• Week Of 4/20 - 4/26
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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, April 25, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 7-9-6-8
H Horse Comment
1 DOT DOT DOT DASH Sat third-over last week and offered moderate trot in the stretch. She will need to have more punch to contend here.
2 HOT TYPE Added trotting hobbles for that qualifier and he stayed trotting. Showed potential as a 2 year old. Taking wait and see approach.
3 YOU’RE CATCHING ON Just one qualifier off the six month freshening. Has yet to trot faster than 1:59, so I will be watching this time.
4 LOUISE KEMP Added Lasix for The Weiss, and it seemed to help her in the first round. Do have concerns if she will stay trotting. Tricky.
5 ALL TROT Made another break and was forced to qualify again where he stayed flat. Remains a very difficult sell at this time. Longshot.
6 HOLIDAY SPIRIT Added Lasix last time and responded. This is Callahan’s choice of three and is coming off a solid effort. Key contender.
7 GENERAL BILL BROWN Was shuffled back and hooked wheels last time. Appeared to have trot. Has a class edge over most of these.
8 DUOLOTTACHEATIN That was a 2-horse qualifier, so I wouldn’t get too crazy over the margin of victory. Mare is just 1 for 17. Tough call.
9 ON DISPLAY Those are two nice qualifiers to start his career. Chased quality trotters in both. Clearly has some ability. Including on tickets.
10 SHELIKESCANDY Not bad in that second qualifier and this filly showed promise last year. From this wide draw, I am going to wait a start.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 6-1-8-3
H Horse Comment
1 HOT LIST Mare was absolutely flying at the end of her mile last week. Expect a much different trip here. Shows speed and is a key player.
2 MAJOR LOOK First-over last week at this tough level. That said, this is not Miller’s choice and she will need to step it up to win at this level.
3 JERSEYLICIOUS After starting her year 8 for 8 in 2013, she went on a 16 race losing streak. Qualifiers were serviceable. Fits with these.
4 MACHAROUNDTHECLOCK Sat a perfect pocket trip last time and collared Marty Party late. Both mares move up against much tougher.
5 MARTY PARTY Beaten favorite as the mare to her inside chased her down. Again, this is a much tougher assignment. She needs more.
6 SCANDALOUS HANOVER She was locked in two back and loaded with pace. Matchmaker was just too much last out. Expect a big effort.
7 HANDSOFFMYCOOKIE Breeders Crown winner returns off a sharp qualifier. May need a start or two before hitting her best stride. Maybe.
8 LORRIE PLEASE She was parked early last time and pressed her way to the lead. The price will be much better, but she loses Callahan.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 8-6-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 GASLIGHT The move down to the C-2 level has not produced results. Moves inside and will just have to hope to save ground for a share.
2 LAD PINE His win was exposed a little bit last time as he was sent off at 17-1 and did not factor. He can improve here at a decent price.
3 HASTY PROFFITT He was finishing with some interest last time. Gelding seems to be on the improve now. Will be using in exotics here.
4 DON’T KNOW CHIP Looked rough on the turn last week and he was flat in the stretch. He can bounce back, but I don’t want a short price.
5 WHIT Another effort without making any impact. Draws well for this, but he will still need to improve substantially to contend here.
6 WARRAWEE OLAY Mare was shuffled back after showing early speed. Catches a softer spot, better post this time. Prominent throughout.
7 ALL ABOUT JUSTICE Was parked early in the mile last week and forced into the pocket. Hasn’t won in a long time. Use underneath.
8 FOX VALLEY LEGEND Rallied well at the end of his mile last week. His lack of winning concerns me, but the right setup could work here.
9 LOLA DE VIE She was picked off behind a horse that was stopping last time. Not sure how much she had, but last race is a toss-out.
10 DASH FOR THE CASH Was fourth over last week and couldn’t get close enough. I envision a similar scenario from here. Trip looks tough.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-6-9
H Horse Comment
1 JOANSS’ PRINCESS That Balmoral series hasn’t come back particularly strong. Winner of it was 4th at Hoosier last out. Watching one.
2 SOOKIE Daughter of Total Truth was moving well when she broke last time. Moves up into a much tougher spot though. Looms a price.
3 MOONLIT SHARK Filly has not come back particularly well just yet for the Miller’s. She has shown ability in the past and can bounce back.
4 DIALED IN Hard to endorse on top given her 1 for 35 lifetime record. Mare that beat her last time was 1 for 30 going in. Bottom of exotics.
5 PITA This filly really got on-track late in the mile last time. Perhaps the longer stretch will work to her advantage. Contender off her last.
6 I NEED HOTSTUFF A narrow win as an overwhelming 1-9 favorite last out. She may have needed the race. Stakes-place filly is tough here.
7 JK SONGSUNGBLUE Saved ground and really just got a start under her belt. She raced well here last spring and is a candidate to improve.
8 BOLT OF THUNDER Beaten by a Breeders Crown winner in that qualifier. Last year’s NJSS champion has some real talent. One to beat.
9 BETTOR CHILL OUT Winner of that qualifier is a promising Takter filly that is staked well. Off for some time, but clearly has some ability.
10 EVIL FIGHT Sometimes the Dover shippers don’t fire and this lass burnt some cash in the process last time. Will need to be better here.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 4-7-9-6
H Horse Comment
1 AVALICIOUS Qualified behind a Hambo-eligible trotter with talent. Must overcome her breaking issues. There are risks with a short price.
2 O NARUTAC SUPREMO Just an even qualifier in preparation for this. Gelding has broken stride in 3 consecutive starts. Watching this one.
3 CELEBRITY VICKY Did not factor in her lone try at Pocono and her qualifier was mediocre as well. Looms a longshot until she improves.
4 SCARY MAGIC Really liked the way he was finishing his mile last week. The lasix seemed to be a help. Draws well. Top contender now.
5 FONDANT Gelding has breaking issues as well. Stayed flat in the last pair of qualifiers, but also brings an element of risk to the party.
6 STEEL CURTAIN Not a bad debut at all. Winner of that race was 0 for 8 going in, so it wasn’t the strongest of heats. Still has a chance.
7 HURRIKANEJERSEYJOE Added Lasix last time and despite not factoring, he did come home in 28.1. Could be a sign of improvement.
8 RAGING SEA Always respect when a young horse wins at first asking. But, the runner-up was 1 for 25 and Callahan chose off. A share.
9 ANDOVER THE CASH Exits a better race than most of these. Winner of that heat has some upside. Trotter is trending in the right direction.
10 STEPHANA DREAM Same connections brought a trotter out last week in a nw1 that finished a good 2nd. Like the improvement last out.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 9-2-1-10
H Horse Comment
1 TOP BRAND Mare was given a nice trip last week, racing third over. Just was in a bit too tough. Drops in class and should be much better.
2 SWINGING BEAUTY Exits the same event as Top Brand and also squandered a live trip. Moves down the class ladder as well. Logical.
3 BEE FULLOF STEINAM Raced well last time, losing to a repeat winner. Still, this field is tougher than what she has been facing in Canada.
4 FRIENDSNHEARTBEAT Mare she beat last time was a dull 7th in nw5 company next out at Philly. That concerns me for this contest.
5 TWIN B ELITE Given some time off following a disappointing try last time. Mare needs to race back to her early March form to contend.
6 UF DRAGON’S QUEEN MacDonald’s choice of three grinded out a nice first over win last time. Now steps up into a tougher spot. Tricky.
7 MARINADE HANOVER See how the 1-2 finishers from her last race fared in the 2nd race. That was a game first over effort. Things to like.
8 SHINE N SHIMMER Was stacked up fourth over last week and couldn’t have paced home much faster. Needs to stay closer from here.
9 NOVASCOTIA HANOVER Was in traffic in the stretch in a race that she had to need. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a big leap forward here.
10 MATTIE TERROR GIRL A pylon trip last time and she was OK there. Drops along with a couple of others, but catches the worst of the draw.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-6-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 HERE COMES NUMBERS Has now made stretch breaks in his last two starts. That’s a concern. Price will still be short. Must stay trotting.
2 UPFRONTSTRIKESGOLD He appears to be at his best at a level below this. Didn’t make much of an impact at Saratoga. Must step it up.
3 NF HAPPENSTANCE Chased a pair of trotters who would be odds-on in here. This mare is still extremely sharp. Looms a major threat.
4 BOFFIN Beat a decent trotter last time and seems to still be in good form. Has some early zip and should be a pace factor if not more now.
5 BLUTO Clearly had to need that start and gets a bit of class relief. But, he loses Campbell this time. Still might toss onto some tickets.
6 TIRADE HANOVER That is a good looking qualifier at Rosecroft. Note, this horse finished a neck to Smilin Eli in The Matron. Interesting.
7 COFFEECAKE HANOVER I really would have liked to have seen a bit more from her in the stretch in that qualifier. She appears a bit short.
8 HIGH BRIDGE He also likely needed that first start back is a candidate to improve off that lone. Not facing as tough a group either. Player.
9 COE LEADER Qualified behind three Free-For-All trotters. Hasn’t been seen since a lame scratch in January so I will watch this first start.
10 TIGER’S TOO GOOD Got to a level that proved too tough last time. I fear more of the same here. Campbell chooses off once again too.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 IDEAL A LITTLE Put forth a sharp late rally last time. On paper, this field is tougher, but if she can build on that first start back, she fits well.
2 SAM SWIFTY Exits the same race as the mare to her inside with a very similar result. I think if you like one of them, you like the other also.
3 BREATHTAKING I won’t be too hard on her coming up a little short last time. McCarthy sticks and she should build on that last mile here.
4 PARDON She was 2nd over and offered little pop in the stretch. That was a tougher spot, so she can improve. Still, not thrilled with her now.
5 WOMAN OF TERROR This mare was buried with pace last time. Earns the services of Gingras now and could be ready for a peak effort.
6 BONITA ROCKS The winner of her last mile was in a B-1/A-2 earlier. So, she is coming out of a stronger race. Dover form is suspect.
7 ENDURING DELIGHT She really should have beaten that nw5000L5 field at Philly. This field is stronger than that. She will need to improve.
8 SEA CRUISE HANVOER Made a move to the lead and tired late in the mile. Still, that was a better effort. Perhaps she is on the improve.
9 MAGICALLY The C-1 and C-2 levels at Freehold are a notch or two below the C-2 level here. So, she will need to raise her game for this.
10 IDEAL GINNY She was flat in the pocket last time against better. I imagine Miller will be leaving, but there are some stamina concerns.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 1-6-5-8
H Horse Comment
1 SPIRIT OF DESIRE Takes another drop in class to the lowest level she has seen in some time. Gains the services of Pierce. Things to like.
2 CHAROLETTES MAGGIE Solid win last time, but that wasn’t the strongest C-2 field and now she moves up the ladder as well. Tough task.
3 DELICISIOUSLYNAUGHTY Admired her gritty first over winning performance last time. Also now asked to step up and face better. Tricky.
4 JANIE BAY She has really been off her last three starts. Note, her last try at this level resulted in a win. Might bounce back this time around.
5 MYSTICAL DIVA The winner from her effort on 4/4 came out of that race to win a B-1/A-2 here last week. Mixed bag of efforts overall.
6 LEAVEUMLADY Exits the same race as Janie Bay, was more involved. She had a good trip, but now drops in class and can step it up.
7 ARIA J Another dropping in class. Note she was 2nd at this level on 3/21, but she list to Janie Bay that night as well. Mixed feelings for this.
8 WINBAK SPEEDI Total wild card as she exits a very good series. This is some substantial class relief. Tote board might tell the story here.
9 ABROKENART HANOVER Moved to a level that was just too much last time. Gets some relief from that and is a candidate to rebound now.
10 RIGHT ON MOLLY Brutal trip last time. Prior two efforts were strong, but the outside draw is a major concern for me. Likely to watch here.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-7-2-4
H Horse Comment
1 FOR YOU ALMOSTFREE Very game in defeat last time. Was out-muscled to the wire by Captain Primeau. Kicks off a wide open race.
2 MARCH AWARENESS Drop and pop winner last time with a first over win. Added Lasix for that as well. Logical win contender once again.
3 GAELIC AND GARLIC Gelding was out the entire mile, but offered little off second over cover turning for home. Needs to be better here.
4 CAPTAIN PRIMEAU Can’t remember the last time I saw him go that kind of trip and win. Can he put together back to back big efforts?
5 KING’S CAVALIER Parlayed a perfect second over trip into a win last week. Callahan opts to Captain Primeau. Not sold on the repeat now.
6 MERITED VICTORY Made a move to the lead past the ¼ and was collared by the foe to his inside. Won’t be odds-on this time. Some value.
7 WHEELS Continues to make steady progress and could be sitting on an even bigger race here. Has some upside and a decent price here.
8 BLUEBIRD KIDSQUEEN She had a perfect trip last week and squandered it. I think she is tailing off at this point. Looking elsewhere.
9 BEAU JOE Had an adventurous trip and overcame a brief miscue to finish 3rd. Concerned that he might be left with too much to do here.
10 BROOKROAD KNIGHT This gelding really is at his best off a helmet, which makes this post problematic. Also may be left with work to do.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-7-1
H Horse Comment
1 UNDERCOVER STRIKE He was well-meant last time and won under minimal urging. Now comes a tougher task, but he looks sharp.
2 DRIFT AWAY Regressed into a mistake last time which he does from time to time. This is a tough race and I imagine he is a cut below.
3 UPFRONT BILLY He won at this level earlier in the meet, but this is a different kind of field he is facing. Racing himself back into shape.
4 UNCLE PETER Has qualified extremely well for what could be a very big season. Loses out in seasoning to a couple of these. Still a player.
5 MODERN FAMILY Appears to be the most likely winner of the race off another strong performance. Nothing to knock in his 2014 form.
6 ARCHANGEL Adds Lasix for this off a decent qualifier behind Arch Madness. Has not raced in 18 months, so I imagine he may needs one.
7 DAYLON MAGICIAN He may have needed that start after missing 4 weeks. Comes right back in 6 days and should be tighter for this one.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-6-9
H Horse Comment
1 CRAZY EIGHTS Exiting a better race and note she was competitive at the C-1 level here earlier. Fits very well with this group. Logical.
2 LIZ’S LIL K K Surick driving himself. Mare tailed off into a break and then was an injured scratch. I need to see a race before I can consider.
3 DRAGON RUFFLES Couldn’t get involved from a very difficult spot last time. Prior effort was solid. Mixed feelings for this event now.
4 ITS DE LOVELY She got stung a bit last time at Yonkers and had nothing left in the stretch. Raced well at this level before. Things to like.
5 JARNAC This mare has been very consistent, but has yet to break through with a win. On paper, this could be her best chance. Top pick.
6 THISTHATNTHEOTHER Really had no chance last time and make note of the effort two starts back. She is still sharp and is a key player.
7 ALITTLEEASTERMAGIC Never got involved last time at this level and it would take immediate improvement for her to contend here.
8 QUIET CAMMILE Took advantage of the inside draw two back and was exposed a bit last time. I think she is cut below the contenders.
9 SHAWNEE DANCER Continues to make progress, but she is also 0 for 12 on the season. She can win this race, but I am using underneath.
10 BRYAN’S IDEAL She shows wins at some of the lower levels at Freehold. This is a step up and she has the worst of the draw. Not sold.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 9-2-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 BELLE BOYD I am not sure what has happened to this mare last year. She was nominated to some big races. Just hasn’t panned out yet.
2 OFFINTOTHESUNSET If you throw out the one race she broke-stride, she has been racing well. Tetrick won with her earlier. Much to like.
3 ALWAYS ON A ROLL She was better last time, but not great. Yet to show that win from 4/4 was not a fluke. Siding with others this time.
4 SADIES PLACE Much improved effort last time. It wasn’t enough to keep Campbell though and she is still 0 for 12 on the year. A share.
5 NOTREADYTOBENICE Still winless so far this year. She has a couple of decent efforts at this level, but appears in line for a minor award.
6 ST LADS MORGAN She appears to have tailed off in her last few starts and was not MacDonald’s choice. Looking elsewhere this time.
7 KZ BEACH GIRL She needs to stay within striking distance early in the mile to have any chance. Mixed feelings coming into this one.
8 SURFSIDE SEXY Moves to the Burke barn and in this field, that will attract plenty of attention at the windows. Tote board tells the story.
9 ODDS ON AVENTURE Stacked up in the outer flow and had pace last time. Callahan needs to keep her closer. If he does, she can win.
10 DON’T BLAME HER She continues to struggle at The Meadowlands. Not sure where she is going from this draw either. Longshot now.