised with him, because I think his talent surpasses this level. Hasn’t been as sharp. Bounces back now.
6 CITY PIE The move to Campbell is an intriguing one. This horse wasn’t bad on the class drop last time. Has a win at this level. Key player.
7 A FOOL FOR MARK Gets Callahan here which interests me. He will need to be a bit better, but like several of these, not without a chance.
8 ANDREW LUCK I am really surprised he has lost four consecutive starts at this level. The move to Gingras catches the eye. Has a shot.
9 LETTHEROCKBEGIN Not a bad mile last time. Gingras choosing off is a bit discouraging. Not sure I see him blasting from here. Tricky.
10 SHAMDEROCK Another positive driver change to the Buckeye here. Aggressive move last time. Post is a concern. Must get in the race.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-7-1
H Horse Comment
1 SAWYER A Brittany homebred and half-sister to Escape The News ($666k). Dam was a nice mare, earning $268k. From the family of Dieberspace ($622k) and Good News Lady ($775k). Showed solid improvement in his second baby race. Key contender.
1A DIVINE CAROLINE Half-sister to Aunt Caroline ($211k). Dam earned just shy of $200k. From the family of Best Laid Plans ($401k). A $75,000 Harrisburg yearling. She has made breaks in three of her four starts, but was better last time and was Miller’s choice of four.
2 SINGLE ME She is a kin to a pair of six-figure earners. Her dam earned $400k and comes from the family of Cam Swifty ($1M). Nice win.
3 BEDROOMCONFESSIONS First foal from a dam that earned $31k and is a kin to Keystone Horatio ($1.5M). Has been extremely sharp thus far in the mornings and seems to have a nice burst of speed to her. Precocious filly looms large here.
4 DANCIN CAROLL A $90,000 Lexington-select yearling that is a half-sister to the wickedly fast Dancin Yankee ($863k). Her dam is a kin to Marty Party ($575k). The Sportswriter two year olds look amazing and have been awesome down-under as well. My top choice!
5 TRADITIONAL A half-sister to the talented Doctor Butch ($709k). Her dam is a kin to Yankee Cruiser ($1M). $42,000 Harrisburg yearling.
6 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). Appears to need some more racing before showing her best. Cost $50,000 at Lexington.
7 JK SHE’SALADY Here is the full-sister to your 2014 Meadowlands Pace favorite and North America Cup winner JK Endofanera ($913k). I like how she has sprinted home in her first two starts and she seems plenty fast enough. Serious contender.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-3-1A
H Horse Comment
1 BRUCE’S MAGIC This dam has done nothing but produce winners. She is 5 for 5, including Master of Desire ($222k). $65,000 Lexington-select yearling looked good until mid-stretch in his debut where he got a little tired. Expect him to be better tonight.
1A ARTSPEAK Out of an unraced dam. Has several winning siblings and is from the family of Meadowlands Pace winner, Southwind Lynx. Cost $100,000 as a Lexington-select yearling. I love the progress he showed in his second baby race. A top contender.
2 ROCK N’ ROLL WORLD Out of a dam that earned $1.9 Million. Full-brother to World Of Rocknroll ($338k). Stepped up her game a bit in her second baby race. Have a feeling this $125,000 Harrisburg yearling has more to offer.
3 BADIX HANOVER Full brother to Big Jim ($1.5M). Still, only cost $30,000 at Harrisburg. His lone baby race was excellent. Top contender.
4 ROCK SHOOTER Half-brother to Sand Shooter ($471k). His first baby race was just even. I did like the 27.1 last quarter. Can improve.
5 TOO DARN HOT First foal from a dam that earned over $283k. Dam is also a full-sister to Kikikatie ($1.2M). Nothing wrong with the debut effort of this $85,000 Harrisburg yearling. Others will improve, but so will she. Call her the one to catch and beat.
6 MR CENSI Comes from an unraced dam. Lone sibling to race took a mark of 1:54.1. Not a bad debut for this homebred. Using in exotics.
7 WESTERN PIONEER Immediate family a little light but there is pedigree in the extended family, including Noble Ability ($1.7 Million). It appeared he didn’t know what to do when he was forced to allow a horse to clear. I think he bounces back despite Gingras choosing off.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-4-9
H Horse Comment
1 A COOL CARD Steps up into a tough spot off a strong mile. The fact that he offers value speaks of the strength of this field. Worth using.
2 COBALT MAN Enters this off back to back wins. The races are only going to get tougher. Gingras chooses off. Not sold on the three-peat.
3 OK COMMANDER Plenty of class to a horse who has been facing some tough company. Note, he was 2nd in a C-1 when last seen here.
4 HILLBILLY HANOVER Thoroughly dominated, as he was supposed to in his last start. Back up the ladder. Part of why this race is tough.
5 MOJO TERROR Beaten by Cobalt Man last time. I think that foe is in tough here, so it is hard for me to endorse this guy, despite the price.
6 GOLDEN RECEIVER The last time he wasn’t at the Open-FFA level, it was 7/9/2011. He won a nw22500 that day. I expect him to win now.
7 CHINA GRILL He has been facing some stiff competition, too. Seems to be in solid form. One of the threats to The Golden One. Including.
8 AMERICAN RAGE Has not come back sharp since the brief respite. I wanted to see more from his last start. I think he is in rather tough.
9 TOP GEAR Continues to race extremely well. I think the move to Sears will attract plenty of attention. There are things to like once again.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-9-3
H Horse Comment
1 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. Made a break in her debut, still finished 3rd.
2 TOO SOON TO TELL The first foal from a dam that earned $197k. From the family of Shoobee’s Place ($787k). Ryder typically patient.
3 SMART ZONE Comes from a fine family that produced Justanotherpoorboy ($550k), High On Emotion ($706k) and Running Book ($659k). Not a bad effort at all in her debut and she certainly packs some upside. $48,000 Lexington-select yearling is a must-include.
4 HOLLYROCKER Dam is a full-sister to Bettor’s Delight ($2.5M) and Roll With Joe ($1.8M). A half-sister to No Pan Intended ($1.5M). Made continuous progress through her morning efforts. Campbell did choose off, but there could be value here.
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). Will improve.
6 WICKED LITTLE MIX Half-sister to Cabana Fever ($472k). From the family of Lady Macbeach ($802k). She showed solid speed in her debut from a wide draw and kicked home in 26.3. I don’t mind at all that she was collared late. Potential threat to the likely favorites.
7 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. She was excellent in her pari-mutuel debut. Legitimate win threat.
8 CRESCENT CITY Dam earned over $100k on the track. Four of the dam’s siblings earned six-figures. Filly cost $10k at Lexington. Needs to stay a bit closer in this spot and kick home with the same speed she showed last week.
9 STACIA HANOVER Second foal from a dam that earned six-figures. Half-sister has paced in 1:52. Cost $35,000 at Harrisburg. She was allowed to stroll to three-quarters last week and sprint home. This race will go substantially faster tonight.
10 STRUT MY STUFF Lone sibling has a mark of 1:54.2. Comes from the family of All Speed Hanover ($819k). Cost $55,000 at Harrisburg. Her first start was an even effort. My concern is the wide draw. Campbell did opt here.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 6-8-1-3
H Horse Comment
1 LIMELIGHT BEACH He really had no chance in The Hempt Final. He is winless in six starts this year, but he is a very talented gelding. I expect him to use his speed to protect his position. Not sure he can beat the big horse, but I expect to see him in The Final.
2 NATIONAL DEBT He has been M.I.A. since the disappointment of The Diplomat. He still is yet to pace faster than 1:50.3. His qualifier was better than I expected, but I think he will need his absolute best to qualify for The Final.
3 DOO WOP HANOVER It was good to see him show that burst of speed in the stretch last week. Coming out of the New Jersey Sire Stakes, it appeared he was going to be a major player. But that race has not come back particularly strong. Still, he is in the exotics mix.
4 UNLOCKED I liked how he finished up in The Rooney Final. He was OK in the North America Cup. I can forgive the miscue at Maywood. He went a big mile at Balmoral, but the caliber of competition doesn’t stack up against this group.
5 SOMEWHERE FANCY He only has $42k on his card, but has always hinted at talent. Entering this race sharp, but needs a lifetime best.
6 JK ENDOFANERA The North America Cup Final set up very well from him. He followed live cover throughout, but he never saw the pylons in that race either. Flawless drive by Sears. His qualifier last week was exceptional. Fully expect him to serve notice as the favorite tonight.
7 ALWAYS B MIKI He has so much ability, but his gait is an issue. I didn’t like his action in his qualifier last week. He has been on my radar since his first baby race, but I suggest watching him score down before making a decision.
8 LYONSSOMEWHERE He might be the second best horse, but if you watched that qualifier last week, it is virtually impossible to pick him to defeat JK Endofanera. He has speed, so he should be prominent from the start. We’ll see him in The Final next week.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-7-9-4
H Horse Comment
1 LET’S DRINK ON IT Anyone who saw his performance last week would say he looked like a Meadowlands Pace contender. His only poor effort this year came in the North America Cup Final. That was an aberration. He is a legitimate threat to win this elimination.
2 SOMETIMES SAID Has been OK in his eliminations, but has not fired in the Final of either stakes. Only 2 for 17 lifetime so far. New driver.
3 ALLSTAR PARTNER He was interfered with two starts back and was finishing well. Things didn’t work out in The Hempt Final. Not sold.
4 JET AIRWAY He is a very fast horse, simple s that. I think he was a little bit closer than he wanted to be in the North America Cup elimination. If Marcus is able to work out a trip from off the pace, I can see him getting involved.
5 LUCK BE WITHYOU The 2013 Breeders Crown Winner got back on track last time at Pocono. Maybe he just needed a confidence builder to get him rolling in the right direction. Certainly in contention to make the final and then some.
6 SOMESTARSOMEWHERE He has been OK so far this season, but is yet to show a race that can win this. Needs to step his game up.
7 TELLITLIKEITIS Freshened up following an excellent effort to finish 2nd in the North America Cup. He has speed and is clearly a very fast horse. I fully expect him to show speed from the start and try to control the tempo. Looms as the one to beat.
8 BEAT THE DRUM Good to see him get back to his winning ways. He wasn’t bad at all in the North America Cup and is flying under the radar a bit in this spot. I would be surprised if he won, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him rally into The Final.
9 HE’S WATCHING Made an aggressive move to the lead in Canada through very strong fractions. He still has the same speed and burst we saw from his as a two year old. Tetrick is likely to get aggressive here. I would be surprised to not see him in The Final.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-3-7
H Horse Comment
1 FAST MOVIN TRAIN A kin to 4 winners, including $156k earner, Sir Lb’s Z Tam. Dam is a kin to Steinam’s Place ($1.4M). Must step up.
2 FREEDOMEFORMYSOUL Lone sibling to race thus far is a winner, with a mark of 1:51.1. Cost just $12,000 at the Lexington-select sale. That price looks like a steal right now as he has been very impressive in the mornings. Logical contender.
3 LONE SURVIVOR First foal out of a dam that had ability. Dam is a kin to Modern Art ($1M). Cost just $14,000 at Lexington, which also looks like a bargain so far as this colt has shown some precocity in the morning.
4 IN THE ARSENAL A kin to 4 6-figure earners, including Exquisite Art ($578k). Fastest sibling has a mark of 1:51. Like the last ¼ last out.
5 VEGAS ROCKS From the family of Stonebridge Kisses ($1 Million). Cost $45,000 at Lexington. Was not a factor in the NJSS. Needs more.
6 ONEISALONELYNUMBER Modest pedigree. Unraced dam. Nothing to report on siblings. Glowing Report ($2M) is in extended family. That said, he did cost $62,000 at Lexington and has looked rather sharp in the mornings.
7 PENJI HANOVER Dam was a nice race mare, earning nearly $250k. All 3 siblings have won, the fastest with a mark of 1:52. From the family of Philos Hanover ($523k) and the very fast Panther Hanover ($367k). I like the improvement in his 2nd baby race. Cost $120k at Harrisburg.
8 TWO DRINK LIMIT All 3 siblings have won, the fastest with a mark of 1:53.3. Dam earned nearly $200k. Homebred showed good speed in his baby race debut. Understandable that he got a little tired late. Has some upside.
9 CABO SUNSHINE First foal out of a lightly raced dam. The dam is surrounded by winners, as she is a kin to 7 different 6-figure earners, including Monsoon Hall ($821k) and Digital Z Tam ($782k). Has some upside going forward.
10 SICILY First foal from the dam. The dam is a kin to 5 6-figure earners. Note that he is gelded already. Post obviously makes it tricky.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-3-10
H Horse Comment
1 BIG JER The first of five last out winners, four of which won by open lengths. Smith goes elsewhere, but ends up with Tetrick. Contender.
2 COLOSSAL Chased On The Radar last week as the 8/5 choice. If you believe he can make up those 4+ lengths, you’ll be rewarded.
3 JINS DRAGON Couldn’t have been much more impressive last time. Tyler Smith could have chose him too, but didn’t. Still a contender.
4 OPEN WATER He dominated as well last time, but I think his race was a little bit softer. Still, he has speed and is impossible to dismiss.
5 ON THE RADAR Smith’s choice of 3 which is really saying something. He was the fastest winner last week. I will trust in Tyler’s choice.
6 WILLY MUCHA He is going to take some money on the move to Sears. But I don’t know if that improves him 2 seconds. Don’t see value.
7 CAVIART KEY He is going to be overlooked because he didn’t win as impressively. He was 6-1 last week too. I wouldn’t leave off tickets.
8 LEG UP Chased Open Water to no avail last time. His last pair of starts have been OK, but I don’t think he will jump up and win this.
9 CASINO KING Made a big middle move last week and was collared by Caviart Key late. I think this is much tougher. Longshot once again.
10 GARNET RIVER A Added Lasix last time and raced well. Post 10 makes things tough, but this is a nice horse with some upside in here.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-13-2-14
H Horse Comment
1 YOUR SO VAIN Talented trotter making his first start for the Svanstedt barn. I still have Sebastian K’s first start fresh in my mind, so it may be skewing my judgement a bit. But, I see this horse going right to the lead and Svanstedt trying to take them all the way.
2 SWEET JUSTICE He was much better last week. If not for the Lasix restriction, I may have picked him here. I still think he will race well.
3 BAMBINO GLIDE Also forced to race without Lasix here. He has been very sharp and looms a pace contender at the very least. Maybe.
4 FICO There aren’t many that would totally surprise me in here, but he would. Despite his recent win, this is a huge test. Longshot this time.
5 WHEELING N DEALIN Has missed a month. See the note in the layoff report regarding minor throat surgery. He was having a nice season and remember, it was a little over a year ago that he was everyone’s Hambletonian pick. Very tricky call.
6 ROYALTY FOR LIFE Speaking of Hambletonian, here is last year’s winner. Honestly, I didn’t love his qualifier as he appeared a bit rough, which he can be from time to time. He is still very fast and Miller should have him gunning off the gate. Logical contender.
7 FLANAGAN MEMORY Pierce chose off, but he has been very good in Canada. Just earned a win over Mister Herbie. Things to like here.
8 SPIDER BLUE CHIP The 2013 Breeders Crown winner is making just his 2nd start back. Would have preferred he didn’t break in his comeback race. But be careful with Sylvester as he was likely pointing to this race all along.
9 HIGH BRIDGE He is tough to endorse given his 2014 form. Just hasn’t found his best stride yet. Would be surprised if he beat these.
10 MASTER OF LAW Put the hobbles back on in that qualifier and was better. But where is he going from post 10 in this loaded field?
11 MAJOR ATHENS The 3rd horse to go off Lasix for this race. He has been up and down this year and looks like he is a cut or two below.
12 POSSESSED FASHION The last to be off Lasix. Earned a win most recently at Philly. That said, this is a much taller order. Not sold here.
13 BEE A MAGICIAN The 2013 Undefeated Horse of the Year returns to the scene of her greatest triumph. Word is she scoped sick after the Armbro Flight. If her qualifier was any indication, she is felling a lot better. The problem now is the post draw. Still can win this!
14 CREATINE The 2013 Kentucky Futurity winner completes this all-star field. He has been a little below the best, but he has been facing the best older trotters on this continent. Now in against strictly four year olds. I would have picked him, if not for the post.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-5-7
H Horse Comment
1 PRECOCIOUS BEAUTY Cut the mile in The Fan Hanover and came up a bit empty. I think we forgive that. Expect a bounce-back mile.
1A BAREFOOT BEAUTY She has been racing OK in the NYSS. This is a real test against open fillies. Note she caught the worst of the draw.
2 SANDBETWEENURTOES She has not done a thing wrong so far this year. Finished 2nd to a great mare in that QUA. Gets a big test now.
3 ALLSTAR RATING She was a bit overmatched in the Lynch. That’s troublesome given the quality of this race. Needs to find a bit more.
4 TABLE TALK Just had too much to do in the Fan Hanover Final. Bounced back in the NYSS. Note, gets a new pilot in Tetrick. The pick.
5 ACT NOW Tough trip in the Lynch. I won’t hold that against het. Her previous form was excellent. She can go with these. Must be included.
6 ROCKINGCAM PARK I am just not sure she is fast enough to go with the best of these. Qualifiers were OK. She looks like a longshot.
7 GALLIE BYTHE BEACH Very tough trip in the Lynch Final. I won’t hold that against her. She is a bounce back candidate to be included.
8 GETTINGREADYTOROLL Things haven’t gone quite right in her last 3 starts. Needs to get back to her previous form. New pilot here.
9 MY LADY DAY Had no chance in the Lynch Final. Just 2 for 17 lifetime and caught a wide draw. Appears up against it in here.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-3-6
H Horse Comment
1 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). Must improve off his debut.
2 ORIGINAL ZIN Full-brother to Mortal Zin ($271k). Dam was a nice one, earning over $214k. Showed solid speed upon debut. Improves.
3 ROCK ON THE HILL Just the 2nd foal of the dam. From the family of Rob Roy Mattgregor ($591k) and Predator DVM ($574k). He looked good winning his second baby race for Alagna. Homebred looms a serious contender.
4 TICKET TO ROLL Full-brother to Ticket To Rock ($1.1 Million) and a half-brother to Miss Scarlet ($518k). He was solid upon debut. Using.
5 DEALT A WINNER From the family of Timesareachanging ($1.5 Million). Dam is a kin to 6 different six-figure earners. He took action in his debut and raced up to it, kicking home impressively. Looms as the horse to beat now.
6 SID ROCK First foal out of a nice mare that earned over $344k. From the family of My Little Dragon ($2.1 Million). I see upside with him.
7 ROCK OF THE AGES His dam, Galleria, was sensational, earning over $1.8 Million. A kin to Gallie Bythe Beach, who won a Breeders Crown elimination as a two year old and went to the post in race 11, Mistletoe Shalee elimination. May be more to offer.
8 HURRIKANE ALI Half-brother to Driven To Win ($985k). He cost $63,000 at Lexington. Out-raced his odds last time. Callahan elsewhere.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-8-3
H Horse Comment
1 STARS ABOVE He is exiting a solid race for this. He shows some strong efforts at Philly. Might offer a price in what is a very tough race.
2 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE Could not have been finishing any faster last time. I think tonight, we will see speed. Looms a key win contender.
3 HANG TEN He was good last week too. Gets Gingras back which will have some appeal. Draws well and is another that must be included.
4 J C ONTHEBEACH Recent form has been suspect. Does pick up Sears in the bike which could make a difference. Still not sold here.
5 PAPA RAY Gets a significant class drop where he can get back to one of his better efforts. Draws well and looms a logical contender.
6 OMNTARIO SUCCESS Speaking of significant class drops. When last seen at this level, he was racing very well. Wasn’t bad vs. B-2!
7 RELENTLESS DREAMER His lack of speed concerns me in this spot. I think he will be left with too much to do. Not sold on chances.
8 ETHAN HANOVER Interesting that he won against a similar group and then did not fire at all last time. He has some sneaky value appeal.
9 UP UP AND OUT Raced very well last out and technically, this is a softer spot, although I am not sure of that. Still, he is another contender.
10 GALLANT SEELSTER Made an aggressive move last time and simply ran out of gas. Wasn’t Tetrick’s choice. Looking elsewhere now.