Race Reviews

  • Week Of 11/22 - 11/28
  • SU22
  • MO23
  • TU24
  • WE25
  • TH26
  • FR27
  • SA28
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, November 28, 2015

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 7-1-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 MAJOR ADONIS Added Lasix last time and certainly improved. Draws inside and another step forward makes him a win contender here.
2 SOUTHERN SWAGGER Tough to love given his recent form, although he had a tough trip last time. Saves ground, hopes for a share.
3 VILLE VALLO Gelding has speed from inside posts on the smaller track. We’ll see how he adapts here. Certainly a contender now.
4 DCS BETTER LIFE Prone to the miscue, which is a concern. Effort two starts back was not bad. Will need to stay pacing this time.
5 OLD STU DA BAKER Has been a big price in his recent starts without much results. Will need to turn things around quickly here.
6 MAJOR IN LIFE Gelding is making his second start back off the layoff. Finished with some interest last time. Certainly can improve now.
7 ALL THE COOKIES Chased a good looking winner from the pocket last week. Solid first try here. Looms a short priced favorite again.
8 MIDNIGHT LIGHTNING Last pair have been a struggle. Final quarter last week wasn’t bad. He is another that would need to step it up.
9 LIBRADO HANOVER Remmen off to a solid start, but this gelding will need to build on that last effort. Respect the connections though.
10 WEGOTTATRUCKYEA Has not been seen in seven months. Qualifiers are OK. Tough post and inclined to believe he needs a start.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 7-1-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 APP HEAVEN Out-performed expectations last time at Pocono. Won’t be 78-1 this time and a repeat of that effort puts him in play now.
2 TWIN B TK Barn change here and enters this while not in the best of form. Would need to improve off current form to contend here.
3 MAJOR PLAYER Rough time of it when last seen and then missed a race due to sickness. Inclined to take a wait and see approach.
4 WILD AGAIN Not a bad qualifier in preparation for this. Hasn’t been seen since August though and is another that may need a race.
5 MULLET BLUE CHIP Stepping up off a decent performance. This colt seems to be on the improve though. There are things to like here.
6 KING OF DELIGHT If you toss out that last start, his form looks a lot better. This field appears top heavy, so he has a chance this time.
7 PISTOPACKINPIPER Should take plenty of support off his last pair and on the trainer change. We will see if he can offer more speed.
8 HEAVEN ROCKS Just an even effort the other night at Yonkers. Plainridge form has not transferred here. Inclined to watch a start.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 FOREVER WILD Gets a major test for class on the move up. Respect his ability to hit the exacta, but this will be a much tougher task.
2 AMPED UP Right down the road against softer last time. Moves up and faces tougher. He is winning at better than 25% this year.
3 STORMIN RUSTLER Even qualifier in preparation for this. This is his first start in three months. Fits at this level though. Considering.
4 WESTERN DAKOTA No chance when last seen here two starts back. Not bad last time. Winless this year and must stay closer early on.
5 INTHEBLINKOFANEYE Rides a three race win streak into this and comes in off the claim. Perfect post and should be tough. Short price.
6 ESPRIT DE KAYJAY A Seems to do his best at a level below this right now. Beaten favorite against similar two back. Using a bit here.
7 UF FAST FEELIN Took a lot of play last time. Got away from the wide draw well, but caught a shuffle. He can improve on that. Player.
8 RUSTY SKIPP Form has been mixed at the bottom level at Freehold coming into this. Now asked to step up and face tougher. Longshot.
9 SPEEDACIOUS Faced tougher last time. Wasn’t bad at Plainridge, but those shippers have struggled to start the meet. Wait and see.
10 GALACTIC STAR Doesn’t own any speed and is stuck in the widest draw. Appears that he will have too much to do from here.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 2-8-1-4
H Horse Comment
1 TWIN B SPY Moving down the class ladder coming into this. Draws well and this field is filled with questions. Not without a chance here.
2 EL SHOOTER Not the barn change to Burke for this Hoosier invader. His last start wasn’t bad and he is likely to take plenty of support.
3 PARTYATBARTSPLACE Has not been able to compete against lesser at Pocono. Would need a form reversal this time around.
4 STEADY PULSE Not bad at Freehold last time. Did not fire his best against similar two starts back. Mixed feelings heading into this one.
5 IDEAL CARVER Can improve in his second start off the qualifier. Zeron chooses off though. Will need quite a bit of improvement now.
6 CITY PIE He wasn’t bad two starts back, but regressed last time. Better post now. Would need to take a step forward this time around.
7 EAGLE ARTESIAN Winless this season and his recent form has not been sharp. Another that would need to turn things around here.
8 MUST BE THE BUNNY Big rally last time to defeat similar. Any repeat of that effort makes him very dangerous here. Short price player.
9 CELEBRITY SCANDAL Continues to be saddled with wide posts and his lack of speed is a problem. Will have a lot of ground to make up.
10 TWINCREEKS JESSE Was not able to put forth back to back solid tries. Now moves way outside. Will need to bounce back this time.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-8-9
H Horse Comment
1 RESTLESS NATIVE Moves back down to the level of the win after facing better. Good post and should respond to the class drop. Tough.
2 FRATERNITY Not terrible lately and he has the look of a horse that might like the longer stretch here. Not without a chance this time.
3 WESTERN TSUNAMI Has won here before, but it is hard to get a read on his current form. Will wait to see how he fits here first.
4 AHDOUGHNOLUM Cut the mile last time and things did not work. He wasn’t bad two starts back. Needs to revert to those tactics.
5 PENN TURBO TED A little better last time in his second start off the layoff. Would need to take another big step forward in this spot.
6 KEYSTONE ROCCO Missed a couple of weeks and the Plainridge shippers have been struggling thus far. Taking a wait and see approach.
7 FRESH DREAM Has had some tough posts lately and his lack of speed is troublesome. He needs a trip while improving here. Tricky.
8 GONE NUCLEAR Beaten by a 39-1 longshot last time, who he faces again here. Has the post edge om that rival and more upside as well.
9 DANGER HI JOLTAGE Exits that same race as well where he had some pace late. Has some speed to be forwardly placed. Using.
10 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE I didn’t like him at 39-1 last time, so it is hard to like him at any kind of a reduced price from here. Not for me.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 11-9-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 BUGGER BRUISER Gets some class relief after back to back decent tries against better. Catches a tougher division, but is a key player.
2 AMERICAN CROSSROAD Longshot is moving up the ladder while just in average form. Would need considerable improvement here.
3 EASTEND EDDIE Added Lasix last time and raced well. He might only get better from here and he has back class. Must be used here.
4 KILLER MARTINI First start in six weeks. Qualifier wasn’t bad, but given his previous form, I will take a wait and see approach for now.
5 IDEAL ROMANCE Yet to his the board in eight tries this year. Hard to endorse given that form. Will need to see some improvement first.
6 JIMMY C R Too much ground to make up last time. He wasn’t bad in the previous start. Can stay closer from here. He is in the mix now.
7 DR C’S Z TAM He has been OK lately, but against softer than this. Needs to improve on the move up in class now. Mixed feelings here.
8 PAPPY’S PAL He has been racing well and I always respect this stable when they ship down. Worth tossing on the tickets this time.
9 ORILLIA JOE Aggressive try from post 10 against better. Another outside draw, but he has shown that he has the speed needed. I like.
10 LAST BEST CHANCE Beaten by lesser at Monticello and now moves all the way outside here. Appears to be facing a difficult task.
11 SUPREME MACH N Not a bad effort last time. Faces a similar group here and might be ready to take a step forward. Worth including.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 11-2-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 ELECTRIC OUI Hard to endorse given his last three starts. This is Callahan’s choice, but he would need a turnaround here. Not sure.
2 PRINCE PALANI Improved effort last time where he finished with some pace. Good post and may take another step forward. Including.
3 LENNON BLUE CHIP Trouble last time at this level when sent off at 64-1. Better post, but still skeptical off his latest try. Watching now.
4 ONEDIN MACH N Aggressive move to the lead as the chalk. Faltered in the stretch from there. Has faced better than this. Could be tough.
5 JOJO JOVE Rallied willingly in the stretch last time. Showed some pace at the end of the mile. Perfect post. He is another to be included.
6 BEGINNER’S LUCK Gelding has not been racing badly lately. Last two starts at this level are decent as well. Caught a buzz-saw last time.
7 I FOUND MY BEACH Did not factor when sent off at very long odds last time. He will need to improve on that performance here.
8 K SLATER He has not been very effective lately. Just 1 win on the year. He is another that will need to improve in this spot. Longshot.
9 HILARIOUS HALO Improved effort at Freehold last time. Like to see the presence of Miller. Tough post, but he is not without a chance.
10 FREDDY DAY HANOVER Catches another bad post and he just hasn’t been able to get traction yet. Will wait for a better spot. Not yet.
11 SPARTACUS PV Nice win off the layoff. Moves here and while I don’t love the post, any repeat of his last certainly puts him in play.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-6-8
H Horse Comment
1 MIDNIGHT DYLAN N Gets some class relief after facing a tough group. Draws inside. This field came up tough. Hopes to land a share.
2 BLATANTLY BEST Gelding has had a long history of success here. That said, he has some ground to make up on several of these here.
3 ASHLEY’S HUSBAND He has looked very impressive in his qualifiers. Another gelding with a winning history here. Should be tough.
4 BAKIN ON THE BEACH Exits the same qualifier as the pair to his inside, but is another that must step up and improve. Watching one.
5 MISTER TRUTH Surprised he was dismissed at 10-1 last time. Rallied well between horses. Steps up to face tougher now. Can repeat.
6 MIGHTY PREUVIAN N Not bad in his recent try here and he was OK last time against a good group. Current form says he is a contender.
7 PANCHESTER UNITED He has won here before as well. Moves up after back to back solid tries. Has speed. Should be a factor again.
8 HOPE FOR BADLANDS Handled the move up in class well and now faces an even better group. Showed good speed, too. Contender.
9 THAT’LL BE THE REI Tough trip last time. He was sharp two starts back. Moves outside and just needs to work out a trip this time.
10 SHOOTER’S DREAM Lack of speed is a concern here. He will have a lot of ground to make up. Needs to find a way into the race.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 8-6-4-9
H Horse Comment
1 SALEVSTER STALLION Even try last time. Two starts back he wasn’t bad against lesser. Draws inside. One of many win contenders.
2 PRINCE PINANG Missed a week and has been facing lesser than this. Respect connections, but he is going to need more to win this.
3 WOODMERE ULTIMATE Just 1 for 26 this year, but his mark did come right here. Last effort not bad. He could land a share of this.
4 REAL FLIGHT Solid try the other night at Yonkers. That mile may go a long way against this group. Tetrick lands here. Things to like now.
5 BACKDRAFT HANOVER Won here two starts back, but regressed last time at Freehold. Perhaps a return here can move him forward.
6 DANCIN HILL Gelding certainly has back class. He may have needed that last start and draws well for this. Looks like he will improve now.
7 DAWSON CITY Win at Monticello was against far lesser than this. Did not handle a softer group at Saratoga. Looms a longshot for this.
8 PRANA He had some sneaky pace last time. If he can build on that and work out a trip, he can find a way to the winner’s circle here.
9 FLY’N WITH ROYALTY Has been facing better and should appreciate the class relief. Picks up Miller as well. Worth consideration now.
10 LEGENDS LUCK Seems likely to get away last here and he may just have too much ground to make up. Tough to endorse here.
11 P L FIGHTER Not bad two starts back. Not nearly as effective last time. Appears that he wants to save ground and hope for a part of this.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-10-4
H Horse Comment
1 MATTOX’S SPENCER Has not been in solid form lately. In fact, has tailed off since that win. Would need a form reversal now. Longshot.
2 LONG LIVE ROCK Solid try last time when showing good speed. He has a proven history here and fits at this level. Plenty to like now.
3 OUR DRAGON KING Brutal trip last time. Was raging with pace at the end. Everyone saw it. He will take a ton of action. One to deny.
4 CASTLE FLIGHT Solid win on the ship east. Now moves up and faces a better group. Needs to duplicate that effort. He can repeat.
5 D MAC Last pair have not been as effective, although he really had no shot last time. Good draw here and a good trip could help him a lot.
6 A STITCH IN TIME Should appreciate the drop in class for this. Was a winner against a bit softer recently. Can work out a trip from here.
7 BETTORSLUCKYSTREAK Getting some class relief for this, but just has not been in any kind of good form lately. Wait and see approach.
8 HUNCHIE Good looking qualifier. Previous Yonkers for was not very sharp. Would need to build on that qualifier here. Mixed feelings.
9 ROCK THREE TIMES Stepping up off a win while facing several class droppers. He will need to come up with even more this time around.
10 AIMO HANOVER Aggressive try last time and just came up a bit short. Tough post here, but he has the look of a horse that will improve.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 11-8-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 INCOGNITO Recent form has been suspect. Not facing the toughest field, but would still need to improve off his current form. Longshot.
2 VICTORY AT LAST Won at the bottom level at Freehold last time. Now steps up against tougher. I am inclined to watch a start first.
3 WINDSONG GORGEOUS He has a history of being competitive against far better than this. Qualifier is tricky. Might just be best in here.
4 ALEX BULLVILLE Took a lot of action last week and hung in there despite a rough trip. Any improvement on that puts him in play here.
5 JUST BETTOR Has faced better at times this year. But he just isn’t in the best form right now and would need to improve to contend.
6 UNDISPUTED TRUTH Recent win came against much softer at Monticello. Last effort doesn’t bode well for this. Not sold on chances.
7 GRATIAS DEO Last couple of starts weren’t bad, but they came against softer. Vernon form has not been transferring well this meet.
8 GIDDY UP BINKS Solid try last time. Concerned about how often he finishes 2nd as opposed to winning. But, he can hit the ticket now.
9 SOME MAJOR BEACH Aggressive move to the lead and came up short. Winless in 14 tries this year. Hard to love in the top spot.
10 MOONLIGHT RANSOM Just an even effort last time while dismissed at a huge price. Tough draw now as well. Appears in rather tough.
11 AMERICAN FLIGHT In good form right now and he has faced better than these this year. Maybe the confidence builder will help him.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-3-8
H Horse Comment
1 EMERITUS MAXIMUS He has the most upside in the field. Talented horse that should improve in his second start back. Prime player.
2 JET AIRWAY Added Lasix in those qualifiers and it seems to be helping. Faces a strong group here, so I will watch his first race back.
3 ROCKIN WIZARD Good win two back and wasn’t bad on the move up in class despite a tough trip. Seems sharp now. Logical contender.
4 ONTARIO SUCCESS Liked his effort last time and he is another that may only improve off that. Faces a few similar foes here. Using.
5 MR FRANKLIN N Just missed last time. Faces the winner again here and loses Tetrick. Still, has a post edge. Plenty of things to like.
6 KINGOFTHEJUNGLE Finished with a flourish last time and didn’t miss by much. Tackles tougher this time. Just needs the right setup.
7 STARSKY’S DREAM N Sharp win last time, but this field is much tougher. Hard to know how he stacks up against these just yet.
8 MARTINI HANOVER Broke through with a big upset last time. Another tricky post but he is clearly sharp right now. Cannot dismiss.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-7-6-9
H Horse Comment
1 CHILLI NZ Recent form has been decent. Still need to see the breakthrough that says he can beat these. Using underneath in exotics.
2 GIANT SLAYER Note the barn change here. That is going to attract a lot of attention. He is probably going to jump up and beat these.
3 FAST HEAT Hard to love given his current form. He would need to improve quite a bit while facing better. That is a tough sell.
4 SKYWAY DANTE Made a break before the start last time. Solid try three starts back. Resect these connections. Needs to re-find form.
5 CUTTY SHARK Owns a win against much softer at Freehold and could not handle the move up in class last time. This will be tougher.
6 SHAVING MUG A couple of decent tries leading up to this at this level. Still would need to improve off that form to contend for the win.
7 BRIONI Good effort against similar two starts back and beat a comparable group last time. He should be a handful in this spot.
8 ZIPPITY DOODAH DEO Neither effort this meet inspires much confidence. Would clearly need to turn things around to contend here.
9 INSANE IN SPAIN Last pair have not been bad and I do like the presence of Zeron here. Likely to be aggressive from the start. Player.
10 LOAFER LAUXMONT Beat the bottom level last time at Freehold. Moves all the way outside into a tougher spot. Longshot this time.