• Week Of 3/24 - 3/30
  • SU24
  • MO25
  • TU26
  • WE27
  • TH28
  • FR29
  • SA30
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 30, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 DEEP SEA HANOVER The Weiss was a bit much. His prior effort was solid. We don’t see Andy opt off his brother’s horses often, though.
2 UP FRONT PETE VK Showed a couple of decent races as a 2YO, so I expect improvement will come. In contention for a piece.
3 CONTRABAND HANOVER Have similar feelings here as the prior pacer. That last quarter isn’t as good as it looks, though. Slow tempo.
4 NICK FOTIU Echo the thoughts on that final quarter as they went 1:01.4 to the half. Still, this horse is on the steady improve. Player.
5 ALWAYS THERE He is coming out of better races, so we can expect him to fit nicely here. Still think there are some talented ones in this.
6 OLDE TIME HOCKEY Sat behind a longshot through a crawl to the middle half. A more aggressive drive will make him very tough.
7 BUY AMERICAN Has not been much of a factor and the lack of improvement in his second start is a concern for me. Pass for now.
8 JOHN THE DRUMMER Showed some potential last year but is yet to fulfill that potential. I need to see a start here first.
9 BULLVILLE HONEY Broke through when he was supposed to last time. This will be much tougher now. Looks like a longshot.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-4-9
H Horse Comment
1 LETS ROCK TOGETHER Nothing wrong with his first start of the season at all. Faced some good ones as a two year old as well. Player.
2 TO BEACH HIS OWN Making his second start off the layoff, so improvement can be expected here as well. Looks like a fringe player now.
3 ROYAL STARZZZ Still not sure that win in nw1 company stacks up with this group. I need to see a start here before I can consider.
4 ROCK ICON Exits a pretty sharp race and he raced well at this level two starts back. Pierce’s choice is a very attractive play in here.
5 ERES TU Never involved last week. Things should work out much better from this post. Any kind of trip makes him extremely dangerous.
6 HYDRUSKO Still not seeing what I want to see out of this 4YO. Improvement is required to attract my attention. Longshot.
7 IMA GIGGITY FOOL He did what he was supposed to at 1-9 last week. Things get much tougher in this spot, but the price will be better.
8 WHAT’S THE STORY Has shown a couple of decent miles, but I am not seeing enough to merit consider on the win end. Just 1 for 22.
9 ROCKY MOUNTAIN GUY Remember, he went a very good mile last year here as a 2YO. There is more in this tank. Things to like.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 BETTORS GLASS Talented gelding catches a very salty group here. Making his 2nd start back off the layoff. Will try to earn a check here.
2 MCCLELLAND I think this level is a little too tough for him at this point. He probably should have been better last out at Pocono, too.
3 MAJOR BELLE Racing very well and was finishing nicely at Yonkers last out. Off 3 weeks and was a private purchase. Moves to Surick.
4 SILENT SWING It’s hard not to love this horse. He is 11YO and appears to be as fast as ever. This will be a tougher task, but he is capable.
5 DINNER GUEST This is probably Allard’s second best horse behind AJ Corbelli. Nice qualifier at Pocono and he has won here before.
6 ABELARD HANOVER Took a brief rest following some game tries against some good horses. This horse has plenty of early speed, too.
7 HUGADRAGON Coming off a brief 2012 campaign. This horse has a ton of back class to him and the qualifiers say he is ready to roll.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 2-9-5-4
H Horse Comment
1 LINE OFFICER Not really seeing what I want to out of this gelding right now. This race should be tougher than his most recent tries also.
2 THANKS FOR STOPPIN I think this is clearly the horse to beat. Back to back post 10 tries taking what has proven to be a key drop in class.
3 ART FOR LIVING He might have needed that last start, as it was his first in 3 weeks. He should be tighter for this. I would keep him in mind.
4 RELENTLESS DREAMER He hit a wild gallop last week. Not sure what that was about. He is right back in though. Give him another look.
5 MORALITY This horse has gone some impressive miles here in the past. Maybe a return to this setting will turn him around? Tricky.
6 BRANDON’S COLT Pierce sides with this gelding and it is worth noting that he has won at this level here this year. Possibility.
7 KAUFMAN HANOVER This just looks like too tough of a spot at this point in time. Moving up in class of a series of average tries.
8 GODDESS’S JUSTIN Shows a decent race two back but I am skeptical of that claimer, as he was 3-5 in that field. This will be tougher.
9 YANKEE DEVIL Similar thoughts on this class drop, and to be honest, I am very surprised Callahan chose off. This horse can win this.
10 CORKY BARAN This is Callahan’s choice, who he had to slam on the brakes to avoid a spill last week. Good to see him right back in.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 9-4-7-1
H Horse Comment
1 FANTADDY Just when everyone jumped off the bandwagon, he was much better. He has been the enigma of the meet for me. Contender.
2 STONEBRIDGE COWBOY Gave it a game try last week and took a lot of tote action as well. This seems like a good spot for him, too.
3 LONG LIVE ROCK Stepping up off a win. Note, Sky Tantrum was an off form longshot runner-up in that field. A little skeptical in here.
4 DIGITAL Z TAM One of Lachance’s many sharp horses right now. Likely to work out a good trip from here. A contender with a live flow.
5 BOBJACK’S ANGLE A He has raced very well in his last couple of starts and seems to be right at home at this level. Contender again.
6 JOLTS VIRTUE Making his first start in about 10 months off a respectable qualifier. That said, I have no idea what to expect. Pass for now.
7 FANCY FOOTWORK Winner of that last mile was a $15,000 claimer here in the winter. Seems to be rounding into form. Sneaky player.
8 KISS MY ART Nice win last week, but this is a much tougher field. Runner-up in there is a longshot in the softer C-series later on.
9 CAMART HANOVER I think this is obviously the horse to beat. Second race for Miller stable on the class drop. A single on my tickets.
10 PICTURE ME Keeps picking up checks and does have the speed to offset this wide draw. That said, I think a win would be a stretch.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-10-5
H Horse Comment
1 P J LUCKY Miller seemed to get a bit more out of this gelding. That said, this would be a very surprising upset, should he win this.
2 LAGUNA BEACH Just was not the same horse last week and that is not a good sign going into this Final. I’m playing against here.
3 HOPSKIPANAJUMP Might have been exposed last week as he was no match for Cambassador. Now, Miller opts to Tamayo as well.
4 CANE RIDGE Appears as the one to deny in a field that has several possibilities. He is just way too sharp right now to ignore, though.
5 BLADE RUNNER He raced OK last time and this was Pierce’s choice of three. That said, a share of this purse is probably his ceiling.
6 TAMAYO Took a step back in the right direction last time. That said, he is going to have to step it up if he is to take down Cane Ridge.
7 THE ENCOUNTER He hasn’t been bad in his last pair of starts, but he will need to step things up to be a top 3 contender in here.
8 BRISTLE RIDGE BOB Looks like a longshot in this group. Has not been very close at the end of any of his miles in this series.
9 IN KENNY’S HONOR Another that just has not stepped it up so far in this series and his 5 for 106 lifetime mark is hard to take.
10 CAMBASSADOR Gets hit with the worst post and Camobell will have to get a little creative from here. Still, has the tools to win this.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-3-2-10
H Horse Comment
1 SIR ZIGGY’S Z TAM Nice horse to own as lately all he does his pick up significant checks. I expect a similar move in this field as last week.
2 BOLERO ANDREW He was rolling just a little too late. Thank God, or Sam Mckee would have hit a huge best bet! He is a player right back.
3 BAKIN ON THE BEACH Obviously the move from the Aquarius to the B-1 is a big drop in class. He is a short priced favorite that is tough.
4 LETTHEROCKBEGIN I think this field is tougher than what he has been facing in Philly. He did win at this level earlier in the year.
5 SKY MESA Miller sticks with Burke this time, but I think High Noon is the better horse. Despite the driver choice, I will play it how I see it.
6 HIGH NOON That 1:49.3 mile looks awfully good in here. Perhaps Miller choosing off and the presence of ‘Bakin will give this guy value!
7 TOWNSLIGHT HANOVER Not a bad try at all in his first start of the year. Here is a horse with loads of back class. Do not sell him short!
8 SAMANDAR Facing some good horses lately at Dover, but this is no easy spot and Pierce has gone elsewhere. Watching this time.
9 VALENTINO Obviously, he needed that last start. He might get lost in the depth of this race and offer believers a very good price.
10 MUSSELSFRMBRUSSELS This is the right level for him and the horse he chased last week is shaping up to be a good one. Contender.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 DJ LANCE Admire how he raced well on the move up in class against what I thought was a solid C-1 group. This field might be a bit softer.
2 POWER OF A MOMENT Exits the same race as ‘DJ, so I guess I have similar feelings. If I like one, I have to like the other. Contender.
3 GAELIC THUNDER This move down in class cannot be ignored. I maintain the move from B-2 to C-1 is the biggest drop we have.
4 HANGON COWBOY Here is a total wild card. Moves to the Burke barn and ships in from western Pa. Miller chooses here also. Tough call.
5 ROCKNROLL JEWEL This is a softer spot than what he has been facing recently. Raced well at this level when last seen here. Player.
6 UPFRONT COUNTRYBOY Seems like Harder has him back in form and I think he is a better horse than when last seen here. Possible.
7 STRUNG OUT I don’t love this move out of claimers to this spot. Recent form has been dull. Tote board might give some clues here.
8 DANA’S SHARP SMART Steps up off a win into a much tougher spot. Also has just 1 win since 2011. Betting against the repeat.
9 BULLET SPEED Added Lasix last time and raced better. Surick doing the driving himself here. That will inflate the price for believers.
10 RECENT NEWS I think Callahan’s only chance here is to blast. Worked out pretty well when Berry used those tactics on 3/2.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 1-9-6-10
H Horse Comment
1 ALEX BULLVILLE I think the move of Miller sticking here is a big call over the Burke trainee. This is a bit of a bump up, but he is a player.
2 WESTERN TRADEMARK Could be an interesting claim as he was better last week. Meittinis takes back and makes one big late move.
3 MORTAL ZIN Loved him last week and he returned dividends. This will be much tougher and he wasn’t up to this last time at this level.
4 FREDDY DAY HANOVER He made a huge three wide move in an oddly run race last time. He is better grinding away. Andy chose off.
5 GRAMS LEGACY Coming off a scratch and a near month layoff. He is a tricky horse to get a read on. I would wait a start before playing.
6 THE POKESTER Continues to take play and continues to disappoint on the win end. This race is tougher than what he saw last week.
7 BULLET BOB Took money last week but just wasn’t as good. This will be even tougher. I think he is up against it in this spot.
8 UNION MAN HANOVER He was better last week, but how he went off 2-1 is beyond me. Callahan sticks, but I am not sold on him yet.
9 MR DENNIS Exit 16W winner is getting ready for the new Hudson River series. Softer spot than he has seen in some time. Tough.
10 MORGAN SHARK He has the speed to overcome the draw, but Miller opted off. Exiting some good races. He is a fringe player to me.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 3-6-7-5
H Horse Comment
1 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE Almost pulled another shocker at 29-1. He is very tough to predict, but I think this field is a bit too tough for him.
2 HURRIKANE ANTHONY Not a bad try last time at Yonkers, but he loses Smith here and he’ll need to step up his game here.
3 BLENDED WHISKEY Showed expected improvement in his 2nd start off the 3 week layoff. This is a little tougher, but he is a contender.
4 QUIK GROOM Not a terrible effort last time and I guess he might we worth including in the bottom of dime supers at a big price.
5 MEGA LIGHTNING He is the wild card of this field. Taking the class drop, but his last 2 races are head scratchers. I expect improvement.
6 COME ON RIDGE Another taking the class drop and is exiting the same race as the foe to his inside. Raced well at this level before.
7 SKY TANTRUM Where did that come from? Silva’s barn is waking up in general. The price is gone, but he is a legitimate contender here.
8 FIRE ESCAPE Did not make much of an impact last time as he was not able to duplicate his Freehold form. I need to see more.
9 HONEYS DRAGON Recent form has been just fair and Callahan chooses off as well. Appears to be an outsider in this group.
10 DIAL A WIN Added Lasix and responded with a much better effort last time. The post doesn’t help and Callahan opts off. Still contends.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-7-5
H Horse Comment
1 BENNS SUPERMAN He is in the right spot here and was offering plenty of pace in the lane last week. Might take some “smart” money.
2 KEEP IT REAL Off a long time and responded with a sharp win. Surick plugs him right back in. Obviously a deserving favorite.
3 PAN GRAD I like the move from the C-2 class to this claimer and he gets post relief as well. Tote board might give some clues.
4 MR BIGGLESWORTH Qualified behind a FFA pacer in Meirs Hanover. Still off for quite a while and I will watch a start first.
5 SHELLSBLOCKBUSTER Similar move being made to Pan Grad, but this pacer has a little more appeal for me. I would recommend using.
6 REAL JOKE Wow, been a long time. That 1:47.3 mile feels like a decade ago. I have no idea what to expect from him in here.
7 FOUR STARZ TWINS Continues to race well at this level and should prove a worthy foe to Keep It Real once again. Major player.
8 DM BIG DOG DADDY Making his 2nd start off the long layoff, so I suppose he can improve. That said, I need to see another start.
9 ALEXPANDERTHEGREAT Nice mile last week at Yonkers, given he was in very soft at Monticello prior. Callahan does choose off.
10 LUCKY LAND What do we do here? That 32.4 final quarter sticks out like a sore thumb. Now post 10 here. I will play against.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 6-4-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 MY SUGAR DADDY He has been all over the class ladder lately. Now settles in this B-2 event. I suppose he fits here as a fringe player.
2 BELL’S PANACEA Callahan had his choice of three and landed here. He really should have been better last time, I think. Tough call.
3 HARRAH’S BEST Just 8 for 108 lifetime. He did go a big mile here last year, but his recent form just doesn’t entice me enough.
4 STALLONE BLUE CHIP Allard kept him straight last week and look what happened. If Iordan has him figured out, he will be tough.
5 BEWARE OF DARKNESS Recent form just doesn’t do anything to inspire much confidence and it is fair to wait for improvement.
6 DUTCH RICHMAN Looks like he is on the right track and Macdonald got along well with him last time also. There are things to like here.
7 WESTERN DOG Just shows 1 decent race at Monticello from post 1 so that doesn’t bode to well. Need to see improvement.
8 THREE ARTIST Raced better last time at Yonkers, but Callahan looks elsewhere and his tries here were not very good. Pass for now.
9 AREZZO HANOVER Fell into one of his bad habits last week. This horse is very fast and very unpredictable. That’s a tough combination.
10 FORENSIC Z TAM Raced well off the scratch, but he is likely coming from last in this field. Lachance will need to stay closer than that.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-5-3
H Horse Comment
1 ANDY BARAN Really has tailed off lately and it is hard to recommend him given his current form. Looks like a longshot here.
2 SIR MELO’S Z TAM Too little too late seems to be his M.O. lately. Draws inside and maybe Lachance gets aggressive here. Player.
3 STORMIN RUSTLER He is a tough call in this group. I am not a huge fan out of claimers into spots like this. Still has a chance.
4 ARC DE TRIUMPH I would call this a move down in class as the winner of his last race would be favored in here. Using in gimmicks.
5 HE’S A BEACHBOY What happened at Philly? He stopped to a walk. If you toss that out, he becomes a logical contender. Tricky call.
6 THE LIFE BOAT Not a bad effort last time, but the Freehold shippers have not fared well here for the most part. Watching one.
7 FRESH DREAM Recent form just makes him a very difficult play. Until he shows some improvement he retains his longshot status.
8 ALL MY LIFE Moves down off a dull try. Prior efforts at Freehold were good, but not sold on these Freehold shippers. Leaning elsewhere.
9 MOMMA’S ARTIST Tried the Sagamore without any success. There are some good ones in that series. Still, needs much more here.