Race Reviews

  • Week Of 4/13 - 4/19
  • SU13
  • MO14
  • TU15
  • WE16
  • TH17
  • FR18
  • SA19
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, April 19, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 6-4-7-1A
H Horse Comment
1 WICKED BUSINESS Added Lasix last time and it seemed to help. Still, he is just 1 for 16 in his career, but is Meadowlands Pace eligible.
1A BEST SAID Also Meadowlands Pace eligible and he was better last time, pacing home well. A bit surprised that Zeron chose off for Takter.
2 ROCK FAME Gelding does good work to earn checks consistently at this level. That said, it would take a step forward to contend for a win.
2A CARD SHOCK While he is yet to threaten for the win, he did kick home well last week. Draws well and might find his way onto the ticket.
3 PIERCE He just doesn’t win, yet consistently gets bet. I will continue to follow what has been my practice with him. Using underneath again.
4 AT PRESS TIME Popped the pocket and chased down Best Said last week. He was under wraps coming down to the wire, too. Looks good.
5 LET’S FOAL AROUND He did show improvement last time and was finishing with some interest. Still, he will need to step it up to win this.
6 SWEET ROCK That 25.4 final quarter is likely to attract some attention. If he is ready to improve in his 2nd start back, he is a contender.
7 ROCK OUT Hasn’t done anything wrong to start his season. But, he loses Andy Miller for this and draws wide. Siding against for the win.
8 ANOTHER DIAMOND Sat the pocket last week but could not kick home with the field late. That makes him a longshot in this group.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 2-8-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 ROCKIN WIZARD Kicks off a very competitive field. Would have liked to have seen a little more from him last time moving in with this group.
2 PANESTHETIC He went a huge mile here back in March and has been given a couple of weeks to freshen up. Expecting a big mile here.
3 MOJO TERROR Getting some class relief and note he was 2nd the last time facing this level. Callahan chooses off though. Tough call.
4 BET ON THE LAW Was overmatched in The Levy and is coming out of a very fast mile. That said, I think he is a cut below the best here.
5 SWEET TALKIN SATIN Making his second start back off the layoff. Likely to have needed that last start. A candidate to improve. Player.
6 ROCKIN AMADEUS The 2012 Breeders Crown winner had a disappointing season last year. His qualifier was explosive though. Intriguing.
7 COLOSSAL Continues to race well, but the wins seem to be few and far between. Catches a tough field here as well. Leaning elsewhere.
8 FRANKIES DRAGON Coming off a big win over Dynamic Youth. Extremely sharp lately and another big effort seems to be in line. Logical.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 4-10-3-7
H Horse Comment
1 NOBLE’S GRAND SLAM Tough trip last time at Yonkers, but his 2014 form has not been up to par for him. Will wait for improvement.
2 OH MY JOEPA Also had a brutal trip last time, but was not Marohn’s choice. Interesting to see Callahan get the call now. Might toss in.
3 REMISSIONOFSINS Gets the tepid call as the favorite in a wide open field lacking a standout. Last pair have been solid. Logical contender.
4 THE POKESTER Coming out of a key race as the winner is a serious Meadowlands Pace contender. Drops in class, gets Campbell. Pick.
5 GO GO RADIER Really had no chance the last time we saw him at this level. He was OK in a fast mile last time. Maybe for a minor award.
6 PRESTISSIMO Connections take a shot at the big track off a no-chance mile from a wide draw at Freehold. Has beaten a B-2 field there.
7 LETTHEROCKBEGIN Winless in his first 12 starts this year. This field came up soft and he does earn checks consistently. Exotics player.
8 LLOYDS’ BABY Just not sold that a $10k claimer at Freehold is going to win this race. His last effort is a concern as well. Leaning against.
9 EIGHT TEN EOM Pompano shippers just have not worked out so far this meet. Last qualifier isn’t bad, but I will wait for his next start.
10 JINS DRAGON Hard not to like off his last mile, especially in this field. Only concern is the post and having too much to do. Must include.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 7-2-6-10
H Horse Comment
1 ZAYSTEV Has had his struggles so far this meet. He did show a better final quarter last time, but the whole field finished in a fast time.
2 PEMBROKE SCORPIO The top 2 finishers from that last mile would be odds-on here. Note Miller’s presence elsewhere. Still a contender.
3 AIR FORCE GRAD Yet to break through in the win column and this field certainly isn’t easier than what he has been facing. Must step it up.
4 JAMAICAN COWBOY Making his second start back off the freshening, so he may have needed that last start. Has a right to improve here.
5 OH BEE GEES US Really tough to make a case for him after stopping in his last mile. He has done that before, too. Still a longshot.
6 HURRICANE BREEZE He seems to have more talent than the majority of this field. But, have to wonder if he is ready. Still, must include.
7 MR BIG LOAD Note the addition of Lasix this time following a 31.3 final quarter and a sick scratch. Miller sticks here. Likely to bounce back.
8 AMERICAN TIGER He made some progress in the final quarter mile last week, but not enough to merit win consideration. Still needs more.
9 MURVEY VINNY Winner of that qualifier is a Breeders Crown winner. This is his first race in over 18 months. He will need a few starts.
10 ONE BAD NIGHT His form makes him a viable contender here, but I just can’t take a 1 for 27 horse on top. Continue to use underneath.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-8-2
H Horse Comment
1 SKY MCFLY He is officially on a roll now and gets a bump up in class for this. When Burke gets one going, they tend to stay good. Player.
2 MAY DAY This gelding is somewhat interesting. He wasn’t terrible while sent off at 35-1 last time, just overmatched. He can move forward.
3 FEARLESS CHIP Couldn’t handle the move up off the win last time. That doesn’t bode well for this. Note, he was 3rd against C-2 company.
4 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE This looks like one of those spots where ‘Joe just goes right down the road. No Valentino’s in this field. Top pick.
5 TOUCHDOWN MINDALE He was better last time, but that Weiss series is a cut below what he is seeing here. A pace factor for sure.
6 WINDSONG GORGEOUS Did what he was supposed to do last time. This is MUCH tougher and I wouldn’t want any short price here.
7 MOONLITEONTHEBEACH He raced really well behind a Meadowlands Pace contender off the layoff. Still, loses Morrill. Mixed feelings.
8 RUSTY SKIPP I liked how his last race looked visually and I think he fits at this level. Worth including on some pick 5 tickets at a price.
9 JIN DANDY His last two starts have been better, but the difference between a C-1 here and nw4000 at Pocono is night and day. Longshot.
10 RELENTLESS DREAMER Likely to get away last here and that just isn’t going to work. Will hope to pass a few for a minor award.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-7-9
H Horse Comment
1 AHSLEY’S HUSBAND He was popular among the wise-guy player last week on the driver change. Now, loses Miller. Using underneath.
2 KG DRAGONATOR Stepped up with a much-improved effort last time. Maybe he is regaining his good Canadian form just at the right time.
3 CAPTIVE AUDIENCE The road to the winners circle goes through him. I respect Wake Up Peter, but I think this horse is better. Single.
4 SUMMER SMACKDOWN He hasn’t been bad in this series and did well to make the final. Loses Callahan though. Looking elsewhere now.
5 ONTARIO SUCCESS Interesting that he connections opted to skip Leg 1 and they got a good mile from him last week. Ready to peak?
6 SKY IS THE LIMIT He out-raced his odds through this series, but I think the water gets much deeper now. Appears up against it now.
7 WAKE UP PETER He just refused to lose last week. It did help that Alexa’s Jackpot was hard to steer through the stretch. Logical player.
8 DEW N DOUGHNUTS He has been OK in this series, but he would need to step it up quite a bit to threaten for the win here. Longshot.
9 ALEXA’S JACKPOT He really should have won last week. Perfect setup, but he was giving Callahan a hard time steering. Still using here.
10 BURKENTINE HANOVER Loses Campbell and gets the worst of the post draw as well. Likely to be taken back to last. Too much to do.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 9-6-1-7
H Horse Comment
1 TREND SPOTTER Back down to a straight B-2, but loses Zeron this time. This race appears wide open and he is on the list of contenders.
2 TOBAGO CAYS Classy 7 year old is making his first start since September. He qualified well, but I am guessing he needs a start first.
3 ANDREW LUCK Took a week off following that blowout win. Now faces tougher and loses Campbell as well. Appears to be a fringe player.
4 PRAIRIE JAGUAR His Meadowlands experience has been a disappointing one so far. Got shuffled last time. New pilot named for tonight.
5 MINDSET Has not put forth a good effort since February, which is an obvious concern. Really need to see a better start from him now.
6 BLATANTLY BEST The last time he faced straight B-2 company, he was a sharp winner at 9/5. Now he is back down to that level. Logical.
7 VALENTINO He is one of four stepping up off a win at the C-1 level. Note, his win came in the C-Notes Final. Last effort wasn’t as good.
8 BETTOR DESIGN I am always skeptical of horses that go wire to wire from post 1 at Yonkers. Just believe that this will be much tougher.
9 SING FOR ME GEORGE He romped last week and everyone expected it. Now, he moves up. Make no mistake, this is a nice horse. Use.
10 ALSACE HANOVER He is probably the horse I like the least in terms of those moving up off a C-1 win. Loses Morrill and draws poorly.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 FREDDY DAY HANOVER When we last saw him at this level, he was ripping through a 53.3 first-half. No Andy Miller now. Still a contender.
2 PRINCE SHARKA Gets some post improvement and he was pretty good two starts back. Might go overlooked in this field. Use at a price.
3 YOU BET YOUR GLASS Aggressive move to the lead and Morrill tried to bottom them out, but he just got tired. Figures to be tough here.
4 SEEK THE DRAGON Stepped up with a much improved effort last time. That is a good sign as he might be ready for a peak effort now.
5 EXPLODENT Enters this off a 2 month layoff. Although the $20k claimers are tougher than this, I am betting that he needs a start here.
6 P H POWERPLAY He might be overbet off that last mile where he was really rolling late. Perfect draw for him too. There are things to like.
7 SOMEPLACE SPECIAL Really disappointing as the favorite last week. Had room at the pylons, but offered little pace. Needs to be better.
8 WILLY MUCHA Not a bad effort in the C-Note Final last time. The post might make things tougher for him, but he can rally into it from here.
9 MACHIN MONEY Gelding certainly has early speed. But, he hasn’t raced in 4 weeks and Zeron chose off. Safe bet is that he needs a race.
10 STEUBEN PATRIOT Wasn’t as good in the C-Note Final and now gets strapped with post 10. Will need to step things up off his last mile.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 FRESH N FAST Parlayed a pocket trip into a win at Yonkers 2 starts back. Wasn’t as good on the move up last time. Mixed feelings now.
2 I’M BANKSY He just has happened to catch a couple of sharp horses in his last two starts. Continues to race very well at this level. Logical.
3 YACHT KING Stepping up off a win in what was a wide-open race. He has been very sharp lately, but is unproven at this level. Tough call.
4 UP UP AND OUT Callahan had his choice of four in here and ended up behind this gelding. He is coming out of two tough races. The pick.
5 QUIK MAGIC Really had no chance last time and now moves inside. Note that he was a good-looking winner 2 back. An obvious contender.
6 DREAMLANDS ART Morrill choosing off a Burke-trainee while dropping down is not a common sight. Still, this horse is just 1 for his last 43.
7 GUNS AN ROSES Last pair of efforts have been better, but this is a much tougher spot. He was 3rd as an 8/5 favorite against better here.
8 VOICE OF TRUTH Took all of the play last week and raced up to it. Now moves up against tougher and loses Callahan as well. Tricky call.
9 CANE RIDGE We know he will be a pace factor and there are no Sing For Me George’s in here. Callahan does choose off though. Maybe.
10 NATHANIEL B It just looks like he is going to be left with too much to do. Likely to get away last due to his racing style. That won’t work.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 7-3-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 ON THE RADAR He has been OK lately and he did pace home in 26.3 last time. Still wasn’t enough to keep Miller. Slides along for a share.
2 PEMBROKE DEWEY Certainly racing well lately, but the 2014 win has been elusive. Kicked home in 26- last week. Must be included here.
3 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE He typically excels on this type of class drop. The price won’t be there, but he appears to be the one to beat now.
4 YES YOUR MATTJESTY Similar to Pembroke Dewey, he has been racing well, but not winning races. Loses Zeron. Using underneath.
5 CASINO KING He didn’t respond to the class drop. However, see on March 15th how he did break through in the second try at the C-2 level.
6 CITY PIE Much better effort last time and he seems to be heading in the right direction. Draws well and Morrill will have options. Contender.
7 ALEX BULLVILLE You aren’t going to win when you are 17 lengths behind at the ¼. That won’t be the case here. He is likely to rebound.
8 BOBJACKS ANGLE A He has not been able to duplicate his form from earlier in the winter. He is a hard-sell as he has tailed off. Longshot.
9 BOLDER He was 14 lengths out of it at the ¾ pole. That isn’t going to work. The problem is, I don’t think he will be much closer from here.
10 DONT FOOL WITH ME Won a blanket photo finish last time at Philly while tracking cover. The post appears as an obstacle given his style.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-1A-4
H Horse Comment
1 AMERICAN IN PARIS This mare has been a beast in 2014. She has been dominant in this series and it’s almost impossible to pick against.
1A ART IDEAL A nice compliment to her stablemate as she has been very good in this series as well. Burke has a legit shot to go 1-2 in here.
2 PANERA HANOVER I liked her last week and I was disappointed as I thought she would be better than that. Minor award is her ceiling.
3 JK LETITGO She got in all kinds of trouble last time, pacing over mares in the stretch. She appears to be the second best mare in this field.
4 ROAD BET Raced well again last week, but I think she is still a cut below the favorite in here. Expecting her to hit the board again though.
5 HOBE SOUND Just has not done enough in either of her starts in this series to merit serious consideration. Takes back, hopes for a piece.
6 WINBAK SPEEDI Echo the sentiments of the mare to her inside here. Likely to get away last in here. Cannot see her being involved now.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 1A-4-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 VERDAD Has been pretty consistent lately and this is Morrill’s choice. The winner last time was well-meant and he is my top selection now.
1A CAM B ZIPPER Just couldn’t quite go with Always B Miki last time. Gets away from that foe now and is a nice compliment to Verdad here.
2 MC RUSTY Seems to always take money and although his last pair have been mediocre, bettors will remember his Winter Survivor form.
3 I WANNA GO FAST Seems to be getting back to his best form. He loses Callahan though and while I will use him, a win might be too much.
4 STALLONE BLUE CHIP Campbell’s choice has been racing very well and he excels when he can rally off a helmet. Logical contender.
5 MR DENNIS Former series winner here has not raced back to that form for the last year. That said, he seems to be getting better again.
6 SPENDER HANOVER Perhaps the front-end just isn’t where he wants to be. He is probably at his best against slightly softer than this.
7 TWIN B FAMOUS Struggled last week, but is coming out of a very tough race. Still, I am not sure if he can go with the best of these.
8 BETTOR B I think he needs a C-2 field in order to be at his best. His lack of speed also makes things very tough from this wide draw.
9 STORMIN RUSTLER He has the speed to overcome the draw here, but he loses Andy Miller tonight. Looms as a pace factor here.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 9-4-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 WAYWATCHER Shows a pair of wins at Freehold, but that has not been a winning formula so far for this meet. Will watch this time around.
2 BANGBANGKISSKISS Tried to cut the mile last time and it didn’t work, but it may have tightened him up a bit for this. Perhaps for a share.
3 AIRBURST HANOVER His form lately just isn’t up to par here. I need to see some improvement before I can consider playing him.
4 OK FAME Had no chance last time but his previous form was solid. Note, he raced in the C-Notes Final last time. Could be tough to beat.
5 JETTY Wasn’t bad last time. He has come back OK and draws well for this. Bad news is he will be far less than that 56-1 from 2 weeks ago.
6 VISA VIPER Making his second race back off the layoff so he has more upside than most of these. Still, he hasn’t won since 2012. Tricky.
7 ART’S JIMMY RAY Making his first start since November. His qualifier wasn’t bad, but I have to think he is likely to need a race first.
8 REAL MYSTICAL He is a couple of years removed from his best form. This gelding does have back-class, but his recent form is lacking.
9 CELEBRITY SCANDAL He seems to making progress every week, racing himself into shape. Wouldn’t be surprised to see speed tonight.
10 NIP PAN TUCK He looks up against it from here. No early speed from post 10 isn’t going to work out. Looms a longshot once again.