• Week Of 1/20 - 1/26
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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 Friday, January 25, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 ONE NIGHT Kicks off a wide open field. Went a tough first over against a well-meant winner. I like her last 2 efforts. Legit win candidate.
2 AUTUMN MAGIC Clearly, she is sharp. She gets another bump in class into a very competitive field. Is she too sharp to ignore? Yes.
3 GO ON BB Brave old mare back for another go. She gave her all last time but was 2nd best. On paper, this field looks tougher. Tricky.
4 DELIGHTFUL DIVA Sat a 3-hole trip and did appear to have pace coming down to the wire. Gets a huge driver change tonight. The pick.
5 STAR KEEPER Sans the broken equipment race, this mare is also very sharp. These connections mean business when they ship. Tough.
6 ELLEOFNXAMPLE Just never got on track last time. She catches a very tough field. Can we forgive that last effort? Very tricky call here.
7 RHAPSODY ROSE Sat the pocket trip throughout and finished a very good 2nd. I am going to key off these mares exiting the Ole Miss race.
8 HOSTESS LISA Didn’t just pull off the upset at 27-1 last time, but she did it convincingly. This is a move up and the price will still be good.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 7-8-10-5
H Horse Comment
1 BRUSSEL SPROUT Enters this off a win, but is exiting what is arguably the softest of last races in this group. Questions on the class hike.
2 DONNAMOM I think a nw12000L6 at Yonkers is fairly comparable to this field overall. That being said, she has been struggling. Not yet.
3 SPECIAL COMMAND It has been a while since his last win, but I thought his last was an improvement. This field looks tougher now.
4 BABY BLAZE Showed speed but got parked to the opening ¼. Showed some impressive races at Rosecroft. He has a right to improve.
5 REAL BABE It’s a safe bet that she needed that start. Do remember, she has won in well over a year and is just 2 for 26. Underneath.
6 SPECTATOR K He put forth a very similar mile, but that last field was just much better than the field he beat. I think this will be tough also.
7 CELEBRITY BOMBAY He showed very solid improvement in his last start. Now his 3rd start off the bench, I think he’s sitting on a big effort.
8 SHANTY IRISH Burke slapped the hobbles on and the result speaks for itself. This mare has shown flashes. Time to put it all together.
9 OUTLAW Exits the strongest of the last races along with three others in here. His lack of speed is a concern. Minor award is the ceiling.
10 BEAU JOE Not a bad try in that last start. I believe he has the speed to overcome the post. Gelding has a shot. Price may be right.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-4-2
H Horse Comment
1 BIG BALLER Gelding never really had much room to trot last time as he caught a shuffle. Easily forgivable. He was favored last out too.
2 ZUEREST Kicked clear in the stretch last time. See how the 2nd and 3rd place finishers did in Race 2. His speed is always dangerous.
3 CIVIC DUTY Beaten a nose by ‘Cavalier last time. He raced too good to lose too. He figures to be tough right back. Post improves too.
4 APRIL SUNSHINE That last effort usually leads to a horse being overbet next time out. She can win this, but I still want some value.
5 MUGSHOT JESS Strong effort in his first trip over M1 of the meet. Campbell did have a tough choice in this race. One of many contenders.
6 WESTSIDE LINDY Normally, I would forgive one mistake. But he has been off 5 weeks and there seems to be just too many other options.
7 KING’S CAVALIER Needed every inch of the stretch to wear down ‘Duty. I think this race is tougher than that last field. Doubting repeat.
8 FOX VALLEY STEFFEN Hard to argue with the form he showed to end his season. But now, is off 5 weeks and broke in that qualifier.
9 PROUD MOMENT The steady improvement is underway. Has the speed to overcome the post too. Note the barn change. Intriguing.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 6-8-9-10
H Horse Comment
1 LADYBONES Pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the meet last week. This field is better than what she just beat. Not sold on the repeat.
2 SANDY ABSOLUT Really had no chance with that trip last time. Draws better and I think she will be largely overlooked. Longshot chance.
3 NUTMEGS YANKEE That wasn’t a bad effort last time. I think this is tougher and she will need to be even better. Watching closely.
4 LOVE YOU BYE She hasn’t been great, but she hasn’t been bad either. See how Autumn Magic did in Race 1. Value could be there.
5 DREAM’S BAR I think she exits 2 races that are better than most of these and she is sneakily improving. Might be ready to breakthrough.
6 JOYFULJOY N Not a bad mile last time and she does pick up a good post here. Callahan will have some options. Another contender.
7 DE VINS GIRL Made an aggressive move to the lead last time and got a little tired. Another that showed improvement. Seeing a trend?
8 MISS SAND CREEK Hustled off the gate, then made another move to the front, eventually tiring. I’m guessing Tetrick takes back for cover.
9 CLEAR VIEW HANOVER Took money and it almost paid off last time. Willing to bet Allard makes one big late move again. Is it enough?
10 BELL ON WHEELS This is the biggest class dropper, so of course she gets post 10 to add to his puzzle. Contention runs very deep here.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 CHICK N TELL Gets some major post relief, but I don’t like the pole with horses that lack any speed. That said, he’ll be better than last out.
2 THE CHANCELLOR Best bet of the night for me. Big time improvement in his last start. Runner-up from last was next out winner. The pick.
3 THE BUDSTER Slammed with outside posts in his last pair. Was a winner prior to that. This is not an easier spot, but he can improve now.
4 NOT AFRAID Got his speed tightener under his belt. In theory, he should be better this time around. He should take play here too though.
5 EQUITY Chances are he needed that first start back. He has won at tough levels here before. Expect improvement with first time Lasix.
6 DON’T KNOW CHIP His form has gone the wrong way and it appears its taking him a little longer to hit his best stride. Guessing game.
7 ROSE RUN HOOLIGAN Thought he was a vulnerable favorite last time. He seems to always take play too. I’ll use him sparingly again.
8 TAKE MY PICTURE Considering the competition he had been facing, I thought he’d be better last time. May have needed the start too.
9 ZOOMING He took a step backwards last time which is concerning. Now moves outside in a very tough field. Playing against this time.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 N Y YANKEES Interesting moving to the Ford barn that was off to a slow start, but got a win last weekend. Mare looks sharp. Tough.
2 MOJARRA HANOVER Mare continues to race very well, but this will be even tougher than last time. Respect her consistency though.
3 MJ’S BID Back to back disappointing efforts now and I am a little wary now. This field came up pretty tough. Not sure she will rebound now.
4 COWBOYS DREAMER No chance from post 8 at YR last time. But this field is much tougher than what she beat at Philly. Not sold here.
5 ARGUMENT HANOVER Off her last two efforts, she is probably favored, but there are many contenders here. Not taking a short price.
6 MYSTICAL VICTRESS Had no chance from the start last week and was finishing well. That kind of mile typically attracts plenty of play.
7 SHINE N SHIMMER Leaves the Open ranks at Dover. Note Pacific Date exited softer at Dover and raced well at this level. Win contender.
8 PACIFIC DATE She remains sharp right now and she handled this class well on opening night. Contention runs very deep in this group.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-8-7-3
H Horse Comment
1 SPICE IT UP LINDY Winner of that last mile was just fierce. His effort was bad despite his 46-1 odds. Price should be lower, but still good.
2 HARBOR POINT I freely admit, I thought this horse was the next big thing. He has disappointed in both starts here. Still buy his talent.
3 WALDORF HALL Just a very, very sharp horse right now. Draws better and Campbell will look to get him a trip. He’s a win contender.
4 PHOTO KING Pair of tries at this level were not bad, but not bad won’t be good enough to get it done here. He will need to step it up now.
5 SCORPION MOON 12YO is chasing $1 Million and he deserves to get it. Off for 10 weeks so I am going to watch his first start back.
6 LUCKY ROLL He was getting leg weary when he broke last time. This field should be more to his liking. Expect a bounce back effort.
7 JUST LIKE LLOYD Just had too far to come last time. He has his trip over the track under his belt. I expect him to be closer and better.
8 ELLEN’S ISLE Her form is improving with each and every start and it’s only a matter of time before she breaks through. Could be here.
9 MY LEAP OF FAITH He is coming off back to back wins and seems to be back on top of his game. Gets a major test tonight. Tricky read.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 8-6-7-4
H Horse Comment
1 GROUNDED Gets another move down the class ladder, but catches a pair of sharp mares too. Still, I expect some improvement here.
2 SLEZY DOES IT She gets some post improvement but I still need to see more from her before I can consider. Retains longshot status.
3 ROCK ANN ROLLING Woodbine shippers have had their struggles so far. Moves to Remmen. I’ll be watching this first start here.
4 DRAGON PRINCESS She hasn’t been winning lately, but she is always on the ticket. She will take money once again. Can’t be dismissed.
5 LAST MINUTE CINDY Mare didn’t factor in her last start. She has a good draw to give Campbell options. Seems like a fringe player.
6 CRUISE QUEEN When Burke gets a mare going, they typically stay sharp. I don’t mind the move up in class. She’ll be very tough again.
7 ASSET MANAGEMENT See how the Hall trainee did in Race 1 from Dover. This mare looks sharp and I make her a win contender.
8 SYNERGY SEELSTER Gets some class relief and she has gone fast miles here before. Looks like the spot where she can jump up, wins.
9 CHILD’S PLAY Really can’t take anything away from that last mile. Gets a move down in class, but I need to see another start first.
10 HERES MY TICKET Didn’t have things go all her own way and she paid the price last time. Things won’t be easy from this draw either.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 8-3-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 LORD DARBY Gelding out to prove that opening night win was no fluke. Showed speed his last 2 starts but his stretch kick is lacking.
2 B L CLASS ACT Was not able to duplicate his opening night form in a faster heat last time either. Needs to rebound here as well.
3 IL MAGO Seems to be on the improve, especially after a mile in which he never saw the pylons. Expect him to be a handful here. Player.
4 IN YOUR ROOM Raced a bit better on the class drop last time and now has an improved post. A candidate for further improvement.
5 ZUMBA MOUSE Like to see a sub-28 final quarter, especially behind a horse like Modern Family. Off for 6 months, so I will watch one.
6 SOAPY SAP Added Lasix last time and didn’t respond like I would have hoped. She can be better 2nd time on the medication. Maybe.
7 FLASHY LADY She was a complete non-factor last time and that surprised me. Hard to predict a sudden turnaround in this spot.
8 MOHEGAN HANOVER Improved last time for a barn that typically starts to get hot a few weeks into the meet. Expect further improvement.
9 VICTORY NUT He was much better last time and I expect further improvement. I will watch one more time and tab for his next start.
10 FOUNTAINBLEAU VOLO Played against him as a favorite in his last two. He had no chance with that trip last time. Hard to predict now.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 10-11-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 LABIRINTO SAS IT Showed an improved effort against a similar type group last time. Draws well, tows along and hopes for a share.
2 SWAGGER BEGONIA Winner of that qualifier raced Thursday, so check hoe he did. Allard barn starting to heat up. Nice final ¼ there.
3 MR FENWICK Handled the move to Freehold nicely, but he did come home in 31.3 there. He’ll need to be substantially faster here.
4 OLIVER KISS Last three starts have not been very impressive, including a race at M1. I need to see some improvement before considering.
5 EMILY DO Finished 2nd to a runaway favorite last time. That effort will make this mare appear pretty prominent in this spot. A contender.
6 NICE DREAM Gelding could be the wild card in this group. Form before his last start was very good. If you forgive that miscue, then play!
7 T P LUCY Last 3 starts have not been too impressive and it would take some sign of improvement before I can consider playing her.
8 APOLLO BLUE CHIP Shows too many breaks in his past performances for me to consider playing here. Retains his longshot status.
9 PERMANENT JOY From the look of that qualifier, this gelding is going to need a start. Not sure he has enough early foot from here either.
10 LIBRA VITA If you toss out that last race, this is the sharpest horse in the race. Post 10 will scare some bettors, but not me. He is my pick.
11 ZOT Off his last mile he looks very dangerous in here. I would much rather have preferred his nose been on the gate, but he’s a contender.
12 DC’S PIGGY BANK Showed a little burst at the end of his mile last time. From this draw he will have a lot of horses to pass. Fringe player.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-4-1
H Horse Comment
1 MICHAELS’ MARVEL His form has tailed off lately. I like the driver switch to Callahan. Likely to stay closer, tows along for a minor award.
2 JOEY JOOKISS Finished 7th at the bottom level at Freehold last time out. This will be tougher and I cannot recommend off his last effort.
3 SPECTACULAR MAN Has not won in a long time and like ‘Joey, he has been struggling at the bottom level at Freehold. Longshot.
4 MCMARVEL Goes out for a very sharp barn and is in very good form as well. Tetrick’s choice is going to be a handful in this spot.
5 SLEAZY MR E Shows a decent try at this level at Monticello. That being said, feel a $10k claimer here is tougher. Last start was dull too.
6 MARKET FORCE This is the lowest level I remember seeing him at. Last qualifier stands out a bit in here. I expect him to win here.
7 TAMAYO Showed a little improvement last time, but has been off for over a month now. This is the right spot for him though. Contender.
8 IN KENNY’S HONOR Gelding doesn’t win often and his qualifiers indicate that he will need a start off the layoff. Watching this time.
9 TROUBLE HANOVER Shows some decent races at this level elsewhere and his form in this field looks good. I will be using in gimmicks.
10 ARMBRO DOWRY Must have needed that last start. This is his second start off a 30 month layoff. Not sure he is ready just yet.