• Week Of 5/4 - 5/10
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  • MO5
  • TU6
  • WE7
  • TH8
  • FR09
  • SA10
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, May 10, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 THE POKESTER Kicks off a wide open betting race. Never could get involved last week. Prior effort at this level was a winning one. Tricky.
2 WHATAORSE Made a big move last week, but note he was out-kicked to the wire by ‘Relentless. Seems to offer consistent value. Maybe.
3 RELENTLESS DREAMER With Miller overseas, Lachance picks up this live drive. He was pacing a ton in the stretch last week. Key player.
4 STALLONE BLUE CHIP Campbell had his choice of four and landed here. Cut some pretty quick fractions last week. Seems very logical.
5 STORMIN RUSTLER Tough trip in the C-Notes Final did him in. Draws well and note he was a winner 2 starts back at this level. Rebounds.
6 PEMBROKE DEWEY He continues to be as consistent as they come at this level. But, Campbell does choose off this time. Still a contender.
7 MATTADOR D He just hasn’t raced back to that winter form we saw earlier in the year. In a field this wide open, I would call him a longshot.
8 SAULSBROOK PEACH He is coming off back to back wins at Freehold, but this is a different ball-game. Catches the tough division too.
9 CITY PIE His last three starts have been pretty good. He also loses Campbell though. Not sure he has the speed to overcome the draw.
10 BOLDER He is a one-move closer, which makes his job pretty tough from post 10. Exits a quick mile, but will be left with a lot to do here.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 9-2-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 KEYSTONE CHESTER Has not been a factor in his first two starts. Seems to have some ground to make up on the top contenders.
2 MISTER B’S WAY Firster is Hambletonian-eligible. This colt is a full brother to Win Miss B ($1.5M) and a kin to Winning Mister ($1.1M).
3 SUEGRABBITNRUN Solid effort in the Lady Suffolk and raced well at Vernon. I do question if she is ready to trot in 1:54 though. Tricky.
4 CUTUP HANOVER First foal from an unraced dam and brought just $13,000 at Harrisburg as a yearling. I want to see a start to gauge.
5 RAGAZZO DOLCE Comes from the regal Pizza Dolce-Bella Dolce maternal line. Hobbles seemed to help in that qualifier. Improving.
6 PROPULSION Half-brother to D’Orsay, out of a Danae (Oaks winner). Cost $250k at Lexington. Has taken a long time to get to the races.
7 LADY WITH CREDIT A kin to a pair of 6-figure earners, and is a full-sister to Holiday Credit ($737k). Qualifiers are OK. Likely needs a race.
8 ELDORADO OF GOLD S First foal from an unraced dam, whose dam was also unraced and produced no other foals. Have to see it.
9 SCREAM AND SHOUT Winless in 12 starts, but has made 7 times more than all of the field combined. Full-sister to Costa Rica ($1.4M).
10 MARZIPAN Not a very strong 2 year old season, but he is from the family of Dreamaster ($767k) for top connections. Room to develop.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 9-7-8-3
H Horse Comment
1 JENERAL PATTON Half-brother to Romantic Moment ($1M) exits a qualifier won by a Meadowlands Pace contender. There is talent here.
2 HE IS RISEN Dam was a nice race mare that earned over $200k. He is yet to show a race that would make him a contender in this spot.
3 CARD SHOCK Winless in 12 starts although he did make a very nice recovery last time. He is 1 of 4 contenders in here that are 0 for 47.
4 SPANISH TOWN A kin to the very fast Drop Red ($716k), but is yet to show that kind of ability. He did kick home in 26.4 last time. Improves.
5 PEMBROKE SCORPIO He adds Lasix for this, so perhaps that is why he has been lacking stamina in the stretch. Expect a move forward.
6 RICKY BLUE EYES Hasn’t done a whole lot wrong at Freehold, but now he moves into a tougher spot. Still, facing a camera-shy bunch.
7 SWEET ROCK He is 0 for 11 now and was just overmatched in The Simpson. Note he drops into nw1 for the first time. Logical contender.
8 THEREISAPACEFORUS Has more money earned than the rest of the field combined. Still is 0 for 14. He can win, but price will be short.
9 BONDI HANOVER I am going to take a shot here. Out of the magnificent Bunny Lake, with only 2 lifetime starts, this colt has upside here.
10 ROCKSTAR STRIDE Meadowlands Pace eligible colt wasn’t bad in his first start off the bench. He figures to improve off that. For exotics.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 7-4-8-1
H Horse Comment
1 ROCKNROLL REALITY Top 2 from last are Meadowlands Pace eligible. Figures to improve 2nd time off the layoff. Deep exotics contender.
2 CAPOZZO Exits a qualifier choc-full of Meadowlands Pace eligible colts. Kicked home in 26.3 there. Wonder if he needs a start though.
3 WELL SAID STRIDE Exits the same qualifier as the colt to his outside, but was far behind him. Looks like a longshot off that mile.
4 EL BLOOMBITO Meadowlands Pace eligible qualified nicely last time. Obviously Tetrick’s choice of four here. Should be a handful here.
5 BRUSTER HANOVER Has not been able to break through at Yonkers and catches a very top heavy nw2 here. Can’t see him pacing 1:50.
6 THREE DAY FORECAST Shows a couple of decent races at Dover, but the competition doesn’t stack up against this field. Tough task.
7 DANCIN HILL That 25.4 final quarter will jump off the page. Alagna barn is loaded with Meadowlands Pace contenders, including this guy.
8 LET’S FOAL AROUND Caught a very good looking 3YO in That’s My Opinion last time. Has been racing well, but appears third best here.
9 ROCK FAME If he wasn’t able to bet Maxi Bon, I am not sure how he beats the top 2 in here. Plus catches the widest of the draw as well.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 4-7-9-8
H Horse Comment
1 COLOSSAL He has been slightly overmatched at this level recently, but has done well to earn a share. I think he needs softer to shine.
2 FRESH N FAST Enters this off back to back wins, but this a monumental step up in class. He is sharp but I am playing against the 3-peat.
3 QUIK MAGIC Another sharp horse that is really getting tested for class. Steps up off a narrow loss to ‘Equuleus, but this will be tougher.
4 ODDS ON EQUULEUS Showed that explosive turn of foot we saw as a two year old off cover last time. Good matchup with ‘Peter, others.
5 MOJO TERROR He was a good 3rd at this level 3-back but he should have won that last race at Pocono. Leaves me with mixed feelings.
6 SING FOR ME GEORGE Nice win last time, but this is going to be a lot tougher. Will offer best price in some time to believers. Needs best.
7 WAKE UP PETER It’s tough when you come home in 26.3 and don’t gain any ground. Perhaps the Whata Baron Final took it’s toll? Maybe.
8 NOVA ARTIST This horse has been pretty good at Dover and that qualifier was sharp. Note the move to Pierce now. Wild card of the field.
9 HILLBILLY HANOVER Stung a bit to the quarter last time. He is supposed to beat Feel Like A Fool though. Still, he is a contender here.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-1-2
H Horse Comment
1 SEBASTIAN K The European star is such a good looking specimen. Only 1 qualifier to prep for this. Still, he has beaten the best in Europe.
2 SWEET JUSTICE Got back to one of his better efforts last time. Note, he was 40-1 in there. But, he is entering this in better form. Tricky.
3 DW’S NY YANK Gingras choosing off here probably tells us something. A very nice horse, but I do believe he is a notch below the best.
4 INTIMIDATE When he is good, he is really, really good. Was trotting well within himself at Woodbine. My pick to upset Modern Family here.
5 ARCHANGEL Made an uncharacteristic break in his first race back. Remember, this is just his 2nd start since October 2012. Tough task.
6 MODERN FAMILY There is nothing to knock other than the price he will offer. A deserving favorite who is clearly the one to catch and beat.
7 AMERICASH EXPRESS Connections taking a shot in a premier event here. I respect that, but this mare would shock the world with a win.
8 UPFRONT BILLY He hasn’t been on top of his game so far in 2014, which makes things tough heading into this event. Must step it up.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 1A-3-1-7
H Horse Comment
1 FOILED AGAIN Tripped up in The Levy Final. Given 2 weeks to freshen up. Warrior is still the favorite here, but others are closing in now.
1A SWEET LOU I am going to pick him. Unfortunately Foiled Again kills the price. He was better at Pocono. I like him on the bigger track, too.
1B BETTOR’S EDGE Stuck outside the entire Levy Final. Bongiorno picks up a huge drive here. I would want to see speed tonight. Contender.
2 MODERN LEGEND He was motoring through the long stretch at Woodbine. I always liked this horse and he is starting to turn the corner.
3 THINKING OUT LOUD The 2012 North America Cup winner has looked good in his last pair. He has new found versatility and is a threat.
4 WORD POWER Dropped and popped into a spot where 9-5 was a gift. The price will be much better tonight, but he will need to step it up.
5 BOLT THE DUER He couldn’t have qualified much better. Ideally, I would have liked to have seen one start prior to this. Big time speed.
6 WARRAWEE NEEDY The co-world record holder had to need that first start back. Any kind of setup brings him into the race at a price.
7 DOVUTO HANOVER I am tossing out that Pocono start. He likes the bigger track much better. The one they will all have to hold off late.
8 GOLDEN RECEIVER This has not been the same Golden Receiver this year. We know he is blasting, but he will need to pick up his game.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 1-7-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 TOBAGO CAYS Looks like the chalk here as this is Callahan’s choice of five in here. Exits a very good race as well. Strictly the one to beat.
2 PRINCE SHARKA Steps up off a win but into a much tougher spot and loses Callahan. Typically, this level is a bit too tough for him.
3 YACHT KING He was 29-1 when last seen at this level and didn’t really get involved. Better at Freehold, but this is a tougher assignment.
4 STOLEN CAR Exits a fast qualifier and note he was a beaten favorite when last seen. But off the four month layoff, I will be watching one.
5 HILLYBILLY Not bad last time while out-racing his 23-1 odds. He is likely on the improve off the freshening. There are things to like.
6 SEE AND SKI He reminds me of Grams Legacy. He has a world of ability, but is his own worst enemy. It’s a guess if he will stay pacing.
7 BREES CREEK This is a class drop from that condition at Philly. He was finishing well. Now in his second race off the bench, he can win.
8 ASTREOS FLASH Was sent off at 88-1 last time and was not involved. Just 1 for his last 20. I don’t see anything to change things here.
9 THE PAN POOBAH Shows a good line at this level. But, I think this field is tougher than that C-1, so I would tread lightly given the price.
10 DEMOCRACY N His lack of speed is a concern given the wide draw. He can finish, but I think he will be left with too much to do here.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 9-6-2-1
H Horse Comment
1 CAM B ZIPPER If you can forgive his last pair, which were tougher than this, then you can play him. Loses Callahan, but is still a contender.
2 OLDE TIME HOCKEY Exiting a very fast mile and he dug in gamely. Figures to take plenty of play off that mile. Appears the one to beat.
3 THORN IN YOUR SIDE He had had some tough trips from some wide posts. His other races are OK. Has big track experience. Maybe.
4 MY TEMUDJIN N Really out-raced his odds in his North American debut. Zeron chooses off, but it is for Alagna. Sneaky price play here.
5 ALEX BULLVILLE Stepping up off a loss, but it was a C-Notes Final. Still, this is a tougher assignment and I will wait for the class drop.
6 ONTARIO SUCCESS Speaking of class drops, this is a nice one off a 25.4 final quarter. Looms the major threat to ‘Hockey. Better price.
7 TELL US MORE Showed some good lines here in the winter. But, he hasn’t raced in three months and I am going to want to see a start.
8 P L FIGHTER He seems to be sharpening up, which is always dangerous for this barn. That said, this is a tougher spot. Mixed feelings.
9 OK COMMANDER Here is a sneaky horse. That last mile may scare a few bettors off. But 2 back he wasn’t bad. Check out the final ¼.
10 THUNDER STEELER An even try from a very fast mile. The outside draw won’t help, but if he finds a way into it, he can earn a share.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-2-1
H Horse Comment
1 DULL ROAR Stepping up off the win against softer into a tougher spot. Gingras chooses off, but this isn’t the strongest C-1 division.
2 ANDREW LUCK First of two key drop downs that figure to be prominent players here. Note that he did well at this level previously. Player.
3 CHAMPAGNE PHIL Showed big-time speed at Pocono, but the early fractions took its toll late. Given recent form, I want to see a start.
4 ROAR I thought he was a lock last week and I was really disappointed with his stretch drive. I can’t go back to the well with Tetrick off.
5 URGENT ACTION Aggressive steer last time, but he couldn’t kick on through the stretch. On the class drop with Tetrick, he looks tough.
6 DAVID’S DREAM Burke seems to have moved him forward recently. He is versatile as well. Faces a tougher assignment on the move here.
7 I LIKE DREAMIN Sent off at 46-1 last week and was interfered with early and forced off-stride. Still, he was a big longshot there. Not sold.
8 I’M BANSKY Not as good last time, but note that was a C-Notes Final. He is very consistent and I wouldn’t leave him off my tickets here.
9 DUE WEST HANOVER Stepping up off a win, but loses Gingras in the process. He wasn’t able to break through at this level previously.
10 FRIDAY AT FIVE Off his last mile, it is hard to envision a different result here. The move to Callahan is worth noting. Still a tough task.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 2-7-1-3
H Horse Comment
1 SEVRUGA No shame in that narrow loss to Uncle Peter last time. I envision him on the lead here. He is knocking on millionaire status.
2 MARKET SHARE He blew the doors off that qualifier field. Look who was 3rd there, Bee A Magician. 2012 Hambo Winner is the 1 to beat.
3 DAYLON MAGICIAN Sat the pocket last week and he never had a chance to trot while blocked. It’s a guess how loaded he was. VHalue.
4 POSSESSED FASHION He has been racing well, but there is a huge difference between a nw12500 and this. Needs a monster effort.
5 QUICK DEAL We know he has speed, but he is also prone to the miscue like last week. If he trots, he can pressure Sevruga early on.
6 UNDERCOVER STRIKE He was only 4-1 against Modern Family last out. Not sure he is up to the best of these, but maybe a minor award.
7 ARCH MADNESS I think he is farther along than he usually is at this point of the year. I liked his first effort back. He is one to watch in here.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 K-LEES SHAKENBAKE He hasn’t had the season I thought he would from how he looked early in the year. Qualifier was OK. Minor share.
2 LONG LIVE ROCK Earned some confidence at Freehold and he has had success here. This field is wide open and he is a sneaky player.
3 TWINCREEKS JESSE Solid effort last time and he seems to be racing well lately. Callahan chooses off, but he wouldn’t be a surprise.
4 SIR CARY’S Z TAM Dropping in class and coming out of a very fast mile. He figures to be much better at this level. One of the contenders.
5 TREND SPOTTER Not a bad effort at Philly and note he was a winner when last seen at this level. Seems to always offer value as well.
6 HANG TEN Coming out of a very strong qualifier with a big final quarter. He figures to be a short price and is one of the prime players.
7 RUSTY SKIPP If he can stay a little bit closer, he is going to be tough to hold off. Has shown a big turn of foot in his last pair of starts.
8 ITTAKESTWOBABY Steps up off a win where he was sent off at 28-1. He is still a longshot on the move up despite the win last out.
9 MC RUSTY With the right trip, I can see him saving ground and earning a share. I think that from this wide draw, it makes things tougher.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 TAKESHIGEMICHI Was 74-1 last time and didn’t get involved from post 9. Moves inside, so he can stay closer. He is still a longshot.
2 EIGHT TEN EOM He has been OK so far since the move up from Florida. This field came up a bit light, so I can see him improving here.
3 MACHIN MONEY He was 55-1 in his start here. Faced softer at Yonkers and was OK there. Still needs to step up his game. Zeron’s pick.
4 SEEK THE DRAGON If you toss out the break, his form looks pretty good in this group. Is exiting a pretty quick mile as well. A contender.
5 YES YOUR MATTJESTY Loses Tetrick to Spender Hanover. He had too much to do last time. The 0 for 13 concerns me. Use underneath.
6 SOMEPLACE SPECIAL He disappointed when sent off at 5/2 last week. That was a C-Notes Final, so he has a right to step his game up.
7 CAUTION SIGNS He has faced softer than this without a win in his first two starts. Gingras chooses off. I am looking elsewhere for winner.
8 HILARIOUS HALO Yet to hit the board in 7 starts this year. We have seen Lachance trainees perform better on the bigger track before.
9 FREDDY DAY HANOVER I think Zeron choosing off here speaks volumes. We all know he has speed, but he just hasn’t been finishing.
10 SPENDER HANOVER Tetrick’s choice is going to need to find a way into it. He doesn’t have much speed and may have to pass them all.
14 Fourteenth Race Entries
Picks: 4-7-2-9
H Horse Comment
1 ART’S JIMMY RAY Wasn’t Ginsburg’s choice and his two efforts at this level just aren’t up to par. Needs a big step forward to contend.
2 CONORS CONCORD Showed major improvement in his most recent start. Catches a softer group here and he looms as a contender.
3 LETTHEROCKBEGIN The 0 for 15 jumps off the page and makes him a hard sell on the win-end. His best can land him on the ticket.
4 INSANE IN SPAIN I will draw a line through the start from post 7 at Yonkers. He previous effort was a win at this level. He has a chance.
5 MAJOR BLUE COAT Has added Lasix for the last couple of start, but still seems to be lacking much punch in the stretch. Longshot.
6 S F LAW Owns a win over C-2 company at Freehold, but this is a big move up from that. I need to see a start here before I can endorse.
7 HIGHLAND TERRIFIC Off that last mile, he is the horse to beat here, but the price will be very short. I will be using, but will try to beat him.
8 SAYWHATUNEEDTOSAY I like the speed he showed last time, but he as just even in the stretch. Just 1 for his last 29 as well. Underneath.
9 LUCKY HOUSE Out-raced his odds last time with a solid effort and a solid final quarter. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some speed tonight.
10 EXPLODENT He took some play last week. But now he moves to post 10 without much speed. He may be left with too much to do here.