• Week Of 3/17 - 3/23
  • SU17
  • MO18
  • TU19
  • WE20
  • TH21
  • FR22
  • SA23
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, March 23, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-5-4
H Horse Comment
1 HYDRUSKO Still appears overmatched at this level. Best chance is to try to tow along for a share. Doesn’t seem fast enough.
2 TO BEACH HIS OWN Making his first start off an extended layoff. Showed good speed in that qualifier, but likely needs a start.
3 STALLONE BLUE CHIP Gets a bit of a class drop, but I am still not sold on him in the win column. I will continue to use underneath.
4 WHAT’S THE STORY Just 1 for 21, but often picks up checks. That said, it’s hard to see him winning in this spot. Bottom of exotics.
5 LET’S ROCK TOGETHER Comes out of a strong qualifier where he was finishing nicely. Barn brings them along slowly. Still contends.
6 TERROR HIGH A logical favorite in this field as he has been very sharp since kicking off his career. Expect speed. Tough to beat.
7 LONG FIGHT HANOVER Went a huge mile last time and he is really starting to pay dividends. Expect the same early speed tonight.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 SHARK TREASURE Showed a little more step in the stretch in his last qualifier, so that is encouraging. Still, likely needs a race.
2 BULLVILLE KYLE Raced well on Monday at Yonkers and seems to be on the improve. The big track is a question mark. Maybe.
3 OLDE TIME HOCKEY Raced well last week, but when you get beat at ½ it is disappointing. Continued improvement is expected, though.
4 CONTRABAND HANOVER Shows a series of qualifiers and seems to be on the improve. Last qualifier was much better as well.
5 ROCNROLWILNEVERDIE Just defeated ‘Contraband by a neck in that last qualifier, so if you like one, you should like the other.
6 NICK FOTIU Got a start under his belt and it wasn’t terrible. He will likely continue to show improvement as he races. Brings value.
7 UP FRONT PETE VK Raced in some tough sports last year and is coming off a long layoff with just one qualifier. Needs a start.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-5-7
H Horse Comment
1 SIR ZIGGY’S Z TAM Continues to race very well and last time showed a new dimension of speed. Will not be 4/5 in here. Things to like.
2 K SLATER Struggled last time at Yonkers, but his prior efforts were solid. He tackled a tough group the last time we saw him here.
3 SOUTHWESTERN DREAM He really disappointed me last time and now being off 3 weeks, I am perplexed. Wouldn’t shock me.
4 D GS WOODSTOCK Now a free-legged pacer after his most recent qualifier, that’s interesting. Qualified well behind Foiled Again, too.
5 PEMBROKE DEWEY Dropped and popped last time. Now moves right back up to this tougher level. He handled it well on 3/2.
6 TOUCH AND GO Raced well last time putting forth a brave effort. Gelding seems to like it here. I wouldn’t be quick to dismiss him.
7 MORGAN SHARK This level has been just a touch too much for him lately, but he doesn’t need to improve a ton to be effective here.
8 BOLERO ANDREW Good to see him come home in under :27 last time, so that’s a plus. Still, Miller opted off, so there are mixed signals.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-7-2
H Horse Comment
1 RACKETEER Don’t be too hard on him for that qualifier. This is a $12.5k claimer going up against monsters there. Still, may need a start.
2 AB’S ATTACK Nothing wrong with his effort last time at 36-1. If he can duplicate that mile, he can contend here. Still has value, too.
3 KEEP IT REAL Loads of back class here and this 7YO appears from nowhere for a $12.5k claiming tag, off a long layoff. That’s tricky.
4 FOUR STARZ TWINS He was sitting on a big race last week and the sea parted and he took advantage. A logical win candidate again.
5 BENNS SUPERMAN Speaking of logical win candidates, this 9YO has been a totally different horse from one year ago. Very sharp.
6 JOEY HACKETT Callahan had a choice of two, but I think both horses are up against it. Recent lines require a form reversal here.
7 MANOFLEISURESUIT Wildly overbet last week, but raced well. I cannot imagine him being 7/5 in this field. Expect speed once again.
8 GODDESS’S JUSTIN The fact that he was 3/5 last week has me questioning the strength of that field. This will likely be tougher.
9 L M XKR Has not been effective since shipping down from Monticello and until I see improvement, I just cannot endorse him.
10 DM BIG DOG DADDY Added Lasix for that qualifier and does so again here. The outside draw is tricky. Off the layoff, he likely needs one.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-8-5
H Horse Comment
1 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE Gets a drop in class, but you have to wonder if he will get back to that winning form. Tricky call from here.
2 TUG RIVER CLAUDE Class drops have been key so far this meet, but his form has been very flat. I need to see some improvement.
3 TAKESHIGEMICHI This 9YO has been struggling lately and at this point I will need to see a form reversal before I can consider.
4 KISS MY ART Not sure what to make off that last mile. I suppose if he minds his manners, he is a contender in this field. Mixed feelings.
5 CORKY BARAN Continues to earn checks, but at this point it is going to take a sudden improvement for him to be deemed a win player.
6 RELENTLESS DREAMER He seems to be the most logical in this field to benefit from this class drop. Been racing well against better.
7 SIR MELO’S Z TAM If Lachance can just find a way to keep him closer, this is a serious win candidate. Must be left in the mix.
8 ST PETE STAR Similar feelings here as Sir Melo. He will likely be following that foe. I am not sure he can out-kick him. Use in exotics.
9 STONEBRIDGE ROCKET Shows a couple of decent miles here at this level and he obviously relished the move to the Spa last time.
10 PAN GRAD He is likely going to get away last here and now he loses Miller as well. I think he will be left with too much to do.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-7-5
H Horse Comment
1 THE POKESTER I think he is going to be bet off the board tonight. He has been a wise-guy play for weeks. Class drop seals the deal.
2 BULLET BOB Opposite of Pokester, this guy has been on the improve and earning victories. The C1 to B2 move is a big one. Tougher.
3 FREDDY DAY HANOVER It looked like he was sitting on a big race last time and he did not disappoint. This will be tougher again.
4 MASTER OF DESIRE Another moving down in class which should benefit him, but is he ready in his 2nd start back? I think he might be.
5 URAWOMANIZER Has not raced in nearly a month, so that time off is a concern. If he is a fit enough, he contends. Tough call here.
6 RAYMOND J He has the look of a horse that at this level is never going to get bet and one week will pull off the upset. Using at a price.
7 WESTERN TRADEMARK Gets a move down the ladder and based on his mile on 3/9, that should help. Came home fast last week.
8 RECENT NEWS Just wasn’t the same horse last week and it could be a sign he is tailing off. In this field, he is considered a longshot.
9 ON THE RADAR A near drop and pop winner last week. Post 9 and no speed means he is coming from last. That is always tricky.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 8-1-2-9
H Horse Comment
1 POWER OF A MOMENT I really thought he was going to be a lot better than he was last time. Now, moving down in class. He’s the chalk.
2 MARTIAL BLISS Big effort last time at a nice number. That price is all but gone and he will need another smooth journey here.
3 COME ON RIDGE Continues to knock on the door, but now he is moving up in price. Couldn’t win at the C-2, so this will be tougher.
4 BLUE CLAW Moves up off a win, and I am always skeptical that he can win two races in a row. Likely not on my tickets this time.
5 DJ LANCE Loved him last week and he was good. I admit, this will be tougher and Macdonald didn’t choose him. Mixed feelings.
6 AREZZO HANOVER I thought he would have won a race by now to be honest. His speed will always make him a pace factor, at least.
7 FANTADDY I really didn’t understand why he was 8/5 last week. I didn’t understand it the week before, but I was wrong there. Tricky.
8 MORTAL ZIN This is a class drop and I would not be surprised at all if he jumps up with a big effort here. Has some tactical speed too.
9 MEGA LIGHTNING Brutal trip last week and he might go overlooked here. I wouldn’t be too quick to just dismiss him this time.
10 BEACH BOY TIGER Post makes things tough on this gelding as he doesn’t have much speed. I will be watching closely this time.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-1-4
H Horse Comment
1 PANDERMIN FESTIVAL Nice qualifier down at Freehold, but he is coming off a sizable layoff, too. Has plenty of backclass. Might use.
2 ALEX BULLVILLE I think that mile last week was a little deceptive, and I would not be surprised if he has more in the tank here. Maybe.
3 FRITZIE ROCKET Now making his 2nd start back off the long layoff so some improvement should be expected. Not sure it is enough.
4 SO TAKE THAT His race at the B-1 level here was not bad, so keep that in mind. Not sure he can win this, but might include a bit.
5 CAMART HANOVER Moves to a new barn again and it is worth noting he was a good 3rd at this level when last seen. Things to like.
6 UNION MAN HANOVER I didn’t like his race at all last week, even prior to the break. Better post should help. Watch him score down.
7 VEAL MARSALA This was too much for him last time and off that trip, it’s hard to see him jumping up with much better in here.
8 DR C’S Z TAM Another Lachance closer who is often just left with too much to do to win. Perfect exotics use at a decent enough price.
9 ODIN BLUE CHIP This move down might make the difference, but the way he slowed off the claim is a concern. Mixed feelings here.
10 PRINCE SHARKA Could not handle this group last time and now has to overcome the widest draw. He must find some early speed.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-5-7
H Horse Comment
1 NOBLE’S GRAND SLAM He was flying at the end of his last mile and he just might have taken to the bigger track. He’ll pass a few.
2 STONEBRIDGE COWBOY The longer stretch at The Meadowlands might help him and if it does, he might pay a nice price. Interesting.
3 BETTOR WIN He typically comes from well back and despite the fact that he shows a win at this level, I am not sold this time around.
4 DOIN TIME TOGETHER Stepping up off an upset win at 13-1. It wouldn’t shock me if he raced well, but I am not betting on it either.
5 YANKEE DEVIL I think he had more in the tank last week and he is deceptively sharp right now. I expect Allard will send from here.
6 ALL MY LIFE He seems to have really flipped a switch in his last pair of starts. Can he do it on the big track? Don’t take a short price.
7 IWANNARACE HANOVER Moves down from the B-level to the C-level, so that always warrants a glance. He would not surprise me.
8 PICTURE ME He really should have beaten that field he faced at Philly. Just not sure he is ready to jump up and win a race right now.
9 BOBJACKS ANGLE A Nice effort last time out-racing his odds. Is he going to be able to maneuver from well back in this field? Tricky.
10 THANKS FOR STOPPIN Showed speed from post 10 last time and raced well. Loses Miller though. Not sure we see the same speed.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-8-3-6
H Horse Comment
1 PEDRO ISLAND He was a huge disappointment last week. Flat out, he should have beaten that field. I will not take a short price here.
2 ART FOR LIVING I think this is the horse to beat. The move down in class will make a difference. Just needs to stay within close range.
3 FIRE ESCAPE See how the Freehold invader in race 9 did. If he won, perhaps move this guy up. I don’t expect him to send, though.
4 SHELLYSBLOCKBUSTER Has been racing OK in his last pair of starts, but I think this would be a lot to ask. Watching this time.
5 SKY TANTRUM Off a sick scratch and a series of dull tries just isn’t going to entice me. I think we all need to be watching a start.
6 BLENDED WHISKEY Too much to do last time, but might have needed that start off three weeks. Better post, I expect better effort.
7 PEMBROKE NICK If he couldn’t take that field at Saratoga wire to wire last time, I am not sure I can trust him here. Looking elsewhere.
8 CASIMIR CAMOTION Would it really surprise anyone if he jumped up and won this race on this class drop? Must be included in gimmicks.
9 RUTHLESS ACE Shows some decent races at Yonkers before getting parked the mile last time. He is better than that. Brings value.
10 LONG LIVE ROCK Recovered nicely from that early miscue, but he would need speed from here, so that break at the start is a concern.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-6-2
H Horse Comment
1 TOWNSLIGHT HANOVER I have always been a fan of this horse. He has plenty of ability. That said, I have to think he needs a start.
2 VALENTINO Off for three months as well and qualified behind two very good horses. On his best, he can beat these. Needs a race?
3 SKY MESA Miller gets the call for Burke while Gingras is away so I am not surprised he opted here. His other choice is better though.
4 STATESMAN N Speaking of Miller’s other choice, this horse can flat out fly at the race. My guess, he gets bet down to 4/5 off his last race.
5 MUSSELSFROMBRUSSELS That last race may indicate he is starting to turn the corner, so I would say get him at a price while you can.
6 LIVE ON Razor sharp right now, but Miller is going to opt to Valentino. I hope Smith utilizes his speed, because it is his best weapon.
7 THAT’S JUSTICE I think it is safe to guess that he will get away last in this field. That makes things awfully tough on him. Longshot.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 8-2-3-5
H Horse Comment
1 MCSTURESQUE Comes into this off a sick scratch and a near three week layoff. Recent races at Yonkers were OK. I will watch one.
2 DANA’S SHARP SMART I think he is the horse to beat in here as the fields he is coming out of were stronger than this. Expect speed.
3 ANDY BARAN Wasn’t terrible last time and if he can work out a good trip, I can certainly see him hitting the board in this spot.
4 BARN ART Exits a very good qualifier. See how DG’s Woodstocl did earlier. Off a long time though so I have some mixed feelings.
5 DIAL A WIN Adds Lasix for this, but he is very slow off the gate. If he can stay a little closer, he can round out a tri or super at a price.
6 FORENSIC Z TAM Have similar feelings here as I have for Mcturesque. Off the scratch and recent form, I will be watching a start.
7 HARMONY OAKS RENGO Rosecroft shippers tend to be in tough over here. Not a bad qualifier, but I think he is a longshot in here.
8 REFLECTION ON ME I liked his last start as he made 2 separate moves. That might tighten him up for this. Things to like in his corner.
9 QUIK GROOM Recent form has been dull and he doesn’t pack much early speed either, so I think he is up against it in here.
10 ALLAMERICAN CHIEF Another that is not in good form and he catches the worst of the draw as well. Not sold on his chances either.