• Week Of 1/13 - 1/19
  • SU13
  • MO14
  • TU15
  • WE16
  • TH17
  • FR18
  • SA19
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 19, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-4-7
H Horse Comment
1 MAJOR BELLE Burke was struggling last week, but this gelding upset the apple cart at 15-1. This is a sizable step up in class. Possibility.
2 ORR HANOVER If you draw a line through his two post 8 tries at Yonkers, his form looks much better. He will offer value as well.
3 SILVER EAGLE He raced OK last week in a tough field. This field is a bit softer with no Escape The News, but is still tough. Tricky call.
4 MCCLELLAND Nice win last time and this gelding knows how to win here. He seems to be back on his game too. Very interesting.
5 MYSTIC DESIRE Surick is lighting the world on fire right now and this horse is a big part of the reason why. Gets another test tonight!
6 RESCUE PLAN That was a game try against a very talented pacer last time. He knows how to win here as well. He should prove tough.
7 SILENT SWING Andy opted to ‘Mystic, but this gelding is still a near double millionaire. Good effort last time. One of the win candidates.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 ACTION BRAD He raced well last week. That’s the kind of improvement you are looking for. Looks like a legitimate contender here.
2 BJ’S RAMEAU Got a start under his belt and he has a right to improve but this is going to be a tougher spot. Look for improvement.
3 NATIVE SPEED Made a bold move and tired throughout the mile from there. That wasn’t a bad effort, but I will watch this time.
4 SKY IS THE LIMIT Added Lasix last time and responded and it appears that Erv has this colt heading in the right direction. Contender.
5 FRESH DREAM Caught a buzz-saw last time in One Through Ten who was a winner in Round 1 of the Clyde Hirt. He should be tough.
6 BABOO SEMALU Just 2 for 21 and moves to the Lachance barn. We have seen a Rideau Carlton shipper win, but I am watching this time.
7 IM A NICE SKY His last pair of starts have been OK, but he would need to step up his game to win here. Hopes for a trip and a check.
8 HE ROCKS IT ALL Was finishing his mile well last time and he could improve in this spot. If Gingras works out a trip, he has a shot.
9 CRITICAL ACCLAIM The move to the nw3 condition was a bit too much for him last time. This field might be a bit softer. Has a chance.
10 ROCKY MOUNTAIN GUY He raced well here at times as a two year old. He got a start under his belt and can improve in this spot.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 7-2-8-1
H Horse Comment
1 ON THE RADAR Not a bad effort at this level last time. I’m not a fan of slow starters from the inside draw. Tetrick did opt here. Needs a trip.
2 SEA ME NOW Chased a longshot around the track last time, but it was an improved effort. See how the Burke horses have fared this week.
3 GET IT NOW Nice win last time and now he moves to the McDermott barn, who protects him with a move up in class. This will be tougher.
4 TOUCH AND GO Gets a class drop to the level of his last decent race. That will help. Campbell still chose off though. Mixed feelings.
5 ODIN BLUE CHIP Upset the applecart at 16-1 at this level last time. Seems pretty sharp right now and there is no reason not to consider.
6 MILLIONDOLLARTOUCH See how the other Rideau Carlton shipper did earlier. This horse is sharp but Tetrick did choose off. Tough call.
7 ESPIRIT DE KAYJAY A Took a shot at a tougher level and he had no chance with that trip. Back to the level of the win. A major player.
8 WESTERN TSUNAMI Moving up in class following a mile that saw him shuffled out of it followed by a fierce stretch drive. Contender.
9 GIDDY UP DELIGHT Gelding has really tailed off and now catches the widest draw and Tetrick opts off. Looks up against it here.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-1-7
H Horse Comment
1 MAJORLY BAD Seems like an all or nothing type. Unfortunately last time it was nothing. He is a bounce back candidate in this group.
2 DOOMSDAY HANOVER Made an unfortunate mistake last time, but still picked up a check. Like ‘Bad he is a bounce back candidate.
3 STIRLING BRIGADE See how King’s Legend faired in the Clyde Hirt series. Neither qualifier thrilled me so I will be watching this time.
4 BANGBANGKISSKISS He did not factor in his last start when he tipped three wide and faltered in the stretch. I need to see more.
5 TIGER IN THE TANK Makes his 2nd race back off the layoff, but he didn’t do enough last time to merit consideration for me in here.
6 UNRAVELED He had a tough trip last time coming from an impossible spot. He might be overbet in this spot, but Harder has him poised.
7 ALL BLUES He is the wild card in this field and I am not sure what to make of it. Off the break, look for equipment changes. Watch tote.
8 FOX VALLEY ARCTIC That first over trip just didn’t work out last time and now he has been off a month. Callahan chose off as well.
9 FIFTYSHADESDARKER Nothing to knock with his recent Dover form, but Callahan didn’t choose him. Still, I don’t think he can be ignored.
10 CYCLONE ARTIST That was a good rebound effort last time. He loses Tetrick here though and catches the widest draw. Mixed feelings.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 10-1-3-5
H Horse Comment
1 AUTOMATIC TELLER Good try last time as he was closing in on the leaders late. He can build off that effort here. Looks like a player.
2 ALEX BULLVILLE Gets some needed class relief and we have seen some dropdowns win. Still, he is tough to play given his current form.
3 SHEER DESIRE Still holds a 2yo World Record and he steps up off a win at 3/5. This will be tougher but a repeat is within reach here.
4 ANDY BARAN Showed good speed last time before tiring late. He may have needed that start and I can see him racing better now.
5 CASIMIR CAMOTION Took a shot first over last time and it didn’t work. He has a chance to work out a cover trip from here. Interesting.
6 DOMITIAN HANOVER I thought he should have been better last time given the trip he worked out. I am inclined to use him underneath.
7 CC RACY Gets some class relief and that may help him here. If Chiodo can work out a trip, I can see this gelding landing a share.
8 YANKEE DEVIL Recent form has been dull. This is probably a slight drop in class, but I need to see more. Tetrick chose off as well.
9 THANKS FOR STOPPIN Still don’t know how he won last week. In line for a similar trip from here. Will he find the same good luck?
10 DANA’S SHARP SMART Good effort last time considering that was his first start in 7 months. Expect speed to overcome the draw. I like.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 9-7-3-8
H Horse Comment
1 CROMAC JOHNNY N Stepping up off an upset win in a softer spot. This field will be substantially tougher. Not sold on a repeat here.
2 DALHOUSIE DAVE Simply has not been the same horse away from Rosecroft at this point. I need to see an improved effort here.
3 THAT’S JUSTICE Stepping up off a win against a similar field to what ‘Cromac defeated. Tricky call whether he is ready for this.
4 MORTAL ZIN Ran into a buzz-saw last time who has been one of the hottest horses at the meet so far. I expect a rebound effort here.
5 LIFE UP FRONT That was a decent qualifier, albeit not great. Off that effort and the layoff, I am willing to watch this start and tab for later.
6 ALL TIGER N Showed speed in a few starts at Yonkers. I think this race is tougher on paper than what he has been facing. Watching.
7 VOICE OF TRUTH Back to back narrow losses, but he remains very sharp. This looks like a spot where he can break through. Player.
8 BAKIN ON THE BEACH Aggressively driven from post 10 and he came up short in the stretch. With an easier journey, he will be tough.
9 DINNER GUEST He was a dominant winner last time out and now steps up in class. This will be tougher, but his last win was very good.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 ARMBRO BILLOW Seems to have found his best stride in his last couple of starts and gets a bit of a bump in class. One to consider.
2 LINDWOOD PLAYER Seemed to have some pace last time and he might be moving in the right direction. Adds value to the exotics.
3 THE POKESTER Liked him last week and he came from a tough spot. If he can stay within striking range, he has a shot. Using again.
4 TREND SPOTTER Those are two tough losses in row but he remains very sharp. Likely to take money, inclined to use underneath.
5 NO BU That’s 2 consecutive races where he just didn’t have a chance. He has a perfect post to work out a trip here. No more excuses.
6 STONEBRIDGE COWBOY Another Canadian shipper and this horse has won on the big track, too. I expect to see speed. Contender.
7 RHOMBUS He was disappointing last week and he just does not seem to have that powerful stretch kick right now. Leaning against.
8 IDEAL MATTERS Came from a tough spot in that qualifier and was finishing well. Tetrick’s choice of three is a very interesting player.
9 MAR DREAM His last effort was his best yet at the Big M, but he still has some improving to do. I need to see more before I consider.
10 CHEYENNE KNIGHT Gets some class relief, but draws post 10 and Carlson chose off for a horse stepping up in class. Mixed feelings.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 8-2-3-6
H Horse Comment
1 LEGENDS LUCK Hasn’t raced in 5 months off just one average qualifier at Pompano. I need to see a start here before I can consider.
2 BIG TEN CHAMP Gelding is moving in the right direction and now gets a bump up in class. This will be tougher, but Miller sticks.
3 TAKEMEWITHYOU Pushed to the quarter last time and it just didn’t work out. This race is wide open and he is a factor with the class drop.
4 PICTURE ME He improved on the class drop last time and he can build off that effort in this spot. Expect speed from here. Contender.
5 UPFRONT COUNTRYBOY He didn’t improve on the move to the B-2 level last time. Making his 3rd start off the layoff. Still not on board.
6 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE He just missed at this level on opening weekend and now gets some class relief. With any kind of trip, he is tough.
7 FOOL OF IDEAS Neither of his two starts have been very inspiring thus far. He gets Gingras back, but I need to see some improvement.
8 RECENT NEWS He has no business finishing 2nd last week considering the trip he endured. I don’t mind the class drop. He has a shot.
9 BEAR KING He was a little bit better last time with some class relief. I just don’t see the speed he will need from this draw. Pass for now.
10 SAYWHATUNEEDTOSAY His last start was a bit better and this group looks a bit softer than that $30k claimer. May show speed here.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-10-9
H Horse Comment
1 DR C’S Z TAM I like how he was finishing in his last start as he seemed to enjoy the longer stretch. He can contend with any kind of trip.
2 LETTHEROCKBEGIN Gets some class relief in a wide open race. He beat this level at 6-1 on opening weekend. Legitimate contender.
3 TIME TO ROLL He is sale bound on Monday so connections are hoping for a big effort here. See how he looks on the track. Maybe.
4 MUSSELSFRMBRUSSELS He is getting a bit of class relief but has not been seen in 3 weeks now. Can he rebound? Mixed feelings.
5 LAWGIVER HANOVER Remains sharp but he is searching for an overdue win. Tetrick can work out a trip from here. Another contender.
6 NATHAN FEELSGOOD This level proved to be too much last time. While he can rebound, I will be looking elsewhere on my win ticket.
7 OYSTER BAY Gelding is pretty sharp right now, but this race looks tougher than his previous race on paper. Tricky call in a tough race.
8 OSCAR OSCAR He was one of the sharpest horses at this time of the year last year. His qualifier was decent, but I need to see a start.
9 I FOUGHT DALAW Has put forth a couple of even tries in his first two starts at the meet. Has speed, but I don’t expect a breakthrough.
10 EASTEND EDDIE Coming off a very nice season and a very nice qualifier. Is he ready off the layoff? Contention runs very deep here.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 9-12-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 BETTERTHANLYNX His Monticello form did not transfer over to M1. He gets some class relief, but I need to see improvement first.
2 GO GO RAIDER Stepping up off a decent try while outracing his odds for $10k. This is going to be tougher and I am watching this time.
3 PLAYERS BALL The move from a C-2 to a $15k claimer appears to be a lateral move. I need to see more before I can consider here.
4 CARMENS BEST Just an even try last time at this level, so there is improvement required. Has a start under his belt, I can see it.
5 TRICKYJAKESKYSCAPE Didn’t do a whole lot in that qualifier and his previous form just doesn’t stack up in here on paper. Longshot.
6 GO GET EM He raced well last time, and keep tabs on how Sheer Desire did earlier. I think he fits in this spot and is one of the contenders.
7 GENERAL MONTGOMERY Continues to race well and he has plenty of early speed too. Not sure he holds them all off. Using underneath.
8 WIT AND WISDOM His form has been in and out of late. His last try was an improvement, going first over. He can contend with a trip.
9 CCS LOVER N Won at a level below this and now steps up. I think he can handle this group as he is sharp. Need to see speed here too.
10 BOILER BOB THE QB He finds a way to win here when you least expect it. Off a month, with post 10 in a 12 horse field, I’d be surprised.
11 SHELLYSBLOCKBUSTER Recent form has not been good and now he starts from the 2nd tier and needs a smooth journey. Not sold.
12 ALBION He seems to be in decent form and he won more than half his races last year. Can Miller work out a trip from here? Has a chance.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-8-4-2
H Horse Comment
1 FRED AND GINGER Chased Golden Receiver last time and raced very well. Off that mile, he appears to be Burke’s best chance.
1A MEIRS HANOVER Great opportunity for Joe B. to drive this horse. Went first over against the favorite last time. Needs better journey.
1B ROCKIN THE HOUSE I thought he would have had more in the stretch last week. He can improve, but Gingras went to ‘Fred. Tricky call.
1C ANNIESWESTERNCARD He did not race well in round 1 and will need to improve considerably to be a win contender here. Post hurts.
2 MODERN LEGEND He appeared to be raging with pace in the pocket. He couldn’t have come home much faster. Similar trip would help.
3 MALAK USWAAD N I was very surprised that Pierce landed here over Mr Hasani. I might be missing something. Looks like a longshot.
4 VERSADO What an effort last week. Now he faces the big horse, so expect Andy to look for a smooth cover trip here. He looks 2nd best.
5 DIAL OR NO DIAL Versado would just not let him by last week. This horse is very talented and he is a logical candidate to hit the ticket.
6 GOLDEN RECEIVER There are no more words to describe him. He has more sub 1:50 miles than any horse in the sport’s history!
7 SECOND WIND N He is a very nice horse who I would love to own. But to be fair, he is a notch below the best of this group. Longshot.
8 MR HASANI N I Think this gelding is sitting on a big season. He had to need that start and if you are trying to beat the favorite, go here.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-3-6
H Horse Comment
1 K R’S CRUISER Just doesn’t seem to be on top of his game right now. From this post, I expect him to tow along and hope for the best.
2 CORKY BARAN Tough first over trip last time and he just stopped in the stretch. If you look at his previous start, a rebound can happen.
3 KEYSTONE RAPTOR This is a drop in class and he has been racing well in his last pair. Lachance forced to drive his own. Gets Miller.
4 WHISKEY PETE This horse has been away for a long time and it a total wild card in this spot. Qualifiers were mediocre. Watching one.
5 MIDAS BLUE CHIP Gets some class relief and draws a good post in this spot. He has the look of a rebound candidate. Worth considering.
6 SOUTHERN SPORT Stepping up off a win, but he didn’t fare that well at this level in his prior start. Did his last build confidence? Tricky.
7 BULLET BOB Was not a factor in the Clyde Hirt. This is an easier spot, but I need to see some improvement before I can recommend.
8 SONIC DANCER Had to need that start, but I am not sure he got enough out of it to bet him back here. Watching one more for now.
9 MYSTERIOUS MOMENT He is another that likely needed a start over the track, but I have similar feelings here. Tabbing for later on.
10 FIVEKNUCKLESHUFFLE Wild Card number 2. Invader from Illinois raced well last time, but I question the field he was facing. Not sure.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 9-6-10-1
H Horse Comment
1 STORMIN RUSTLER Remains in pretty good form and the move from $20k to this level is a slight class drop. He looks tough on paper.
2 JIN DANDY Has gone some big miles here before, but his recent form just doesn’t inspire much confidence. I need to see a start.
3 OL’ MAN RIVER His Meadows form just doesn’t do much for me. Not sure the move to the big track will help either. Watching one.
4 STATION THREEOHSIX He has speed, but his stamina is very much in question. Expect him to make the lead, but from there…?
5 FRISKIES CHEAPSUIT Shows a win against the bottom level at Freehold. Seems to take money often there. This will be much tougher.
6 STRIPE’N STAR He got a trip over the track last time and showed some late interest. In this spot, I can see him improving. Worth a shot.
7 GET JAZZED Earned a nice win last time and now steps up. This field didn’t come up all that tough considering. He is a legit contender.
8 RAYMOND J Feel that race he is exiting was falling apart late. I can see him hitting the ticket in here, but looking elsewhere for the win.
9 ASTOR Barn change bonanza here. He showed plenty of late interest in that qualifier and he is a very interesting player in this field.
10 UPFRONT TICKET Exits a pair of tougher races than this and he does show a win against similar at Philly. I expect big speed from here.