• Week Of 5/12 - 5/18
  • SU12
  • MO13
  • TU14
  • WE15
  • TH16
  • FR17
  • SA18
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 18, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-9-8
H Horse Comment
1 IT’S ROYALTY Showed solid improvement in that 2nd start of the year. Winner of last is in a NJSS division later. Adds value to exotics.
2 COWBOY COFFEE His form just has not developed over the past month. Now, he loses Callahan as well. For bottom of exotics only.
3 RAGGS Struggled in his last pair from wide posts at Freehold. Horse he beat on 4/18 has raced once since, finishing 7th. Not a positive.
4 CAUTION SIGNS Winner of last pair is in a NJSS division later. Top to bottom, this colt catches a softer spot and he looms a contender.
5 MINDSET Meadowlands Pace eligible had a good first start behind a promising 3YO. Looms a short-priced favorite in this group.
6 GRATIAS DEO Worth noting that this gelding beat a mare last out, who since came back and finished 6th on a class drop. I’ll watch one.
7 HURRIKANE MAXIMUS His last start was an improvement, but can his speed carrt?. Mare that beat him in last came back to win by 8.
8 ROCKIN GLORY Winner of last will be a NYSS contender this year. I like the improvement he showed in last. Worth including on tickets.
9 SOUTHWIND TERROR Caught a horse that had a 4 length lead in the stretch last out. That horse is a NYB Excelsior-type. Things to like.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 2-8-5-4
H Horse Comment
1 BLUES AT MIDNIGHT Kicks off what appears to be a wide open race. He is still not making up ground in the stretch. I’ll pass.
2 OVERNIGHT DELIGHT Gelding got a mile over the track last time. This field came up softer than last. He will be a key use for me.
3 SHARKSTUNE Very hard to recommend off that last mile. I suppose the post will help, but he is still coming home in 30-seconds.
4 PADRE MANUEL Compared to Overnight Delight, I think he is coming out of an easier race. That said, off his last, he is a contender.
5 ART’S JIMMY RAY Ditto on the sentiments of which race is stronger. Still, his 3rd place finish last out probably makes him the chalk.
6 HERZON Wild card in the field, as those Plainridge races are tough to gauge. Winner of last broke next out. I would call him a fringe player.
7 ATTACK MODES BILLY Just an impossible play off his last three starts. Has typically been better on the smaller tracks as well. Pass.
8 KINGS POINT This gelding is interesting. No chance from post 10 last time and in this field, it would not surprise me to see him blast!
9 SHOWTIME SHARK Tough trip last time as he never saw the pylons. Will they best the driver change to Tetrick? He doesn’t win often.
10 DR ALFONSO Beaten 45 lengths in his last 2 starts at Rosecroft at Freehold. Given that, I need to see a start here first. Longshot.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-7-2
H Horse Comment
1 MAJOR BELLE He was racing so well prior to his start on 4/13. I wonder if all those tough first over miles have soured him. Tricky call.
2 TOWNSLIGHT HANOVER Continues to race well, but as you see, as the races have gotten tougher, he hasn’t been as sharp. Maybe.
3 RIVER SHARK He was in tougher when last seen here. That said, he probably should be beating Money Twitch at Tioga. Mixed signals.
4 SHARK INGESTED Stopped last time. Worth noting that he came home slow the week prior as well. Not sold on his chances here.
5 PANESTHETIC Sharp win, as he was able to collar the classy Special T Rocks last time. I like him in a short field. Wire to wire is the plan!
6 VOICE OF TRUTH Dial Or No Dial would be 1/5 in this field, so he is exiting a key race here. Good effort when last seen here. Tough.
7 CAMAES FELLOW Probably takes money, but I caution, unless this barn woke up Friday, it has been running cold here. Still, using.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-5-9
H Horse Comment
1 JOHNY ROCK Kicked off his Road To The Meadowlands Pace with a sharp score in The Simpson. Gets a real test from Amadeus tonight!
2 ROCK STAR Clearly off his last three starts, he is up against it in a field like this. Looms a longshot at this level and I will pass.
3 ROCKIN AMADEUS Qualifiers say he is fully cranked and ready to begin his march to The Pace. #3 on this weeks “Road To The Pace.”
4 LUCAN HANOVER Runner-up from last is not a bad horse and is in race 12 tonight. Gelding has some upside, but is a fringe player here.
5 LETS ROCK TOGETHER On paper, he is probably 3rd or 4th best in this field. Likely to show some speed, but will be tough to wire them.
6 HE ROCKS THE MOON He raced well in spots last year but the top choice in here is in par with the winner of his last QUA. Tough task.
7 IMA GIGGITY FOOL He is racing well as the winner of his last 2 is a serious Meadowlands Pace contender. Adds some value to exotics.
8 ROCKY MOUNTAIN GUY Don’t be too hard on him for being 9 lengths behind Captaintreacherous last out. Still, he needs to improve.
9 DEEP SEA HANOVER This colt probably goes hand in hand with Let’s Rock Together. An exotics contender, but a win is a stretch.
10 ONLY THE LONELY Colt has come out firing to start his 3YO campaign. Things get much tougher here. I guess we will see speed.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 4-7-5-8
H Horse Comment
1 RESCUE PLAN His form has gone the wrong way in the last 2 starts, but those were tough races. Winner of last didn’t fire next out though.
2 BULLET SPEED Loved him last week and he just got there in time. This will be a tougher assignment, but he is still sharp. Including.
3 ALED HANOVER Brought over from Hoosier off a break. It’s tough to gauge those Indiana races so I will likely watch his first start here.
4 FANTADDY If you throw out that 1:49.2 mile, he is still extremely sharp. Winner of last came back to be a good 2nd against similar. Player.
5 PEMBROKE DEWEY Tough first over grind last week at Yonkers against a good field. This post should set him up nicely for a trip.
6 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE Facing many of the same contenders he saw last time and he didn’t quite stack up with the best there. Needs more.
7 WHIRL MONROE Exploded off the barn change with a tour-de-force last week. He is moving up the ladder, but that mile is hard to ignore.
8 WOODSTOCK HANOVER Continues to race well, but he consistently just misses on the win end. I will be using accordingly, underneath.
9 KEEP GOING See how Panesthetic did in race 3. Likely coming from last and Miller opted off, so that’s troubling. Bottom of exotics.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-3-6
H Horse Comment
1 MISTER HERBIE He might be sitting on a big race. Hard not to like the way he finished his mile. Remember he trotted 1:51 in his first start!
2 GUCCIO It appears that in bigger fields, he is just left with too much to do as he isn’t that smooth on the turns. Bottom of exotics for now.
3 MODERN FAMILY I think Bier has a better horse than even he realized when he purchased this 4YO. There is nothing to knock right now.
4 WISHING STONE He was raging with trot when finally free in the elimination and he is in career form. I don’t need to tell you he’s tough!
5 MY MVP By default, he is going to be a big price. But this is a nice trotter and from this post, with a trip, I can see him hitting the ticket.
6 SEVRUGA I admit, he might be better than I originally gave him credit for. Raced his eye-balls out last week. Much respect for this gelding.
7 KNOWS NOTHING He was looking around for racing room in the stretch and finished with some trot. Still, not sure he can jump up in here.
8 OPENING NIGHT He will be one of the bigger prices in the field and he almost scored a huge win last week. I would toss him on the ticket.
9 UNDERCOVER STRIKE He can really roll at the end of a mile, but if he would have drawn better, it would make things easier. Still using.
10 ICE MACHINE He drew into the field when Googoo Gaagaa was withdrawn due to throat surgery. He is a longshot at this point.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 9-6-1-8
H Horse Comment
1 RELENTLESS DREAMER That’s back to back miles he came from last to first. The Meadowlands Silky Sullivan is a contender again.
2 MR DENNIS What do we do here? This horse won the Exit 16W and since then has not been the same. His best is certainly good enough.
3 BOLERO ANDREW This is the right spot for him and I would see how Bullet Speed did in race 5 as well. One of the prime contenders.
4 CORKY BARAN Maybe Gingras didn’t get along with him last week? Gets Callahan back tonight and maybe that’s the angle here.
5 ROCKNROLL JEWEL I think he does his best racing here at the level below this. This field came up pretty tough as well. Tricky call.
6 UNION MAN HANOVER Just 2 wins in the last 2 years for this lightly raced 4YO. He does have a win at this level here. Intriguing player.
7 HEZA TRICK N That field he caught last time was just too much. But that win at the bottom level at Freehold isn’t going to stack up here.
8 HANGON COWBOY I feel as though he finds a way to lose every week. Now 0 for 17 on the year, I’ll continue to use him underneath.
9 DOUBLETROUBLE That was not a bad race last week and he had some sneaky pace in the stretch. At a price, toss him in the trifecta.
10 SAWWHATUNEEDTOSAY Draws the far outside without any speed and Miller opted elsewhere. I just cannot endorse off that.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 7-10-3-8
H Horse Comment
1 A PLACE IN HISTORY Made a bold move three-wide last week, but was no match for a 1:49.3 mile. See how While Monroe did in the 5th!
2 BLUE CLAW He still needs everything to go his way and catch the right field to win. I don’t think this is that kind of spot so I will pass.
3 COOL RUNNINGS That wasn’t a terrible effort last week and at a price, while I think a win is a reach, I would include him in tri’s/super’s.
4 PRINCE SHARKA How did Relentless Dreamer do in the 7th? Use that as a gauge. He might be worth an inclusion at any kind of price.
5 STORMIN RUSTLER Continues to knock on that door, but that 0 for 2013 gets bigger every week. I guess I will use him underneath again.
6 BLADE RUNNER Things didn’t go his way last week. So you have to decide which horse shows up tonight. Don’t sell too short here.
7 MORTAL ZIN On the class drop he is the horse to beat. The winner of his last mile is up to a B-2 now. I might single him in the pick four.
8 CASIMIR CAMOTION Warhorse making start #264 of his remarkable career. This is the level he can compete at, so you cannot ignore!
9 FOUR STARZ TWINS He was stopping past the ½ mile pole last week. Look for some equipment changes, but either way I am skeptical.
10 FILLED WITH WONDER He is getting some class relief and has the speed to overcome the draw. He is another that can hit the board.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 EMERITUS MAXIMUS He has looked very, very good. How many strong 3YO pacers does Alagna have? The answer is A LOT! Player.
1A ALWAYS THERE Nice compliment to Emeritus Maximus, but I think he is a cut or 2 below even his stablemate, let alone Wake Up Peter.
2 WAKE UP PETER He is a lot of people’s pick to really step up as a 3YO this year. #5 on the Road to the Pace this week and a player.
3 REAL ROCKER I liked the rally he put forth last time and while it may be a stretch for him to win this, he has to be on your tickets.
4 ROCNROLWILNEVERDIE Exits the same race as Real Rocker. For both, see how good Johny Rock looked in the 3rd. Exotics contender.
5 ROCKAHOLIC Yes, he ran into Source of Pride last time, but Wake Up Peter is not exactly a step down from that. He will need even more.
6 SKY IS THE LIMIT Not a bad qualifier and he raced well at times at Pocono. But he is going to need to step it up in this spot. Not for me.
7 DAVID ON ICE Has to make up 9 lengths on Emeritus Maximus here, not to mention Wake Up Peter. One of the longshots.
8 ROCKS N BONDS Improved last time, but with this outside draw where I am not expecting much speed, he is up against it.
9 TO BEACH HIS OWN Those are two very impressive miles seemingly out of nowhere. I do think the competition had much to do with it.
10 NICK FOTIU Notice the addition of Lasix here, that might explain his last start. Still, he will need to step things up substantially now.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-9-10
H Horse Comment
1 A ROCKNROLL DANCE The 2012 Meadowlands Pace winner returns to the site of his finest hour. Is he ready off that 1 qualifier? Not sure.
2 BOLT THE DUER It is hard to look better than he has in his qualifiers. He has huge early speed and a big late kick. Looks ready to roll!
3 MEL MARA Enters this off what have to be considered two disappointing efforts. I would say he is a longshot until proven otherwise.
4 HURRIKANE KINGCOLE Tough beat in a 1:48.1 mile last time. Once he rolls, it’s hard to stop him! He will be dangerous with the right trip.
5 DYNAMIC YOUTH 2012 Cane Pace Winner raced admirably in a tough spot to make his 4YO debut. With this post, he is worth including.
6 IDEAL CHAMP He was staked to just about everything, but it has not worked out yet. This spot came up nearly impossible. Longshot.
7 DOMETHATAGAIN What a gutty, courageous mile he put up last week. I am a fan. But, is he ready to go with the best of the best? Tricky.
8 HILLBILLY HANOVER I was a bit surprised to see Pierce choose off in this spot. While he is a fringe player, I like him over Mel Mara here.
9 SWEET LOU That was a good starting point for his first start back. Curious to see what Gingras does here. Whatever it is, he’s a contender.
10 WARRAWEE NEEDY He was just uncontrollable last week. Nose will be on the gate and he will be firing. If he clears the lead, lookout!
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 11-4-5-8
H Horse Comment
1 JK LET ITGO Defeated Jerseylicious in that qualifier, who is 8 for 8 this year. But, Tetrick goes to the favorite. Huge test for class here.
2 GRAPHENE Rallied well last time, but she stood out in that field as her 6/5 price indicates. This will be much tougher for her. Tough call.
3 PANERA HANOVER Ran into an extremely sharp Burke filly last out that has a shot to be a good one. This will be just as tough.
4 I LUV THE NITELIFE Had a marvelous 2YO season and looks like she is ready to roll in her seasonal debut. Clearly the one to beat.
5 O NARUTAC ROCKETTE That was solid runner-up try behind a very talented filly. She raced well in The Weiss as well. I am including.
6 MS CAILA J FRA She raced well and just got beat by a sharp filly last out. She goes from the that to catching a couple of monsters here!
7 CERTIFIED IDEAL I cannot be too keen on her chances off that 29.3 final quarter. I think she is overmatched at this level for the time being.
8 AUTHORIZE Went first over into a tough mile last time out and she likely needed that start. She is a candidate to improve. I am using.
9 IDEAL A LITTLE She regressed in that last mile and that is not what you want to see going into a Sire Stakes. A longshot now.
10 IDEAL GINNY Just not seeing enough from her right now to merit consideration here and that 29.1 final quarter in that QUA isn’t enough.
11 JERSEYLICIOUS What’s to knock? The 2012 Sweetheart winner is a perfect 8 for 8 this year. Has to maneuver from the 2nd tier now.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 8-6-5-9
H Horse Comment
1 CHEYENNE REIDER Exits that insanely fast C-2 mile, so that race might be better than it looks. That said, he has some improving to do.
2 ILIKETHEMTRASHY Just wasn’t the same last time and now faces and even tougher group. Those DSBF races might not hold up here.
3 DAMON BLUE CHIP Winner of that last race is a nice pacer with some talent. Usually the tote board tells the tale with this barn. Maybe.
4 TAKE A WALK Runner-up from that last mile came back to be a distant 8th from post 1 at YR in a nw4 event. That doesn’t bode well.
5 A BETTOR WORLD He has ability, but I think he finds himself a few lengths behind Source Of Pride. He figures as an exotics contender.
6 SIR CARY’S Z TAM I think the training wheels come off here. Moves inside a bit and is likely to coming roaring off cover. Second-best.
7 TWIN B HOLLISTER I am skeptical of playing a horse off 2 dull efforts and a lame scratch. This barn has already brought one over to win.
8 SOURCE OF PRIDE He has begun the ascension up the Road to the Pace ladder, now at #8. I really liked his last mike. Logical chalk.
9 SWIFT AS A SHADOW That was a strange qualifier as they went very slow to the half and The Captain got lazy on the lead. Has ability.
10 VISA VIPER See how Lucan Hanover did in race 4. Colt was put in some tough spots so connections must like him. Tetrick opts off though.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 HAGI It’s impossible to get a read off a QUA when a horse is beaten 18 lengths. That said, this field is wide open and he probably fits.
2 IN KENNY’S HONOR I usually let him beat me and last week he did. No problem, I will play against the repeat and use underneath.
3 AWESOME ARMBRO N Off that mile, he is going to get bet, so if you circled him from last week, you aren’t getting a price. He’s tough.
4 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE He might go overlooked here. He is coming out of that crazy fast mile and that race is better than it looked.
5 HURRIKANE ANTHONY He went first over into that vicious mile last time, so I suppose he might go overlooked here. Go price shopping!
6 CHROME CRUISER Qualified behind a World Champion, but it is still hard to gauge. Off the 3 month layoff I will watch this start.
7 RED STAR TOMAHAWK Just got ousted by In Kenny’s Honor last time. Solid speed try, but note Callahan’s presence elsewhere now.
8 THANKS FOR STOPPIN That last field at Pocono is similar to this and I think he is better on the bigger track. Using him in the super.
9 LORD OF THE BLING Battling it out for minor awards at the $10k claiming level at Freehold is often not a launching point for here.
10 KISS MY ART Made another mistake last time. He is probably the best horse in the race, but he comes with a lot of question marks.