• Week Of 12/8 - 12/14
  • SU8
  • MO9
  • TU10
  • WE11
  • TH12
  • FR13
  • SA14
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, December 13, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 10-5-6-3
H Horse Comment
1 UGLY STIK Won off the barn change for his second career win. Yet to trot fast enough to win this race. Needs a career best effort.
2 GLITTER IN THE AIR Filly won at first asking in a very sharp performance. Winning from 14 lengths off the pace is impressive. Has a shot.
3 DONATELLA HANOVER Yet to miss the board in four career starts. She has versatility and is likely to stay closer to the pace. Contender.
4 GRONKOWSKI Has not trotted fast enough to contend in this field. He is 0 for 13 now and I will wait for signs of improvement.
5 TIME TO QUIT The barn change is going to attract a ton of attention in this field. His Midwest form is awfully good against this group.
6 ZOLI That was a solid try behind a sharp winner last out. Slides in a couple of spots and looks poised to work out a cover trip. Contender.
7 KEYSTONE SADIE That was not a bad qualifier, but he is just 1 for 18 lifetime. I will be watching this time around and wait for later.
8 THE SPECIAL ONE Has just one marginal qualifier off a four month layoff. That isn’t enough to grab my attention here. Watching for now.
9 DANA BOKO Filly is making her second start back off the layoff. She is just 1 for 15 and I am inclined to watch for improvement.
10 CLEMENTINE DREAM Her best mile is 5-seconds faster than the rest of the field. Only issue is post 10 but she is strictly the one to beat.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 WONDER BUNS Added Lasix in that last qualifier, but still seemed to lack the stamina needed in the stretch. Prone to the miscue as well.
2 HEIDI FALLS Even effort in that qualifier and he is making his first start in 7 months. He can pick up a check, but a win seems a stretch.
3 CAGNES Last race can be thrown out from post 8. Recent form did tail off heading into that sick scratch. Feel he needs a start now.
4 CHANGED IT ALL Took money on the class drop last time and offered no trot. She is likely to get bet again in hope she out-classes these.
5 LATTE HALL That was a decent mile off the one month freshening and I can make the case she can improve here. Not without a chance.
6 NEW YORK MUSCLE Sharp in that qualifier considering he has been off for nearly 7 months. Might just be ready to handle a field like this.
7 TWIN TOWERS Took the hobbles off in that last qualifier and he was even. I am inclined to watch a start this time around. Wait for later.
8 UPFRONT CAROL Gale already has had success here and this horse steps in off a win. Still skeptical of Monticello shippers coming here.
9 SUNDANCE BAYAMA Barn change, but this 5 year old has been beaten a long way in each of his last 4 qualifiers. Need to see one first.
10 STRIKING FOREVER Offered little trot in the stretch at 74-1 last time. Now has post 10 without much speed. Retains longshot status.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 8-4-5-7
H Horse Comment
1 CAMPANILE HANOVER Couldn’t overcome the far outside draw at Monti last time. She is facing tougher here. Looking elsewhere now.
2 MS RUSH Did enough to earn a share last time. Catches a fairly tough group for this level and she is going to need her best to win here.
3 DREAM’S BAR Stepping up off a win. She sat a perfect pocket trip and just got up on the wire. She does have a history here. Tough read.
4 MARINADE HANOVER Passed a series of mares last out in the stretch, but only came home in 29.1. She is moving forward. Contender.
5 SYNERGY SEELSTER Aggressive move to the lead and she just got a little tired in the stretch. I can see her building off that effort.
6 TESSLA BLUE CHIP Throw out her last start. Prior two efforts were OK. This is a three year old against older as well. Just 2 for 25 so far.
7 ANGEL OFTHE WEST Her form has been fairly consistent lately. That said she is 0 for 32 this year and 1 for her last 61. Not on top.
8 QUEEN OF ROYALTY Decent effort last time, but her mile from 11/29 looks awfully good in this group. I think we will see speed. Tough.
9 SUMMER HOPE Seems to be on a bit of a good race, bad race, pattern. Not totally sold on Scarborough shippers. Might use a little bit.
10 MAGNETIC DRAW It is almost impossible to compare those Plainridge miles. That said, she is making just $400 per start. Watching one.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 5-7-9-4
H Horse Comment
1 WORTH THE MONEY AS Not sold that last race was a very strong group. His mile was just even. Think he will need to be better here.
2 FOUNTAINBLEAU VOLO Beaten favorite from last week is coming out of the same race as the foe to his inside. Has a right to improve.
3 UPFRONTSTRIKESGOLD He has been doing enough to earn a minor award in each of his last two. Can see him rallying for a share.
4 MC TINY’S HOPE His form at Vernon looks awfully good in this group. That said, he hasn’t raced in a month. Might be a little vulnerable.
5 MAGGLIO Showed good speed at the start and I think he was better than that last quarter indicates. Expect speed. Will be tough to beat.
6 WINEMASTER HANOVER Was 38-1 last week and made another miscue. Has now made breaks in 3 of his last 4 starts. Pass for now.
7 HOLD ON TIGHTLY Gave it a try from post 10 last week and got stung to the quarter. He is better than that. His mile from 11/29 fits here.
8 J R JAZZ He faced a better group in each of his last two starts. That said, he backed up in the pocket 3-back. I am watching this time.
9 RIVERFEST This are back to back narrow losses. This mare has speed, but can rally as well. Make sure she isn’t overbet. Still, a player.
10 ROADSHOW VIC Another Scarborough shipper. I think this horse is better than you think, but am concerned by the wide draw. Watching.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 8-9-7-3
H Horse Comment
1 BUSYBEINGFABULOUS Was well-beaten last time at this same level at long odds. Tries to tow along. For longshot lovers only.
2 LOVE YOU ALWAYS Barn change here, but this mare has not raced in 5 months. Pair of qualifiers indicate she needs a start first.
3 DRAGON PRINCESS Has not raced in 6 months and has just one average qualifier to prepare for this. Still, she loves this track. Tricky.
4 CHAROLETTES MAGGIE Has been well-beaten in both starts at this level, including a squandered pocket trip. Needs to improve.
5 PRECIOUS ROSE N She was a wise-guy horse last week and offered no pace. That was disappointing. Drops down, but loses Miller.
6 TIGER BOUDOIR This is a move up in class, and she is just a 3-year old. But, she does hold a recent form edge on several of these.
7 MISS COCO LUCK That was a good try last week and her final quarter was sharp, granted she benefited from a live cover trip. Player.
8 MYSTICAL DIVA Aggressively handled this week and raced very well to be second. Expect similar confidence from Tetrick tonight. Pick.
9 SARANDON BLUE CHIP Similarly aggressive in that same mile last week and she raced very well also. Looms an obvious contender.
10 DELIGHTFUL DIVA Has not factored in either of her starts so far and now has to overcome the draw. Looks like a longshot again.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 9-3-10-8
H Horse Comment
1 BETIT TO GETIT Filly had to need that last start and it was not bad at all. Winner was very well-meant. Expect her to improve here.
2 TREVOR’S BEBE Beaten a long way last time in a tough field, but she needs to make up ground on several of these. Longshot again.
3 MATTIE TERROR GIRL That was a sharp effort last week behind a very good filly. She might escape at a square price here. Don’t ignore.
4 KZ BEACH GIRL Her last quarter is better than it looks on paper. Due to weather, not 1 horse came home sub-28 last Friday. Interesting.
5 CRAZY EIGHTS She really was in a good spot last week, but just didn’t offer the punch I would hope for in the stretch. Need to see more.
6 SPOTLIGHT ON As I said, it was hard to close with much force last Friday. I think this field is a touch too tough for her, though. Longshot.
7 TASHIA This is the wild card of the field. These Pompano shippers in the past have not had a ton of success. But, note the barn change.
8 NARANCIA HANOVER Nice move to hold on last week. That was a perfect drive by Miller, too. She can win, but I don’t want a short price.
9 CHEYENNE MIRIAM Make no mistake, she has been facing much tougher lately and I expect Pierce to get aggressive here. Top pick.
10 MADY’S MATTJESTY She has been razor sharp here last pair. She has the speed needed from this post. Connections will take play.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 7-6-2-8
H Horse Comment
1 ELLISARRO HANOVER Raced better last week. Still, catches a particularly tough field here. Likely to offer a square price. Exotics use.
2 SWEET JUSTICE He has come back off the qualifier quite sharp. Saunders barn has been excellent so far. Note, he is facing older now.
3 AS YA’LL LIKE IT That was a nice effort last week. That said, his race was over 2-seconds slower than Sweet Justice. Inclined to use.
4 KEYSTONE WYATT He was sent right to the front last week and he promptly came to a walk. Drop in class plus change in tactics helps.
5 DON’T KNOW CHIP Took plenty of play last time and delivered. Now he is moving up the class ladder and this will be tougher.
6 IL MAGO Moves down to a softer spot than either of his last two. He has been a bit head strong, but fits well in this spot. Logical player.
7 BANKER VOLO Off the sick scratch he probably needed that last start. Expect him to improve as he is facing a softer group. Contender.
8 THE TRIPLE LINDY He is very sharp for Kelley and while he comes back at the same level of his last win, this field is much tougher.
9 MACS BAD BOY This is a nice trotter and this is the right level. That said, this field came up very tough and he might be a reach here.
10 POINTE OF HONOUR Another nice trotter having a solid season. Will need to show speed to get involved. Looks like a tough spot.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-5-3
H Horse Comment
1 SHOOTOUTTHELIGHTS That last field was pretty comparable to what she is facing here. Has speed. Barn is going well to start the meet.
2 ROYAL KNOCKOUT Coming off a sick scratch, but she has been facing a bit tougher at Yonkers. She might be a sneaky longshot.
3 THE SUMMER WIND Found the move up combined with the outside post to be a little tough. That said, this field is very tough. Tough call.
4 BULLET POINT She caught a nice mare in Billmar Scooter last time. This is the right spot for her and she figures to be a major factor.
5 JINGLEJANGLEJINGLE That was one of those sneaky kind of miles that this mare can build off of. Expecting a better end result tonight.
6 ALL ABOUT KISSES She is pretty sharp right now and despite a lack of wins, she is always right there. Has big track experience, too.
7 BEST BOSS This mare has really relished the return to The Meadowlands. Is she ready for another move up the ladder? Tough call now.
8 MAJOR LOOK That was a solid try last week and it was good to see this mare return to form. Lookout, because she might step up here.
9 FRONTIERPAN She is getting some class relieve and that could be dangerous off her last mile. Adds value to a very difficult puzzle.
10 LIGHTNING PAIGE Beaten favorite last time, but she has put together back to back strong efforts. Has the speed to overcome the post.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-6-9
H Horse Comment
1 STIR ME UP Getting some class relief here. That said, he has made breaks in 2 of his last 3 starts. Needs to stay trotting and tow along.
2 CELTIC MERCHANT Getting a slight move down the class ladder. Did well in The Billings. Was not Tetrick’s choice in a tough field.
3 MYSTICAL STARLIGHT Exits similar company to Stir Me Up, with similar rather mediocre results. I recommend these 2 go hand in hand.
4 CAPTAIN PRIMEAU Seldom do I see this gelding put together back to back big miles. Moves back down the ladder and can rebound.
5 MM’S LUCKY BOY He has been facing better and is exiting faster races than most of these. Racing himself back into shape. Live player.
6 ALL ABOUT JUSTICE Coming off a sick scratch in a race that was much tougher than this. Previous form was very good. Has a shot.
7 BROOKROAD KNIGHT Dropping out of a tougher field. In fact he had been facing tougher prior to that as well. Don’t overlook this trotter.
8 SPICE IT UP LINDY Getting a bit of a move down the ladder here. This horse has some class to him. He wouldn’t shock me either.
9 HERE COMES NUMBERS When he trots, he flashes serious talent. But it’s a guessing game with him. Contention runs very deep here.
10 MR FENWICK I thought he should have been better last week and I would call that a slight step back. Expect speed from this wide draw.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 6-9-7-8
H Horse Comment
1 NEVERMIND FRANCO N I am going to disregard that last race as it was on a -2 variant and in driving snow. Prior effort was solid.
2 DON’T BLAME HER She exits the same race as the inside mare, but she just hasn’t come back good off that qualifier. Needs to improve.
3 SMOKE PAN MIRRORS That last mile wasn’t bad as she was out the entire mile. Loses Callahan, but I might toss on some tickets.
4 SOLID QUEEN Just couldn’t quite endure that same tough first over trip last time. Expect a bounce back mile from the likely favorite.
5 MOJARRA HANOVER She was OK last week, but will need to improve off that mile. Curious how the top 3 from that mile raced tonight.
6 MISS SAND CREEK Really had no chance last time. Her prior effort was good. She is a candidate to bounce back in this group. Player.
7 ASTREAS NOTICE Note the barn change here and I am curious how the other Cushing entry did earlier. Callahan’s choice of three.
8 PHONE TERROR She has been showing interest at the end of each of her last two miles. Like how this barn looks so far. On my tickets.
9 JANIE BAY She was extremely sharp last week and you could see that mile coming. Cannot be overlooked despite the slight move up.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-6-8
H Horse Comment
1 GRECALE AS Showed speed in both tries at Freehold and note it was not from the rail. That said, I think this field is a little tough for him.
2 DC NORTHERN Took an abundance of play last time with the addition of Lasix and promptly went off-stride. If he trots, he can be a factor.
3 STAND GUARD His form has appeared to head in the wrong direction. Has always seemed better on the smaller tracks, too. Not sold.
4 FOUR STARZ CREDIT Impressive winner at this level last time. I think this field is a little bit tougher, but a repeat effort makes him tough.
5 KEVSTER He was 49-1 in that mile and came a long way to be 2nd. The problem here is that price will be much lower. Not sure he is value.
6 SALOME MARVEL Shows some miles at Vernon that make this mare very tough in this field. Note, the month layoff and move to a claimer.
7 BULLVILLCOMEONJOHN Seems to have tailed off in his last 2 starts and now is facing a tougher group. Looking elsewhere for winner.
8 CEDARRIDGETAG That last field was probably tougher than this and the move to a claimer can wake him up. Arrives late on the scene.
9 IMA QUE T That was a marginal qualifier and it is worth noting that the winner of that event was just OK in his next start. Longshot for now.
10 KILTED PRIDE Coming out of the same race as several others. I don’t see enough speed from him to make him a factor here. Not for me.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-7-2
H Horse Comment
1 CASHAHALLIC Moves down the class ladder as he was not a factor last time. Inside post will keep him closer. Can earn a share of this.
2 CHOCOHOLIC Beaten favorite last time as he drifted out a bit in the stretch. I suppose he can be better, but the price will still be short.
3 ITZAZIAM Last couple of starts have been good, but this is a whole different ballgame. Will need to step up his game quite a bit here.
4 NF SOARING Just doesn’t seem to be in peak form right now. The good news is this field isn’t overpowering. Can improve in here.
5 PILATUS He has known success here and that qualifier makes him an obvious contender in this field. Just might be faster than these.
6 CAMERON CHIP She just hasn’t been the same mare this year. I can see her moving forward off her last mile. A minor award this time.
7 PLAY FAIR I like the progress he showed in his first couple of starts this year. Catches a pretty soft group and he looms a contender.
8 LIKE A HUSH That was one of those sneaky miles where he may have had more in the tank. Expect Gingras to show speed. Prime player.
9 CATALYST He passed a few in the stretch to get a check in that claimer last time. He needs to move forward off that effort. Longshot.
10 MR GREENWELL Shows a win against nw2 company, but this is a tougher spot. Will also need to find speed from this wide draw.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-5-8
H Horse Comment
1 ARIANE HANOVER Out-raced her odds last time and now faces what is a weaker field on paper. That makes her a contender this time.
2 MC GILLACUDY-HENRY Broke through against nw2 company at Freehold, but this is a much tougher assignment. Needs career best.
3 LEXUS ARTIST Steps into this off a win at Monti, but similarly to the previous mare, faces a tougher task. Will need to improve to contend.
4 MY SWEET MANDY That was a solid try last time and that effort will attract plenty of attention at the windows. Might be an underlay now.
5 SUNSHINE PATRIOT Aggressive drive on the class drop and she just got tired. Expect her to revert to closing tactics and will be a player.
6 WE BE AMERICAN Got stung last time and paid the price at the end of the mile. Gets Yannick and could be in line for more this time.
7 LAUGH AWAY Really had no chance last time, but saying she can improve would just be a pure guess. Will watch for improvement.
8 ALITTLEEASTERMAGIC Last paid of starts have been better and she has improved since moving to the Ryder barn. Fits well in here.
9 ROLLTIDEROLL That was an OK qualifier but she was struggling at the $10k claiming level at Pocono, which doesn’t bode well here.
10 SPECIAL KIM Seems to be lacking any king of punch late in her mile recently. Tied into the outside draw, I will be looking elsewhere.