• Week Of 5/11 - 5/17
  • SU11
  • MO12
  • TU13
  • WE14
  • TH15
  • FR16
  • SA17
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, May 16, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 8-6-1-4
H Horse Comment
1 MUSCERENE $125,00 Lexington-Select yearling son of world champion Queen Serene. Only sibling is a winner. Qualifier was very sharp.
2 MARZIPAN Sent off at 65-1 from post 10 last time and never got involved. Moves inside but still looks like a longshot in this spot.
3 SWEET SAVIOUR Has not started in 9 months and also appears to have trouble staying on-stride. Last qualifier was better. Tough call.
4 MUSCLES AND SPICE $120,000 Lexington-Select yearling qualified behind Propulsion. Unbeaten in two Florida starts. Exotics player.
5 WALLSTREETER Broke stride in his only pari-mutuel start. Gelding is a kin to three six-figure earners, including Fortunista ($388k).
6 GURAL HANOVER Just a $17,000 Harrisburg yearling. A kin to Groom Hanover ($218k). Runner-up from his win is still in nw1 in Illinois.
7 SUEGRABBITNRUN Winner of the Lady Suffolk hasn’t raced since. This filly was even at 33-1 last time. Appears to be a fringe contender.
8 MISTER B’S WAY Brother to Win Missy B and Winning Mister broke stride in his debut. Still has talent and I expect a bounce-back mile.
9 PROPULSION $250,000 Lexington-Select yearling was just even in his debut. May have some work to do from this wide draw. Tough task.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 7-4-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 ODDS ON AMETHYST He has runaway-type speed. Defeated Trixton last time, but it was his first start back. Likely to cut the mile again.
2 ROYAL ICE His last qualifier was certainly a step in the right direction. That said, this is a major test for class in just his 3rd lifetime start.
3 KING CITY Colt obviously didn’t have the easiest of trips in The Dexter Cup. By a Hambo winner, out of an Oaks winner. Exotics potential.
4 LIGHTNING FORCE Impressed by his 2014 debut where he was finishing full of trot. Certainly a candidate to build off that effort. Key use.
5 RAGAZZO DOLCE Put the trotting hobbles back on and it seemed to make all the difference. Also added Lasix. Interesting exotics player.
6 SUMATRA Dexter Cup winner did trot in 1:54.4 last year at Lexington. Cost just $9,000 as a yearling. Could be the bargain of this crop.
7 TRIXTON Put up a sparkling mile on a weekend where conditions were perfect. Appeared to have a lot left, too. Obviously the one to beat.
8 WALK THE WALK Beaten a long way by Trixton last time. He has a lot of ground to make up on the favorite. Appears to be a longshot.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 7-6-4-8
H Horse Comment
1 CELEBRITY STIMULUS He had been racing well. Moved into a tougher C-1 division last time and it showed. This spot isn’t any easier.
2 ROSE RUN LIMO Exits a loaded qualifier including two champions. Making his first start back in nearly two months. Likely to need a start.
3 CLEMENTINE DREAM Didn’t take to the track at Philly last time. Mare did race well here earlier. Can easily see her hitting the ticket.
4 DREAM DEFENCE N Didn’t take to the smaller track at Yonkers last out. His qualifier here was OK. Expecting a better performance now.
5 JIMMER The key question here is the driver change and how much it moves him forward? Recent form leaves me with mixed feelings.
6 FIRSTCLASSPRINCESS This mare has been facing better fields than this. Any of the top 3 from her last would be odds-on here. Chalk.
7 MARCH AWARENESS Looms as the other favorite off his last mile. Could work out a trip stalking ‘Princess. Looms a logical win candidate.
8 ALL ABOUT JUSTICE Stepped up off the win into a more difficult spot last time. Note the driver change to Tetrick here. Expecting better.
9 MR RIDGETAKER Not a bad effort last time and has seemed to respond to Lasix. That said, moves up off a loss and faces much tougher.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-2-1
H Horse Comment
1 MOONLIGHT IN MIAMI Showed talent in flashes last year. Liked this filly’s qualifier leading up to this. Cost $100,000 as a yearling. Using.
2 DEMOISELLE HANOVER Half-sister to Donato Hanover cost only $55,000 at Harrisburg as a yearling. Qualifier was solid. Logical player.
3 HEAVEN’S DOOR $90,000 Harrisburg yearling. Remember she was the “wise-guy” horse in the Merrie Annabelle. Showed talent at two.
4 YOGA Certainly had a nice campaign last year, winning five of eight starts. Qualified behind world champion Cooler Schooner. Logical.
5 SCULLY SAS Exits the same qualifier as Yoga. Note, she tackled open stakes company last year. Likely battling for a minor award here.
6 MISTRESSWITHMUSCLE Making his third start of the season. Never got involved last time and looms a longshot on the move up in class.
7 COIN COLLECTOR Exits the same qualifier as ‘Miami. Finished well in that qualifier. May have a lot of work to do from this wide draw.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-9-1
H Horse Comment
1 CARLOTA BLUE CHIP Very good qualifier, especially the way she kicked home. Barn known for patience off the bench. Still a contender.
2 K O JUSTICE Defeated what appears to be a far lesser group on paper than what she faces here. Note, she was 34-1 there as well.
3 BREATHTAKING This mare is a wild card. Has she tailed off this quickly, or will the move back to the nw2 level move her back up? Tricky.
4 UP FRONT ELIZABETH She is exiting a very good race, so I won’t be too hard on her for that. I can see her moving forward in this spot.
5 KEN DOLL J Likely to take the majority of the play off her narrow loss in stakes company. That was just a four horse field. Likely underlay.
6 BEAUTIFUL LADY Adds Lasix for this but has not been seen in 32 days and is coming off a sick scratch. Too many negatives. Not sold.
7 MAGNIFIQUE Adds Lasix for this first start off the long layoff. Connections tried her in stakes company last year. Appears to need a start.
8 VITAMEATVEGAMIN Beaten by a nice filly last time and she does show a win here at this level. That said, I suspect this will be tougher.
9 ALWAYS ON A ROLL Visually impressive rally last time. I have little doubt that she will be coming from last again. Using underneath now.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-6-2
H Horse Comment
1 WELL BUILT Qualified the day after the miscue and looked much better. Still have concerns about him staying on-stride. Exotics player.
1A SOUTHWIND POSEIDON I really respected his first lifetime start as he went a tough trip. He was 140-1 there and this is a tougher spot.
2 SKATES N PLATES Good looking qualifier behind the favorite here. Note he raced 16 times as a two year old. Just 1 win though. Maybe.
3 DAVE BRIGGS It took a drop to a much softer spot at Freehold to win. Still, he was overmatched in the Dexter Cup. Looms a longshot.
4 MARTINIWITHMUSCLE Beat a nice horse in Lightning Force last out. This horse clearly has talent and looms a threat to the favorite.
5 MUSCLE NETWORK This is a serious race horse. He was monstrous at Lexington and in The Valley Victory. He is the horse to beat here.
6 STEEL CURTIN Fought tooth and nail with ‘Martini last time and that foe came back to win. This horse has ability and is worth including.
7 GREAT SOCIETY Chased after Martini last time but never really threatened. Likely to get away last from here. Faces a tough assignment.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-9-4
H Horse Comment
1 LIL MISS SNOWFLAKE Kicks off a wide open field. Her last effort was a staunch improvement from her Yonkers form. Logical player.
2 IDEAL A LITTLE Her lone poor effort came in a tougher C-Notes Final. She typically kicks home nicely but does lose Brett Miller tonight.
3 WANNA WIN California-invader gets a major barn change and a hall of fame driver. Note her Open lines as well. She appears best here.
4 SIR LB’S Z TAM Exits the same race as ‘Snowflake, but has potential to offer more value due to Tetrick landing on #1. Logical contender.
5 LEXUS ARTIST I am really concerned that her Artistic Vision experience really soured her. Her form just has not been up to par. Longshot.
6 ANGEL OF THE WEST She has not been able to respond on the move to the $15k claiming level. This won’t be any easier. Must step up.
7 CAROLSTERN Chronic slow starter is often compromised at the start. She needs an ideal trip to get into contention. Still a longshot.
8 HARMONY OAKS QUIKE Here recent form on the smaller tracks is simply not up to par with this group. Would need a form reversal.
9 NOTREADYTOBENICE Similar to Ideal A Little, her effort in the C-Notes Final looks worse than it is when compared to this field. Contends.
10 ENDURING DELIGHT Miller is going to have to use all her speed here. Concerned that may compromise her late in the mile. Tough call.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 6-3-7-4
H Horse Comment
1 BIG SEA LIGER Exits a rather pedestrian nw4 event where he was able to stay 2nd, despite a 31.2 final ¼. This will be much tougher.
2 INDIRA BLUE CHIP Made a break in that series final at Vernon that he seemed poised to sweep. That series is much softer than this field.
3 GREEN HORNUT He showed what he can do when he stays trotting. He cost $47,000 at Harrisburg as a yearling. There is potential here.
4 ACADIA AS As the nw2 races have become more competitive, she has not been as sharp. This field has some tough customers as well.
5 DUOLOTTACHEATIN Beaten by an undefeated mare in that qualifier. Still, this mare seems to have trouble keeping on-stride. Longshot.
6 FICO This horse was 2nd in the Yonkers Trot last year. Sneaks in due to a win in a race that falls under the exclusion. Strictly one to beat.
7 REVRAC HARBOUR See how Propulsion did in the first race. Qualified right behind that trotter. Showed promise at Lexington. Using.
8 HOT TYPE Gets some class relief coming out of that Trixton race. That said, he was 81-1 in this company before. Retains longshot status.
9 O NARUTAC PERFETTO The race got faster last time and he seemed to struggle a bit. This is not any easier and he needs to improve.
10 THE TRAVELER Making his second start off the bench. Never made the gate last time and now has the widest draw. Looms a longshot.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 7-9-6-2
H Horse Comment
1 MAJOR LOOK Rebounded with a better effort last time. This field came up very tough for this class and Callahan chose off. Tough call.
2 MARINADE HANOVER Really liked how she was finishing last week, but it wasn’t enough to keep Pierce. Tough group. Value for exotics.
3 OUR ELS DREAM N She took a ton of action last week and perhaps cutting the mile impacted her effort. Expecting a bounce back mile.
4 HOT LIST She never saw the pylons last week, so take that into account. With the right setup, she can get involved. Will offer a price too.
5 MACHAROUNDTHECLOCK It appears this level has just been a little too tough for her. Was not Callahan’s choice. Will need to step it up.
6 MARTY PARTY Really have to respect this mare’s consistency. She is only 1 for 14 on the year, but she cannot be dismissed from exotics.
7 DROP THE BALL Exits a strong mile and this is some class relief. With her ability, she is supposed to beat these. Price will indicate that.
8 BILLMAR SCOOTER This mare has done a good job picking up checks at Pocono. Team Buter excels with mare pacers. Underneath.
9 MATTIE TERROR GIRL This is probably the mare most likely to upset Drop The Ball. Continues to be sharp and always brings her game.
10 SPEND IT ALL She really out-performed her odds last time. But where is she going from post 10 against this group? Too much to do.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 9-6-10-5
H Horse Comment
1 J CS JAKE Was sent off at long odds against similar last time. Broke at the start. Should offer believers a very large price again.
2 MARCUS BI Responded last time to the softer field with a better effort. Still, that was a 1:59. This race will go in 1:53-1:54. Not sold.
3 KODAK LINDY He has had some tough draws on the smaller tracks. That said, he hasn’t shown me enough to merit consideration here.
4 CALIPARI Added Lasix for that qualifier, which is tough to gauge behind Perfect Alliance. Making his first start since November. Longshot.
5 BOSSY VOLO Looms as the favorite based on the class drop and his efforts at Philly. Still would like to see him finish a little better.
6 PT’S BOOMERANG Note the barn change on the ship in. Also gets the services of Tetrick. That will attract attention. The 2 for 40 is scary.
7 PLAY FAIR Recent form just has not been there. The Freehold move didn’t seem to help either. Look like a longshot until proven otherwise.
8 GAELIC AND GARLIC Yet to win in 2014, but he has been picking up minor awards in similar spots. Not sold on the win, but I will include.
9 CAPTAIN PRIMEAU I think this is a field he can beat. His last race wasn’t bad. I do caution, I never guess right on him, so buyer beware.
10 SINA Not bad in her first Meadowlands start. She has the speed to overcome the draw as well. She can easily be a factor in this spot.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 MOMMA ROCK Pulled off the upset last week at 15-1 thanks in part to a perfect 2nd over trip. The waters get much deeper here.
2 JERSEYLICIOUS She wasn’t going to beat Shebestingin from post 7 at Miami Valley. That said, this mare has come back sharp. Include.
3 FEELING YOU Honestly, I just didn’t like how she looked on the track. Have seen it before. Rough gaited and choppy. Not taking a chance.
4 CONTINUAL VELOCITY She was beaten 13 lengths by Shebestingin the last time she faced her. She may be better now. Still needs more.
5 SHEBESTINGIN She was a little short, despite winning her first start. But, she answered the bell in Ohio. She will just get better and better.
6 JK LETITGO She just could not keep up with the field last week. Not sure if that was an aberration or this is just too tough. Wild card now.
7 ROCKLAMATION What a career this mare has had. Raced well in the Matchmaker. She has won here before. A threat to the favorite.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-2-9
H Horse Comment
1 TSM LIL ORPHAN ANDY Dominated a field that is much softer than this. He loses Callahan in the process. Not sold on the repeat.
2 BROADWAY ROCKS Certainly has come back racing well. Renews his rivalry with McKenzie here. Note, he was 9/5 in that spot. Logical.
3 BLUTO Puts the trotting hobbles on for this. It might make a difference or it might do nothing. But at 15-1, maybe you take a shot.
4 JERSEY BOY Gingras’ choice had one of those sneaky miles from post 10 that many will jump on. This horse has some class. I like him.
5 MCKENZIE’S STAR Solid effort to pull the upset at 14-1 last time. I wasn’t sure she was up to this level. You won’t get the same price now.
6 DOUBLE BUNDY N His lines from late March and early April make him a player at this level. But, what has happened lately? Tricky call.
7 BLUEBIRD KIDSQUEEN Where did that come from? She had completely tailed off and then scores at 11-1. Now moves up, faces better.
8 ELLEN’S ISLE I have seen this mare win in spots like this before. She fits nicely at this C-2 level and was Callahan’s choice. Interesting.
9 TIGER’S TOO GOOD He was a winner at 8/5 when last seen at a similar level. Can he just bounce back on the class drop? Possibility.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-7-9
H Horse Comment
1 PARDON Showed speed last time, got shuffled and was even in the stretch. I just don’t see her winning enough. Using underneath again.
2 JARNAC Continues to knock on the door, but she is 0 for 10 on the year. I suppose I will continue to play her accordingly. Can win though.
3 IDEAL GINNY She was better last time, showing speed from the outside. Loses Marcus Miller to Jarnac, but picks up Pierce. Watch closely.
4 WINBAK SPEEDI Her lack of speed seems to leave her with a lot to do, even when she draws inside. Tries to rally for a share.
5 BELLE BOYD One of these nights, she is going to get a trip. That said, she is supposed to beat C-2 mares, regardless. Very tough call.
6 CAROLSIDEAL Did you watch Long Live Rock on Saturday? Fool me once…Check out her mile here last December. I am playing her.
7 LEAVEUMLADY It’s Burke/Gingras on a class drop off a decent mile. This mare will take a lot of play. I will use her, but will try to beat her.
8 EXPRESS JET That wasn’t a bad effort at all last time. She was beaten by an odds on favorite in the process. Worth considering here.
9 ITS DE LOVELY Did not race badly in the C-Notes Final at all. She gets Miller back as well. Likely to be a pace factor and could be more.
10 SAM SWIFTY The race she tried to leave here, it just didn’t work. That is a deep concern from this outside draw. Appears up against it.