• Week Of 5/18 - 5/24
  • SU18
  • MO19
  • TU20
  • WE21
  • TH22
  • FR23
  • SA24
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 24, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 4-2-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 ACE OF SHARKS Gets a driver change to Pierce that is worth noting. Appeared to respond to Lasix. Lone Meadowlands try is a concern.
2 SWEET ROCK Tried the Sire Stakes last time and really wasn’t bad. He gets Campbell back and was solid in nw1 company. Still 0 for 13.
3 ROCKEYED OPTIMIST Full brother to BG’s Folly ($556k). Yet to show much on the racetrack. Taking a wait and see approach here.
4 BEACHTREA The full-brother to Captaintreacherous ($2.9M). It has taken time to get to the races, but he is making progress. Top pick.
5 ZAYSTEV Lone 4YO in the field has not been less than 75-1 in any of his last five starts. Looms a big longshot once again. Cannot play.
6 CARD SHOCK Full brother to Bikini Bottom ($527k) is winless in 14 starts. Drops out of the Sire Stakes. This spot is more comfortable.
7 ROCKSTAR STRIDE Full brother to world champion Put On A Show ($2.4M). Meadowlands Pace-eligible colt needs to step up his game.
8 DEVIL’S ARCADE Comes from a decent family as his only two siblings are both six-figure earners. Qualifiers indicate he needs time.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 MOJO TERROR Callahan sticks with Lewis which has been common this meet. He was better last week and provides value in a tough field.
2 SUNFIRE BLUE CHIP Adios winner from 2013 had a fantastic 3YO season, finishing as the 5th richest 3YO pacer. Bright season ahead.
3 ARACACHE HANOVER While it is fair to say that he has lost a step off his peak form, he is still very competitive at this level. Win threat.
4 WAKE UP PETER With the exception of his Derby Day effort, he has been tough all year. No Zeron tonight, but he is still a logical player.
5 FRANKIES DRAGON Chased after Warrawee Needy and finished in a 3-horse photo. He is sharpening up and is another contender here.
6 ULTIMATE BEACHBOY Turned a perfect trip into a 1:48.4 win last week. The track has been very fast lately, but he is hard to dismiss.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 6-1A-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 I NEED HOTSUTFF Kakaley opts to another Burke trainee. Has broken stride in 2 of her last 3 starts. She appears to be up against it.
1A SAYITALL BB No shame chasing what will be the favorites in the final in Gettingreadytoroll. Avoids that foe tonight. Looms a major threat.
2 ROCKINGCAM PARK I think we have to draw a line through that last effort. Brutal trip for her. She is better than that. Bounces back now.
3 SURFSIDE SEXY Disappointing effort last week as the fractions were reasonable. Gingras in Sweden, so Kakaley needs to pick her up.
4 BOLT OF THUNDER Added Lasix for that last start, but still tired through the stretch. It’s possible this level is just a little too tough for her.
5 IDEAL HELEN This filly did earn $125k last year and won 7 of 15 starts, including a NJSS leg. She was favored in the Final. Bounces back.
6 FANTICIPATION I like this filly. She couldn’t have raced much better from where she was turning for home. Now, gets Campbell. The pick.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-1A-2
H Horse Comment
1 ATSALLRITE HANOVER This filly exploded out of nowhere last week. It was like she jumped in at ¾’s. Looms an obvious threat to win.
1A FIYONCE Tough trip last week. There is more in the tank and with a trip, she will be better this time. Nice compliment to stable mate.
2 MY LADY DAY Never got involved last time and she would need to turn things around quickly. She did race in grand circuit action last year.
3 ACT NOW I loved her first start back. She came with a big rally. I think this filly has big season in front of her and she is my top selection.
4 BLIXTRA She was disqualified last week for forcing her way in at the ¼. She raced well, but I am not sure I am sold on a repeat of that.
5 CUT A DEAL Her qualifier off the back to back sick scratches was OK. But typically, I want to see a races under these circumstances.
6 HIGHLAND ROCKSTAR She really out-raced her odds on the barn change last time. Another that I am not certain can repeat that effort.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 SPORTS SINNER Certainly coming off one of his better efforts. This is a whole new ball game. Monumental class hike. He is a longshot.
2 BEAT THE DRUM I think this horse has more to offer. He is a Meadowlands Pace eligible. His first start wasn’t bad Expecting better here.
3 ROCK OUT Not bad behind the ultra-talented Western Vintage last time. Not sure he can beat the top 2, but he should earn a share now.
4 DANCIN HILL He has been left with way too much to do in both starts. I have to imagine he stays closer tonight. The one to hold off late.
5 DOO WOP HANOVER Nothing wrong finishing 2nd to Western Vintage. He will only be better with that start under his belt. The one to beat.
6 ODDS ON RHODONITE Also Meadowlands Pace eligible and showed some promise last year. First start back is a building block.
7 FRANKANDJOANNE He really out-raced his 93-1 odds in Leg 1. No Western Vintage here and he should still offer a price. Including now.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 2-1B-3-1A
H Horse Comment
1 CLEAR VISION He has had an excellent season thus far. Chased Dancin Yankee in that World Record last week. Legitimate win candidate.
1A BETTOR’S EDGE Had no chance last week. Look at his final ¼, too. This horse is deceptively good right now. Sweet Lou kills price.
1B SWEET LOU Held his stable mate and all others at bay last week. That mile was the best we have seen him in a long time. Post 10 tonight.
2 BOLT THE DUER I admire the effort he put forth in his first start back. McDonald is confident with him and he figures to be even better now.
3 WARRAWEE NEEDY When you push the gas on him, there is no slowing him down. We saw that last week. Needs to control that speed.
4 THINKING OUT LOUD He was Ok last week, but tracking Foiled Again, he really should have been able to pass that rival. Will use a bit.
5 MODERN LEGEND Did not factor in Leg 1 of the series. He will need to get back to his peak level in order to contend at this level.
6 WORD POWER I am a little concerned that he got beat on the class drop last time. Back up against the best. He will need to improve.
7 GOLDEN RECEIVER I would like to see him just air it out to see if he gets back to his old self on the lead. Just hasn’t been at his best.
8 DOVUTO HANOVER He is going to be coming from awfully far back from here. That is going to make things rather difficult. Not this time.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE Pierce chooses off which is no surprise based on how Meirs looked last week. Might add value to the exotics.
2 CAUTION SIGNS Worked out a perfect trip and collared ‘Buckeye late. Campbell does go elsewhere though. Needs to be even better.
3 HARE CRAFT He has some ground to make up on the favorite. But, he was Campbell’s choice. I might toss on some deep exotics tickets.
4 THE POKESTER Nice rally last time to pull off the mild upset. The water gets deeper and Callahan does go elsewhere. Tougher task.
5 TELL US MORE Caught a shuffle, but certainly had pace in the stretch. He does have class and MacDonald will be aggressive. Must use.
6 DRAGON LORE I think bettors will overreact to that mile. The fact that he went from 145-1 to 6/5 speaks to the strength of that race.
7 MEIRS HANOVER Was purchased at the sale for $70,000 on Sunday. He has a class edge over the field and looms at the one to beat.
8 STOLEN CAR Exits what I believe to be the weakest of the divisions leading up to this. Didn’t race badly, but should be a longshot here.
9 HILARIOUS HALO Chased Meirs Hanover around the track last week. I don’t see him making up that ground to beat that foe in one week.
10 CC RACY Out-raced his odds at 49-1 last time. Rewarded with post 10 which is not going to make things any easier. Longshot this time.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 4-9-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 LONG LIVE ROCK First of four that are dropping out of C-Notes Final, which could be a good angle to use. I will toss him onto my tickets.
2 SEE AND SKI He was better last time and perhaps that can move him in the right direction. That said, Pierce did choose off. Underneath.
3 DUE WEST HANOVER Did not factor at this level last time. Was bothered early, so perhaps we shouldn’t be too hard on him? Tough task.
4 RUSTY SKIPP Gets the driver change back to Callahan here. I say just toss out that last mile and expect a much better effort here. Pick.
5 DAVID’S DREAM He caught a shuffle last week. Gingras is not here, but I expect a reversal to his previous solid form. Looms a contender.
6 HILLYBILLY Was just left with too much to do last time. Needs to stay a bit closer from here. New pilot in Campbell. Worth including.
7 ANDWIN HANOVER The move to Philly last time didn’t work. He didn’t show as much speed there either. This will only be tougher.
8 STORMIN RUSTLER This race is fairly comparable to a $30k claimer at Yonkers. That tells me he is going to need much more here.
9 K-LEES SHAKENBAKE The question is simple. Will he get into the race? If he is 3rd over in a live flow, or better, he wins. Big if though.
10 HIGHLAND TERRIFIC He does have speed, which he used effectively at the level below this. This will be tougher though. Needs more.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 6-3-7-8
H Horse Comment
1 THISGUYSAROCKSTAR Put forth a better effort at Monticello. This is a much different story and is a considerable move up in class.
2 RESPECTABLE DREAM Showed staunch improvement while wiring a nw2 field at Yonkers last out. Unsure about the move to big track.
3 SHADIOS Will race with Lasix here after adding it for that last qualifier. That was a quick mile too. He fits well. Only question is the layoff.
4 LYONSSOMEWHERE Meadowlands Pace contender is a perfect 2 for 2. But, he hasn’t raced since November. Likely to need a start.
5 SEAN LIAM Q Exits the same qualifier as Shadios, but has some ground to make up on that rival. Also off a significant layoff. Watch one.
6 WELL SAID STRIDE The $380,000 yearling is starting to turn the corner. Catches a softer group and I think he is sitting on a peak effort.
7 JENERAL PATTON Did nothing wrong in his first start. Only negative is Tetrick is not here. Still, cannot dismiss off his first lifetime start.
8 SKYPE HANOVER He had some late interest in his first start back and was Campbell’s choice of three. Expecting a better effort now.
9 IDEAL WILLIE Found the nw2 level at Pocono to be too tough. I think he is going to be up against it on the move here. Watching this one.
10 ROCK FAME Looms as a big longshot based on his recent form. I have to imagine that he is coming from last here. Not sold on chances.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-9-10-7
H Horse Comment
1 WILLY MUCHA Got stung last time and paid the price late. Obviously needs a smoother journey. Expect better effort with better trip.
2 SEEK THE DRAGON Performances seem directly impacted by the strength of the field he faces. Win not likely, but minor award possible.
3 MR THOMPSON Showed speed last time, but was only even toward the end of the mile. A change in tactics would likely be beneficial.
4 JINS DRAGON Loses Pierce tonight to the Cassar-trainee. I liked him last week, but he was disappointing. Needs return to previous race.
5 VISA VIPER Chronic slow starter will not be able to win here until he is able to stay closer. Lasix hasn’t accomplished that. No Tetrick either.
6 GRAB YOUR KEYS He has been OK, but he is also just 2 for his last 47. I can see him passing tired horses late in the mile for a piece.
7 TRUE TO MACH I guess with Pierce going here, he is interesting. He has been OK lately. Note, he seems to excel on smaller tracks.
8 BOLDER He is another that needs to find his way into the race sooner. Seems to always have too much to do. Strictly using underneath.
9 CITY PIE With the exception of two weeks ago, he has been competitive at this level. This division came up a bit soft, so he is a contender.
10 RELENTLESS DREAMER Had he drawn better, he would likely be favored here. Not convinced he can leave. Will have plenty to do late.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-7-4
H Horse Comment
1 BREES CREEK This field is tougher on paper than the race he exits, which does not bode well for this event. Needs a better performance.
2 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE Wasn’t able to show the same pop at this level than he was against softer. Must step up his game for this mile.
3 ETHAN HANOVER He has been facing better than these and if he can get back to his April form, he will win this race. Taking a flyer here.
4 MY TEMUDJIN N Steps up off a sharp win. The down-under invader has room to still get better and will take plenty of action in here.
5 COBALT MAN He couldn’t have paced home much better last time. Catches a shorter field and likely will stay closer. Must be included.
6 MARTINI HANOVER His last mile is a bit concerning as this race will play tougher than a nw12500. I will be using sparingly in exotics.
7 SOUTHWESTERN DREAM He seems to be hitting his best stride again and that makes him dangerous. Likely to show speed. Must use.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 8-2-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 FORT KNOX Meadowlands Pace eligible paced in some fast miles as a two year old. I think he will need a start, so I will watch this time.
2 NEAT Chased a hot horse in the 3YO pacing ranks last time. That does bode well for this. Looms as the main danger to the favorite.
3 THEINDECENTLAWYER Drops out of the Sire Stakes for this. He wasn’t a factor when last seen at this level. Thus, he is still a longshot.
4 SOMEWHERE FANCY He has faced some tough company to start his three year old season. This will be more to his liking. Using a bit.
5 GOLDIN PARACHUTE Sent off at nearly 40-1 last time and did not factor. This will not be much easier so he is a longshot once again.
6 LET’S FOAL AROUND Continues to race well, but he is facing some grand circuit hopefuls, so these nw2 are getting tougher. Still using.
7 CHEYENNE SEEBER He has won back to back races here, but against far lesser. Don’t be fooled by the nw2 tag at YR, this is tougher.
8 SOMETIMES SAID He was a major disappointment last time. Connections hoping to get this Meadowlands Pace contender a win here.
9 BELIEVEINTHESPIRIT Has not done anything wrong to start his campaign. He has plenty of speed and should be a pace factor from here.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 10-9-5-1
H Horse Comment
1 ITTAKESTWOBABY Was a winner when last seen at this level. Note, he was 28-1 in that spot as well though. Still, catches a suspect field.
2 P H POWERPLAY Very concerned by his last effort where he stopped. Maybe he didn’t like the smaller track. Prior efforts were solid here.
3 INSANE IN SPAIN He has not raced back to his win over one month ago. Perhaps the return to this track and level can move him forward.
4 JOHNS POLYVIEW Last couple of starts have been OK. Not sure about the move to the bigger track, but he is in decent form. Interesting.
5 JETTY Beaten favorite at this level from 2 starts back. Continues to race well and given his form at this level, he must be included here.
6 BLUE CLAW Just not in his best form to start the 2014. At age 9, he is getting a little long in the tooth. I will let him beat me if he can.
7 WHATAORSE Has really railed off since his runner-up effort here. He has not been less than 21-1 since arriving here. Still a longshot.
8 MAJOR BLUE COAT Coming off a series of dull efforts and a sick scratch. Jacobs gets the call and still appears to be a big longshot.
9 I’M BANSKY He is getting some needed class relief, but his lack of speed is a concern. That said, he should be able to beat this group.
10 ALEX BULLVILLE The other class dropper. Gets a key driver change to Callahan who might make some speed here. My top selection.