• Week Of 5/4 - 5/10
  • SU4
  • MO5
  • TU6
  • WE7
  • TH8
  • FR09
  • SA10
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 09, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-6-9
H Horse Comment
1 LIGHTNING FORCE Hambletonian-eligible gelding appears to have had a good winter. Trotted 1:55 at Lexington. Clearly has potential.
2 K T BIRD Mare has trouble staying flat. She got around the track while cutting the mile in that qualifier, but still may need a race.
3 O NARUTAC PERFETTO Tough trip last time for another Hambo-eligible. Respect the gameness he showed last time. Exotics contender.
4 MISTRESSWITHMUSCLE Hambo Oaks-eligible filly made a break in the Lady Suffolk. Showed some promise at Lexington. Mixed signals.
5 GREAT SOCIETY Also Hambletonian-eligible. Was a bit slow off the gate and broke before getting into the race. Needs to see a flat start.
6 MARTINIWITHMUSCLE Hambo-eligible winner of his most recent start is in against a tougher group this time. Still merits win consideration.
7 SOUTHWIND POSEIDON Half-brother to Southwind Pepino ($298k). Cost $20k at Harrisburg and his making his first lifetime start.
8 ACADIA AS Thought her last mile was disappointing. Some will say she was blocked, but it appeared McCarthy was chasing her along.
9 GENERAL BILL BROWN He was OK last time, but did burn some cash as the 8/5 favorite. Also faces a stronger group, but is a contender.
10 MAN OF MUSCLE Could not duplicate his winning form at Pocono. Note that his win was against nw1 company. Tougher task from post 10.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 LOTSA MATZAH Added Lasix for that qualifier and she responded with a 26.4 final quarter. Still has ground to make up on ‘Toes. Including.
2 SANDBETWEENURTOES Seems to be over her breaking issues. Her qualifiers have been excellent. Not enough to lure Tetrick though.
3 PITA Simpson got more aggressive with her last time and it didn’t work out. Seems best off a helmet. Expect a return to those tactics.
4 EVIL FIGHT I really liked her last effort and this filly has been OK since arriving her. Seems to be moving in the right direction too. Using.
5 BOLT OF THUNDER Obviously she will have to turn the tables on ‘Blush. She cut some solid fractions there. Prepping for NJSS next week.
6 UP FRONT ELIZABETH It is not easy to make the lead from post 7 at YR. Winner of that mile was good 2nd here last week. Things to like.
7 BLUSH HANOVER What is there not to like about a filly that starts her career 3 for 3? Ultra impressive thus far and the one to beat again.
8 BETTOR BUSINESS Likely to have to come from last again. She passed a few in the stretch but will have to kick it up a notch here.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 10-4-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 WELL BUILT Hambo-eligible colt made a break as the odds-on chalk in the Dexter. Chalk that up as a rare mistake and include him here.
1A WALK THE WALK The horse he beat has been racing well, not missing the board in 6 starts this year. Tough task from the second tier.
2 SARCASTIC MAN Put in tough spot from post 8 in the Dexter Cup Final. Draws well for this and I can see him bouncing back this time.
3 IT REALLY MATTERS Caught a horse with a lot of speed last time. Has to contend with Trixton and others again. Needs to step it up.
4 LUKAS HALL That was not a bad mile at all in his 2013 debut. This horse is Hambo-eligible, so connections like him. Sneaky play here.
5 DEWEYKEEPUMNWHY Keep in mind there were 2 horses in that qualifier. That said, he did show promise in the ONSS circuit. Maybe.
6 KEYSTONE WASABI Not bad last time and he made some money on the PASS circuit too last year. Still has some ground to make up.
7 WHO WANTS SOUP Good to see him pass the 2 leaders in that QUA for his first time back on the track. That said, this is a tough spot.
8 HOT TYPE Looms a longshot after finishing a not-so-close fourth against a softer group. He will need to step his game up to contend here.
9 FLYHAWK EL DURADO The NYSS champion from 2013 got a good start under his belt. Catches a tough draw but he has speed. Player.
10 TRIXTON It is hard not to like him off his monstrous stretch drive last week. Perhaps post 10 will neutralize him a bit. But he will be tough.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-5-3
H Horse Comment
1 QUEEN OF MORE Shows a history of breaking issues and is a tough play off a 2:02 qualifier and a 32- final quarter. Watching this one.
2 TSMLIL ORPHAN ANDY Made a big move from that outside post last time at 9/5. Right back at the C-2 level and he looks like a handful.
3 THE TRAVELER Definitely like the progress he showed in that second qualifier. He catches a light group here and is a win contender.
4 SINA Making her second start back off the layoff, so she figures to improve. Pompano shippers have struggled a bit this meet. Still a player.
5 MR RIDGETAKER Added Lasix and put forth a strong effort off the bench. Has every right to improve in his second start back. Contender.
6 CULTURED PEARL This mare also merits consideration in her second start off the bench. Imporvement is likely. Might offer a square price.
7 ALL MUNKY BUSINESS She seems to have tailed off since being mixed in with the boys. Would need a reversal of form to contend here.
8 PLAY FAIR His form has really struggled over his last few starts and it is tough to recommend him given that current form. Longshot.
9 OVER AND OUT Given some time to freshen up and his qualifier wasn’t bad. He is one to watch closely, as I am keeping tabs for later.
10 SUPER DUKE Has not won in 13 tries this year which is a concern. Post 10 will not help the cause either. Appears to be a longshot now.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 7-4-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 LIL MISS SNOWFLAKE Appears to have tailed off in her last three starts. She moves to a new track in hopes of a turnaround. Longshot.
2 CHAROLETTES MAGGIE Moved up off the win and now moves right back down. She was a 5/2 chalk when winning at this level. Tough.
3 SIR LB’S Z TAM Mare has started the season 0 for 10. She was a 2-1 favorite when last seen at this level. Would demand more value now.
4 BELLE BOYD You can see her starting to turn the corner. She was out-paced to the wire last time, but is improving. Looms a contender.
5 PARDON I am never a fan of this mare on the win-end, but is a constant exotics use. I can also forgive the last mile from post 10. Include.
6 THISTHATNTHEOTHER Exits the same C-2 Final as Pardon and ‘Aventure. Prior effort was OK. She fits at this level and can be included.
7 ODDS ON AVENTURE Out-raced her inflated 30-1 odds last time as she continues to race well. Drops from a tough C-2 final. The choice.
8 ALWAYS ON A ROLL Overcame a break before the start to hit the board last time. Her lack of speed is a continued concern from this draw.
9 IDEAL GINNY Coming off a lame scratch and has missed a couple of weeks. Gets a touch of class relief, but draws poorly. Not this time.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-7-1
H Horse Comment
1 A LA NOTTE HANOVER Did what she was supposed to last time at Pocono. This filly has stakes potential. Note, Gingras did choose off.
1A I NEED HOTSTUFF Gingras also chose off this Burke-trainee. Made a break just 3 days ago at Pocono. Must step up her game a bit here.
2 MCVITA BELLA Won a minor stakes last time at The Meadows in her first start back. Tetrick chose off, but this filly is worth a look at value.
3 BLIXTRA Not a bad qualifier and we should see what Sandbetweenurtoes did in the 2nd to gauge this filly. Still appears to be a longshot.
4 GETTINGREADYTOROLL Made a break last time as the 6/5 favorite. Based on her qualifiers, I would chalk that up as an aberration. Use.
5 MANTICIPATION She exits a good race behind an undefeated filly. Seems to have come back very well as a three year old. Things to like.
6 ROCKINGCAM PARK Strong effort in The Simpson to start her season with a stakes win. That makes her the horse to beat in this group.
7 JK MOLLY I was a bit disappointed in her first start back and note Gingras chooses off. Still, this filly has the most earnings of this field.
8 TABLE TALK The 2013 Matron winner catches the widest of the draw. That last qualifier is better than it looks on paper. Rallied for a share.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 2-7-6-3
H Horse Comment
1 MARINADE HANOVER This mare is stepping up into a tougher spot off a disappointing try. A rebound wouldn’t shock me. Brings value.
2 OUR ELS DREAM Campbell gives this mare a big call by landing here off that 26.2 final quarter. Likely to take play and is a serious player.
3 MACHAROUNDTHECLOCK Getting some class relief after exiting a better field than this. Might offer more value than you would expect.
4 JANIE BAY Recent win came at the C-1 level and with some sharp mares and some class droppers, this looks like a very tough spot.
5 UF DRAGON’S QUENN Chased after the mare to her outside last time. That was a solid effort. Believers should get a square price again.
6 MATTIE TERROR GIRL This mare continues to race well every week. This is a bit of a move up, but her 4/18 mile says she can handle it.
7 HOT LIST Took a lot of money last time and to be 8/5 against that tough field says something. She is a definite bounce-back candidate.
8 MOMMA ROCK Really had no chance in a very tough race. Camphell chose off, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see Zeron get aggressive.
9 SPEND IT ALL Saved ground and was able to earn a minor award last time. Catches another good group and the draw makes it tough.
10 SHINE N SHIMMER She has offered monstrous value in her last 2 starts. Given post 10, she just might again. Form is very sharp now.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 1-9-6-8
H Horse Comment
1 WORLD CUP That was a solid effort against a horse dropping in class. Catches that same horse though again. Still looms a win contender.
2 HIGH BRIDGE Gingras chooses off following the even try and subsequent sick scratch. Also missed a week since the scratch. Watch one.
3 TIRADE HANOVER Nothing wrong with his first effort off the bench. This particular field came up really strong, so he will bring value.
4 WHATA DONATO This mare has a good history here. Her last pair of starts at Pocono were very good. Adds to the depth of this group.
5 COFFECAKE HANOVER Moves into a rather tough group off an even effort in her 2014 debut. In this field, she looks like a longshot.
6 REAL BABE She seems to have really kicked things into gear. Beat a good horse last time in Money On My Mind. Contender from the start.
7 HERE COMES NUMBERS Stayed trotting last week and that was enough to win. Moves into a tougher field. Staying flat remains the key.
8 DRIFT AWAY Moves back up a notch, but note he was 3rd against similar in March. Last pair of miles are faster than the rest of these.
9 WIND OF THE NORTH Two starts back he finished just ¾ of a length behind Modern Family. That makes him tough. Could be one to beat.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 WOMAN OF TERROR Dominated that C-Notes mini-series. Now moves up a level. Loses Gingras in a tougher field. Not sold on 3-peat.
2 MISS MACHQUEEN She was somewhere between a C-1 and C-2 when last seen here. She seems to like this track though. Interesting.
3 SMOKE PAN MIRRORS Her only poor recent effort came in a tougher spot last time here. Recent form is good. Contender in a good race.
4 ARIA J This is the right level for her and she raced well despite being out the entire mile. Better draw will keep her closer. Win contender.
5 LEAVEUMLADY Was moving well at the end of that last mile from an impossible spot. A little concerned she is over-bet here. Logical here.
6 BEST BOSS Exits a very fast qualifier but moves into a tough field. I want to see a start and gauge if she flashes her best late kick.
7 MYSTRA Coming off a sick scratch and then missed a week. Usually, I like to watch a start under those circumstances. Callahan chose off.
8 TOP BRAND Takes another move down the ladder and that 1:50.4 clocking will attract play. Not the fastest off the gate. Potential underlay.
9 TWIN B ELITE Also dropping in class. Note the winner of that race stepped up against tougher and finished 2nd. Winner last time at a C-1.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 MCKENZIE’S STAR I can forgive the break on the half-mile track. She fits at this level. That said, this is a rather salty C-1 trot. Consider.
2 UPFRONTSTIKESGOLD Tough trip last time at Pocono. Faced better than this 2-starts back. A winner when last seen at this level. I like.
3 HANDOVER BELLE She took a step forward in her second start. Another move forward puts her right on the wire. Short price looming.
4 MARCH AWARENESS Stepping up after sweeping the C-Notes mini-series. He has the class to go with these. Figures as a win contender.
5 BROADWAY ROCKS He was good in his first start back. Figures to improve this time. Perfect post to give Pierce options. A lot to like here.
6 CELEBRITY STIMULUS Very consistent as he seems to always pick up a check lately. This field is tough and he loses Callahan. Tricky.
7 ALL ABOUT JUSTICE He won the C-2 consolation, so this is a pretty good move up the ladder. Backers will get the value they want.
8 COE LEADER Drops in class and is a candidate to improve in his second start back off the layoff. Zeron does choose off. Very tricky read.
9 RIVERFEST Big effort against softer last time. Perhaps that could get her on the right track. Still, this is a much tougher group. Not sold.
10 JERSEY BOY I think the field was coming back to him at Philly and this is a much stronger group. Post 10 doesn’t help either. Longshot.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-2-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 DROP THE BALL Was dead on the board and then put forth a disappointing effort. Was out the mile, but had perfect cover. Must step up.
2 FEELING YOU Recently joined the millionaire ranks in the tough Matchmaker series. This mare never shocks me and will offer value.
3 SCANDALOUS HANOVER Respect this mare, but there is a big difference between what she just beat and this group. Needs A+ effort.
4 SOMWHEROVRARAINBOW Won when the big money was down. She did have a perfect trip that night. Still, this is the mare to beat.
5 AMERICAN IN PARIS She might have gone a bit too fast in the Artistic Vision final. Likely to force the pace early and is a logical contender.
6 JK LETITGO She was pacing over mares two back, then turned in a great effort in the final. Can she pace by ‘Rainbow? Toughest test yet.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 7-1-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 WHEELS I thought he would race better last time with Lasix. He was compromised by the trip. I am expecting a much better effort tonight.
2 MR FENWICK That qualifier was OK. He has speed and this is the right level for him. Typically I let him beat me if he is good enough.
3 LINDY MCDREAMY Winless through his first 12 starts of the season. He did pick up checks with regularity here, but not sold on the win.
4 BLUEBIRD KIDSQUEEN She just isn’t as sharp as she was earlier. Note, she was given a week up so maybe we will see a better effort.
5 CAPTAIN PRIMEAU Went from awesome to empty. I admit, I am guilty of never guessing right on him, but I think he fits very well in here.
6 PAISLEY The class drop should help. I still have a bad taste in my mouth from when Mr. Fenwick caught him earlier. I will use underneath.
7 JURGEN HANOVER He improved last week. I thought his gait looked smoother as well. He could be ready for a big mile. Taking a flyer.
8 FOUR STARZ SPEED When he finds the right spot, he can land a share. We know we will see speed. Stamina is the question. Maybe.
9 LAD PINE He was better last out. Callahan chooses off and I think this field is better than what he faced last time. Leaning against here.
10 KING’S CAVALIER Not a bad try last time and that was a strong C-Note final. This post makes things very tricky. Too much left to do.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-6-3
H Horse Comment
1 SEA CRUISE HANOVER Yet to hit the board in six tries this year. This is a field filled with question marks. Improvement wouln’t shock me.
2 KZ BEACH GIRL She hasn’t been close in her last pair of starts. The move to Tetrick might entice a few. But note MacDonald chose off.
3 ALITTLEEASTERMAGIC Mare seems to be at the mercy of the trip. That last race just went too fast for her. She will be better this time.
4 LEXUS ARTIST Now 0 for 13 on the year and her last pair at Saratoga do not inspire much confidence. Will need a form reversal now.
5 BROWNSVILLE BOMBER When we last saw here, she paced in 1:50.4. I expect that to jump off the page to the bettors here. The pick.
6 IDEAL A LITTLE Drops out of the C-Notes final which is much tougher than what she faces here. Expecting a much better effort now.
7 SAM SWIFTY Tried speed last time and it didn’t work out. Perhaps a change back to taking her off the pace will help her rally into it here.
8 EXPRESS JET If you toss out the break, she clearly fits. Pierce does choose off though. Still, she looks like the type to hit the board here.
9 LIZ’S LIL K K Surick in the bike again and she really didn’t fire at all last time. Retains her longshot status until she shows improvement.
10 FRONTIERPAN Now 0 for 11 to start the year and catches the toughest of draws as well. I will watch a start from this wide draw. Longshot.