• Week Of 1/13 - 1/19
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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 Thursday, January 17, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 6-3-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 ORDER BY CORLEONE Enters this off a pair of dull qualifiers. Has not raced in over 6 months. Figure he needs a couple of starts.
2 LABIRINTO SAS IT Last pair he was not a factor from wide draws at Yonkers. Previous start was first in 6 months. Expecting better now.
3 SCENT OF OIL Making his 2nd start off a layoff, which is often a horses best. Was not a factor at Philly, but ignore this barn at your own risk.
4 PHOTO REVIEW I didn’t see enough improvement in his 2nd qualifier to consider just yet. This is the right level, but feel he needs a start.
5 WESTERN CREDIT Certainly didn’t race like a 20-1 longshot in his last start. Sans the break, his recent form looks good here. Consider.
6 BOINGA This was The Buckeye’s choice of 6 in here. She has won here before and is getting some class relief in her 2nd race back. Tough.
7 TUSCAN LINDY Did not factor in his most recent start at Saratoga. If anything, this race is a little bit tougher. He is up against it.
8 MARION MISTLETOE Continues to catch misfortune at the post position draw. Possible the longer stretch will help her. Minor award.
9 EMILY DO Qualified behind a couple of trotters that are B-1 to A-2 type trotters. Will this mare stay trotting? She is a risky play in here.
10 THROUGH THE NIGHT Made a break when favored against weaker last time out. No speed, post 10, dull form. Not my kind of play.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 1-9-6-10
H Horse Comment
1 JOYEUX DREAM Gelding remains razor sharp as he toyed with the opposition in Leg 1. Tetrick will move to the lead and never look back.
2 JAILHOUSE JUICE Well beaten last time and never really made any kind of impact. This field is softer, but he will need to improve.
3 SWISS LIGHTNING Not a bad effort last time behind ‘Joyeux. Still, he will need to move forward to contend for the win. Using in exotics.
4 BLT PRIME Continues to have problems staying on stride and it would take a total form reversal to contend here. Longshot.
5 MAJESTIC MIDNIGHT Well beaten last time in just his second lifetime start. Lightly raced means he has a right to improve. Still unlikely.
6 LA HOLLYWOOD That was a fine runner-up effort to what might be the horse to beat in the series. A repeat of that puts him right there.
7 FOR GOODNESS LINDY Finished a good 2nd to the favorite in here last time. If he can work out a similar trip, he’ll hit the ticket again.
8 EXPLOSIVE FASHION Gapped out of the pocket behind the top 2 last time. Gelding can improve here, but he is best used underneath.
9 SWEET BEN Really endured a tough trip last time. Campbell might try to be a little more aggressive here. Sneaky player in this group.
10 GOOD SOUND ADVICE Exits what I feel was the strongest division from top to bottom and raced OK. Expect speed. Still just 1 for 31.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-2-9
H Horse Comment
1 DECK THE HALLS Concerned that he broke stride in that qualifier. Made a very good recovery though. If he trots, he will be tough.
2 STARGLOW HALL Got parked to the ¼ last time from a tough spot. Better draw and he can easily improve here. A contender now.
3 LADAINIAN That was a nice win at Yonkers as he was out for much of the mile. This will be tougher though. May provide some value.
4 PAISLEY Miller’s choice of four in here and most certainly this gelding’s back class was the deciding factor. A drop and pop candidate.
5 NANTICOKE SNAZZ Stayed trotting in that qualifier, but I just don’t trust him enough to consider him here. Watching this start.
6 NICE DREAM Bongiorno is very dangerous if he gets a quality speed horse to the lead. There is other speed in here though. Tough call.
7 SPECIAL COMMAND Wiped out last time at the start, so toss that line out. Previous effort was solid. Has not won in a long time though.
8 RED ROCKET CHIP Seems to be heading in the right direction, but he is another coming off a winless season. Watching this time around.
9 BABY BLAZE This gelding has big track experience and out of all the RcR shippers we have seen so far, I’d say this is their best shot.
10 DC’S PIGGY BANK Off a decent qualifier, but making his first start in a month and has post 10. Watching closely to tab for later.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 9-6-2-7
H Horse Comment
1 MILLENIUM WHEEL Good to see a pair of sub-28 final quarters in those qualifiers. But he was awfully far behind last time. Watching one.
2 ROCK N VICTORY Nothing wrong with his form at RcR. First of four 3YO’s tackling older. Is he fast enough for the big track? Possibly.
3 CARD KNOCK LIFE Liked that win at Yonkers last time and Maxwell seems to have him on the improve. He wouldn’t shock me here.
4 PLEASE ME TWO Not a bad qualifier behind a nice horse in E Street Plan. Previous form is a bit concerning though. Watching this start.
5 BIG BOY TOZ Last two starts have him headed in the wrong direction again. I’ll need to see an improved effort before considering.
6 DHARMA INITIATIVE Not sure what to make of that QUA. Chased a good horse from the pocket. King’s Legend would be 1/5 in here.
7 DICKEY O Exits the same qualifier as ‘Millenium and finished just in front of that foe. Trick call, but this barn cannot be ignored. Player.
8 REAL FAR AHEAD That qualifier wasn’t bad, but this is his first pari-mutuel start in 5 months. I will be watching closely for signals.
9 A LIST At this point, he is probably the fastest horse in the race and was Tetrick’s choice of four. Hasn’t raced in four months though.
10 SCOFANMAN This is a huge step up. Nice win two-back, but post 10 on this kind of class hike with no speed. Looks like too much.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 3-9-10-4
H Horse Comment
1 TAKE IT TO NINE Didn’t deserve to lose last time and she was in front every step but the last. Faces a tougher opponent now. Still using.
2 CASH MCCOY Just did not factor last time again Helios. This field has plenty of depth in it, especially in the favorite spot. Longshot.
3 NO LESS THAN MAGIC I thought he was best last time. Came from an impossible spot. I know Miller chose off, but I will try him again.
4 CHURCH ST BOOM R Not a bad effort last time and Burke got a winner over the weekend. Gelding has a right to improve here. Use.
5 AMARCORD Did not factor last time despite the addition of Lasix. The draw is better, but it will take a turnaround for him to contend.
6 WINDSUN GALLIANO He is the wild card of the field. He has the ability to win, but will he stay trotting. He won’t be 7/5 this time around.
7 PILATUS Hobbles went back on and he responded in that qualifier. Missed Leg 1 so he needs a top 2 finish here. Gelding has talent.
8 SOUTH JERSEY BUGSY Abbatiello took a shot last time and did a good job to pick up a check. Just don’t see how he beats Where To.
9 WHERE TO HANOVER Talk about impressive. First over, grinding into it every step last time and just kept on going. Strictly, the favorite.
10 MOREY I thought he raced great in his first start off the long layoff. He has the speed to overcome the draw. Tetrick keeps him close.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 8-9-6-7
H Horse Comment
1 NEW YORK TERROR Never involved last time, as he is far from a fast starter. I don’t like horse who get away slow from the pole. Passing.
2 THE MIDNIGHT OWL N Another that doesn’t get off the gate all that well. Never factored last time. Similar feelings with his gelding.
3 HANKS KID Enters this off two dull tries at Monticello. That just isn’t going to draw my attention here. Looks like a longshot in this spot.
4 HE’S A BEACHBOY Not a bad try last time chasing a runaway winner. This field is wide open and I could see him contending this time.
5 SHOWTIME SHARK Technically, this is probably a class drop. But coming out of 3/4YO restricted races, it’s tough to say. Mixed feelings.
6 FORENSIC Z TAM I guess on name alone he is the favorite here. Millionaire got a start under his belt and he figures to be better this time.
7 POKER CHAMP Gelding’s form is moving in the right direction and he shows some quick miles down at RcR. He is interesting in here.
8 TSM GABBY WARBUCKS That was an even try in his first start over the track and these types typically improve next time out. Player.
9 PRO MATTIC I liked how he was finishing, albeit he did finish 7th. Miller’s choice of three must stay closer, but he has a chance in here.
10 ZEN MAJOR Went first over and it didn’t work out. There is not a ton of speed in here. If Bongiorno looks left at the gate, I think he blasts.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-8-9
H Horse Comment
1 JACK’S MAGIC JEWEL She couldn’t utilize her speed from the 2nd tier last time and that is her best asset. Expect to see it here. I like her.
2 OBSESSIVE ARTIST Hasn’t raced in some time, but I am starting to see the Allard horses turn things around. Still watching a start.
3 LIL MISS NYALATION Made a strong move in that qualifier but tired in the end of the mile. Hasn’t won in a long time either. Needs a start.
4 TANNED FOR LIFE Moved to the Brainard/Weaver stable, but she was never involved last time. She can improve in this spot though.
5 ELODIE That was a nice start last time from a tough draw. Perfect post will give Berry options, but speed worked pretty well last time.
6 LADYBONES Not the kind of try I wanted to see in her first start back as she never threatened, not able to keep up with cover. Passing.
7 SWEET TIME Just did not fire at all last time. Tipped three wide but had no pop. I need to see an improved effort before I consider.
8 LATIN LYRIC Loomed up on the outside but seemed to flatten out in the stretch. She can improve off that effort. Prior form was decent.
9 HONORARY HANOVER Sharpest horse in the race was Miller’s choice. She is moving up the ladder a bit though. Hasn’t raced in a month.
10 TERROR RISING Got parked out and backed through the field last time. Has the speed to overcome the draw, but needs a smoother trip.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-8-1
H Horse Comment
1 TROUBLE HANOVER This is a slight move up from his previous races at Philly. Just 1 for 26 last year, but did win here. Minor award?
2 SECTIONLINE BLAST Stepping up after being DQ’d at Dover. Dover shippers have had mixed results thus far. Barn change here.
3 COME ON RIDGE Another RcR invader, so keep tabs on how the others have done. Seems to be sharp right now. Carlson chose off.
4 PALM’S BEACH Showed speed last time, then made a second move but tired. Carlson opted here and he can build off that effort.
5 NIGHT TRAIN SHANE Merits consideration on the class drop. This draw will give Miller options and this was his choice of three. Chance.
6 ATTACK MODES BILLY Showed speed to the ¼ last time but tired badly in the stretch. Prior form was OK. Needs a return to that now.
7 LAGUNA BEACH Beaten a long way last time. If he can find his Meadowlands form from last year, then he has a chance here. Tricky.
8 CELEBRITY SCANDAL Gelding is moving in the right direction here and he seems to be a better horse on Lasix. He is a contender here.
9 DONTU GET LONELY Winner of that qualifier has a world of ability. Liked the qualifier, but prior form was dull. Tough call now.
10 SLEAZY MR E Steps up off a runner-up try against lesser at Monti. Draws a wide post and I think this is a tough spot. Longshot.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 4-7-10-8
H Horse Comment
1 CHULA That was respectable qualifier, although they didn’t go a very quick middle half. Mare finds herself in pretty tough here. Longshot.
2 SOME KINDA SPUNKY That was an even try in Leg 1. This division has a pair of Leg 1 winners so things won’t be any easier.
3 VOLARE DE VIE I think it is fair to say that last effort was too bad to be true. Good to see Meittinis stick. Let’s see a better effort here.
4 HELIOS Gelding’s M.O. is becoming clear. He does just enough to win each time. He will be everyone’s pick 4 single. Very, very tough.
5 CAMP SPEEDY Just an even try last time and she will need to take a major step forward to be a win contender here. Not sold.
6 FOLLOW MY ASHES I liked his final 1/8th last week. If he can find a live cover flow somehow, he should be used on the bottom of exotics.
7 MAJESTIC STONE If you are going to try and beat Helios, this is the most likely candidate. Made up a lot of ground late in that mile.
8 PICARD He was finishing well last week, but from this draw he is likely to have too much ground to make up. Using underneath again.
9 BAD DAY BLACK ROCK Made a break last time but he wasn’t much of a factor up to that point. Needs a turnaround in this spot.
10 WISENHEIMER Was all out to beat Take It To Nine, so see how that trotter did in Race 5. Miller might look for a trip, if he can find one.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 LOOKINFORAGOODTIME Showed speed last time but got tired in the stretch. Kicks off a wide open race. I can see her contending here.
2 LIZZIE’S DREAM Steps up off a win and she was all out to hold off a 28-1 shot from the 2nd tier. She seems to be sharp right now.
3 SMOKE PAN MIRRORS Like ‘Lizzie, she is also stepping up off a win. She did have a perfect trip there, but she is once again a player.
4 SHAYNA BABY She really disappointed last time squandering a cover journey. That surprised me. The price will be much better. Try her!
5 LEANBACK COCO Classy mare just missed last time and she is right back in with a perfect draw. She certainly is a player once again.
6 SANDY ABSOLUT She just didn’t make the transition to the half mile track last time. Prior form was OK. Interesting at any kind of price.
7 MATT’S SMOKIN LIL Mare had some sneaky late pace in that last mile. If she can work out a trip from here, she can earn a share.
8 CRUISE QUEEN It appears that Lasix has made a bit of a difference here and she is trending upward. She might be ready for her best.
9 NUTMEGS YANKEE It is very hard to play any horse at The Meadowlands off that kind of line at Monticello. I need to see improvement.
10 CRUZIN ANGEL Sat the pocket but never showed the pop necessary. Now draws post 10 in a 12 horse field. Things are going to be tough.
11 CARRIE ANN Nice win last time at 36-1 on the class drop. This is a lateral move and she is a sneaky play in this spot. I am using her.
12 COLLAGE She had some finish to her at the end of that mile, but is going to need to work out a trip from here. Include in some gimmicks.