• Week Of 1/19 - 1/25
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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 Wednesday, January 22, 2014

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 4-9-10-2
H Horse Comment
1 MACK’S MOLLY HALL Kicks off what appears to a rather top-heavy field. Needed last start. Can step up and earn a minor award now.
2 SUPER CHUCK I echo the sentiments of the trotter to his inside here. Has a right to improve, although I think a win is out of reach.
3 MCATTEE While he had to need that last start as well, he has a bit more work to do. Will be a longshot once again. Looking elsewhere.
4 BOLD FRESH Finds his way into a rather soft $15,000 claimer here. Last effort was not bad. The alternative to the two favorites here.
5 CATALYST Made more than just about any other horse in the field last year. Still, recent form just has not been good. Still a longshot.
6 STAND GUARD He improved last time at Freehold and he will be effective at this level sooner or later. For bottom of exotics only.
7 RINGSIDE WINNER Exits the same race as Stand Guard and was the better of the two. Still, was 90-1 last time at this level. Underneath.
8 LAUREEN Mare still fits non-winners of 2, so this is an interesting spot. Still, doesn’t catch a tough field and can earn a piece of this.
9 ROSE RUN LIMO If he races back to his last effort, he wins. Still, you will have to take a short price on a horse that is 1 for his last 23.
10 QUITE POSSIBLE He is the other logical horse in here. Seems to have enough speed here to overcome the draw. Logical contender.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-5-8
H Horse Comment
1 BANGING THE DRUM Not easy to like off his last race line. This is a move down in class, but he will need a reversal of form here.
2 PREDATOR DVM Last two starts are OK and in this group, a repeat of either of those efforts will be good enough for a piece of this.
3 C MAJOR HANOVER Off that last mile, he is clearly the one to beat in this field. Expect him to go right to the lead. Will be tough to catch.
4 DELCO WILLOBEE Probably needed that last start, so he has a right to improve. Still not sold on his chances just yet. Wait for later.
5 ROCK ME PLEASE The move down in class should go a long way here. Still, that last line is concerning. Very tricky call this time.
6 REAL TENACITY Didn’t offer much punch last time while sent off at 142-1. Looks like he will retain his longshot status here.
7 NF DRUM ROLL I can duplicate my comment from the gelding to his inside. Just have to watch for signs of improvement for now.
8 LEMON DROP HALL If he stays pacing, he can earn a check in this group, based on his Freehold form. Not sold on more than that.
9 PIECE OF ARTWORK Making his second start off the layoff so I expect he will be better. Will be tossing on the bottom of my exotics.
10 TWINSCAPE Made just $5k last year. Last effort was better than some of these. For the deepest of exotic tickets, only. Nothing more.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 THROUGH THE NIGHT Took a lot of play last week when favored. Unfortunately he made a break. If he stays trotting, he has a chance.
2 BOY OF MINE Gets a nice spot for his first attempt in a C-2. This field is without any world beaters and he will have a strong say in this.
3 HASTY PROFFITT He had to need that last start and it wasn’t bad. This barn is doing very well. Cant ignore anything it sends out now.
4 PAULA’S BRADY Not a bad effort when last seen at this level. Is he ready off the 4 week layoff, though? In this field, I suggest using him.
5 RULES LITTLE Aggressive steer last time, which may tighten him up for this. Still, he is prone to the miscue and comes with some risk.
6 HEIDI FALLS Has not raced in 6 weeks and that qualifier was a long time ago as well. But, he does fit in this group. Mixed feelings here.
7 MR GREENWELL Really hard to recommend this gelding given his current form. Need to see a better effort from him before considering.
8 KING’S CAVALIER I will forgive that last line and note that if he can race back to November form, he has a chance here. Worth including.
9 C-O-TO BLUEGRASS Last couple of starts were better on the class drop, but he hasn’t race in 5 weeks now. I will watch this start.
10 MR MYSTERIO Unable to defeat nw2 at Meadows. That doesn’t bode well. That, plus the 4 weeks off and the post leads me elsewhere.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 10-1-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 DANA’S SHARP SMART A repeat of his last effort would make him a winner here. Expect Marohn to put him on the lead. One to beat.
2 IN KENNY’S HONOR Even try last time and while he had to need that start, I don’t see him jumping up and winning this. Underneath.
3 CASINO KING I like the improvement he has shown over the 3 starts here. Has some upside and is worth including in your plays.
4 FAST BILL He will likely press the pace early and challenge Dana. Had to need that last start and figures to be in the money if not more.
5 LONG FIGHT HANOVER Has not been a factor in either start and will retain his longshot status until he shows a form reversal.
6 COME ON RIDGE Also a long shot off his last mile. He has early speed, but his stamina is lacking. Not sold on his chances again.
7 FRISKIES CHEAPSUIT Loomed up last time but then flattened out in the stretch. He will need to improve off that effort to contend.
8 JIN DANDY Didn’t show me enough pop in his last start to consider. But something tells me there are better efforts coming in the future.
9 NICK FOTIU He did pace in under 1:54 when last seen here and he had to need that last start. Raced better on 12/7 too. Has a chance.,
10 ITTAKESTWOBABY Tough trip last time and it is worth noting this horse was 2-1 in there. Will offer a better price tonight. Interesting.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-6-10
H Horse Comment
1 DELISIOUSLYNAUGHTY She was a little bit better last time and I think she might be cycling forward. Will be using on my tickets.
2 KARDASHIAN Took a lot of early play last week and raced OK. Expecting a better effort this time. I will take a flyer on her tonight.
3 DAY TO PONDER Passed a few in the stretch last time and may improve off that start. Still think she is a start away from threatening.
4 A PERFECT DEO She was better last time and note the barn change. Figures to offer a square price to anyone will to use that angle.
5 PARDON MY FRENCH No factor last time as she was well-beaten at 75-1. Need to see some improvement before I can consider.
6 GODDESS’S ROSA She will need to be better than her last start, but this barn cannot be dismissed. Marcus Miller’s choice of three.
7 TERROR TO CAM Out-raced her odds last time as she was 2nd at 114-1. That price is gone, but she should still offer decent value.
8 ALWAYS ON A ROLL Still eligible for that nw2 condition, but she has been racing well. This barn seems to always attract plenty of play.
9 OK AMELIA Did not factor last time at 100-1 and I will need to see some improvement before I can consider playing. Longshot.
10 BUSYBEINGFABULOUS The presence of Sears might make this mare overbet here. I will watch the tote board. Obviously in the mix.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-1-2A
H Horse Comment
1 TIME TO QUIT He was all out to hold off a very brave Cajole Hanover. He is not the prohibitive choice we once though. Still, a key player.
1A COCOTIER While a nice compliment to his stable mate, I would be surprised if he jumped up and won this. An exotics player again.
2 HOME TURF Went from awesome to empty last time. Which Home Turf shows up now? Backers will get a square price this time.
2A CORLEONE HALL He is better than that last start indicates. Note, he was a very good 2nd to one of the favorites in round 1. Interesting.
3 SIXTEEN MIKES Much better effort last time, but feel he has come out of the 2 weaker divisions. Will need to improve quite a bit.
4 DONATELLA HANOVER I think she is the best horse in the race, so I will make her my top pick. Filly with a bright future ahead of her.
5 RAY HALL How much does Sears presence affect the price? Which Ray Hall shows up? I wish I could answer those questions. Wild card.
6 CAJOLE HANOVER Has a world of talent. Went a huge trip last time and might even be favored again. Not sure I want the short price.
7 J CS JAKE Sold at Tattersalls on Monday for $30,000. He has been good in this series. Will need absolute best to win this though.
8 CLEMENTINE DREAM She showed up with her best last time. Now she will need even more, especially from this outside post.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 9-3-4-7
H Horse Comment
1 WHEELAWAY Another interesting gelding that still fits nw2 moving into a C-2. This group is a bit tougher than the others. Tough call here.
2 WESTERN TSUNAMI Disappointed last time. Andy Miller listed to drive, but Capone is now up and Andy is not elsewhere. Will he scratch?
3 ON THE RADAR Getting some needed class relief and you have to figure this move down the ladder is going to wake him up. Logical.
4 CONTRABAND HANOVER Another class dropper. I think we will see speed this time around and he will be a factor from start to finish.
5 TERROR HIGH Also moving down the ladder, but his form has been dull. Still, aggressive last time and gets post improvement. Maybe.
6 DOIN TIME TOGETHER Last pair of starts at this level just aren’t good enough. This field is tougher too. Looking elsewhere now.
7 FRESH DREAM Also dropping down and if he can race back to his win at Pocono, he has a chance in here. I will toss on my tickets.
8 YANKEE DEVIL Coming off back to back solid efforts and he continues to improve. The problem here is the 6 week layoff. Needs one?
9 NEXT FLIGHT That was some rally last time while sent off at 22-1. I think he can repeat that form and will likely still offer a square price.
10 FUDGE Qualifier was decent, but this is his first start in 7 weeks. Have to figure that he needs a start. Tabbing for future consideration.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 FREDDY DAY HANOVER This looks like the spot he will win. Raced very well last week, too good to lose. Draws better. Single in Pick 4.
2 SKY MESA After last weekend, anything from Burke/Gingras is likely to be overbet, including this gelding. Only use if the price is right.
3 CAN HE GO Passed a few in the stretch last time, but still need to see more from him. Retains his longshot status for now.
4 THAT’S JUSTICE He was a little bit better last time and if he gets into a live outer flow, he can round out a superfecta. Use accordingly.
5 SEEK THE DRAGON Much better last time as he might have needed a start to build up confidence again. Loses Miller, but gets Sears.
6 PRINCE SHARKA Can he race back ti that mile on 12/7? His last was an improvement from the previous try. Might toss on some tickets.
7 COLONIAL ROAD Back to back runner-up tries are not enough to lure Zeron. Still, with the right trip, you can make a case for him.
8 PENN TURBO TED The $15,000 claimers have been deceptively strong so far this meet. That was a big mile too. Cannot be dismissed.
9 DRAGON RIDGE Comes back on the quick turnaround, but he will also need a turnaround in form as well. Not sold on his chances.
10 REDNECK OUTLAW Stepping up off a win, but he did have an ideal setup in there. Not the move up and post 10 is more difficult.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-5-3
H Horse Comment
1 RACING ROCKY Added Lasix last time and raced better. This is a move up in class, but not a very tough field. Can contend here.
2 VLOS Form just is not there right now. Coming off a sub-par season as well. I need to see some improvement before considering.
3 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE Burnt some cash last time. Wouldn’t shock me if he raced better here, but I wouldn’t want a short price either.
4 ALLAMERICAN APACHE Not a bad effort in his first start off the bench. This barn is going so well that you have to include this guy.
5 SPINARAMA The drop in class certainly makes him a contender, but note that Dave Miller goes elsewhere. Still, cannot be dismissed.
6 GRATIAS DEO If he stays pacing, he has a chance in here. The mile on 12/7 puts him in contention here. Mixed feelings this time.
7 NY ICE Considering post 10 and his first start over the track, he wasn’t bad last time. Will still need to be better to contend though.
8 ROO ROO RUSTY Tough trip last time did him in. If he can work out a smoother journey, he has a chance at a decent price. Consider.
9 SISSBOOMBAH Coming off a three month layoff, so I will likely be looking elsewhere for the winner. Will offer a price for believers.
10 STIMULUS PLAN This looks like a tough spot for him to try. Still fits nw2 and now stuck against tougher in post 10. Not sold on chances.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-6-9
H Horse Comment
1 EAGLE SAY Not bad at all last time, but he catches a tougher than usual C-2 here. Will likely offer a square price in a wide open event.
2 ODINO JET Also coming off a decent effort, but much the same as Eagle Say, catches a strong group. Will need even more this time.
3 PLAY FAIR Part of the reason this race is tough is the class droppers, led by this gelding. Won his last time at this level, too. Must use.
4 BLUEBIRD KIDSQUEEN Looks like the longshot of the field, despite the win last time. Was well-beaten when last at this level.
5 MAJESTIC STONE Another class dropper that makes this race even tougher. Perfect post and figures to be prominent throughout.
6 SOAPY SAP Just missed last time and comes right back at the same level. She will be a factor once again. Top-3 finish appears likely.
7 MAIN STAGE Did not make much of an impact at the $15k level at Monti. This is a tougher spot, so he is a tough sell at this point.
8 LATTE HALL She has been picking up decent checks at this level. That said, just 4 for 47 lifetime, so I will not endorse on the win end.
9 SALOME MARVEL Exits the same race as Eagle Say and will reiterate that this field is tougher. Still, off her last, she can compete here.
10 QUANTIM LIGHTNING Coming off a third place effort against this class. Still, things get tougher with this field. Post doesn’t help either.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-10-6-9
H Horse Comment
1 THREESTEPSTOHEAVEN Has won 2 of his last 3 at Monticello, but this is a different ballgame. Still, I would toss him on some tickets.
2 THRU N THRU Has to make up some ground on Black Hat, not to mention Windsong Gorgeous. Still, he can pick up a piece of this.
3 BOILER BOB THE QB He was better last week, but still needs to step it up to beat ‘Gorgeous. Bare in mind, he has done it before.
4 ST LADS HE MAN Looks like a longshot again off his recent form. Will need to turn things around to beat this group. Not for me.
5 ROCINATE Despite the class drop, it is really hard to recommend him off that last effort. Will be watching and tabbing for later.
6 WINDSONG GORGEOUS He is not winning in romps, but still getting the job done. Wouldn’t be shocked if board is a little cold on him here.
7 PRO MATTIC Another that I cannot recommend off that last effort. Seems to be in over his head at this level. Retains longshot status.
8 ALL POWERFUL Continues to do well to pick up checks, despite the moves up in class. Looks like he can hit the ticket again.
9 BLACK HAT Coming off a nice win at this level. See how C Major Hanover did earlier in the card. Figures to be a factor once again.
10 GRAB A CRAB Getting some class relief and I am shocked that Miller opted off. Not sure what I am missing. He has a shot at this level.