Race Reviews

  • Week Of 11/16 - 11/22
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  • MO17
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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, November 21, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 7-6-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 SID ROCK Exits a key race. The winner, Royal Kee Wee N, has since come back to win a nw2 event. Steps up against tougher. Longshot.
2 WHITE BLISS A sight to see on the racetrack and he raced well upon debut. Exits the same race as Sid Rock. Using in my exotic plays.
3 OFFICIAL ATTACK Has not raced in three weeks. The horse he beat, Heza Hot Cookie, was 3rd in a nw2 at Dover last week. Tricky.
4 L DEES JAGUAR Exits the bottom level at Freehold. Always good to enter a race coming off a win. That said, this will be much tougher.
5 PAIN IN THE GLASS Has won three of his last five. Runner up from last, Fairytale Prince, was 4th in a nw2 at Yonkers last week. Maybe.
6 ART DEGREE Exits a much tougher race where he was left with too much to do. He was a winner at this level at Yonkers. Short price.
7 ACE OF SHARKS Winner of that last race, Escapado, came back to be 2nd in a nw2 at Pocono. Sharp form. Looms a prime contender.
8 STIMULUS PLAN Exits the same race as Art Degree. Went first over and stalled into the stretch. Can improve a bit on the class drop.
9 STRAIGHTUP TEQUILA His form has really tailed off since graduating to the nw2 level. Things aren’t any easier here. Longshot.
10 I’M ALL HEART Might be overbet a bit on the class drop. Note, he was a beaten favorite at this level at Pocono. Inclined to use a bit.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 9-1-10-3
H Horse Comment
1 SWEET ROCK Exits a stronger race. Winner of that event, Hall Bro, was bet like an international good thing. Looms as the one to beat.
2 LILYS REL BOY Enters this race in fairly good form. Winner of last, Stony Brook, was 5th in a nw45000LT at Batavia. Watching one.
3 EARTHSHAKER Put forth an even try on the move up in class. Exits the same race as the pair to the outside. Worth an exotics flyer.
4 FOX VALLEY IBIS Comes back on just three days rest off a strong showing. Likes to win, but faces a tougher assignment here.
5 CHEYENNE SEEBER Has not had much luck in terms of post position over the last several starts. Lateral move. May hit the ticket.
6 PRINCE PALANI He has not been less than 47-1 in any of his last three starts. Recent win was against far lesser. Must step up.
7 BADIX HANOVER Has been a different horse lately. Runner-up from last, Real Catch, was 4th in a nw2 at Pocono next out. Including.
8 ROCKEYED OPTIMIST He has been freshened up for this. His summer form makes him a prime contender. He might need a start.
9 BETTOR BELIEVE IT Burnt some cash last time as the 3/5 favorite. Figures to improve second time on Lasix. Looms a major threat.
10 THEREISPACEFORUS Exits the same race as Bettor Believe It. Gelding has some speed. Just 2 wins compared to 11 runner-up tries.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-2A-8
H Horse Comment
1 HOT TYPE He had no chance the way the race developed last time. Granted, he was 73-1. Saves ground and hopes to shake free late.
1A DREAM ROCKER Tracked cover last time but was badly outkicked by Harley Momma. He would need to improve to contend here.
2 BLOCKING THE WAY The lead was not where you wanted to be last Friday. If the track is a conducive to speed, he will be dangerous.
2A MY LINDY Sat the pocket and chased Odds On Amethyst, who is racing in the Breeders Crown. Off that angle, he is likely to take play.
3 UVA HANOVER Never saw the pylons last time. Gets major post improvement and figures to be much closer. He is in excellent form.
4 WAY OUTTA HERE Was shuffled back last week and he had some trot at the wire. He can work out a favorable trip. Using at a price.
5 HILL I AM Put forth an odd mile. He gapped badly early in the mile, closed the gap, got stuck behind horses, angled with trot. The play.
6 PITTSTOP KID He put forth an OK effort last week. He does own some speed, but he will need to find more in the stretch. Longshot.
7 OUTBURST Track cover third over and accelerated. He was outkicked by the filly to his outside. He won’t be odds-on tonight. Include.
8 HARLEY MOMMA A last to first winner on a track that played to her style. Now, she has post 10. Inclined to slide her underneath here.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 7-2A-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 VALENTINA DE VIE First of three for Lundell. Neither Rosecroft shipper last week hit the board. Steps up against tougher here. Maybe.
1A ROSIE DE VIE Like the filly to her inside, Lundell turns the lines over to a catch driver. Feel Valentina De Vie is better. Fringe player.
1B THAT WOMAN HANOVER I like this Harrisburg purchase. She was solid in that qualifier. Off the month layoff, she may need a race.
2 SOUTHWIND SERENITY Winner of that last mile, Cinamony, was a close 4th a 2/5 in a Winners Over at Dover. Dangerous speed.
2A ATSALLRITE HANOVER Has gone on a tear since moving to condition events. Has post 10, but this entry looks strong. Major contender.
3 DELIGHTFUL DRAGON Had a fine two year old season. Added Lasix in that qualifier and raced well. Only question is the layoff. Player.
4 DO YOUR JOB An even try last time. I like that she showed more speed. She could be rounding back into form. Worth an exotics look.
5 SCANDALOUS Exits the same race as Do Your Job. Note, this filly was 59-1 in that spot. Prior effort was solid. Adds Lasix tonight.
6 EASTER SURPRIZE Her win came against softer than this. Seems to be yielding some class to the rest of the field. A longshot here.
7 KATE CAN’T WAIT She is in excellent form right now and has the speed needed from this wide draw. Nothing to knock. Major player.
8 BLIXTRA Her form has fallen off in the second half of the season. Worked her way to the bottom last time, but was just even. Not sold.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 8-5-7-9
H Horse Comment
1 PASSING JETTA Stepping up into a much tougher spot. Recent win came against nw2 company. Would need to take a big step forward.
2 FICO Recent form has not been particularly competitive. He has some class, but is another who must improve. Does pick up Sears.
3 MCKENZIE STAR Winner of that last event, Quick Deal, raced in the Breeders Crown elimination. This isn’t an easy spot either.
4 WALKED INTO HEAVEN Took a tour of the Yonkers oval from post 8 last time. Can make a mistake. But is also a candidate to improve.
5 COCO LINDY Winner of last, Flanagan Memory, finished 3rd in a Breeders Crown Open Trot elim. Always liked this gelding. Win candidate.
6 GUILTYWITHANEXCUSE Parked to the quarter last time. Might be able to work out a trip behind Coco Lindy. Loses Gingras. Tough call.
7 HARBOR POINT He has wise guy play written all over him. He was finishing full of trot in his first start off the qualifier. Back class as well.
8 ALTERNAT THURSDAYS Cutting back from back to back 1 ¼ mile efforts. He has been facing strong company lately. Top contender.
9 DONATELLA HANOVER Exits the same event as Harbor Point and was also finishing well. Post is tricky, but she will be coming late.
10 VIBE BLUE CHIP Respect these connections and like the 2nd race back off the bench angle. Has speed from here. Looms a pace factor.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 6-3-9-5
H Horse Comment
1 THE LUNCH PAIL Freshened up recently. Qualifier was just even. Off for 2 months I am guessing that he needs a start first. Longshot.
2 JOURNEYMAN Sold for $75,000 at Harrisburg. Moves to Burke off a win. Off for three weeks. Prefer others in the top spot this time.
3 LORD OF MISRULE Exits a stronger event and he raced well in that spot as well. Winner of race 2-back is in the Breeders Crown Final.
4 WICKED BUSINESS UF Rockin Dragon exited nw6 company at Yonkers to win a C-1 event last week. This is a tougher spot. Tricky.
5 CAVIART CHASE Good effort on opening night to pull off the mild upset. $33,000 Harrisburg buy has found his best stride. Can repeat.
6 ELECTRIC CRUISER Was left with a little too much to do last time. Exiting the same race as Lord Of Misrule. Might offer decent value.
7 SEAN LIAM Q Has not been in the best of form recently and despite the move down against strictly three year olds, I will pass.
8 MOLIERE HANOVER If you like Wicked Business, you have to like this guy. Another shipping over from Yonkers. Things to think about.
9 ROCKSTAR STRIDE Visually, he was charging like an express train last week. Worst draw may leave him with too much to do. Maybe.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-4-8
H Horse Comment
1 INTENSE AMERICA This mare has only $18k on her card this year. Unable to defeat nw8000 last time. Would be a major surprise.
2 CLASSIC MARTINE The leader of the division has been just a step off recently. Took dead aim on the leaders last week but could not manage to out kick Hanover Belle to the wire. There isn’t much speed in here, so I wonder if Tetrick sends her along. Key player.
3 BEE A MAGICIAN Pulled the pocket early last week and faltered in the stretch. On paper, it appears that she should make the lead rather easily. That said, she will need to be better tonight and the price won’t offer value. 2013 Horse of the Year is an underlay.
4 HANDOVER BELLE She might be picking the right time to be hitting her best stride. She could be in line for a similar trip to what produced her winning performance last week. She won’t offer 15-1 this time and will need to be just as good, if not better, here. Maybe.
5 MA CHERE HALL Made an ill-timed break last week. Her last three tries against these mares have not been sharp. She needs to rebound.
6 CHARMED LIFE This mare is often at the mercy of pace and trip. In my opinion, she has the most explosive late kick of these mares. If they mix things up on the lead, she will be the one they all have to hold off. Worth a win play at 5-1 or better. My top selection this time.
7 D’ORSAY Disappointed as the odds-on favorite against softer last time. She just has not been herself lately and looms a longshot.
8 MISTERY WOMAN She was splitting horses decisively while full of trot last week. Unfortunately, she drew the far outside here. Given her racing style, that will make things rather difficult. She must pass the entire field to win. Sliding her on the bottom of exotics.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 5-9-6-3
H Horse Comment
1 LOVE ME MADLY Showed speed last time, but offered just even trot in the stretch. Recent maiden-winner faces monumental challenge.
2 WILD HONEY If Mission Brief were to falter, she will be tabbed by the betting public as the next most likely winner. Small filly has never trot this fast before though. Respect her ability, but if I am going to try to beat Mission Brief, I want more value than this lass.
3 DANIELLE HALL Both this filly and Wild Honey have turned a $56,000 combined investment into nearly $800,000. She raced well as she she chased Mission Brief last week. She likely needs the favorite to make a mistake, but she is worth a win saver.
4 WICLET HANOVER Filly out-raced her odds last time and hung on for the show. This will only be tougher. Still needs to improve.
5 MISSION BRIEF Once again, if she stays trotting, she wins. She is much faster than these right now, including Wild Honey. She looked good last week, although she drifted out slightly. With Wild Honey 10 for 11, she needs a win to ensure a divisional championship.
6 STUBBORN BELLE The Peaceful Way winner gets lost in the shuffle a bit in this division. She is actually the leading money winner of the division. She was left with a bit too much to do last time in her elimination. This filly is very interesting at what will be a square price.
7 LILU HANOVER She hasn’t gotten close to Mission Brief or Wild Honey as of yet. Takter trainee will need to step up her game.
8 HOT START Filly is just 1 for 11 and was beaten a long way in her elimination. She likely will be left with way too much to do. Longshot.
9 LIVININTHEFASTLANE Tracked cover and rallied well in her elimination behind Wild Honey. Came into that race off a six week layoff and may have needed that race. If the favorites were to falter, she looms a major win contender. As it is, will be worth a win saver.
10 SMEXI Goldsmith Maid upset winner has raced well in her two subsequent starts. Now, she will have to overcome post 10. Tricky call.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 3-9-2-1
H Horse Comment
1 MARKET RALLY I really liked her qualifier. It is worth noting that the runner up from that event, Harley Momma, won her division of a mini- series that carried a nw100k in 2014 condition. The best of New York needs to stay trotting. That said, she is an interesting contender.
2 LIFETIME PURSUIT The Hambletonian Oaks winner has not been able to beat Shake It Cerry since. She would need to improve back to her best form if she was to contend. It is worth noting, she returns to the scene of her greatest triumph for the first time since Hambo Day.
3 SHAKE IT CERRY She has been simply unstoppable since losing to Lifetime Pursuit in the Oaks. She would need to take a step back while someone else takes a major step forward now. The price will be very short, but she is the most likely winner of the race.
4 STRUCK BY LINDY She was left with a lot to do at Pocono last time. That said, her previous efforts require more trot to win this. Longshot.
5 CANTABS FORTUNE Didn’t get close to Vanity Matters in that qualifier. Must improve to catch that filly, let alone the favorites. Adds Lasix.
6 HEAVEN’S DOOR The New Jersey Sire Stakes champion has not gotten back to her best form recently. Continues to chase the best of this division and she will need to take a major step forward to contend here. For the deepest of exotics only.
7 VANITY MATTERS This filly might be coming into her own at the right time. She raced very well at Lexington. Adds value to the exotics.
8 RIVETING ROSIE She has been a terror north of the border. But she couldn’t go with Shake It Cerry at Hoosier. A pace factor in here.
9 CEE BEE YES It took her some time, but this filly has gotten back to her best. She hasn’t been able to beat Shake It Cerry yet, but she does own a victory over Lifetime Pusuit. She will need to stay close from the onset and is a candidate to hit the board again.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-5-3
H Horse Comment
1 MAJOR DANCER She raced great in her elimination. Big first over effort and just wasn’t able to hold off the filly that was on her back, Gallie ByThe Beach. Sears will need to protect her position. That said, at 6-1 or more, she is a value play and my top selection.
2 BEACH GAL She doesn’t have a lick of gate speed, but can really get rolling late. Can’t see her winning, but will use her underneath.
3 GETTINGREADYTOROLL Making her third start back off the qualifier. She got rolling late in her elimination. With the right setup, she can be a serious threat to the elimination winners. She needs the right setup, but will be dangerous if she gets it.
4 GALLIE BYTHE BEACH Rode a perfect trip to an impressive win in her elimination. This filly has really come into her own recently and might be the right filly at the right time to upset the favorite. She has a serious chance to win this race. Must be included.
5 COLOR’S A VIRGIN If she shows up with her A-game, the race is probably for 2nd. She continues to fire her best start after start. This is the perfect post for her and they will have her to catch when they hit the top of the stretch. The price will be very short, though.
6 UFFIZI HANOVER Last year’s Breeders Crown Champion has been inconsistent this season. She was just OK in her elimination. Tricky.
7 BEACH STORY She has raced well recently and she had some pace in the stretch last week. That said, she needs a lifetime best mile.
8 ALLSTAR RATING This filly certainly hasn’t race poorly in either of her last two stakes tries. The price will be worth including in exotics.
9 SAYITALL BB That was a disappointing try in her elimination. I suppose that it is possible she needed that start and has a right to improve here. The price will be much better tonight and we know she has speed. She will be a pace factor at the very least.
10 PRECOCIOUS BEAUTY With the exception of the Nadia Lobell, she has raced really well lately. It is worth noting she was favored over Color’s A Virgin two starts back. She had pace last week and has speed. The post makes things rather tricky though.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 HALL BRO Defeated the NJ Classic winner, Sweet Rock¸ last out. Bet like a good thing in the process. Short price chalk will be tough.
2 GOLD ROCKS Has not been able to make much of an impact recently at Yonkers. Draws well, but will need to step up his game.
3 CAPOZZO Exits what I think will prove to be a key race. He was finishing well behind the favorite. Won’t offer 14-1, but a contender.
4 FALCON JUSTICE All exits the race won by Hall Bro. He was not as much of a factor. Ontario form was OK. Needs to improve a bit.
5 SHADIOS Defeated All Star Partner rather convincingly in that qualifier. If Alagna has him figured out, he could be very dangerous.
6 CAVIART LUCA Too a shot in the Breeders Crown elimination and raced admirably. This race came up tough, be he can easily improve.
7 ROCKNROLL REALITY Sold for $72,000 at Harrisburg. Has faced some tough company in his last pair. This race came up salty though.
8 ALLSTAR PARTNER He was a leading 3YO pacer coming into this season. Things just haven’t worked out. Looks for a turnaround now.
9 BAKERSFIELD Broke through with a 14-1 romp at Yonkers. This field will be a challenge for him and Gingras chose off. Not sold here.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-8-7
H Horse Comment
1 TAKE MY PICTURE Talented trotter is getting back to his best. Exiting a series of strong races as well. Interesting contender at a price.
2 APPOMATTOX He raced great in his first start off the 6-week freshening. That makes him a candidate to step up. The pick to upset now.
3 TEAM SIX Chased after a pair of Breeders Crown contenders, and a leading 3YO trotter in that qualifier. Still inclined to watch a start.
4 CANADIAN WILDCAT That was an even try in his first start over the track last week. Back in the same level and he will need to step up.
5 THE TRIPLE LINDY He had no chance at all last week. Before that he beat Zooming in a solid Preferred. There are some things to like.
6 NOT AFRAID Disappointing effort last week as he tracked cover and offered little in the stretch. Must improve on that. Looking elsewhere.
7 MONEY ON MY MIND Has worked his way back up the class ladder. Winner of last is an Open Trotter at Yonkers. He is a win candidate.
8 MELADY’S MONET Circled the field on a track that played into the trip he received. He can win again, but I will shop for a better price.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-7-4
H Horse Comment
1 PRINCE SHARKA Didn’t make much of an impact in his first start at this level. He would need to improve to contend in this spot.
2 TWIN B SPY We have seen a Saratoga shipper win already this meet. In very solid form and catches a rather soft field. The selection.
3 WHITTAKER He has been OK at the $12,500 level at Philly. Rocknroll Jewel exited the $15k claimers to be 3rd at this level. Needs more.
4 LEGENDS LUCK Just left with too much to do last time. He passed a few in the stretch. Perhaps a smoother journey can help him along.
5 STALLONE BLUE CHIP Committed first over last week and couldn’t sustain his bid. He is a candidate to improve in his 2nd start back.
6 DULL ROAR Really disappointing effort in that last start. The class drop didn’t seem to help him at all. Siding with others at this point.
7 SCHOOLKIDS He was left with a lot of work to do last week. I can forgive that mile, but still wouldn’t want to take a short price. Tricky.
8 REAL NICE Defeated a couple of nice horses in that qualifier. Previous form was not up to par. I am inclined to watch his first start.
9 TEAM EDWARD Unable to win at one of the lower levels at Vernon recently. That doesn’t bode well for this assignment. Longshot.
10 CABBIE’S DELIGHT Am even effort last week at this level. Now, catches the widest post. May use in gimmicks, but not in the top spot.