• Week Of 5/19 - 5/25
  • SU19
  • MO20
  • TU21
  • WE22
  • TH23
  • FR24
  • SA25
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, May 25, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-9-10
H Horse Comment
1 WORD POWER Comes from a proven family of winner and he beat a leading Meadowlands Pace contender in Doctor Butch! Looks ready!
2 WHATS WHAT HANOVER He had to need that start off the sick scratch, but he is just 1 for 9 and I recommend watching for improvement.
3 MINDSET Meadowlands Pace eligible could not fend off caution signs last time. That foe is in post 10 here. Still a logical contender.
4 GRATIAS DEO Has to make up 9 lengths on Mindset and Caution, not to mention Word Power. Seems to have his work cut out here.
5 RAGGS Stopped last week and was beaten more than 28 lengths. I will need to see a better start before I can consider.
6 NUTMEGS MAYA Showing improvement in his qualifiers, but he has to find those 11 lengths on Word Power. Not an easy task.
7 OLDE TIME HOCKEY That field he beat on April 6th is much softer than what he is facing here. He will need a lifetime best to win now.
8 SOUTHWIND TERROR Took plenty of tote action last time, but made a break. Interesting to see Andy opt off an Erv Miller trained horse.
9 ROAR Don’t be too hard on a horse that qualified against everyone’s #2 3YO pacer in the country. Toscano trainee has some talent.
10 CAUTION SIGNS Turned a perfect trip into an upset victory last time. Post 10 might make things a bit tougher, but he’s a contender.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 JK LETITGO Mare had some late interest last time and she may go overlooked in this field. Gregory and Toscano are a successful tandem.
2 AUTHORIZE She is better than her last 2 have indicated. Remember she beat I Luv The Nightlife at Lexington last year. Talent is there.
3 MS CAILA J FRA She raced better than I thought she would last time. As the others get better, I fear she may have reached her peak.
4 JERSEYLICIOUS The price will be short and there are a couple of fillies in here that can jump up and win this with their best. Not a cinch.
5 O NARUTAC ROCKETTE That was a big effort last time to get within a neck of I Luv The Nightlife. That should make her 2nd choice here.
6 PANERA HANOVER She didn’t really factor last time and I have to wonder if she has reached too tough of a level. Looks like a longshot.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-2-4
H Horse Comment
1 ROCKIN GLORY Not a bad effort last time, but was no match for the top 2. I don’t see this race as any easier. Looks like an outsider.
2 BEACHFRONT Nice win two starts back but didn’t seem to handle the move up last out. Note Lets Rock Together was 2nd in that field.
3 LETS ROCK TOGETHER Took a shot in the NJSS and ran into a Breeders Crown winner. This is a much easier spot and he is the chalk.
4 PAPPY’S PAL Had to need that start off the 3 week layoff and got a good speed tightener from it. He has been facing better lately.
5 QUIK MAGIC Hard to knock what this horse has done and he has earned a chance to race here on a Saturday night. Impossible to dismiss.
6 DON’T YA KNOW Toss out that last start as he was interfered with. He was beaten quite a way at this level before. Watching this time.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-6-8
H Horse Comment
1 ART’S JIMMY RAY Appears for a claiming tag after a win at the C-2 level. On paper, this field is not as good as the last he faced. Tough.
2 MASTERMAKER He is 0 for 8 on the year and the fact that he is losing ground in the stretch at Freehold’s bottom level doesn’t bode well.
3 IN KENNY’S HONOR That last field he faced was much tougher than this and he beat similar two back. He is a leading contender again.
4 L M XKR Beat the bottom level at Tioga, but since then has gone in the wrong direction. I recommend watching a start here first.
5 MICHAEL’S MARVEL Yet to hit the board this year. Has been struggling at this level at Philly. Another that I am looking for improvement.
6 LEMON DROP HALL That last race was marred by a spill and it is hard to gauge. Prior efforts at this level were competitive. A player.
7 OLIVE T O PARTY The 2nd place finish at the $12.5k level at Philly was encouraging, but his last 2 efforts were not. Needs a form reversal.
8 BIG PUFF DOGGIE Coming off a sick scratch, but his prior 2 efforts at this level at Freehold were decent. Worth tossing on some tickets.
9 GETONTHEWAY While he won at the bottom level at Freehold last time, he was also 28-1 from post 1. Leaning against the repeat.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-2-4
H Horse Comment
1 EMERITUS MAXIMUS Have to wonder if this horse is better than even connections thought. Logical favorite to stay unbeaten this year.
1A ALWAYS THERE Didn’t offer much kick when tracking cover last week. Good post, but if you are playing the entry, it’s because of #1.
2 ROCNROLWILNEVERDIE Not a bad effort last time and he seems to remain on top of his game this year. A logical exotics contender.
3 ROCKY MOUNTAIN GUY Out-raced his 97-1 odds last week to earn a check. While still a longshot to win, he can hit the board at a price.
4 DEEP SEA HANOVER Don’t feel like he ever got into the race last time and he is probably better than that. I can see him earning a share.
5 JOHNY ROCK He probably should have been 2nd last week and I expect him to be better this time around. Andy will get aggressive here.
6 NICK FOTIU Added Lasix last time but still went in the wrong direction. That is not a good sign an I will continue to pass. Longshot.
7 ROCKAHOLIC Showed good speed and raced well last week. He draws outside and loses Gingras and I label him an exotics player.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 BOLERO ANDREW He had a nightmare trip last week and I am guessing everyone saw it. He will offer no value as strictly the one to beat.
2 LEBRON He was on my radar after his 5/4 effort, but then went to Freehold. I think he fits at this level and adds value to some exotics.
3 KISS MY ART Gelding has burnt an awful lot of cash and one of these nights he’ll beat me, but I won’t use him on the win end in my plays.
4 SWINGINGWITHASHARK It appears that his form has gone in the wrong direction. Perhaps Tetrick can turn things around for him.
5 HERZON He seems to be trending in the right direction and I like the post given his racing style. A must use in all exotic positions.
6 PALM’S BEACH He was OK 2 starts back, but he won’t have Tetrick tonight. I guess with an ideal trip he can find a way to a minor award.
7 STRONSKI Did not respond well in his start following the sick scratch. I have to see some improvement before I can recommend.
8 BLUE STRIKE Can’t argue with his sharpness but how a $6-8k claimer stacks up here is a difficult read. He did post 10 wins last year.
9 THANKS FOR STOPPIN Not a bad try last time and he seems to fit in this field. Not sold on a win, but I will use him in some exotics.
10 HE’S A BEACHBOY Now 0 for 14 on the year and wasn’t able to beat the bottom level at Freehold. Last was better, but still needs more.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 8-2-5-7
H Horse Comment
1 RESCUE PLAN Not a bad try last time as that winner is in the 4YO Open later. This is the right level, but it is a bit tough. Fringe player.
2 BREAKIN THE LAW Raced well last time showing good speed on both ends of the mile. Draws inside and looks like a prime contender.
3 ALL SPEED HANOVER A horse that once looked like a potential champion makes his return off a 17 month layoff. Nice qualifier.
4 BULLET SPEED Not a bad effort last time and he continues to race well. This field will be a little bit tougher, but he is hard to dismiss.
5 TOWNSLIGHT HANOVER Exits the same race as the likely favorite and raced well there. On the move down, he must be considered.
6 JJ SHARK Winner of that last race would be a short-priced favorite here. He has been facing better, but this is not an easy spot either.
7 COBALT MAN He was favored against a tougher level two starts back, so that is worth noting. Expect speed and a better effort. Player.
8 PANESTHETIC He missed by a head in a tougher spot last time. He has speed and figures to be a handful once again. Logical favorite.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 9-4-8-6
H Horse Comment
1 S F LAW As the races have gotten tougher his form has gone in the wrong direction. This field isn’t that tough. Can see him in the mix now.
2 RICCARAS STAR Form has gone in and out recently, but that 0 for 12 mark at the bottom level at Freehold is a concern. Siding against.
3 PADRE MANUEL Made a move to the lead, but then stopped in the stretch. I never like to see that. Still, a rebound effort is possible.
4 RED STAR TOMAHAWK Not a bad try last time and that was a quick mile too. Gets Callahan back and he figures to be dangerous.
5 KINGS POINT Ginsburg goes elsewhere in this spot and he is coming off a couple of dull tries. Looks like a longshot in this field.
6 A PLACE IN HISTORY Has not been able to duplicate that effort from 4/20. I think this field is more to his liking. Bounce back effort.
7 GET DOWN TONIGHT Has been struggling at the bottom level at Freehold which doesn’t stack up well here. Looks like a longshot.
8 FOUR STARZ TWINS Talk about a chance in tactics, showed no early speed and flat-out flew home. Must be considered off last mile.
9 DASH N Back to back wins at Freehold bold well given the level of those wins. This field came up light and I think he is a major player.
10 TWICKENHAM He was very good 2 starts back, but was empty last time. Now draws post 10 in a tougher spot here. Playing against.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-10-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE He has been tailing off recently. He is getting some class relief, but this field came up tough for a C-1. Not for me.
2 RELENTLESS DREAMER Just ran out of racetrack last time, which is going to happen with his racing style. Still too sharp to dismiss.
3 MOVIE IDOL He has been facing some decent fields and the way Callahan is driving, I would give anything a look when he is in the bike.
4 DAMON BLUE CHIP Nice mile last time behind a Meadowlands Pace eligible 3YO. Faces a couple of older horses here. Still a player.
5 HACIENDA If he can race back to that 1:50.1 mile behind Hillbilly Hanover, he can win this race. Might go overlooked. Like the value.
6 ETHAN HANOVER The race from post 8 at Saratoga is understandable, but what happened last time? Needs to find previous form.
7 PRINCE SHARKA This is a much tougher race than the field he just upset. I would be surprised with a repeat performance in this spot.
8 YO CHEYENNE ROCKY They bet Mr Dennis off the board last time with this same angle, so I suppose he will take money as well. Chalk.
9 UNION MAN HANOVER That was an improving effort last time and I wouldn’t be shocked if he stepped up with even more tonight.
10 LONG LIVE ROCK That 4th place effort in the Hudson River makes him awfully tough here. If Dauplaise finds a way into it, lookout!
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-7-8
H Horse Comment
1 BELL’S PANACEA Has not been in good form recently and his last start at this level he was beaten more than 15 lengths. Not for me.
2 DINA’S GAMBLE He has been facing better and now gets Callahan in the bike. That race 2 starts back looks pretty good in this field. Like.
3 ELUSIVE REWARD Was not able to duplicate that perfect pocket performance from 5/4. Think he needs everything to go perfectly here.
4 HANG TEN He has been facing better as well and on this move in class and the presence of Gingras, he figures to be awfully tough.
5 THE MIDNIGHT OWL N Now 0 for 15 on the year and his form just doesn’t show enough to merit consideration at this point.
6 BLUES AT MIDNIGHT Consistently not picking up checks at this level and he remains a longshot until showing improvement.
7 BLUE CLAW I don’t think he will be 56-1 this time around, but still should be a nice price. Not banking a win, but will toss into some plays.
8 SHOWTIME SHARK Not bad last time showing good early speed. Another that I don’t expect a win, but a minor award is in reach.
9 PALM BEACH BOY He has found his best stride recently, but as we know this is a different ballgame. Still, he can earn a share here.
10 STORMIN RUSTLER Typically he shows speed, but he loses Gingras and I am not expecting McDermott to blast. Tough call now.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-7-4
H Horse Comment
1 REAL ROCKER Never made the gate last time. Gets a new pilot this time and other than ‘Peter, this field is softer. Exotics contender.
2 ROCK STAR Went off at 95-1 last time and didn’t factor in the race. Sits in and hopes to tow along for a share. Still, a longshot.
3 WAKE UP PETER He’ll be 1/5 in this field and he should be. Catches a soft division and he just stands out here. Shocked if he loses.
4 TO BEACH HIS OWN He can be in the mix for an exacta finish. I think Ray might put him in the race early and keeps up for a piece.
5 ROCKS N BONDS Had no chance from post 9 last time. This is a shorter field and a better post. Using him in the trifecta and super.
6 ONLY THE LONELY Feel similarly about this colt as he had no chance from post 10 and an on the board finish wouldn’t shock now.
7 IMA GIGGITY FOOL On paper he should battler it out for 2nd best honors. Callahan did opt to Real Rocker though. Exotics contender.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 HESTON BLUE CHIP 3YO Champ from 2012 returns off a powerful qualifier. Catches a short field and he should be a handful in his return.
2 BETTOR’S EDGE His last qualifier was nothing to sneeze at either. Is he as good as his stablemate? Wouldn’t be shocked if they go 1-2.
3 DYNAMIC YOUTH 2012 Cane Pace winner does have a couple of starts under his belt. He will have to out-kick Heston and ‘Edge late.
4 WHIRL MONROE Back to back sub-1:50 miles is impressive. But this horse was a C-2 pacer 2 weeks ago. Doubt that he can go with these.
5 R CAAN This is going to be a major test for class. He is another that is sharp and has speed, but this is an entirely new ballgame.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-3-7-1
H Horse Comment
1 MORTAL ZIN Disappointed last time when favored on the drop in class. Comes right back at this level and draws inside. A factor in here.
2 ROCKNROLL JEWEL He is dropping in class to the level of his most recent win. The C-1 to C-2 drop is usually a substantial one.
3 LIBERTY CALL One of only 2 horses in this field coming off a win. That field was softer, but I think he can contend in this spot. Player.
4 ALL MY LIFE Now exiting back to back victories and there is something to be said for that kind of sharpness here. Not without a chance.
5 SHARKSTUNE Just has not factored here and at this point I think he does his best work on the smaller tracks. Looks like a longshot.
6 KAUFMAN HANOVER Just doing enough to pick up checks but his lack of early speed is a concern. Don’t see him passing all of these.
7 OVERNIGHT DELIGHT That was a major improvement last time and he figures to be a contender right back. Miller does go elsewhere.
8 CASIMIR CAMOTION While I suppose he is exiting a tougher race, that line just doesn’t look good. I have a hard time using him now.
9 ESPRIT DE KAYJAY A He had success here over the winter, but he is not in the same form now. Andy doesn’t opt off this barn often.
10 DR ALFONSO Saddled with the same wide draw as he had last time and I have to figure the trip and result will be similar.