• Week Of 5/18 - 5/24
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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, May 23, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 3-6-1-7
H Horse Comment
1 MARZIPAN The trotting hopples have kept him flat. Now, it is time to take off the gloves and see what he can do. Expecting a better effort.
2 MADE TO TROT The presence of Tetrick always adds some intrigue. But this son of Straight Up Lindy has been struggling. Must improve.
3 HOME FRONT First time starter is a kin to 4 winners, including $200k earner Night Of Intrigue. Cost $100k at Lexington. Good qualifier.
4 CUTUP HANOVER First foal from an unraced dame improved in his second start. Gets Pierce tonight, but further improvement is required.
5 MONTALBANO BI Has made breaks in 2 of 3 career pari-mutuel starts. Has shown some promise when he trots. Cost $50k at Lexington.
6 GREEN HORNUT His inability to stay trotting is certainly a concern. That said, he clearly has the most ability of these. Tough call with chalk.
7 COIN COLLECTOR I believe this filly has more to offer. Despite being just a $9k Harrisburg yearling, she has hinted at potential. Include.
8 SWEET SAVIOUR Cannot seem to stay trotting. The hopples coming off didn’t appear to help last time. Trainer driving himself now.
9 I SPEAK JIVE First foal from an unraced dam. Cost $32k at Harrisburg. He too has shown a propensity toward breaking stride. Tricky call.
10 BODY TALK I would have liked that qualifier at Pocono to have gone a bit faster. He has shown potential. The question is the outside draw.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 8-2-5-1
H Horse Comment
1 MISTER B’S WAY Colt has now burnt cash in his first two starts. He has a power-pedigree and potential, but does come with some risk.
2 ACADIA AS She is certainly consistent in that she stays trotting. This field is a bit softer than her previous three. Expecting more this time.
3 O NARUTAC PERFETTO Similarly to Acadia, this gelding is facing a softer group. Acadia has had his number thought. Will use underneath.
4 KUMBAYA DE VIE He wasn’t beating Nuncio, so that PASS try is a toss out. This stable is sneaky good, so pay close attention to this one.
5 THE TRAVELER Really out-raced his odds from post 10 last time. Will not be 68-1 this time. Looms a contender off that last effort.
6 VALLAS COWGIRL I suspect if she couldn’t beat one of the lower levels at Freehold, this will not be any easier. Campbell chooses off.
7 MASTER KEMP Comes from a capable family. Qualifiers were decent and you ignore this barn at your own risk. Looms a player here.
8 DD’S HITMAN Exits a very strong qualifier that produced a next out winner in the NJSS in Well Built. Very intriguing prospect in this group.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 3-8-4-5
H Horse Comment
1 DAVE BRIGGS It seems the Freehold confidence builders have not translated in his subsequent starts. Appears to need softer company.
2 SKATES N PLATES Making his 2nd start back on the season, so he figures to improve. Faces what is a very tough division here. Maybe.
3 SPEAK THE TRUTH Didn’t make the 1st Leg, so he needs a big mile here to make the Final. Qualifier was big. A kin to Hez Striking ($1M).
4 WELL BUILT He couldn’t have looked much better last week. That said, it wasn’t enough to keep Campbell. Still a logical win contender.
5 SUMATRA Made an uncharacteristic break last week. This horse will offer value again and he is a win candidate. Does lose Tetrick though.
6 HILLUSTRIOUS All of a sudden, he woke up. I would say it was the hopples, but he made 2 breaks with them prior. Seems to have speed.
7 MARTINI WITH MUSCLE Chased after Well Built in Leg 1. Slightly disappointing as the favorite and no Gingras tonight. Still, he is a player.
8 LIGHTNING FORCE Looked good until Trixton was unleashed last week. No Trixton’s in this field and is Campbell’s choice. Contender.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 7-3-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 RINGSIDE MUSCLE Qualified impressively in preparation for this. He certainly has speed, but the only question is the layoff. Mixed signals.
2 HELIOS He is usually tough at this level, but he tailed off into the month of April. Qualifier was decent, but the question is will he stay flat?
3 ALL ABOUT JUSTICE He typically does damage at this level as well. There are plenty of class droppers in this field. Logical contender.
4 CASHAHALLIC We saw Itzaziam make this move from the Open at Miami-Valley to a C-2 and win. Interesting off that angle at price.
5 CELEBRITY STIMULUS Dropping to his lowest level, but interesting Lachance still chose off. I like to see Pierce here. He can move up.
6 DOUBLE BUINDY N I liked how he was finishing last week and now he moves down in class as well. Should work out a cover trip here.
7 MOONTAN Continues to move down the class ladder. This is a huge drop from what he faced three weeks ago. I will take a shot with him.
8 PAISLEY He was OK last week and this is Lachance’s choice. Still, I have my reservations about putting him in the win column in here.
9 UPFRONTSTRIKESGOLD Another that is dropping down to his lowest level in a while. Improvement would not surprise me here either.
10 WHEELS He hasn’t shown the response to Lasix like I would have hoped. The outside post makes things tough as well. Leaning elsewhere.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 7-3-8-5
H Horse Comment
1 SCULLY SAS Was a longshot when she broke last time. Loses Callahan here as well. She will need to race back to her absolute best.
2 DANCING FOR MONEY Had to scratch from Leg 1, so she is behind the eight ball, needing a big effort to make the final. A longshot here.
3 MY INSPIRATION Admire any horse that can win off a 10 month layoff, especially in a stake. Should get a bigger challenge from Cee Bee.
4 FASTDOWNTHEHILL Cut the mile last time and she was even in the stretch. Clearly has some ability, but needs to improve to win here.
5 SCREAM AND SHOUT Added Lasix and responded with a strong effort. The 0 for 14 mark is a concern, but she can hit the ticket now.
6 RAVINE Enters this off a slow qualifier and a 7 month layoff. That is a tough sell. I have to expect that she will need a start first.
7 CEE BEE YES Took a tour of the bigger track last time. I have to figure that she is cut loose tonight. She is the best of this group. Shows it.
8 HEAVEN’S DOOR Showed how much ability she has by getting back into the race last week. Plenty of talent, but can jump too. Maybe.
9 MISTRESSWITHMUSCLE She was 45-1 last week and did well to earn a check. Catches a full field now and appears up against it.
10 SHELIKESCANDY Continues to be victimized by the post draw. Likely to be getting away last here and that just won’t work out.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 8-9-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 MAJOR LOOK She does show a win at the B-2 level and she was 7/5 in there as well. But since then, she has given mixed signals. Tricky.
2 MACHAROUNDTHECLOCK Also shows a win in a B-2, but at these elevated levels, she has struggled. Appears to need a softer group.
3 WOMAN OF TERROR She raced well last time, but now moves up into an even tougher spot and looms a longshot this time around.
4 ALWAYS ON A ROLL Another that is getting a major test for class. I loved her last two efforts, but this a serious step up. Needs even more,
5 BILLMAR SCOOTER When she is on top of her game, she can go with these. Lately, she has been at less than her best. Must step it up.
6 ICOMMANDMYSPIRIT That was a very solid effort last time. Art Ideal and Aria J are probably a cut below this field. Still, merits a long look.
7 SIMPLE SAVER N Qualified behind two monster mares. This mare does have some talent, but not enough to lure Lachance. Tricky call.
8 MATTIE TERROR GIRL I suppose we should chalk the break up to the sloppy track and poor weather. Throw that out and she jumps out!
9 MONOCHROMATIC She has always been a nice mare and it is good to see her back here. Has the speed to overcome the draw. Logical.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 10-7-1-2
H Horse Comment
1 BLUEBIRD KIDSQUEEN She has turned the corner and is racing well again. This C-1 level is tougher, but off her latest she is a player.
2 PINE CREDIT He was a nice 3YO, a cut below the top-tier. This year hasn’t gotten off to the best start. But the talent is there. Contender.
3 NORTHERN SPARK We don’t see Scotty Z choose off too many Auciello horses. If you can get past his Yonkers form, he is a possibility.
4 SWAN IN A MILLION Has not raced since October and only has one qualifier to prepare for this. He does own plenty of back class though.
5 TSMLIL ORPHAN ANDY I wonder what he would have done last time had he not broken stride. If he stays flat, he can contend in here.
6 MCKENZIE’S STAR When she trots, she is in the game for sure. Callahan did choose off, but she is a part of the deep contention here.
7 CLEMTINE DREAM That was not a bad effort at all last time. She is pretty sharp right now, despite Zeron choosing off. Has some upside.
8 RIVERFEST She does her best work at the level below this, but her last effort wasn’t bad. Showed speed too. Might toss on some tickets.
9 HANDOVER BELLE I really wanted to see more from her last week. A bit concerned she will have too much to do from here. Tricky call.
10 MARCH AWARENESS This gelding has been extremely sharp. The post makes things tough, but I still think he is the one to beat here.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-8-1
H Horse Comment
1 LAD PINE Last pair of efforts were decent. He does own a win at this level. Note, Tetrick’s presence is elsewhere though. Underneath.
2 IDOL KEMP Recent form has been somewhat suspect. He would need to take a step forward at this point. Needs to get back to his best.
3 DASH FOR THE CASH Shows some decent lines at Freehold. This barn has had its struggles here though. Tough to recommend now.
4 WHATNBLAZES Exits the amateur series for this. Hasn’t raced badly this year, but has not won either. Watching this time around.
5 HOUSE MONEY See how Pine Credit did in the 7th, as this gelding also exits the Open at Vernon. I like his speed. Looms a contender.
6 SPECIAL COMMAND He was 29-1 at this level when last seen here. His form his not as good as it was earlier in the year. Needs more.
7 REVRAC HARBOR Love that he won fresh off the bench. This is a tricky spot for a 3YO. He is Hambo-eligible. There are things to like.
8 ARRIBA AMIGO He has a lot of back class, but has not been the same horse since coming back from injury. His speed is dangerous.
9 KEYSTONE WASABI The other 3YO in the group has been facing better horses than this. Still, facing older is always tricky. Tough call.
10 PT’S BOOMERANG His last effort was solid, but he loses Tetrick and moves to the far outside. There is some speed inside of him, too.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-7-4
H Horse Comment
1 ROYAL KNOCKOUT She was not a factor at this level when last seen here. Beaten a long way last time at Freehold. Watching this one.
2 WANNA WIN She had a tough time keeping up early. Big difference between a 27- and 28.1 opening quarter. I expect improvement now.
3 JARNAC I am going to pick her in this spot despite the 0 for 11. This field came up lighter than what she has been facing. It’s time to win!
4 MOJARRA HANOVER She has pulled the shocking upset a time or two here before. On that alone, I would toss onto some Pick 4 tickets.
5 KZ BEACH GIRL This mare is a tough sell for me based on her last three starts. She needs to turn things around to contend this time.
6 FRONTIERPAN She really had no chane last time. I can see her staying closer from here and sliding her way onto the ticket at a price.
7 ANGEL OF THE WEST Out-raced her odds last week. This field came up light and she won’t be 19-1 this time. Still, a contender here.
8 CAROLSTERN She hasn’t won since her 119-1 shocker here in December of 2012. She will likely have a long way to come from here.
9 ARIANE HANOVER Her winless streak has reached 12 to start the year. Did win here last year, but was not Callahan’s choice. Shaky.
10 HARMONY OAKS QUIKE She out-raced her odds last time coming from well back. That will likely be the scenario again. Minor share.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-3-5-10
H Horse Comment
1 LOLA DE VIE This mare is hit or miss this year. But she just hasn’t come back in the same form as 2013. Looking elsewhere for the winner.
2 GIANT CLASH Added Lasix last time but never got involved. This field didn’t come up too strong and she adds Pierce. Things to like here.
3 MR RIDGETAKER Raced well at this level. Not concerned that the C-1 was a bit too tough. Can easily see him rebounding on the drop.
4 CALIPARI Added Lasix and hopples last time and responded with a better effort. Can take another step forward tonight. Must be included.
5 COE LEADER Gets another class drop and you have to figure this will spark a wake-up call. The problem is the likely short price. Dicey.
6 KODAK LINDY An even try last time when 5th at this level. With a trip, I suppose a similar result is possible. Win may be out of reach.
7 GASLIGHT Lone win came at Yonkers and other than that he hasn’t done much here. Looms a longshot until proven otherwise.
8 AMERICASH EXPRESS I can see her improving on the bigger track and with a trip she can rally for a share in here. Use in deep exotics.
9 SILVER DELIVERY He goes off-stride a little too much for my liking. But he did win at Philly last time. Leaves me with mixed feelings here.
10 BAD DAY BLACK ROCK Have to admire his recent form, but not many Freehold shippers have brought the form with them. Still using.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-6-7-2
H Horse Comment
1 ROYAL ICE Had to need that first start back. An even try behind the overwhelming chalk in the Final. I expect a better effort this time.
2 KING CITY Exits the same race as the rival to his inside and was a little bit better. Another than can improve in this group. Must be included.
3 SOUTHWIND POSEIDON Note that Ryder turns to Lachance this time. Despite the break, this horse has shown potential. Will take a flyer.
4 RESOLVE Good to see him earn a win in his first start back. That said, this is going to be a much tougher assignment. Missed Leg 1 too.
5 STEEL CURTIN I expect we will see a return to speed this time as it worked out well before. Takes advantage of the short field. Pace factor.
6 ODDS ON AMETHYST Made a break in the off-going last time. When he trots he has a ton of speed. Needs a good effort to make the final.
7 RAGAZZO DOLCE Tough trip last time but still managed to earn a share of the pie. Gets Pierce tonight and he has the look of a contender.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 8-7-2-4
H Horse Comment
1 TIME TO QUIT Sold for $32,000 at the sale on Sunday. He was not a factor the last time at this level. Needs to get back to his best here.
2 LIGHTNING STORM Strong qualifier, although the horse he beat is a C-1/C-2 type. Still, cannot be ignored given his back class. Interesting.
3 CRAZY ABOUT PAT Qualified behind Queen Bee. Earned nearly $400,000 last year, so he has some ability. May need a start first though.
4 HIGH BRIDGE Solid qualifier following the two sick scratches. A little concerned about that. He is talented, so I will throw him into the mix.
5 SIXTEEN MIKES Splitsville is a C-1 type trotter here, so losing to him doesn’t bode well for this. Was not Tetrick’s choice either. Not sold.
6 FIRSTCLASSPRINCESS Broke through with a win on the class drop. Right back up the ladder and things will get tougher here. Tough spot.
7 WORLD CUP The first of what looks like two strong contenders drawing outside. Chased Not Afraid last time at Pocono. Top contender.
8 BAMBINO GLIDE Made an unfortunate break when last seen here. Raced well in that Yonkers series. Looms a logical player on his return.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 4-9-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 UP FRONT ELIZABETH She has not raced back to the form she flashed when she first came here. Still, her last race was OK. Including.
2 WINE MARKET Has not had much luck racing at the bottom level at Freehold. Not sure how this will work out any better. Longshot.
3 CAVIART SHELLY She had faced some tough company as a 2YO. Note this is her first start back. Newcomer Rue can drive. Intriguing.
4 SANDBETWEENURTOES She was really good last week. This filly appears very dangerous. Gingras overseas, so Brett Miller is up.
5 MAGNIFIQUE Added Lasix last time and it didn’t make much of an impact. She would need to improve off that performance. Still a longshot.
6 SHE’S DANGEROUS Drops out of the Sire Stakes for this. This is obviously a softer spot and she figures to take a step forward. Logical.
7 VITAMEATAVEGAMIN Added Lasix last time and did not show much of a difference. Needs to race back to her April form to contend.
8 SHADY LADY Has picked up some minor awards lately. Would need to work out a trip from here to threaten for the win. Deep exotics.
9 EXPOSE Filly is in better form than most of these and has to be rated a contender off that alone. Likely in a battle for 2nd behind ‘Sand.