• Week Of 4/14 - 4/20
  • SU14
  • MO15
  • TU16
  • WE17
  • TH18
  • FR19
  • SA20
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, April 20, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 RIVER SHARK Earned a confidence builder at Pocono Downs. Steps up and catches a salty bunch here. Needs a peak effort.
2 URGENT ACTION Not sure he got enough out of that last mile to get him ready for this event. Off the layoff, I think he needs a start.
3 DINNER GUEST Steps up off a sharp win. Really liked that mile. This is a test for class for him and he probably battles for a share.
4 FRED AND GINGER Good effort last time in the mile that saw Golden Receiver’s first defeat of the year. He is a prime win candidate here.
5 ABELARD HANOVER Coasted around the track in a strong field. This field is pretty top-heavy but he is a candidate to repeat right back.
6 MEIRS HANOVER Back to back impressive qualifiers and that Presidential was brutally tough. He is better than that. He is a contender.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-5-1
H Horse Comment
1 CONTRABAND HANOVER Nice effort two starts back behind a short-priced favorite. The Weiss was a bit too much. Back to comfort zone.
2 RALBAR Good looking qualifier at Pinehurst and he seemed to be hitting his best stride at the end of his 2012 season. Things to like.
3 DOUBLE ROOM Followed a live outer flow last week, but did not offer much pop in the stretch. He will need to improve to contend here.
4 CAUTION SIGNS I would call the majority of his efforts at Yonkers even. He is 0 for 12, so he will have to step up to deliver a win.
5 ALWAYS THERE Brave first over effort against a well-meant favorite last week. He has shown the kind of improvement you want to see.
6 COWBOY COFFEE Well-meant winner last time as he went right down the road at even money. This colt has a bright future. Chalk.
7 BALLINROBE I like the improvement he showed in his most recent start and if he builds on that, he can contend in this field. Contender.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 9-2-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 ARTILLERY MAJOR Making just his second start of the year and he seems to have just went around the track at Saratoga. Watch one.
2 ART FOR LIVING Gelding is now 0 for 10 on the year, but catches a field he can compete with here. I expect improvement tonight.
3 ALLSTAR BLUES Enters this off a scratch and is just 1 for his last 30. I think he battles for a minor award in this spot. Watch tote.
4 DIGGERS REST N When last seen here at this level he put forth an even effort. This field is similar. Minor award appears his ceiling.
5 HYDRUSKO Just has not had much success here this year and his win this season came at Freehold. Retains longshot status.
6 ART’S JIMMY RAY Showed new dimension of speed last time, but then tired. Now tries the bigger track, where he has won before.
7 BLUES AT MIDNIGHT Took a tour of the track last time, but has never shown much early speed. Will be at the mercy of the pace and trip.
8 DEVIL’S EMBRACE N Decent try last time and seems to be rounding into form. I expect an aggressive steer from Callahan. Contender.
9 CRACKER PULLET Just had too much to do last week and caught a well-meant winner in the proves. Figures to be a prime player here.
10 INTERVENTION Seems to have tailed off in his last few starts and catches post 10 in his Big M Debut. I will be watching this time.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 TETONS I think he is starting to show improvement. See how the top pair from his last race did earlier in the card. I will be using this time.
2 CONORS CONCORD He was in tough in those qualifiers so it is hard to get a good read on them. Lets watch this first start.
3 ROCKS N BONDS No chance from post 10 in his 2013 debut. Now slides inside and showed some promise as a 2YO. Things to like.
4 BIG ART Campbell’s choice debuts for the Saunders barn for Big Jim Carr. His qualifier was fair and he fits in this field. One of the players.
5 DAVID ON ICE Came home in 27.4 despite a break in mid-stretch. There is some talent here. I will be tossing on some tickets.
6 DHARMA INITIATIVE If the top pair from his last start raced well earlier, this guy will be very tough to beat. Looms a short-priced favorite.
7 ARTACUS I like that he is finishing in the 27- range, so he shows interest late. There is potential for improvement here. Sneaky player.
8 MAJOR MERLO Making his 2nd start back off the layoff, so improvement is within the realm of possibility. Worth a toss in dime supers.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 1-9-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 IMA GIGGITY FOOL Continues to race well and one of these nights, he will break through with a win. Faces a strong favorite though.
2 ITS YOUR TIME Has shown decent early speed at times and has more wins than anyone else in the field. Gets a tough test tonight.
3 SEEK THE DRAGON Nice win last time, and shows a pair of good tries here. This level came up a bit tough on 3/16, though. Tricky.
4 OK FAME Upset the apple-cart at 20-1 at Saratoga last time. Is he ready for back to back career best efforts? That’s a tough call.
5 CAPITOL TRIP Beat $10k claimers at Philly last time, but this field is much stronger than that. He will need a career best effort here.
6 SHIFTIN TO CRUZ Shows some good efforts at Dover lately and owns a pair of wins this year. Expect speed. He is a contender.
7 ROCKAHOLIC Speed just hasn’t been working for him in The Weiss at Pocono. While this isn’t a series, there are a few good ones here.
8 HEAD OF THE BARN Raced better last time at Dover, but this field is tougher than what he faced there. He will need even more now.
9 SOURCE OF PRIDE Begins his road to The Meadowlands Pace. He is very fast, but can also make mistakes. Remember, this is start #1.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 9-3-2-1
H Horse Comment
1 KISS MY ART Burnt a lot of money last week, making a break at 6/5. If he stays pacing, he is a logical bounce back candidate. Player.
2 REMBROKE DEWEY He has been facing better lately and he owns a win against a stronger field. Looms a very tough foe in this field.
3 HANG TEN Also getting some class relief here and this was Campbell’s choice. He owns a win here this season as well. Logical player.
4 PRINCE SHARKA Has beaten this level already this year, and his last line shows interference. Might be a value exotics candidate.
5 WESTERN TRADEMARK Went from 5/2 to 15/1 simply because that last C-1 was tougher and he had post 10. The post improves here.
6 AWESOME ARMBRO N If he can repeat the effort from 4/8, he can contend in this field. This was Callahan’s choice as well. Maybe.
7 ROCINANTE He has been off for almost 4 weeks now and his last start was not that strong. I will be watching a start here first.
8 COOL RUNNINGS That was not a bad effort with the move up in class, but Callahan did go elsewhere. That gives me mixed feelings.
9 ART Z I have a feeling he is going to jump up and win this race. Miller’s choice can be dangerous as he has big time speed. Watch tote.
10 LAWGIVER HANOVER Interesting to see Miller opt to Art Z over this contender. He will need to show speed from this draw.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 7-1-4-2
H Horse Comment
1 PREMIER Back to back wins and he came with a strong stretch rally in the process. This race is wide open and he is one of the chalks.
2 SHELLYSBLOCKBUSTER Came with, what appeared to be a big rally when racing very wide off the turn. Final quarter was OK. Maybe.
3 MUST BE THE BUNNY Showed good early speed, but just didn’t last late. If he makes the lead early, I fear a shuffle will be his fate.
4 DM BIG DOG DADDY Interesting to see Miller opt here over an elimination winner. That might speak volumes. Watch the tote board.
5 HOORAYFORTHEGRAY He had some pace in the stretch last week and has a good draw here. There are some things to like.
6 GODDESS’S JUSTIN Dane will drive himself, as Miller decided to go elsewhere. I like the post and the trip should be live for him.
7 BENNS SUPERMAN Just ran out of ground last time. If he can work out a live cover trip from here, he will be passing many in the stretch.
8 BUSHWOOD Z TAM The favorite was scratched from that last start and I really believe he should have beaten that field. Skeptical now.
9 IN KENNY’S HONOR Did a good job to make the final, but if he blasts from this post, he will be hard-pressed to hold them all off late.
10 GO GO RAIDER Showed good speed here last time, but came up just a bit short in the stretch. This post makes things tough on him.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-8-7
H Horse Comment
1 BOLERO ANDREW Miller’s choice of four in a wide open field. I expect he will make the lead early in the mile. Figures to be a contender.
2 KEYSTONE RAPTOR Exits a pretty good qualifier, but has been off for 5 weeks as well. I will be watching this start and will tab for later.
3 ALEX BULLVILLE He was racing really well and then just endured a tough trip last time. With Miller choosing off, he might be an overlay.
4 CAMBASSADOR I’ll be honest, I have no idea what to do here. Is he a B-2/B-1 type right now? It’s hard to say. Demand value if you like.
5 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE He is really sharp right now but catches a very sharp field as well. You will get a price if you fancy this gelding.
6 CANE RIDGE I was really impressed with his effort at the B-2 level last time. This field is tough and I guess the price will be good again.
7 TOUCH AND GO He is exiting 2 tougher events for this and he was a sharp winner at the B-1 level a few weeks ago. Logical contender.
8 DIGITAL Z TAM Continues to race well at any level. If he somehow offers another big price, I would think you have to include him here.
9 MY SUGAR DADDY Steps up off another win. Is he going to race well or will this level be too tough? That is a tough call. Not sure.
10 D GS WOODSTOCK An interesting piece to the puzzle because he was really good at this level, but what happened last time? Tricky.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 2-9-8-1
H Horse Comment
1 CORKY BARAN Made an aggressive move to the lead, but just got chased down late. If Cambassador raced well earlier, move him up!
2 THE POKESTER He is a tricky call in here because his last two starts have not been sharp. But the class relief should help. Must consider.
3 VEAL MARSALA Saved ground and showed good kick at the pylons last week. I think this C-1 is a little tougher. Using in exotics this time.
4 RECENT NEWS Went from awesome to empty, granted he never saw the pylons last week. Loses Allard here though. Mixed feelings now.
5 BULLET SPEED He dominated that last group. Now, this should be tougher. But off a mile like that it is hard to dismiss him on the hike.
6 POKER HAT Has been facing some tough groups so far a Yonkers this year. This should be softer. I wouldn’t blame you for taking a shot.
7 BOBJACKS ANGLE A Three of his last four starts have been good. He always offers value as well. Worth including in tri’s and super’s.
8 FREDDY DAY HANOVER This is the level he typically does his best work, but this C-1 came up tough. I think he’ll offer value here.
9 MORTAL ZIN Beat this level in 1:51.4 earlier in the year. Like Freddy, he figures to better on this move down. Racing well lately, too.
10 HANGON COWBOY He was 16-1 last week and almost pulled the upset. From post 10, Campbell will have to send. Tricky call now.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-1-2
H Horse Comment
1 STORMIN RUSTLER Continues to race well at this level, but is also 0 for 11 on the year, so there is some risk. Still, he can win this race.
2 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE Talk about a horse that always seems to race well and offer value simultaneously. No reason to dismiss him.
3 BOMBAY AWAY He has finished last in each of his last 3 starts, granted 2 were from impossible posts. I will be watching this time.
4 THANKS FOR STOPPIN Exits a good qualifier, but being off the three weeks, I will watch this start and tab for future consideration.
5 HACIENDA Big rally in the stretch last time, but just had too much ground to make up. This is a perfect post. Might go by them all late.
6 DIAMONDONTHEBEACH Back to back wins at Freehold, but these Freehold shippers have been more miss than hit lately. Tricky.
7 DUTCH RICHMAN DiNozzi going for Big M win #2! This horse has raced well at this level at times and owns a recent win. Offers price.
8 SIR MELO’S Z TAM Just could not handle Arezzo Hanover in that mini-series final. This field should be more to his liking. Expect better.
9 BRANDON’S COLT Back to back solid efforts at this level and is exiting a fast mile as well. See how Bullet Speed fared earlier, too.
10 SHOWTIME SHARK Finished 2nd last time against a similar group. Berry will need to use some speed to get involved early in this mile.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 9-8-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 LIZ’S LIL K K Just is not sharp right now and Andy is having a hard time keeping her pacing lately. Must stay flat and tow along.
2 LADY’S ART That was a big effort last time and I suppose if there is a danger to the favorite this is it, but she still has 2 lengths to make up.
3 ZIP IT LOCK IT Just 1 for 25 lifetime and did not duplicate her effort from Round 1. So she looks like a longshot in this Final.
4 WINBAK SPEEDI I thought she would be better last time. She has to hope to get good position and follow a live outer flow. Mixed feelings.
5 PERSUASIVE HANOVER Just got away too far back last time. “Irish Joe” gets a chance now and he might get aggressive here.
6 ARTIE’S LAST PARTY Stung a bit to the quarter, but they weren’t going all that fast early. Seemed to run out of gas late. Needs best.
7 ABROKENART HANOVER Broke through with a much improved effort at 76-1 last time. Likely to be a double-digit price again. Using.
8 BUBBY JO She has not gotten a trip in either try in this series. Needs to sit off a helmet. Not likely to be first over from here. Second best.
9 DAY BLUE CHIP I thought she was more impressive in Round 1, but that is just nit-picking at this point. Clearly a deserving favorite.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-7-3
H Horse Comment
1 SIR ZIGGY’S Z TAM Had a late burst last week and that might draw some attention tonight. Lachance sits in, angles late, gets a share.
2 THAT’S JUSTICE I think this level has been a bit too tough for him this year. He is coming off a break at Philly, too. Wait for next time.
3 MUSSELSFRMBRUSSELS At this point, he seems to be finding ways to just miss every week. He is sharp and consistent though.
4 FANTADDY Gets a new pilot tonight, but he is incredibly sharp. He won’t be 7/5 in this field, but could very well be up to the class hike.
5 WINDSONG HARLEY The winner of that last start is in the FFA tonight, and this guy was 2nd. Miller’s choice is going to be a handful.
6 PENCE HANOVER Showed his win was no fluke with a decent try against a tougher B-1/A-2 group last time. He is a logical contender.
7 PANESTHETIC He is the wild card because he is coming off a so-so season, but qualified very well. If he is ready, he will be very tough.
8 BULLET BOB He can surprise you at any moment and this looks like a spot he would jump up and shock us in. Don’t sell too short.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-5-4
H Horse Comment
1 WICKED N RUDE That last $15k claimer was much tougher than the won he was victorious in at Freehold. This is going to be tough, too.
2 LEBRON Callahan’s choice of three in this field raced pretty well last week and gets a shot at the big track now. Things to like here.
3 FOOLS GOLD He has won here before and this horse at times can be crazy-fast. Di Nozzi has bottomed out a field once already this year.
4 COME ON RIDGE Not a bad try last time and this is Campbell’s choice. This barn seems to be ready to cycle back forward. Contender.
5 BLADE RUNNER He was a bit disappointing last time, but he never saw the pylons. I think he has a big race in him. Might come now.
6 A PLACE IN HISTORY Remember, this horse was 5/2 and 7/2 against C-1 pacers earlier. He has won twice since then, too. I like him.
7 TAYLORLANE CRUISER The race where he sat the pocket from post 1 at Yonkers, but offered no kick concerns me. Watching this one.
8 RED STAR TOMAHAWK Claimed out of that last start and he raced OK at our bottom claiming level earlier. Fringe player at this point.
9 ALL MY LIFE He seems to be on the improve here at The Meadowlands and has already had a better 2013 than 2012. A player.
10 ELUSIVE REWARD I don’t like this draw for him as his lack of early speed will be a problem. I will be watching this time around.