• Week Of 4/27 - 5/3
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  • MO28
  • TU29
  • WE30
  • TH1
  • FR02
  • SA03
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 03, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 5-7-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 SIR SAM’S Z TAM Meadowlands Pace eligible colt makes his first start off two workman-like qualifiers. Paced in 1:50.2 last year. Talented.
2 MAJOR REFORM Gelding is coming along, although he did burn a lot of cash last time and has been off 23 days. Mixed feelings for this.
3 DOUBLE YOUR BET Almost never see Gingras choose off a Burke horse. That alone would send me in another direction. Watching one.
4 SPANISH TOWN Has not made much of an impact yet. His last couple of final quarters have been solid, but he needs to get into the action.
5 THEREISAPACEFORUS Winless in 13 starts last year, but did try stakes company. Qualified behind the best NJ-sired 3yo pacer. Curious.
6 PEMBROKE SCORPIO Good effort last time, but I question the strength of that field. On top of that he is 0 for 9. Vulnerable favorite here.
7 CARD SHOCK He is 0 for 11, but he raced in some tough nw2 events. Gets Callahan back as well. Would like to see a bit more speed.
8 ROCKSTAR STRIDE Connections have kept him eligible to the Pace, so they must like him. Qualifiers were OK. Want to watch this start.
9 HE IS RISEN Never was involved last time and now draws the outside in his 2nd start of the year. Looms a longshot once again.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 COLOSSAL Exits a race won by a 36-1 upsetter. Prior form was solid, but he catches a salty group here. Needs to step up his game to win.
2 CADILLAC PHIL It’s Burke/Gingras with a sharp horse. Automatically that merits consideration. That said, he is facing a stronger group.
3 LINDWOOD PLAYER The horse that beat him on 3/27 was an excellent 2nd in the FFA last week. This is a serious test for class tonight.
4 KEEP GOING Ran into a sharp horse at Pocono last time and his form has been good. Another good horse that makes this race so tough.
5 ROCKIN AMADEUS Couldn’t have looked much better last week. Gets a big challenge tonight as ‘Peter has a seasoning edge on him.
6 FRANKIES DRAGON I won’t be too hard on him as the 3rd through 7th finishers in that race were separated by ½ length. Looms as a factor.
7 WAKE UP PETER Have a new-found respect for this horse after the mile he went in the ‘Baron Final. Given a week off. The one to beat.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 3-8-2-9
H Horse Comment
1 TAKE THE EDGE OFF Stayed pacing last time which is a step in the right direction. Still don’t think he is up to competing for the win here.
2 BET THE TRUTH Added Lasix for that last start and raced well behind a Meadowlands Pace eligible colt. Improving gelding has upside.
3 SIR JAKE’S Z TAM This horse is going to be a popular play. Moves inside and gets Gingras in the bike. Kicked home 27.2. Much to like.
4 THEINDECENTLAWYER Those Southern Oaks qualifiers are so tough to read given the short fields. Off the bench, I will wait and see.
5 ZAYSTEV Sent off at 162-1 last time and went a brutal trip. That effort wasn’t bad, but he is still a longshot that needs to improve for this.
6 ROCK FAME Tough trip last time and he was given the week off following that. Doesn’t win often, but he hits the ticket. Use accordingly.
7 AMERICAN TIGER Similar trip last time as Sir Jake’s Z Tam, but he loses Zeron in the process. Still, I can see him rallying for a share.
8 MAXI BON Qualified behind what could be a very special horse. Major connections and impeccably bred. Many things to like with this colt.
9 WICKED BUSINESS His record now stands at 0 for 18 and I don’t think he is as good as ‘Maxi. Draw hurts given his lack of speed, too.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 6-10-2-7
H Horse Comment
1 PRINCE SHARKA Marohn put this horse in play last week, but he just ran out of gas. Now gets Callahan. Takes play and has a chance.
2 STEUBEN PATRIOT Raced well last time rallying from off the pace, just missing a spot in the final. No Morrill tonight, but he is a contender.
3 SEEK THE DRAGON Miller opts here for Ford off what was a disappointing effort. Just 1 for 14 this year, so I will likely use underneath.
4 JINS DRAGON Raced well last time, but not well enough to keep Miller. Zeron gets the drive on a sneaky looking contender in this field.
5 SCALPED Major disappointment last week as the 3/5 favorite in the class drop. Callahan chooses off as well. Looking elsewhere this time.
6 YES YOUR MATTJESTY The driver change to Tetrick is going to get plenty of attention here. Draws well and is likely to work out a trip.
7 COLONIAL ROAD Added Lasix last time and responded with a better effort. He is an intriguing longshot with Campbell getting in the bike.
8 MATTATOR D He was OK last week, but when this horse is at his best, he beats C-2 fields. Still, exits a fast mile and is a candidate to win.
9 LETTHEROCKBEGIN I suppose some will take a chance on the driver switch to Gingras here. Still, this horse is 0 for 14 on the year.
10 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE He went an enormous trip last week. I don’t know how he stayed 3rd. Rewarded with post 10 again. Seems unfair.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 1-9-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 THAT’S MY OPINION Meadowlands Pace eligible colt has a lot of ability. He has shown flashes of how good he is. The horse to beat here.
2 BARBARIAN I really liked this horse earlier in the year, but things didn’t go as I thought. Given some time to freshen up and Callahan stays.
3 LET’S FOAL AROUND Took a ton of tote action and raced well. Now loses Callahan, picks up Gingras. Inclined to use underneath again.
4 THISGUYSAROCKSTAR Making a huge move up in class after beating a light group at Monticello. Have to believe this is too tough for him.
5 THETRUTHABOUTDAVID He has been racing well at Dover, but recently the Delaware shippers here have been struggling. Watching one.
6 JAMAICAN COWBOY Could not duplicate that winning effort last time. If anything, this field is even tougher. He will need much more now.
7 MR BIG LOAD Miller chooses off for a potential stakes horse, so that is no surprise. Wasn’t able to beat ‘Cowboy in last. Doesn’t bode well.
8 ROCKNROLL REALITY Connections put this colt in some ambitious spots last year and it looks like he had a good winter. Keeping tabs.
9 TWIN B SPEEDO Impressive winner last week as he went by Sweet Rock easily. Pace eligible colt looms as the major danger to ‘Opinion.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-1-7
H Horse Comment
1 IDEAL COWBOY Pace-eligible colt is coming off a big 2014 debut at Pocono. Runner-up there was a nw2 type at M1. This is much tougher.
1A MOLIERE HANOVER Didn’t see enough from him in his seasonal bow to merit consideration in this salty group. Post doesn’t help either.
2 WORKANDPLAYHARD Not a bad try to kick off his three year old campaign. May have needed the race. Steps into a tough assignment.
3 ELITE REWARDS Picked a bad time to make a break, racing for $100,000. Gets a serious test for class in this spot. Needs huge effort.
4 STRATOS HANOVER His last race in The Reynolds was really too bad to be true. He is a better horse than that. Minor award is possible.
5 JK ENDOFANERA This horse is a major threat to emerge as the premier 3YO pacer in 2014. Huge horse with monstrous strides. The pick.
6 SWEET ROCK Collared in deep stretch last week as the 2-5 favorite. If he couldn’t beat Twin B Speedo, not sure how he wins this race.
7 JET AIRWAY Pace-eligible colt showed some serious ability at Lexington last year. Tetrick does choose off though. Still an exotics player.
8 ALLSTAR PARTNER He needed that race and the winner is a very nice horse. Has a race under his belt which could go a long way here.
9 SOMEWHERE FANCY Also Meadowlands Pace eligible. But he makes his debut while catching the worse of the draw. Watching this time.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-7-10
H Horse Comment
1 ODDS ON EQUULEUS Hard to believe he went 0 for 15 last year. I loved his qualifiers and returns on Lasix. But, does he need a start?
2 ANDREW LUCK Almost pulled off the monster upset last week. Faced a stronger field from top to bottom. Still a longshot for this.
3 URGENT ACTION He is a little interesting here. Had to need that first start back and did pace in 1:51.1, home in 27. Candidate to move up.
4 FANCYFREESHARK If you throw out that parked mile from Dover, his form is extremely sharp. Adds value to a very interesting race.
5 MOONLITEONTHEBEACH Continues to race very well but moves into a much tougher spot now. Needs an even better effort for this.
6 QUIK MAGIC He wasn’t bad when last seen at this level and he beat a very fast horse in See and Ski last time. Interesting exotics player.
7 TOBAGO CAYS Classy 7YO was a lot better last time and he figures to continue to move forward. Still should offer value for the exotics.
8 SIR CARY’S Z TAM Qualified behind one of the fastest horses in harness history. This horse is talented, but barn is known for patience.
9 ONTARIO SUCCESS Loses Campbell which I think really hurts him. Doesn’t have much speed and he might be coming from last now.
10 BLATANTLY BEST Tough beat last time, but he raced well. He might never see the pylons from here, which is tough. Using underneath.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-9-1
H Horse Comment
1 STORMIN RUSTLER Added Lasix for that start it paid dividends. Now gets Gingras in the bike and that will attract plenty of attention.
2 NOBLE’S GRAND SLAM Loses Morrill for this following a good try last week. Draws well and is a fringe player in a very difficult race.
3 ALEX BULLVILLE Callahan chooses off here following a decent try as the favorite last week. Seems to be on the improve. Maybe a share.
4 MARINER SEELSTER Pulled off the mild upset last time, but I think he is exiting one of the softer divisions. Will need even more to win.
5 SOMEPLACE SPECIAL Good try last time and the move to Callahan is a very interesting one. Perfect draw as well. One of the contenders.
6 WHATAORSE What a great drive Callahan put on him last week, saving every inch of ground. Loses Callahan now and he is a longshot.
7 RELENTLESS DREAMER Rallied from a very difficult spot last week. Beaten favorite there, but this horse has a chance to turn the tables.
8 THE POKESTER Nice win last week, but Campbell does chose off. Needs to find some live cover to follow. Another fringe player in here.
9 YOU BET YOUR GLASS Off that 1:50.4 mile, he is probably the favorite. But this race is wide open and I don’t want a short price anywhere.
10 PEMBROKE DEWEY Turned a perfect trip into a win last week, Campbell’s choice continues to be sharp. Contention runs very deep here.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 3-8-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 OK FAME He was an odds-on winner at the C-2 level and then moved into a tougher spot. Draws well and can sneak into the exotics here.
2 MYSTERIOUS MOMENT Exits a very strong qualifier and he was facing better at the end of last year. Still banking that he needs a race.
3 ROAR This horse has a lot of ability and on the move to Terick in his second race back, I think he shows it here. Taking a stand. Single!
4 DEMOCRACY N Steps into this off a win, which is always a good thing. That said, the field he beat doesn’t stack up well compared to this.
5 MY TEMUDJIN N The tote board usually tells the story with the down-under invaders. This was Zeron’s choice. Still watching this start.
6 ASTREOS FLASH Brutal trip in the Winter Survivor Final. This horse was racing well prior to that. Still the 42 days off is a concern.
7 POWER OF TARA N Shows a winning line at Yonkers, but I believe he is facing a field similar to his last 2 starts. He needs to step it up.
8 TWINCREEKS JESSE He has been facing better this season so he merits strong consideration on the class drop. Takes plenty of money.
9 SKY MCFLY The move to Gingras will likely have many giving him another chance off that last mike. The horse is better than that. Using.
10 FRIDAY AT FIVE He fits well with this group, but will have to blast from here and was not Miller’s choice. Will be using sparingly this time.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-2-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 KOSTAS WINE Tailed off through the Weiss series. Catches a field with a lot of question marks, but he falls into that category as well.
2 SIR MELO’S Z TAM The last time eh faced this level he was a very good 2nd. I can see him moving forward back on the bigger track now.
3 NATHANIEL B Sent off at 126-1 last time and never made the gate. Miller chose off as well. Retains longshot status until he improves.
4 UPFRONT COSMO He was OK when last seen here. Got a good confidence builder under his belt last time. I can see him in the exotics.
5 BOLERO ANDREW He is supposed to beat C-2 pacers and figures to be a strong factor on the class drop. But, he hasn’t been sharp.
6 STALLONE BLUE CHIP I prefer this gelding to ‘Andrew based on recent form. He was a very good 2nd 3 starts back. Figures to be tough.
7 DUE WEST HANOVER He did not improve on the class drop which is a concern. Now gets Gingras and I imagine we will see speed here.
8 THAT’S JUSTICE No shot in each of his last two starts. Note the win back on April 5th. Anticipating a return to that form. Top selection.
9 SPENDER HANOVER Sent off at 2-1 last time, but his effort on the class drop was disappointing. He needs to turn things around for this.
10 DRAGON LORE When last seen here, he was soundly defeating C-2 company. Gingras chose off though and he hasn’t raced in 3 weeks.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-3-9
H Horse Comment
1 THUNDER STEELER Exiting a good race and he was sneaky good in that heat. Should be prominent from the start. A logical contender.
2 BONDY N He is 0 for 9 on the year and has been knocking heads at the $25k level. This race is very comparable to that. Tetrick chose off.
3 HILLYBILLY Making his second start off the qualifier and he clearly needed that last start. Expecting him to take a big step forward here.
4 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE Came from an impossible spot last time and almost won. Draws well and he figures to be much closer. Must include.
5 SEE AND SKI Very talented horse, but he comes with some breaking issues. Good to see him stay flat last week. Looms a major player.
6 OLDE TIME HOCKEY He is interesting because he was competitive and favored at the B-2 level earlier. This is a good spot. Interesting.
7 I LIKE DREAMIN Exits a very fast qualifier and this horse certainly fits with this group. That said, I have to think he needs a race first.
8 DUEL IN THE SUN Have a tough time putting him in the mix after not being able to beat nw6000 at Saratoga. Looms a longshot.
9 DREAMLANDS ART The move from Wilder to Gingras off a big stretch drive will attract plenty of attention. Still, he is 1 for his last 44.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 7-2-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 CITY PIE Kicks off a field that appears wide open on paper. Was a good 2nd two starts back and anticipate a return to that form in this spot.
2 EIGHT TEN EOM Making his second start back off the layoff and he is a candidate to improve. His first start was not bad. Things to like.
3 INSTANT REFUND Goes from Wilder to Gingras off a dull effort. He will need to improve off that mile, but this field has a lot of questions.
4 CASINO KING He has not been able to duplicate that C-2 win from March. It appears that he has tailed off in the last few starts. Longshot.
5 CONORS CONCORD Recent form just isn’t up to par. Recently changed barns, but is yet to show enough for me to consider playing.
6 BOLDER Coming out of a fast mile and I have a sneaky suspsicion this horse is sitting on a better race. Should work out a good trip here.
7 DULL ROAR I like the aggressive speed try last week and now gets Miller in his third race back off the bench. Those are a lot of positives.
8 BIG RED He was OK last time, but he still only came home in 29 seconds. Yet to see enough from him to merit win consideration.
9 TAKESHIGEMICHI On the road back following a winless campaign last year. Veteran qualified twice, but I have to think he needs races.
10 HRUBYS N LUCK He is really hard to endorse given his last three starts. The outside post only makes things tougher. Longshot again.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 10-8-5-4
H Horse Comment
1 BOSSA NOVA BABY Steps into this off a sharp win at Freehold. The south-Jersey shippers have had their struggles so far this meet.
2 LUCKY HOUSE Won half his starts last year. This year has been a different story though. I want to see his first start here before playing.
3 EXPLODENT Sent off at 66-1 last time and didn’t make much of an impact. He has a right to improve in his 2nd start back. Still a longshot.
4 BJ’S BEQUIA Enters this off a three month layoff and one qualifier. He has a recent class edge on the majority of the field. Short price.
5 THE PRICE YOU PAY Tough trip last time, but it might set him up nicely for this. Draws well and should work out a trip. Logical contender.
6 SAYWHATUNEEDTOSAY He seems to be improving, but this horse is just 1 for his last 28. I need to see a race before I can consider.
7 ITTAKESTWOBABY Stepping up out of the bottom level at Saratoga. Was not Callahan’s choice and he looks to be a longshot in here.
8 HIGHLAND TERRIFIC Exits a very fast qualifier so don’t worry about the margin of defeat. He did win at this level in March. Contender.
9 MAJOR BLUE COAT Added Lasix last time but endured a very tough trip. Loses Miller this time around though and is still a longshot.
10 JETTY Looks like the favorite off his last effort despite the wide draw. Add points if OK Fame won earlier. Expect speed as the one to beat.