• Week Of 1/6 - 1/12
  • SU6
  • MO7
  • TU8
  • WE9
  • TH10
  • FR11
  • SA12
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 12, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-1-4
H Horse Comment
1 ACTION BRAD Failed to make much of an impact last time. Doesn’t face One Through Ten this time and this field is a bit softer. Improves.
2 CYCLONE ARTIST Exits the same race as ‘Brad with a similar result. He has a right to improve. Picks up Tetrick as well. Interesting.
3 CRITICAL ACCLAIM The move from nw2 to nw3 seems tougher than ever. He was 18-1 in that spot as well. Not sold on the repeat.
4 TERRYANG FRA Another from that very strong One Through Ten race. Interfered with and broke in that spot. It’s a guessing game here.
5 ALL BLUES Winner of that qualifier looks like he is going to be a factor in the Clyde Hirt on paper. Julie Miller barn looks good early on.
6 NATIVE SPEED Hasn’t raced in 5 weeks and his previous form was lacking. This race is wide open, but I see too many other options.
7 MATT’S DELIVERY Just 3 for 42 lifetime and he has been struggling against softer recently at Monticello. Think he is in too deep here.
8 MAJORLY BAD That was a perfect drive Joey B put on last week to pull off the upset. This horse is sharp too. He should be a factor.
9 IM A NICE SKY That wasn’t a bad try last time, but he was pretty well beaten by Majorly Bad last time. He’ll need to step it up here.
10 UNRAVELED I think the winner of that qualifier is a nice horse and he was finishing that mile well. I think Harder is turning him around.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 GOLDEN RECEIVER In a word, sensational. The fastest horse I have ever seen off the gate just LOVES this track. Strictly the one to beat.
2 MODERN LEGEND I have always liked this horse. He remains lightly raced with plenty of upside. This is a tough spot, but he has talent.
3 ABELARD HANOVER One of the many that were left in the wake of ‘Golden last time. He will need to improve quite a bit to contend.
4 MEIRS HANOVER I thought he would have a little better season than he did in 2012. He raced very well last week though. 2nd best again?
5 FRED AND GINGER He should get past $1 Million this year and he has looked good qualifying at The Meadows. In the mix for a share.
6 MALAK USWAAD N Without question, this is the toughest series he has ever been in. Big test for class for a talented horse. Is he ready?
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 2-3-7-5
H Horse Comment
1 IDEAL DANNY Been off for 5 weeks and he hasn’t been in the best form either. Catches a couple of classy horses here. Watching now.
2 AUTOMATIC TELLER He has been hampered by outside posts at Philly, which is never an easy spot. He is still sharp. I like him in here.
3 BRANDON’S COLT He looked very good winning last week and gets a slight bump up in class now. Appears sharp and should factor.
4 GUN SHOW Moves to the Nifty barn off three dull efforts. Lands in a reasonable spot, and we’ll see if his new connections figure him out.
5 ANDY BARAN His last couple of starts have been solid. Off about three weeks so he is freshened up for this. Should offer some value.
6 SOUTHERN SPORT Tetrick had a tough call here and chose off. He gets a move down the class ladder and he could respond to that.
7 CASIMIR CAMOTION Talk about back class, Casimir finds himself in a good spot for his M1 return. I expect Miller to be aggressive here.
8 RECENT NEWS On paper, this is a move down in class and his last pair of starts were OK. We’ll see if Allard can work out a trip.
9 STONEBRIDGE ROCKET While he showed improved speed last time, it is worth noting that was from post 1 on a ½ mile track. Longshot.
10 LUCKY LAND Just missed last time, but they didn’t come home all that quick and now he draws the widest post. Callahan sends here.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 6-10-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 GIDDY UP DELIGHT I thought Tetrick had three good horses to choose from here and he landed here. Kicks off a wide open field.
2 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE His last pair of starts have been solid, but this a nice move up the class ladder. Can contend with a trip.
3 PARADISE WILLIE Exits the same race as ‘Giddy Up where he towed along and earned a share. Expect similar handling once again.
4 GAELIC THUNDER Took a shot with a big first over move last time but it just didn’t work. Smoother trip can find him in striking range.
5 ON THE RADAR It appears that he has tailed off a bit. I suppose he can improve with an M1 start under his belt, but he needs to improve.
6 SEA ME NOW I think Burke has him pointed in the right direction and I wouldn’t be shocked if he is poised for a breakthrough mile. Pick.
7 MAR DREAM He moved up off a dull effort and it didn’t work out. Comes back down in class, but he is hard to recommend at this point.
8 BELL’S PANACEA Toss out that effort from post 8 at Philly and this horse is really sharp. If Callahan gets him spotted well, he’ll be there.
9 ODIN BLUE CHIP This is a slight move down in class from the B-1 level and his prior form was solid. Campbell needs a trip. Maybe.
10 ELUSIVE REWARD Andy has speed to work with from here, so expect to see this horse fire. Off a very sharp win, he can come right back.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-4-1
H Horse Comment
1 SO TAKE THAT Well, he came from a very long way away last time. If he can build off that effort, he should be a factor in this spot.
2 MIAS BOLD MANEUVER That was tough spot last time as Mortal Zin is a handful. Gets some needed class relief. He can improve.
3 CROMAC JOHNNY N Just 1 for 20 last time and I am not sure he has the speed it looks like on paper. That’s post 1 at YR. Tricky call.
4 TREND SPOTTER I really liked his effort last time. That was off a three week layoff and he figures to be sharper tonight. Will be tough.
5 NATHAN FEELSGOOD Liked him a bit last week and he returned dividends. This will be a bit tougher, but the draw is perfect. Contender.
6 RHOMBUS Tetrick had many tough choices tonight and this was another. Chose off a good horse here. Gelding can win this race.
7 LAWGIVER HANOVER Post 10 in a 12 horse field was tough. Remember, this horse beat Heston Blue Chip as a 2YO. Lots to like.
8 SONIC DANCER His qualifier was OK, but the runner-up finisher there was mediocre in his subsequent start. I am watching this time.
9 BULLET SPEED Went from very good to ordinary with that last start. Believers will get a much better price here. Can he rebound?
10 MYSTERIOUS MOMENT Doesn’t own any gate speed, so the trip will be the key with him. He has been in tough company. Watching.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 1A-4-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 ANNIESWESTERNCARD I am sure connections wanted to get a start under his belt, be he scratched. This will be a tough first start back.
1A ROCKINTHE HOUSE I really liked his qualifier and am glad he avoided Golden Receiver this time. He’s the pick in a very tough field.
2 NOB HILL HIGH He got on quite a run at Dover, but he suddenly cooled and was no match in the FFA last time. Needs to rebound.
3 SECOND WIND N Similar to ‘Nob Hill, this gelding has now tailed off a bit. This is a major test for class as well. I will be watching this time.
4 DIAL OR NO DIAL He did all he could against ‘Receiver last time, and raced admirably. If he can build off that, he is the horse to beat here.
5 VERSADO In to go Thursday at Dover, so see that line. Frankly surprised he is racing there then here 2 days later. Best is good enough.
6 MR HASANI N Talk about sharp, his only defeat in 2 months was narrow loss to ‘Dial. He looks like a major threat to the favorite. Like him.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 10-5-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 VILLAGE BEAT Really put forth quite an effort last time and just missed. Andy had a tough choice, but he drives a lot for Surick. Player.
2 DALHOUSIE DAVE Getting some class relief as that last field had some real power to it. Still need to see him do it outside of Maryland.
3 MYSTIC DESIRE He is firing on all cylinders right now and will get another big test today. Do not ignore a sharp horse as he can win this.
4 SIR ZIGGY’S Z TAM Form has been inconsistent, but he tends to always offer good value. His best is competitive here. Using underneath.
5 MORTAL ZIN He looked very good winning last week and Burke could be in for a big night. The price will be short, but he can win again.
6 LETTHEROCKBEGIN He remains sharp although it might take a perfect trip for him to win at this level. From this draw, that can happen.
7 VOICE OF TRUTH Just missed again last time as he has put forth back to back strong rallies. The price should still offer value. Maybe.
8 BJ’S BEQUIA Got to a level that just proved too much last time. He was too far back as well. He has a chance. Contention runs deep.
9 FIRETHORN That was some rally last time as this horse remains very sharp. This race came up so tough though. He will be a price.
10 BAKIN ON THE BEACH Took a bold shot last time and raced very well. Miller’s choice of three will need to send from this wide draw.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 5-9-6-2
H Horse Comment
1 LEGENDS LUCK Qualified well down at Pompano and he shows some decent miles in Canada. Off the layoff, I will be watching closely.
2 OYSTER BAY Makes a move up in class off a win. That was a fast mile, but the track was quick Saturday night. This field is within reach.
3 NORTHERN BREAKOUT Nice win last time and it appears Burke has him straightened out. This will be a much tougher spot though.
4 SAYWHATUNEEDTOSAY He just wasn’t much of a factor last time at this level. He will need to improve for me to consider here.
5 SCOTTY MACH N Popular at the claim box lately and he has remained sharp. This will be a tougher spot, but he can be used in here.
6 KEYSTONE RAPTOR That was a very nice effort last time and for his racing style, this post is perfect. He will be passing some late.
7 DINNER GUEST Allard will be blasting here as on paper he looks like the speed of the speed. Can he last? That’s a tough question.
8 TOUCH AND GO Just had too much to do as he couldn’t have finished much faster last time. Fear a similar fate from this spot.
9 ESPIRIT DE KAYJAY A He is extremely sharp right now. The wide draw will force his hand earlier in the mile, but he can win right back.
10 ROADSIDE DELIGHT He had to need that last start, and I was going to play him next out. I just don’t love this spot. Waiting one more.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 3-6-9-8
H Horse Comment
1 MIDAS BLUE CHIP That was a respectable qualifier. See how Rockin The House did earlier in The Presidential. Intriguing price play.
2 DR C’S Z TAM Recent form has not been that good and I can’t really find much of an excuse. I need to see a form reversal first.
3 HEMER’S CARD SHARK He is interesting to me. Gets some class and post relief and he wasn’t that bad. Sneaky horse to be included.
4 TIME TO ROLL Comes with a big name and a big resume into this. What happened last time though? His best wins this handily. Tricky.
5 FREDDY DAY HANOVER I really thought he was going to better last week. But I never guess right with him. Give him another shot here.
6 NO BU Given the circumstances of the trip, I thought he finished as best as he could there. A smoother journey makes him a win candidate.
7 MAJOR BELLE Similar dropdown to ‘Hemer. But the connections will ensure a shorter price and I prefer that foe at bigger price now.
8 BLUERIDGE WESTERN Callahan had a very tough choice in here and opted to ‘Dalaw. Still, this horse’s best makes him a danger here.
9 I FOUGHT DALAW See how Mystic Desire did on the class hike. If he wins again, that really moves this 4YO up. He can win either way.
10 GRAMS LEGACY Continues to get slammed with outside posts and I just cannot play him right now. One day, he’ll pace a big mile here.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-6-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 CORKY BARAN Quite frankly, I really like him in this spot. Gets massive post relief and he raced well last time. Just needs to stay close.
2 STAND BY CAM Raced well last time showing good speed. If he can take a step forward off that effort, I can see him in the mix now.
3 ARSENAL My thought is this, Burke and Gingras have several wins at this point. As a result, this horse gets overbet here. No short price!
4 FOOL OF IDEAS Went a tough mile last time and now loses Gingras. If he works out a trip, he can earn a share. Minor award is the ceiling.
5 BOLERO ANDREW Stepping up in class off a compelling win. Perfect draw and I expect to see speed once again. He’s a contender.
6 ARMBRO BILLOW Nice try last time. See how Nathan Feelsgood did in the 5th race. With a trip, he can certainly hit the ticker in here.
7 PICTURE ME Getting a touch of class relief, but he was never involved last week. I need to see another start before I can consider.
8 WESTERN VICTORY Off a pair of tiring tries at Saratoga and a scratch resulting in a one month layoff. Not sold on his chances here.
9 UPFRONT COUNTRYBOY That was a decent first start back last time and he can build off that. That being said, I think this is a tough spot.
10 FANCY FOOTWORK Decent effort last time, but where is going from here with 2 trailers? Likely will have too much ground to make up.
11 ERIDANUS N Added Lasix and showed speed last time. Still, I think he should be finishing his miles better. Saves ground, hopes for room.
12 BEAR KING Never involved last time despite the good post. Gets a touch of class relief, but he will be at the mercy of the pace and trip.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-5-4
H Horse Comment
1 CHEYENNE KNIGHT Scratched last time and now ends up in a tougher spot. Was sharp heading into that, but this race came up tough.
2 NOBLE FALCON He was OK last time. He also finds himself in a more difficult race this week. Hard for me to consider him a win player.
3 A J CORBELLI How did Rockin The House and Midas Blue Chip do tonight? His best can win almost any race. If he offers a price, play.
4 RESCUE PLAN He is very sharp right now and gets a big test tonight. We have seen him at this level before. He can win again. Contender.
5 SILENT SWING Has plenty of early speed and his effort last week was a good one. He is a threat to steal this race too. Win candidate.
6 SILVER EAGLE If you haven’t figured it out by now, almost every horse in this race is pretty sharp. He may need to take a step forward.
7 ESCAPE THE NEWS Beaten a neck last time by a very good horse in River Shark. He remains the horse to beat at this level. Lots to like.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 R CAAN Did not fire last time as he caught a tough trip. A smoother journey will yield a better result. Post helps too. Things to like here.
2 HELLO HOT SHOT Feel this race is actually stronger than his last try at Philly. Need to see a start here before I can recommend.
3 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE Had a bad trip last week. Left, got shuffled, caught behind horse and came with a late flourish. Can be better here.
4 THAT’S JUSTICE He was better on 12/29 than he was last week. If he can work out a cover trip, he can find his way on the ticket.
5 THE POKESTER Nice try last time and he is rewarded with the perfect post for his preferred racing style. He has a big shot in this field.
6 LINDWOOD PLAYER He might have needed that last start. Now he can follow The Pokester and that would bring him into play. Maybe.
7 DUTCH RICHMAN He ducked in while in the stretch last week after going first over. Horse has ability but I am passing in this spot.
8 TIREMAN Got caught in some traffic last week when Dutch Richman ducked in and went off the course. Draw a line through that. Better?
9 PAINTED BLACK Just had way too much to do last week and I doubt Miller is going to just take him back here. Must find a way into it.
10 DIGITAL Z TAM Only shows one good race lately and now has post 10 without a ton of early speed. I am waiting for a better spot.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 6-4-2-1
H Horse Comment
1 SOURCE OF POWER Steps up off a win at the Spa last time. Just 1 for 15 last year but catches a wide open field here. A possibility.
2 BIG TEN CHAMP He has been pretty sharp of late, and this field is probably slightly better than a $15k claimer. Miller’s choice of three.
3 ITS OUTTA HERE Recent form has not been sharp and the addition of Lasix has not helped that much. Looks like a longshot here.
4 RELENTLESS DREAMER Made a move to the lead last time, but tired in the stretch. He could certainly improve 2nd time off the layoff.
5 HANG TEN He won like he should have last time at Freehold. That was the bottom level there. This will be a lot tougher. Tough call.
6 BLUE CLAW Miller chose off the veteran which surprised me a little bit here. He is another that can improve 2nd time off the layoff. Using.
7 SHELLYSBLOCKBUSTER Just 1 for 26 last year and his recent for is just OK. I need to see an improved effort here to consider.
8 TALBOT REDNECK Did a good job paying his way at Rosecroft. This is a whole new ballgame though. Let’s watch one first.
9 STRIPE’N STAR His last two races were like night and day. Which horse shows up tonight? Tough call. He’ll have a long way to come.
10 DOIN TIME TOGETHER Tried leaving last time and it didn’t work, so what does he do here? Feel he will be left with too much to do.