• Week Of 1/27 - 2/2
  • SU27
  • MO28
  • TU29
  • WE30
  • TH31
  • FR01
  • SA02
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, February 02, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 7-3-4-8
H Horse Comment
1 TAXED Earned a confidence builder last week at Freehold. This will be tougher and this gelding has struggled at times here. Longshot.
2 NEW RELEASE Making his second start back off a near one year layoff. Gelding has plenty of back class. I want to see him score down.
3 OIL MAGNET Making a move up in class, but how can you ignore any horse from this barn that is this sharp? Not going to offer value.
4 IMAGE OF DAWN Had no chance in that last mile and is likely to stay closer from here. Should offer value for believers. Potential price.
5 BELL’S PANACEA Off for three weeks and his last start was not too sharp. Should be in a live outer flow. Question is if he’s good enough.
6 DREAMZZZZ R FOR U Got to a level that proved too tough last time. This field is fairly comparable and he will be at the mercy of a trip.
7 ODIN BLUE CHIP Disappointed in first start for a big barn trying to gain its footing this meet. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see speed here.
8 ESPIRIT DE KAYJAY Parked the mile last time and it took its toll. Draws outside, so that makes things a bit tricky for Andy. Underlay now?
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 STALLONE BLUE CHIP That was a very good first start off the seven month layoff. Figures only to get better here. One of the players.
2 SCREEN THE CALL Tought trip in the Hirt Final, where he never got close. Expect him to be closer and better tonight. Contender.
3 BJ’S RAMEAU Just even tries in his first two starts of the year and now is sporting just a 1 for 16 mark on his career. Longshot.
4 CYCLONE ARTIST No chance in that last mile. Worth noting he was a good 2nd at this level two starts back. Tetrick chose off. Tricky.
5 I DO HANOVER Broke through with a win for a barn that cannot miss early in the meet. This is a move up and will be tougher.
6 FRESH DREAM Tetrick’s choice is coming off a dull try last time. Worth noting the winner paced off the screen in there. He can rebound.
7 IM A NICE SKY Came from a very tough spot last time and that was an improved effort. Still doesn’t win often enough for me to play on top.
8 MAJORLY BAD Continues to race well with the exclusion of that one break in stride. Has speed if Bongiorno wants to use it. Maybe.
9 ACTION BRAD Another with speed, but I question his ability to stay in the stretch. Has a tough post and is likely one of the longer shots.
10 CRITICAL ACCLAIM Has not handled this move to nw3 company since his win on 1/3. Draws outside and this looks too tough.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 TIGER IN THE TANK Exits a pretty tough race and I think he has been a little bit better than his form indicates. Things to like here.
2 BETTOR WIN Had too much to do in his start at this level on 12/29. This was Callahan’s choice and I wouldn’t sell him too short here.
3 RAYMOND J His last pair of starts have been an improvement and perhaps he has gotten to the right level here. Expect speed from here.
4 THREE ARTIST His qualifier here is a big of a concern and he seems to be a trip horse who needs things to go his own way. Fringe player.
5 ASTOR Got stung just a bit to the ¼ in his first start off the four month layoff. He figures to be much better in his second start here. Player.
6 LEGENDS LUCK Was not Tetrick’s choice and he is a bit of a wild card in here. The move from $25k claimers to a C-1 is a bit of a drop.
7 FOX VALLEY ARCTIC Form has been lacking this year. Technically the nw3 to classified is a move up, but this race is probably softer.
8 BIG TIME ROCKS Another whose recent form has been flat. Doesn’t have much early speed and it is hard to see him blowing by these.
9 GALLIC WARRIOR Monticello invader just found this too tough. Was not able to show the same kind of speed. Appears up against it.
10 EMERALD EXPRESS Post 10 at Freehold isn’t easy. His prior efforts in Philly were pretty good. He has been off five weeks plus though.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 1-8-6-3
H Horse Comment
1 FIVEKNUCKLESHUFFLE Has won nearly half his starts and he was blocked in the stretch with pace last week. Bet back for many.
2 MIDAS BLUE CHIP Was Andy Miller’s choice and the driver change will attract some attention at the windows. A fringe player in here.
3 ON THE RADAR Continues to come with his late rally, but he is having a tough time making it to the front. Wasn’t Tetrick’s choice here.
4 BEAR KING His last effort was another improvement, but like On The Radar, he appears at the mercy of the pace. Use underneath again.
5 MORGAN SHARK First of a series of horses tonight going to the Burke barn. He is a wild card, but keep tabs on how this one performs.
6 DEFYING GRAVITY Raced well in The Clyde Hirt series and packs some early speed. Repeat of any of his last 3 makes him very tough.
7 VARSITY HANOVER Another that raced well in the Hirt, but never seems to take much play. Gelding is versatile. Campbell has options.
8 DOUBLESHOTASCOTCH Moving to the Weaver/Brainard stable and despite poor form, this was Tetrick’s choice. Speaks volumes here.
9 GIDDY UP DELIGHT Liked him a lot last week and he raced very well. Loses Pierce and moves outside. This will be tougher now.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 2-7-9-4
H Horse Comment
1 DALHOUSIE DAVE This horse was nominated to The Presidential, so obviously the connections like him. Gets some class relief.
2 OSCAR OSCAR He looks primed for a big effort. Team Miller has him headed in the right direction. Will take play. Lots to like here.
3 ALL TIGER N He has been facing some tough company, but his form has gone the wrong way since the claim. I will watch this one.
4 TREND SPOTTER Continues to race very well but is just missing getting his picture taken. Seems likely to be a factor once again.
5 THE POKESTER Didn’t race as well on the class hike, comes right back down to the level of the win. This field came up tougher than that.
6 HURRIKANE SCOTTY J Recent form is lacking and although he won that qualifier going away, this race will go about 8 seconds faster.
7 A J CORBELLI We all know how could he can be when he is on top of his game. If Allard barn is having a good week, take notice!
8 FREDDY DAY HANOVER He raced very well while cutting the mile, which is typically not his best game. Loses Miller, but offers value.
9 LAWGIVER HANOVER One of a few horses this meet that is hard to believe hasn’t won yet. Shows up each and every week. Contender.
10 BOLERO ANDREW Catches the worst of the draw in a very good group. Is he ready for this move up? Tough assignment from here.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 8-7-10-9
H Horse Comment
1 SILVER EAGLE This is a nice horse, but this level is proving just a bit too tough for him. This race came up very strong too. Tricky spot.
2 THAT’S JUSTICE Not a bad try at this level last time, but similarly to ‘Silver, this race came up tough. Pierce chooses off as well.
3 MORTAL ZIN As this race has gotten deeper, he hasn’t been as effective. Moves to Alagna barn after the sale. Look for changes here.
4 I FOUGHT DALAW You could see that breakthrough mile coming. Now he’s forced up the ladder and this will be a very tough test.
5 MUSSELSFRMBRUSSELS Outsprinted to the wire by a handful, despite coming home in sub-27. That doesn’t happen too often. Tricky.
6 ARMBRO BILLOW Broke through with a nice win, but this is a difficult spot. Carlson goes elsewhere and he will need to be even better.
7 DROP RED Boy, did he look good in that qualifier. When ‘Red is on top of his game, he is very, very tough. Qualifier indicates he’s ready.
8 ABELARD HANOVER He was much better last week and that class is starting to show. Still think this gelding has a nice year ahead of him.
9 MAJOR BELLE Gelding is racing very well lately, but this race is going to keep getting tougher. Expect speed again. One of the players.
10 VOICE OF TRUTH He is about 2 lengths away from a 5 race win streak. Now he’ll have to come from last. He can’t pass them all, can he?
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-9-8-6
H Horse Comment
1 IDEAL MATTERS He looks like he is ready for a big mile. Tetrick sticks and he catches a group I think he is just better than this field.
2 NO BU He’s an anomaly. Hard to figure a horse finishing as fast as he does, but without getting close to win. Hard to expect a win now.
3 GO WEST LUCKY CAM Was sent off at 35-1 against these last time and he took a shot for a hot barn. Now loses The Buckeye. Longshot.
4 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE Pylons opened up and Chiodo sent him right through. This will be considerably tougher. Not expecting a repeat.
5 MAJOR STONE I’m just not a fan when a horse goes wire to wire from the 1-hole at Yonkers. He was all out to hold on too. Watching now.
6 JOHNNY Z Got to a level that was just too much last time. Prior form was pretty good. Was not Tetrick’s choice, but Carlson can get a trip.
7 MACHAPELO We don’t see Tetrick choose off too many Toscano trainees, hence why I like ‘Ideal. Nice qualifier. Might need a start here.
8 BLACK HAT Probably needed that last start and he raced well too. He can easily improve in this spot and the price should be OK.
9 WESTERN TSUMAMI He has been great so far for a barn that cannot miss. This is a tougher race, but he is just too sharp to ignore now.
10 TOP OF THE MARK Throw out that last start from post 8 and he looks OK in here. Miller went elsewhere though. I might toss in dime super.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 8-2-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 SONIC DANCER Just seems to be struggling right now. I don’t like the 1-hole for a horse of this type. I guess the class drop might help?
2 MAJOR TIPPER His form in Illinois was not up to par. See how the other Burke newcomers have done so far. He is a total wild card.
3 DONTU GET LONELY Responded very well to Lasix last time and now gets a move up in class. Can he repeat? Andy did choose off.
4 UPFRONT COUNTRYBOY Similar to ‘Sonic, he just is not racing well right now and I suppose the drop in class might help. I’m not sold.
5 GAELIC THUNDER With the exception of a tough first over trip, his form has been solid. Miller did go elsewhere here. A tricky call now.
6 BLUE CLAW Continues to show speed, but in recent years, he just doesn’t win enough for me. Always takes some play. Race is tough.
7 GUN SHOW Showed staunch improvement last time and now is Miller’s choice as well. Likely to see some support at the windows.
8 WESTERN VICTORY No chance last mile. He is an interesting horse because even though Gingras chose off, look at the driver change!
9 GOLDEN TIME I think this race came up a bit too tough for him. He has a wide draw and I think Carlson has his work cut out from here.
10 ALEX BULLVILLE Responded to the class drop last time. He loses Gingras, but Tetrick is far from a bad option B! Another contender.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 8-9-6-3
H Horse Comment
1 RHOMBUS This horse has been a disappointment the last two years. Always believed he has more to offer. Class drop will help him now.
2 AREZZO HANOVER Typically, I want to see a start from a Pompano shipper. Can Surick barn pick it back up again? Tricky call.
3 D GS WOODSTOCK See how Drop Red did earlier in the card. Moves to the Allard barn, so keep tabs on their production. Interesting.
4 LITTLE GOLD RING Came from a long way in that qualifier. He raced well at the end of 2012 as well. Does he need a start? Possibly.
5 RECENT NEWS Back to the level of his win, but Allard obviously will drive for his brother here. Should be somewhere in the outer flow.
6 PERRITO CALIENTE Another Burke shipper from Illinois, so have you been keeping track? Gelding looks like he fits in this spot. Player.
7 GEORGETOWN N Exits a very good qualifier and he came up in a sharp 27.1. Continues to get class relief, still waiting for the wake-up.
8 CHEYENNE KNIGHT Finally, he will get two consecutive starts and I think that will make a difference. I like the driver change too. Like.
9 RELENTLESS G Makes his second start back off the bench and this a driver change that will attract play as well. Class drop too. Player.
10 PEENIE I still remember this horse storming through the stretch here a few years ago. Can he re-find that magic? Let’s watch one first.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-9-1
H Horse Comment
1 MAN HE CAN SKOOT Allard blasted him from post 10 in the Hirt Final and worked out a perfect trip. This will be easier, obviously. Player.
2 E STREET PLAN This gelding has a lot of ability and exits a very strong race in a start he needed. Still, Pierce opted elsewhere. Watching.
3 HANG TEN Continues to show speed and last time he lasted. Yannick goes elsewhere in here (Burke). This will be tougher now.
4 CONNERY BLUE CHIP He had no chance from post 10 last time and Pierce will stick here, which is significant. I expect him to contend.
5 MR DENNIS Miller gives this horse a big vote of confidence by coming here. $110k sale buy is the one to beat in loaded field. 16W bound.
6 SUNDAY POKER Last couple of starts have been decent, but the Woodbine shippers generally are off to a slow start here. Watching one.
7 LINDWOOD PLAYER Never got involved last time and this race didn’t come up too easy either. Looks like one of the longshots in here.
8 URAWOMANIZER Yet another Burke newcomer that is shipping in from the Midwest. Raced in some stakes as a 3YO. Another wild card.
9 YO CHEYENNE ROCKY Not often we see a driver choose off a horse that won his last start by almost 8. Still a contender right back.
10 CHICAGO HANOVER Exits a strong qualifier and he has been in some pretty fast miles in his career. Moves to Scotty D now. Tough draw.
11 RINGO His speed will be compromised by the second tier. He was a recent sales purchase as well. Pierce goes elsewhere. Not just yet.
12 THE GREEN KNIGHT He could not get within a wide margin from ‘Rocky last time. Will have his work cut out from post 12 now, too.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-4-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 DA VISION OF ART He raced here quite competitively at the $20,000 level last year. Looked a bit short in both qualifiers, though.
2 GO GO RAIDER Raced better last time at this level. Still just came home in 29, so I am not sold that he is ready to breakthrough and win.
3 TWICKENHAM Has not been much of a factor lately and this moved back to claimers might help, but I need to see some improvement.
4 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE Had no chance last time and it’s worth noting he was a good 2nd at this level on 12/29. An intriguing player here.
5 CANE RIDGE Raced well last time chasing Get It Now. He has been off for three weeks and again, track this barn so far tonight. Player.
6 IN MINT CONDITION Gets some class relief here and he has a good draw here to get into a live outer flow. Looks like a contender here.
7 ART FOR LIVING Last two efforts just aren’t good enough to merit consideration here. Retains longshot status until improvement.
8 GENERAL MONTGOMERY Form has gone in the wrong way and now he catches a wide draw as well. A wakeup call is required now.
9 BULLVILLE PLAYER Got to a level he found to his liking at Freehold. This will be tougher though. Has an outside draw as well.
10 PAN GRAD Has not been doing much at tougher levels recently. This is a double move down, but I still need to see improvement first.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 7-6-9-8
H Horse Comment
1 FRISKIES CHEAPSUIT Took more play than I expected on the move up in class and he was a bit flat. Tows along for a share of this.
2 DUTCH RICHMAN Just has not been the same horse since the claim and I will continue to watch for signs of improvement.
3 WHO DAT LOVE Disappointed as the favorite last time and he has not responded much to the addition to the Lasix. Tricky call now.
4 MAR DREAM Took a shot with speed last time on the class drop and he didn’t have anything left in the stretch. New tactics now?
5 SOUTHERN SPORT Just has not shown much since the win at the C-1 level. Tetrick opted elsewhere and I need to see more from him.
6 PICTURE ME Got parked the mile last time and that just isn’t going to work. On paper, he should be able to handle this field. I like him.
7 STAND BY CAM Had way too much to do last time in a good field. Prior form was good enough to be a contender in this field. Interesting.
8 SEA ME NOW Last start was better and I like the move out of the claimers here. Catches a field with some question marks. Contender.
9 CASIMIR CAMOTION He wasn’t bad last time and while I don’t like the draw, I can see him stepping up in this field. Another to contend.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-2-8
H Horse Comment
1 DOOMSDAY HANOVER Just looks like the one to beat in this field. The 1-hole has not been the place to be this meet, but he will be tough.
2 JETTIN JUSTIN Draw a line through that last start and his form looks awfully good in here. Has speed and I expect Yannick to use it.
3 LUCKY LAND Had no chance from post 10 in both of his last two starts. Race well on opening weekend though. Bounce-back candidate.
4 BUBBIE BOY Racing well of late, but I do feel this will be tougher than his last pair. He was a decent 3rd at this level when last seen here.
5 RELENTLESS DREAMER Has done a good job picking up checks and he is finishing better with each start. Perfect post here as well.
6 WHISKEY PETE He is your wild card. He has a start under his belt and gets a drop in class. Would it shock anyone if he races big here?
7 TERRYS STAR DRAGON Stepping up off a nice confidence builder, but make no mistake this will be tougher. Just 1 win the last 2 years.
8 STRIPE’N STAR Raced much better last time and he seems to be turning the corner as Callahan’s choice. A contender is a tough race.
9 BRANDON’S COLT Just has not handled the move up to this level and now he catches a wide post and Gingras’ opts off. Longshot.
10 WHO’S YOUR MADDY Continues to race very well and seems to have the speed to overcome the draw. Another contender in this field.