Race Reviews

  • Week Of 1/18 - 1/24
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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 Saturday, January 24, 2015

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-10-8
H Horse Comment
1 WILLIAM H BONNIE Kicked home in 27.2 last time, so that is a step in the right direction. Lightly raced horse still owns some upside.
2 MIDNIGHT LIGHTING Loses Gingras after being bet like an international good thing on the driver change. Got stung to the quarter.
3 TICKET TO ROLL Now just 1 for 15 in his career. He raced OK last time, but at this point, I think we know what he brings to the table.
4 CALL ME MUDDY Similarly, this gelding is 1 for 26. Exiting a couple of tough trips. Not likely to win, but does have some exotics appeal.
5 THEY CALL ME GORDY Last two efforts were solid. Has shown good speed in both events. Perfect post which will give Tetrick options. This barn is going to get rolling sooner rather than later. Top contender.
6 SHANE ADAM Enters this with a pair of good qualifiers. Making only his third lifetime start, so there is plenty of upside here. Making his first start since August, so I imagine he may need a couple of races, but still is a quality colt.
7 COASTER Qualifiers were satisfactory for this. Making his first start since September. Miller sides with this gelding over ‘Stride. Tricky.
8 WELL SAID STRIDE Finished within two lengths of horse that will be a legitimate contender in the Escort Final. Now making his third start back off the layoff. Despite Dave Miller opting to drive Coaster, I think this is the horse to beat.
9 ROCK FAME Just 1 for 24 and is coming off a lackluster performance off the layoff. I need to see improvement before considering.
10 PRINCE PALISADE Exits the same race as ‘Stride, but was not as effective. Now has post 10 without much speed. Tough assignment.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-2-8
H Horse Comment
1 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE Was not effective against the rival to his outside last time. Now steps up and faces tougher. Looms a longshot.
2 YOU BET YOUR GLASS Dominating win against a bit of a softer group last time. Was a beaten favorite against similar two starts back. This field is not that scary and I expect another solid performance here.
3 BREAKIN THE LAW Beaten favorite last week. The week prior he was good. But, Miller chooses off to drive Cane Ridge, who he will need to turn the tables on in the spot if he were to win. The price will be better.
4 PRINCE SHARKA If there is an intriguing price play, this could be it. Had no chance last time, but was making up good ground in the stretch. He had been facing better than this prior to that. Catches a short field and he can leave. Intriguing.
5 DIAMOND SAID Has seemed to really struggle since the barn change. Has shown no speed at all. At some point, he will race better.
6 CANE RIDGE Had a wheel stepped on that literally stopped spinning for several strides and still won. He obviously fits this level and I imagine will be gunning for the lead again. Looms as one of the prime players.
7 MC ATTABOY Sent off at 50-1 last time, but he did finish up in 27.1 there. Prior effort wasn’t bad. Good boost the exotic dividends.
8 EIGHT TEN EOM Raced well again last time and has the speed to overcome the post assignment. Continues to race well and if he works out a great trip, he is in line for a big share of this. One of the major players.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-1B-4
H Horse Comment
1 PROPULSION He has been powerful in this series. Granted his win in the first round was more impressive. This horse was a $250,000 yearling. Now age four, this is an important race to springboard his career. All systems go.
1A BLOCKING THE WAY Was no match for Two Hip Dip last time. He might have been a little exposed as a cut below the best there.
1B OPULENT YANKEE I think it is clear that his gelding is better off a helmet. Turned the tables on JL Cruze last time. Now, he has to overcome the far outside post, but he and Propulsion are a huge 1-2 punch that will be tough to beat.
2 ANNAPOLIS This mare has not been able to threaten the two favorites as of yet. Drew well, but will need a lifetime best effort to score.
3 BAD I AM Did well to make the Final. But he has plenty of ground to make up on the top contenders here. Looms a longshot this time.
4 JL CRUZE Cut the mile last time with Opulent Yankee on his back. He has a major post edge on that foe and he could find himself in the a good spot from this post. Do not dismiss him as a win contender off last week.
5 TWO HIP DIP This is a green trotter that clearly has a ton of ability. It was on display in round two. He is rapidly developing and if he takes another step forward, he is a threat to the favorites. This is the one who will be trying to mow them all down.
6 DRESS FOR SUCCESS Bad break last time. I thought she would move forward off her first round try. She looks like a longshot now.
7 PASSING JETTA Raced great against Propulsion last time. Now has post 8. This mare does have speed and could be a pace factor.
8 MM’S ROANIE Has been sent off at huge odds in both starts in this series. Likely will have too much to overcome from here. Longshot.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 6-8-2-10
H Horse Comment
1 LILY’S REAL BOY Put forth a great effort last time. Went a good clip and got a little tired. Faces Western Wear again. Worth a look.
2 WESTERN WEAR Made several equipment changes throughout his time at The Meadowlands and he was straight as a string last week. This gelding clearly has ability and now graduates to this tougher level off a sharp win. Logical contender.
3 WARP FACTOR THREE Exits what was a loaded qualifier. Showed some solid efforts in Canada earlier in the year. Some things to like.
4 SHADOW MARGEAUX Looked like a horse that needed another start after his debut. Made a break last time. Need to see him stay flat.
5 CORNER A VIRGIN Was not very effective at this level last time. Draws the same ideal post, but needs to step his game up considerably.
6 WEAPONS DEALER Di Nozzi drove himself two starts back. Was wiped out by an uncontrollable horse last week. Now gets Tetrick and draws well. I like this horse based on the upside he owns. Hopefully he offers decent value.
7 DIABANDO Paced well through the wire in the qualifier last time. Still haven’t seen enough to call him a win contender here. Longshot.
8 MOJITO HANOVER Gelding making his second start off the layoff. He was not bad in his first start back and he is likely to take a step forward here. This was Miller’s choice and there are things to like.
9 KINGS BARNS I just haven’t seen enough from this gelding since he arrived to merit consideration in this spot. Need to see improvement.
10 CHEYENNE SEEBER Continues to race well and it appears Lasix has made a difference. Was interfered with last time as well. The post makes things tricky, but he is on the list of contenders.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 4-12-11-1
H Horse Comment
1 ROAD UNTRAVELED Drops down half-a-click here off a respectable effort. This field is pretty tough for a C-2, but he is a live contender.
2 ROCKIN ROMEO Tough sell off that last effort. Pierce goes elsewhere as well. Looks like a longshot given his recent form.
3 REDNECK FORTUNE He has been OK since arriving here. Out-performed expectations in both efforts. I will be using in the Hi-5
4 SIR CARY’S Z TAM Gets Dave Miller for the first time and I think that is going to make a huge difference. His last effort doesn’t look like much, but it wasn’t bad and he fits very well at this level. There is plenty to like.
5 MEGA LIGHTNING Gelding brings plenty of speed to the table. I think he was better last time than you might think. Take a long look here.
6 JETTY Certainly has been in good form lately. Now faces tougher than what he has been racing against lately. Adds value to the exotics.
7 ALEX BULLVILLE Throw out that last race. He is going to be better than that here. Just needs to work out a trip from here. Contender.
8 COOL LIKE THAT He was really good in his first start off the qualifier, but last time it was not the same. Mixed feelings coming into this.
9 WOODMERE ULTIMATE His lack of speed is going to put him in a really tough spot here. Will likely be coming from far back. Not sold.
10 MAMBO ITALIANO Tough to endorse given his recent string of efforts. He might get away last here and that is not going to work.
11 ROCK STAR He was chased down by a 95-1 bomb last time. I don’t mind the second tier for him. Looks like a serious player off last two.
12 HERE COMES SWIFTY He has been OK lately. Went a good and tough trip last time. Figures to find his way into the outer flow here.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 5-7-2-9
H Horse Comment
1 FRAME WORTHY Enters this off a pair of aggressive and good tries. She would still need to improve to contend for the win. Use in exotics.
1A IMPATIENCE Has not been able to get close to the favorite yet. It is hard to make a case that is going to happen now. Not sold on chances.
2 SAFE FROM TERROR This filly has raced well and has been knocking on the door, often. Using in the exotics, but not sold on a win.
3 UNICORNS N GLITTER Even try last time at a huge price. Expect another big number here. Hard to see her pulling this one off.
4 GALARINA Added Lasix for this series and she has been OK. Would still need to improve dramatically in order to contend here.
5 DONTTELLRUSS Huge effort last week to slingshot by what looked to be an invincible Witch Dali. Perfect post for her for the Final and Callahan will have options from here. Looms as the one to beat.
6 JUST FINE Another big longshot off her last pair. If she can find a live flow, maybe she can round out the superfecta. Tough task.
7 EMPRESS DEO This mare has been racing very well throughout the series and enters this with an outside shot to knockoff the favorite. She has speed and will be forcing the issue early. An interesting alternative to the chalk.
8 HEX Took a ton of tote action last time, was taken far back and made a break. Believers will get a much better price this time around.
9 WITCH DALI She went a really big third quarter last time and it probably cost her the win. She is going to have to blast from here and that will ensure they really motor along early. Would need a huge effort to win this.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-2-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 MAJOR UPTREND Which Major Uptrend shows up this time? The answer to that question will likely yield the winner of the race. If he stays pacing, he is clearly the one to beat. But I am not sure the price is worth the risk.
1A BRICK BAZOOKA He has a real shot in here and it is just unfortunate he is tied to ‘Uptrend for betting purposes. He can win this race.
2 COMPANY MAN Tough trip last time. He raced well and now draws inside. He should be able to get away mid-pack and work his way into the race. The price will certainly be right. One of the alternatives to the chalk.
3 I AM WILL He wasn’t bad in round one and had no shot in round two. Still up against it and would need to improve dramatically to win this.
4 KHAN BLUE CHIP Continues to race extremely well and his speed always makes him a contender. Very interesting to see Tetrick choose off a Toscano horse coming off a win in a series. One of the prime contenders.
5 WHAT I BELIEVE He has put together quite an impressive run here and he is the main danger to Major Uptrend. He may even challenge him for favoritism. He will be sent off the gate and will be prominent from the start.
6 BETTOR BELIEVE IT He hasn’t been bad in either start and if they really mix it up early in the mile, maybe he can pick up a share of this.
7 PRAYING COLONEL He wasn’t bad in week one and had no shot last time. Will likely be coming from last though. Don’t see it working.
8 JK PATRIOT Continues to race extremely well. He has enough speed to get aggressive from the start. The post will make things challenging but he has a real shot in this field despite the post. Looms a logical contender.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 1-7-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 SAMANDAR He was locked in again the stretch last week and was not going to catch Ashley’s Husband when that rival got the jump on him. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him cut the mile this time. He is the one to beat.
2 PANCHESTER UNITED Rallied from far back when last seen here. His Yonekrs tries were OK. Pierce chooses off this time. Tricky call.
3 ALLTHATGLTRSISGOLD Steps back up off a win when dropping in class. It was a fast mile, so it will attract attention. Mixed feelings.
4 CITY PIE It appears that this C-1 level is a step too high for him. If he can work out a trip and save ground, maybe a minor award is possible.
5 MISTER VIRGIN Raced consistently well at a level below this, but couldn’t win. Now steps up and I cannot endorse him to win. A share.
6 IAM BONASERA Perhaps this is the spot he needs to perk up. He has been a disappointment since he arrived. Not sure what to expect.
7 GAMBLER’S TALE Went a huge mile last time and was flying through the stretch as well. This was Pierce’s choice of three and he also has speed if Ron wants to use it. One of the major win contenders.
8 NEW KIND Needed a perfect trip at the bottom level to earn a victory. This is tougher and I don’t see a perfect trip happening. Not sold.
9 JINS DRAGON Broke through with a win at the bottom level against a softer field last time. This will be tougher. Looking elsewhere.
10 MAGIC TRICKS Aggressive try last time where he just got tired. Now draws the far outside. I think he is up against it from here.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-2-7
H Horse Comment
1 SASSY HANOVER Here is a gelding that has come into his own for a barn that is heating up. We do see Tetrick choose off a Toscano trainee here and that cannot be overlooked. Still, he is a win contender despite the move up in class.
2 LONEWOLF CURRIER Went a tough first over trip last time and that is not the trip he wants. With a better journey, he can win this and this was Tetrick’s choice as well. One of the prime win contenders.
3 ONTARIO SUCCESS He has had success here in the past, including a sub-50 mile. Qualifiers weren’t bad. Take a long look at him here.
4 BURKENTINE HANOVER He has been ok lately, but I haven’t seen enough since the win to make me expect he can beat these again.
5 ASHLEY’S HUSBAND Came with the effort I expected last time. Now he moves up the ladder, but he will be able to stay closer from here. Looks to be in line for a perfect trip and is the one they will have to hold off and beat here.
6 LORD OF MISRULE Not a bad qualifier last time and although he is making his first start back, this barn can have them on their toes.
7 GOLD ROCKS Nice effort last time as he seems to be cycling back forward. If he can follow Ashley, he figures to be towed into it from here.
8 BULLET BOB He couldn’t have paced home any faster when last seen here. Just concerned from this post, he will have too much to do.
9 URGENT ACTION I echo the sentiment I just portrayed for Bullet Bob. There are some serious closers to his inside. Will have to pass many.
10 K-LEES SHAKENBAKE Speaking of closers, this horse was electric at times in December. Maybe the class drop can perk him up. Tricky.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-7-2
H Horse Comment
1 OK COMMANDER Drops down to the lowest level we have seen in some time. He has not been bad either. Callahan chose off, which surprised me because I believe this is the horse to beat.
2 VOICE OF TRUTH Speaking of Callahan’s choice, this is it. Always at the mercy of pace and trip, but he will be rallying into it. Contender.
3 MAXI BON Mixed bag of efforts for this. Tetrick chose off and I want to see a good start at this level before I consider him a contender.
4 SALEVSTER STALLION I think there is a good mile coming from this horse. It may be tonight. He wasn’t bad last time. Interesting now.
5 IDEAL MAGIC Just ran into a monster last time. This race won’t go in 1:49.4. Perfect post. Looms as a major contender this time around.
6 ABELARD HANOVER Plenty of back class and now he drops down as well. One of these nights, this horse is going to pop. Including.
7 ROCK OUT He has been very good since coming back and he probably will only get better. One of the favorites and win contenders here.
8 LIFE UP FRONT Throw out the last and his form at Yonkers looks good. Miller chooses off though. Watching this start very closely.
9 TRANSCENDING Exits a very fast qualifier won by a horse that sold for a lot of money on Monday. Taking a long look at him as well.
10 DRAGON LORE Traffic in the stretch last time. The post is not going to help and this race came up tough. Not sold on chances from here.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-7-5
H Horse Comment
1 DIAL OR NODIAL He hasn’t been bad in his last pair of starts. You have to think Andy is going to be aggressive here and this horse may cut the mile from here. Looms as one of the prime win contenders.
2 BLATANTLY BEST He has really sharpened up since the confidence building win. Now moves up against tougher again. Logical player.
3 BAD BOY MATT He was very sharp when last seen. His qualifier was OK, but I think he may need a start to sharpen up. Watch closely.
4 LONG LIVE ROCK He hasn’t been the same since his runner up effort. Showed good speed last time but needs to turn it back around.
5 ROCKIN WIZARD His mile last week is going to attract plenty of attention in this short field. He should find himself in a very live outer flow. There are plenty of things to like with this likely favorite.
6 SWEET ROCK He hasn’t been as good lately, but has been facing some really sharp horses. I expect we see speed with Zeron tonight.
7 CAPOZZO He went a tough trip last time but it’s possible that he has tailed off as well. Mixed feelings coming into this from the wide draw.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-8-6
H Horse Comment
1 UNCLE GOODFELLOW His Pennsylvania form wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good enough to call him a win contender. Watching a start here.
2 JOHNNY Z His last two starts at Yonkers at this level have been OK. Had a really solid 2014 campaign. Taking a wait and see approach.
3 SEEK THE DRAGON He was a longshot last time and never got involved. Faces a similar group here and must step up his game here.
4 LENNON BLUE CHIP Was not as sharp last time after pulling off the upset. He has a right to move back up here. One of the contenders.
5 FOUR STARZZZ Z Took them to mid-stretch last time before tiring. He raced well and can take advantage of this short field. Win threat.
6 ILIKETHEMTRASHY He stepped up with a good effort last time. He won’t be 45-1 here, but he can win this race with a trip. Contender.
7 WINDSONG GORGEOUS He wasn’t as good last time. I imagine Brett will blast him tonight. Still takes plenty of play as well. Can rebound.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 9-1-3-5
H Horse Comment
1 RELENTLESS G Nice effort last time and was a near winner. He will likely be favored again, so you will have to take a short price again.
2 WHY DON’T U STAY Barn change to Burke off a sick scratch and a four week layoff. His lack of speed is a concern. Mixed feelings now.
3 QUIK MAGIC Nice qualifier at Dover. His previous try against better was not good but he can respond to this class relief. Major player.
4 CODE WORD You know one of these nights, the old Code Word is going to show up. Wouldn’t blame anyone for trying him here.
5 TINK AND TIGER He has been OK since arriving here and seems to offer a square price each time. Has a chance with the right setup.
6 ROCKS N BONDS Never saw the pylons last time. He wasn’t bad there. If he can work out a trip, he can rally into it at a decent price.
7 MAJOR BOMBAY It appears that he has tailed off. While he can jump up and race better without warning, I am skeptical of him now.
8 MAYFIELD HANOVER Impossible to predict the kind of turnaround that will be needed for him to win from here. Still a longshot.
9 JACK ATTACK Continues to race well and has a lot of speed in a race without much of that. I think he can go wire to wire from here.