• Week Of 6/23 - 6/29
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  • MO24
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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 Friday, June 28, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 3-8-9-10
H Horse Comment
1 VARIETY GIRL Impressive performance when making a strong first over move. Filly moves back up to this tougher level. Will need more.
2 DOC BOYCE Enters this off back to back solid tries, but her efforts at this level here indicate that she will need to step up her game.
3 YOUR SO VAIN That is a very strong qualifier and it is hard to look past that 26.3 final quarter. Deserving favorite will prove plenty tough.
4 ARTHUR’S TURN Another barn change for this son of Broadway Hall. Lightly raced with upside, but wonder if he is ready to trot in 1:54.
5 DEWEY LANE Has not developed yet in this 3YO season. Catches a salty group here and she looks like she is a start or two away.
6 DETOUR HANOVER Full-brother to Donato Hanover showed potential at Lexington last year. Needs to rebound from that last qualifier.
7 SUPER CLASSIC Winner of that last mile would be odds-on in this group. That said, this came up as a very tough nw2. Just 1 for 16.
8 VINTAGE OAKS Big effort in the NJSS Final, and Smedshammer turns the lines over to Callahan. Could be ready for a big effort.
9 PERFECT ALLIANCE Broke on the smaller track last time. Liked her efforts to start the season. Filly has some promise. Clear contender.
10 BAS HANOVER His last mile was a major step in the right direction. Has to overcome the widest draw and improve further. Tricky call.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 MY INSPIRATION Homebred exits a very strong baby race. Winner of that event is a very strong Takter-trainee. Appears fast enough.
2 KEYSTONE BOCA Filly was a $12,500 Harrisburg yearling. Coming out of a slower baby race in Philly. Might be in a bit too tough.
3 CEE BEE YES This $45,000 Harrisburg yearling showed good late energy at Gateway. Filly has plenty of upside and is an obvious player.
4 ALWAYSINBLACKPEDIA A $10,000 Harrisburg yearling has been carefully handled and shows a break in stride. Looks like a longshot.
5 FORTUNES OF FABLES $60,000 Harrisburg yearling caught a nice filly in Love Detective both times. I like the improvement she showed.
6 CHCOLATE CRISP A $19,000 Lexington-Select yearling exits a decent mile and showed some progress as well. Contention is deep.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 7-1-10-5
H Horse Comment
1 ALSTON HALL Showed improved late interest last time and that is a positive indicator. Another step forward puts her right in the mix.
2 SAXINTHECITY Regressed into a mistake last time. Prior effort was decent. Needs to return to that mile to contend now. Tough read.
3 HERCULOTTE HANOVER Respect this barn, but I am concerned that qualifier isn’t as good as it looks on paper. Watching this time.
4 WORLEY PEARLY Filly caught a very fast qualifier in her 2nd out. $14,000 Yearling makes her debut and likely needs a start.
5 TO THE GOOD LIFE Perhaps the smaller track didn’t suit her last out. Back to the bigger oval where she raced well. Win contender.
6 ICY CHISEL Back-half for the pacesetters in that last mile was 1:00, so I am not sure the race is as good as it appears. Mixed feelings.
7 DREAMS OF THUNDER Winner of that qualifier was entered in Race 1. Off those 2 qualifying efforts, this colt appears the one to beat.
8 VALLAS COWGIRL Neither effort from this filly this year inspires much confidence and that qualifier is OK. Watching this time.
9 PARLIA HANOVER Always have to respect these connections, but at 0 for 11, I need to see an improved try before I can endorse.
10 JAIPUR That May 31st effort would put him right in with the top contenders here. Will he race back to it? I expect to see speed from him!
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 WELL BUILT I like the 2YO that won the last event this $30,000 Lexington-Select yearling contested. See talent and upside here.
2 SUMATRA Speaking of upside, this $9,000 Harrisburg yearling looks like a steal off that last mile. Respect connections as well.
3 SOUTHWIND SPIRIT Big things expected from this $105,000 Lexington-Select yearling. Looks the part on the racetrack, too. Lookout!
4 MUSCLESPRINCTONIAN Homebred hasn’t skipped a beat since stepping onto the track. Needs to break that 2:00 mile now. Player.
5 BEFORE I DIE Nice winning effort last out from this $25,000 Lexington-Select yearling. Love the improvement he is showing. Contender.
6 HOT TYPE Homebred is progressing, but this race is going to be faster than 2:00. Will need to take a big step forward to contend.
7 TIME N TIDE $40,000 Harrisburg yearling has not made the big move that we so often see from Schnittker trainees. Watching this time.
8 ANGELS RANSOM Homebred made a giant leap forward in his 2nd start and has gone faster than most of these. Intriguing player.
9 MARZIPAN Like the improved speed and end-result this Hombred showed in his 2nd start. Ignore this barn at your own risk as well.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-2-7
H Horse Comment
1 MISS SAND CREEK The last time she appeared at this level, she was bet down to 4/5 and romped. Not crazy to think she can do it again.
2 CAROLINES CULLEN N Continues to race very well but is still searching for that elusive 2013 victory. Looms an exotics contender again.
3 SUPERSTAR DREAM Mare has had a nice little season and she can jump up with a big mile anytime. Still, not sold on the win end.
4 SIR LB’S Z TAM I like how this mare looks in this spot. Gets to stretch her legs out over the bigger track again. Should relish class drop.
5 IF I DIDN’T CARE That was a pretty good mile using old-style Tel Star sulkies at Tioga. Let’s see some early speed here now.
6 IHEARTQUESTIONMARK Decent try in her first start up here. Catches a pretty good group here though and will need to step things up.
7 CAROLSIDEAL Faltered as the favorite in that mini-series Final. I suppose we will see speed once again. She is a pace player and more.
8 JOANNIEHASAFANNY Form just has not progressed recently and with some sharp mares and class droppers, she appears in tough.
9 MY IDEAL Not a terrible effort last time where she saved ground and was able to earn a check. I think she will need to be better here.
10 MATT’S SMOKIN LIL Doesn’t pack any early speed which makes this outside draw rather imposing. Appears up against it this time.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-2-9
H Horse Comment
1 ASHES CASH Has gotten on quite a roll lately, but he is going to get a real test for class now. Might be ready to take a big step forward.
2 MY MAN CAN Was on The Hambletonian Radar following his 2YO season, but his 3YO season has been a little shaky. Plenty of talent.
3 SPIDER BLUE CHIP This gelding is starting to put things together and I liked his last effort behind a nice trotter. Plenty to like here.
4 MUSCLE MOUNTAIN Raced very well in the NJSS but I am a little perplexed by that most recent effort. Another colt with a lot of ability.
5 HANDOVER BELLE Did enough to earn a minor award behind the best 3YO filly trotter on the planet. This filly has quite a bit of talent.
6 AMERICAN LASSIE Better effort last time but this is quite a step up from the bottom level at Pocono. Looms the longshot of this group.
7 SILVER CREDIT Chased a budding star in E L Rocket last time. This isn’t exactly a soft spot either. Inclined to use underneath in here.
8 HALL OF MUSCLES Broke through with a better performance last time, but this field came up tough. He did earn over $100,000 as a 2YO.
9 CREATINE Another highly thought of prospect has run into trouble his last pair of starts. Needs to stay close from the onset. Tough call.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-6-7
H Horse Comment
1 MCTHIRD DIMENSION Improved effort last time , but she now has to move up to this much tougher nw3 event. Hard to endorse here.
2 POWERPACK HANOVER Is she ready off the one qualifier? Hard to be sure. What I do know, this is the most talented filly in this field.
3 ALL PERFECT Added Lasix last time and loomed boldly before flattening out in the stretch. She was in the race more. Might offer more.
4 JK LETITGO She is better than her last pair of starts indicate and she gets Tetrick back for this start. Should be ready for a better effort.
5 TRUE REFLECTION When she catches the right group, she is dangerous. She was all out to hold off #1 last time who was 35-1.
6 SOLID QUEEN Nice mile last time and I think she is cycling back forward. Could be sitting on a better effort in this event. A contender.
7 LIZ’S LIL K K Burnt some cash last time as the beaten favorite at 4/5. Still, she has been racing better and cannot be dismissed here.
8 FRIENDSNHEARTBEAT A pair of just even tries off the qualifier and she will need to be better than that to contend in here.
9 IDEAL A LITTLE Shows a win against a field that on paper is weaker than this. Note her efforts here against softer were marginal.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 APPOMATTOX Ran into a buzz-saw last time in E L Rocket. This field isn’t exactly easy though and he will need his best to contend here.
2 PILATUS Was sent off a 3/5 favorite at Philly last time but tired badly in the stretch. This race is tougher so I will look elsewhere for the win.
3 KENDA She sparked a Pick 4 carryover last week with what was a shocking upset. The water gets deeper here. Price will still be there.
4 LOVELY VACATION Moves to the Surick barn and that qualifier was visually impressive. Still, she didn’t beat much in there. Tricky read.
5 LEXIS AMIGO He has talent and this looks like a field he can really jump up and perform well. Perfect draw. Expecting a bigger effort.
6 ELLEN’S ISLE No shame in qualifying behind what appears to be the best trotter in training right now. Plenty of back-class to this mare.
7 MONEY ON MY MIND He is still getting his 4YO legs under him and remember, he went some good miles last year. Things to like.
8 ANOTHER AMARETTO That TVG series is the best trotters in the world, so don’t be too hard on him. This is a more realistic spot.
9 SWAN IN A MILLION Always respected this guy as he can jump up with a strong showing from time to time. His qualifier was OK.
10 SUMMER INDIAN A very fast trotter, but he makes too many breaks for my liking. Post 10 won’t help. I will be watching this time around.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 7-9-8-6
H Horse Comment
1 DELIGHTFUL DIVA Kicks off a great betting race as this mare has been facing some tough mares lately. Owns some big miles here.
2 ARIANE HANOVER Made 2 moves last week and was able to pounce late to win. That said, she is moving up against a tougher group.
3 GORDYS FILLY YENTA She didn’t really get involved last time and that 1 for 17 mark doesn’t bode well in this field. Not sold here.
4 EIGHTHUNRDOLARBILL She raced better last time on the class drop, but this field is a bit tougher so I am going to side with others.
5 DREAM’S BAR She never gets bet, so if you like her, you know you will get a price. Getting some class relief as well. Leave in the mix.
6 MAJOR LOOK Disappointed last time as the 7/5 favorite, but this race isn’t likely to go sub-1:50. Looms a prime win contender this time.
7 BEST BOSS She has raced herself back into shape and if she works out a trip, I can see her rolling off cover in here. Looks like a player.
8 RAMONA DISOMMA Her form has gone in the wrong direction, but this is her first start not against Open mares in quite some time.
9 ABROKENART HANOVER That was a big mile behind Bullet Point last time. If Gingras can utilize her speed, no reason she can’t contend.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-9-7
H Horse Comment
1 BEAU JOE Disappointed last time as he was not able to build on his Meadowlands debut. This field is substantially tougher. Not for me.
2 PEGASUS BLUE CHIP He took a ton of action and raced well, but was beaten by a 55-1 longshot. Still, he figures to be a contender.
3 BUZZ BOMB Did get stung a bit to the quarter, but his last race has to be considered a disappointment. Looking elsewhere for the win.
4 VAPORTSTAR Missed by a nose with Harmon in the bike. The move to Tetrick will attract plenty of attention and he may be overbet now.
5 HELIOS Here is your race favorite as he drops down to the C-2 level for the first time. On paper, he just looks like the fastest horse.
6 LUCKYCHARM HANOVER Connections had high hopes for this guy, but he has run into a few soundness issues. Begins the road back.
7 FOUNTAINBLEAU VOLO He is making strides and seems to be improving. Still, that 0 for 18 will keep me away from him on top.
8 YOZHIK Making his first start back in 6 months. He had a big season in 2012, but I am inclined to watch a start at this point.
9 CAMERON CHIP Exits the same race as Helios and wasn’t far behind. So if you like Helios, why not this mare as well? Looms a player.
10 CAPTAIN PRIMEAU Seems to be on the improve, but his lack of early speed is a concern. I don’t think he can pass them all here.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-9-5
H Horse Comment
1 MUSCLECAR MAN Interesting to see this $6,500 Harrisburg yearling changing barns already. Coming off a miscue, I’ll look elsewhere.
2 SKATES N PLATES Like the improvement this Homebred showed in his 2nd baby race. Expect more forward progress in this spot.
3 GREAT SOCIETY This $50,000 Lexington-Select yearling is akin to multiple winners and has looked great on the racetrack. Major player.
4 CHOCOLATE DAY Team Miller appears to have a few potential “bargain” babies and this $17,000 Lexington-Select yearling is one.
5 HILL I AM Only one baby race for this Homebred, but it was a good one. Campbell did opt elsewhere, but this colt has some upside.
6 GANGIO Don’t see too many $13,000 Harrisburg yearling purchases for these connections. Aggressively driven in his one baby race.
7 QUICKWIT Like the progress he is showing. He is highly thought of as a $100,000 Lexington-Select yearling. A kin to some good ones.
8 KING CITY $52,000 Lexington-Select yearling has been OK so far. Dam won the Hambletonian Oaks. Should have a bright future.
9 MUSCLE ON IN Looks pretty good for a $15,000 Harrisburg yearling. Like the Campbell has opted here. Lots to like with this colt.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 7-6-5-9
H Horse Comment
1 SAY IT’S TRUE Qualifying form was not sharp which was followed up by a sub-par effort. Appears up against it once again.
2 FLOWING JAMES That was an even try against what was a comparable group. Tetrick’s choice is likely to show speed. Exotics player.
3 BELLA’S SPUNKYPUNK Form has been pretty solid, but he will need to go faster. This is also a 3YO facing older. May be in tough.
4 POINTE OF HONOUR Gelding has been facing better, but his recent form has not been sharp. Backers must hope for a drop and pop.
5 SOME LIKE IT HOT Raced well in his previous try at this level but has not raced in 3 weeks. That said, this mare looks tough on paper.
6 TIPSTER Raced very well off a substantial layoff in that last start. Hasn’t won in a long time, but he figures to be even better this time.
7 MERRY MAIDEN Solid try last time in her first start off a 6 month layoff. Mare seems to be heading in the right direction. Things to like.
8 CULTURED PEARL Just 1 for 15 record this year and showed a good race at this level recently. Might offer good value to believers.
9 REGION HALL Seems to have responded to the Lasix and is on the improve. Beaten favorite from last time, won’t be favored here.
10 KRISTINS VICTORY Doesn’t pack any early speed and will likely have to come from last. Don’t see that working out here.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 6-3-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 SAM SWIFTY This Canadian shippers have been hit or miss and that last race was against tougher. Looks like a prime contender in here.
2 CHARTREUSE HANOVER Recent form has gone in the wrong direction, but this field isn’t that tough on paper. Using on bottom of tickets.
3 GE’S JODY Following that last mile, she looks like an obvious contender in this field. She also owns 5 wins this year. Lots to like now.
4 FRUUPPTI Qualifier form just hasn’t been there and this mare hasn’t won in a long time. Looks like the longshot of the field.
5 RAIDERS FAVORITE Yet to race back to that mile of May 31st and based on her subsequent starts, I cannot recommend at this time.
6 BLACKJACK PRINCESS Here is a mare with a ton of back class dropping down to a level that she should be very competitive in.
7 I LUV IT Shows a win against softer at Freehold, but I question her ability at this level. She will need her very best to be competitive.
8 SHAYNA BABY Her last two efforts are almost too bad to be true. Time to take her back and try to make one big move in the stretch.
9 LIGHT OF DAY This is a 3YO filly going up against holder in a race that looks very top heavy. Not sold on the win, but she can earn a part.
10 K J HANNAH Her form has been just even lately and from this post without a ton of early speed, I will be looking elsewhere this time.