• Week Of 12/30 - 1/5
  • SU30
  • MO31
  • TU1
  • WE2
  • TH03
  • FR04
  • SA05
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 05, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 5-9-8-2
H Horse Comment
1 CYCLONE ARTIST Certainly has been racing well at Scarborough. But is he fast enough to compete at this level at M1? Watching one.
2 YO CHEYENNE ROCKY That was a solid try last time at Philly against a similar level. Just 2 for 27 lifetime, but he should be left in the mix.
3 ACTION BRAND This guy is in fine form tight now and certainly brings plenty of speed to this event. He’ll be a pace factor at least.
4 TERRYANG FRA Has not won since his 2yo season, but was a beaten heavy favorite at this level at Philly on 11/18. Needs to rebound.
5 DOOMSDAY HANOVER It’s hard to be sharper than this gelding. Versatile sort is 18 of 22 in the money. Must be included on all tickets.
6 BANGBANGKISSKISS He was a private purchase earlier in the year, but just never panned out. Struggled last time at Rosecroft too.
7 DEBT OF HONOR Tried this company in his most recent start and it didn’t work out very well. This race came up even tougher. Longshot.
8 ONE THROUGH TEN Made over $116k last year despite only winning one race. Needless to say, he kept good company. One to beat.
9 FRESH DREAM Got caught in a tough spot, tracking less than ideal cover. Should be better with a race under his belt. I am using him.
10 DAYDREAMIN LYNX This gelding sure has some early speed, which can come in handy from this draw. Big test for class though.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 7-9-2-1
H Horse Comment
1 ARTS IDEAL HANOVER Nice win while well backed at Yonkers. He went a fast qualifier here as a 3 year old. Interesting player in here.
2 DEFYING GRAVITY This gelding has been on some kind of roll lately. He has plenty of early speed as well. Has a big shot in this spot.
3 MY SUGAR DADDY Nice win last time and has now won 2 of his last 3. That being said his try at Philly more closely resembles this race.
4 UPFRONT COUNTRYBOY Didn’t do much in either qualifier as this gelding looks to get back in gear off the layoff. Needs a start.
5 BESTJETYET Added Lasix in that qualifier and he finished up well. Also has been off for 4 months, and feel he might need a start.
6 INTERVENTION Now making his second race back of the layoff, but he didn’t do much over at Yonkers. Taking a wait and see approach.
7 HOLDINGALLTHECARDS That is St Elmo Hero he finished 2nd to, who would be 1-9 in this field. Looks like a powerful favorite. Single.
8 NEPTUNE That wasn’t a bad qualifier and that may just start to send him in the right direction. That being said, he likely needs a start too.
9 KING’S LEGEND Always felt this horse had a nice motor to him. Both his qualifiers were good. He looks ready to go. I am using him here.
10 CEE PEE PANIC Always interesting when a claimer drops in to a condition like this. See how the connections fared this week. A chance.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-5-4
H Horse Comment
1 DALLENBACH HANOVER He has caught some difficult posts lately at Yonkers and does what he can. From here, stays close for a share.
2 FREDDY DAY HANOVER When Freddy shows up with his best, he is awfully good. He is just very hard to predict. Tonight, I’ll try him.
3 BEAR KING Decent win at Philly, although that race doesn’t jump off the page. Races well when he draws well. That’s the case here.
4 THAT’S JUSTICE Came from a long way back to pass almost the entire field. Pierce sticks over a classy horse. That says a lot to me.
5 MYSTIC DESIRE He probably needed that last race and still won. That shows the ability this horse has. He will be a handful once again.
6 I FOUGHT DALAW There are moments when this horse is scary good. Normally starts his years off well. I was surprised Pierce chose off.
7 PEMBROKE DEWEY See how Neptune did in Race 2 as he exited the same qualifier. Respect any horse that goes 14 for 19 in a year.
8 HANDSOME PRINCE Made an ill-timed break in his last start, so adjustments are likely being made. Has the speed to overcome the draw.
9 LOOKINFORADVENTURE He has always liked this track, but his recent form has been so-so. I guess he is a longshot in this field?
10 PAINTED BLACK Beaten as the 4/5 favorite down Route 9 last time. This is a step up in class, but he has beaten similar. Deep field.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 10-3-1-2
H Horse Comment
1 OYSTER BAY Kicks off a wide open field. Gets some much needed post relief and given that, he figures to take plenty of tote action.
2 PEMBROKE ALEC BUSH Came from a very tough spot to outrace his odds like so many did last week. Value should still be there. Maybe.
3 GAELIC THUNDER He is in pretty good form right now. Miller opted here over a last out winner, so that’s a vote of confidence. Player.
4 TIDEWATER TOMAHAWK Based on his recent form and the fact that the drop in class has not helped, he looks like a longshot here.
5 WYNSUM MAGIC Similar to ‘Tomahawk, his recent form just hasn’t been good enough to merit consideration here. Watching for now.
6 KEYSTONE RAPTOR Off a lame scratch and a break and now takes a bit of a class drop. Only 15 starts last year too. Wait and see.
7 THREE NEW DAWNS Finished 2nd to ‘Tiger last time and both of them step up slightly in class. He has speed. Looks like a pace factor.
8 SEA ME NOW Never really saw daylight in his last start, but watching the replay, it’s hard to say he had much pace. Passing for now.
9 TIGER WILLIAMS That was an impressive win last time. Gets a bit of a bump in class and will have to go faster here. Miller chose off.
10 ALLAMERICAN APACHE He has been racing very well and Tetrick will be forced to leave out of there to find a spot. I like this horse.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 1-8-3-9
H Horse Comment
1 PONTIAC LUCK Toss out that last race from post 8 at Yonkers. His form doesn’t look so bad after that. Likes the big track, too. I like him.
2 ALLAMERICAN PEWTER Finally got some post relief and responded with a win. He draws well here and could be a factor once again.
3 LETTHEROCKBEGIN Steps up off a win. ALook back and see how those stepping up in the classified system have done. Can repeat.
4 GEORGETOWN N Was not much of a factor last time out and I wonder if he has tailed off a bit. Note, his mark is on a big track. Tricky.
5 RESCUE PLAN Turned a perfect pocket trip into a win last time. Now steps up and remains Tetrick’s choice. Don’t want a short price.
6 VILLAGE BEAT Got stacked up last time at this level and could not make his presence felt. Same draw, but will need a better trip here.
7 HEMER’S CARD SHARK This gelding was finishing well last time and if he catches a live outer flow, he can find a way into the mix.
8 MYBROTHERGEORGE Slammed with wide draws at Yonkers and this horse has some class. He may respond to the move here. Value.
9 GRAMS LEGACY He was long gone when he made another one of his mental mistakes in deep stretch. So much talent. Needs to focus.
10 A SWEET RIDE He had some pace at the end of that mile, but where is he going from here? He will likely have to pass them all. Not likely.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 MEIRS HANOVER First half of the Burke entry was racing well at the end of the year for the most part. Gets a tough test here. A share.
1A ANNIESWESTERNCARD Millionaire had a down year in 2012, winning just 1 race. He will really need to step it up in this tough spot.
2 SILENT SWING The 11YO just keeps on going. Closing in on $2 Million. At 10, he started 45 times last year. Fair to ask if this is too much.
3 DIAL OR NODIAL Gelding really got on a roll to close out his 2012 season. He could be poised for a big season. One of the favorites.
4 ABELARD HANOVER He has shown up in some tough spots, but overall I think he is a cut below the best of these. Will need a trip.
5 GOLDEN RECEIVER What a year he had in 2012. His speed is blinding off the gate. He is the favorite in this series, until proven otherwise.
6 NOB HILL HIGH Was racing well at the top level at Dover until his last start. His best is probably a notch below the favorites in here.
7 HYPNOTIC BLUE CHIP He is inching closer to $2 Million as well. He is probably most likely to earn a share of this. The win is a reach.
8 SPECIAL T ROCKS In his first qualifier he looked a little short. In his 2nd qualifier he looked like he could beat anyone. He is ready to go!
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-7-10
H Horse Comment
1 CHEYENNE KNIGHT Coming off a nice win, but it is worth noting this is a step up the class ladder. Tough to say how he stacks up here.
2 SIR ZIGGY’S Z TAM He was full of pace coming down to the wire last week. If Lachance can keep him closer, he has a legitimate shot.
3 LINE OFFICER Big rally last time to just miss at the wire. This race is a bit tougher than a $40k claiming handicap. Needs best punch.
4 NOBLE FALCON Gets some needed class relief, but I am not sure that it is enough. At his best, he competes with these. Still uncertain.
5 BAKIN ON THE BEACH See how the runner-up and 3rd place finishers from that QUA did earlier in the card. Talented looking 4YO. Like,
6 HI HO STEVERINO Certainly showed speed last time, and all things considered he didn’t tire that badly. He has a right to improve now.
7 MUSSELSFRMBRUSSELS He was stacked up at the back of the field last time and had no chance. Dube will have to keep him closer.
8 SILVER EAGLE That was a big try from post 10 last time and he has the speed to leave from post 8. Looks like a major factor in here.
9 MAJOR BELLE He went some big miles last year at M1 and is entering this off a confidence builder. Steps up in class, but has a shot.
10 VOICE OF TRUTH Didn’t exactly have an ideal trip from that good post, but finished very well. Will Callahan blast? Tough call in this spot.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-5-8
H Horse Comment
1 SAYWHATUNEEDTOSAY This race did not come up any easier than his previous race. Catches a couple of sharp horses. Needs best.
2 LIGHT UP THE SKY Enters this off a sick scratch and a four week layoff, which makes things tough here. He has tailed off. Must rebound.
3 ETHAN HANOVER That was a good try last time going a tough first over trip. He remains sharp with that effort and looks like a contender.
4 ESPIRIT DE KAYJAY A Pulled off the upset last time. That 17-1 price is gone, but he should handle this class hike. He is a player again.
5 SONIC RAIDER Has won three of his last four races including a win at this level. He seems to be moving in the right direction. Contender.
6 MAJOR STONE Recent form has been dull. He draws a better post here, but still needs to rebound and produce a better effort. Longshot.
7 MAR DREAM Was claimed last week. But now he steps up and he stopped in the stretch with the addition of Lasix. That’s a concern.
8 DINNER GUEST Gelding packs a lot of speed, but he couldn’t last in the stretch. See how the track is playing. His speed can carry.
9 TOUCH AND GO Recent form has been rather dull. Draws a wide post and he will have a long way to come here. Longshot.
10 IT’S A GOOD THING He was in fine form in Canada, but he didn’t race well in his first try in the states. I am going to watch one start.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 8-9-7-3
H Horse Comment
1 THE POKESTER I’ll toss out those last 2 starts from those outside posts at Yonkers. If you do that, his form looks OK. Longshot potential.
2 DUTCH RICHMAN He was just OK last time, but I really thought he should have been better. Loses Andy Miller now. Going to pass here.
3 TIREMAN He was disappointing in his last start, but sometimes these horses turn around in their second start. A rebound is possible.
4 MIGHT YOUNG JOE Added Lasix last time and he was firing in the stretch. Always offers good value here. He has a legitimate shot here.
5 LAHAYE He faced some tough company in those qualifiers but he is also coming off a four month layoff. Not sure he is primed just yet.
6 TAKEMEWITHYOU Never showed his best stride last time. His prior efforts were OK. I could see giving him another chance at a price.
7 ODIN BLUE CHIP He tends to earn minor awards more often then get his picture taken. That being said, I would use him on my tickets.
8 FUZZYLEGSANDALL That was pretty good qualifier and perhaps Burke has him pointed in the right direction. Interesting player here.
9 PICTURE ME He has plenty of early speed and he always did his best work here. He is not in his best form, but he can wakeup here.
10 FIRETHORN Here is another Rideau Carlton invader so keep tabs on how they have been faring. Can he overcome the draw? Possibly.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 10-6-4-1
H Horse Comment
1 FANCY FOOTWORK His recent form has been just OK, and he seems to be lacking that knockout punch. I will use him accordingly.
2 EAGLE JOLT He has been in a couple of tough spots at Yonkers, but his overall form has not been good. Too many other options here.
3 FINANCE THE MASTER Coming off a sick scratch which was preceded by his form tailing off. I need to see a rebound effort first.
4 SHAWS CREEK BUFF That was a good try off the 6 week layoff, and could be used as a gauge for the Canadian invaders. Contender.
5 ARMBRO BILLOW Got to a level that proved to be too much last time. This race is somewhere in between his last 2 starts. I’m using.
6 NATHAN FEELSGOOD He had to need that last start. Gets a driver change to Pierce and I would not be surprised if he shows up tonight.
7 NORTHERN MCARDLE He is getting a bit of class relief here and his last pair of efforts have been good. He looks like a main contender.
8 ALEX BULLVILLE Never got involved last time and I am not sure I see Dube blasting from here. He may have a lot of horses to pass.
9 ARSENAL Has just one qualifier under his belt in which he finished up well. From this draw, I am inclined to watch a start first.
10 LAWGIVER HANOVER I think he is the best horse in the race and was Tetrick’s choice of 6! But the draw is terrible. Still might be best.
11 CRUISING YANKEE His form tends to go in and out and he appears to be a horse that requires a trip to win. Not sure he gets that here.
12 NOBLE’S GRAND SLAM He has been racing OK, but this is a tough spot to be in. At the mercy of pace and trip. Likely not including.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 BETTOR’S REWARD He was a very good 2nd behind an up and coming young horse last time. This field is tough, but he should offer value.
2 ELECTROFIRE He was a compelling winner first time off the claim, which is Coleman’s forte. The waters get deeper here. Possibility.
3 MICKEY HANOVER He was coming, but ran out of time. Dube sticks here and he seems to be in good form now. I will be using him.
4 ESCAPE THE NEWS Came into his 3YO season with a lot of potential, so I guess his year was disappointing. He has a world of talent!
5 DALHOUSIE DAVE Added Lasix and scored in the Invitational at Rosecroft. This will be MUCH tougher. The longshot of this field.
6 BLUERIDGE WESTERN He has raced well in his last pair of starts, but this is going to be even tougher. Miller chose off too. Passing.
7 WESTERN SHORE Stayed on the pylons and didn’t appear to have much punch last week. He has a right to improve after a start. Maybe.
8 RIVER SHARK He just had WAY too much ground to make up last week. He is better than that and he might be a nice price here too.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 6-3-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 ALBION Finished 2nd at the $10k level at Philly. This race is better than a $10k claimer, so he will need to step up to contend here.
2 BILL ONTHEHILL A He raced better last time, but the race doesn’t entice me to go in just yet. I will want to see a start here first.
3 ARTISTIC FLIGHT Nice looking qualifier. See how the runner up did in Race 9 tonight. He is worth a look in this spot, if he isn’t chalky.
4 DOMITIAN HANOVER Back to back decent tries at Yonkers, although he probably should have won one of those races. Short price.
5 DANA’S SHARP SMART Making progress but is entering this off a 6 month layoff. Hard to be sure he is fully cranked just yet.
6 BOLERO ANDREW Exits a fast mile that had a nice winner and this is a bit of class relief. If he works out a trip, I expect a good effort.
7 STONEBRIDGE MASTER Tailed off last time as he moved up the class ladder. This should be just as tough so I will look elsewhere.
8 MAGNUS DEO Form tends to go in and out a bit, but his best makes him a contender in this spot. Needs to work out a trip in here.
9 FIRST IMPRESSION His last two starts are a bit concerning and even though this is a class drop, I am not sold on a big effort now.
10 LILSHARKSHOOTER Continues to be slammed with outside posts and unless Manzi blasts, I don’t see how he will get involved.