• Week Of 7/14 - 7/20
  • 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, July 20, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 9-10-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 AREZZO HANOVER The good news is he stayed pacing last time. The bad news is he got beat 14 lengths. Note the barn change as well.
2 BERRY BERRY FAST He is going to have to make up about 10 lengths on First Impression in here. Figures to contend for a minor award.
3 L M XKR No shot in either of his last two starts, but if he can stay closer early, like he did before, he can contend for the bottom of exotics.
4 ALWAYS AN OPTIMIST Showed speed last time but slowed to a walk in the stretch. Now dropping in class, but that last mile concerns me.
5 ART’S JIMMY RAY Enters this off a decent qualifier and perhaps that can point him in the right direction. Might use sparingly in exotics.
6 MIGHTY ART Has not been bad at Saratoga earning checks at this level and if Ginsburg works out a trip, he probably does the same.
7 HE DA COOL MAN Well beaten in that last qualifier and I didn’t like his final quarter either. Prior effort wasn’t sharp too. Looking elsewhere.
8 IDEAL SMILE In pretty good form in New England, but this is a big step up in class. He has speed and will be a pace factor at least.
9 FIRST IMPRESSION Blew the doors off what I would deem a “soft” $10k claiming group. He is either 1st or 2nd here with Mambo outside.
10 MAMBO ITALIANO Miller had a tough call but opted here. Has the speed to overcome the post and is a logical contender again.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-1-10
H Horse Comment
1 JET AIRWAY ($36,000 – HBG) Sharp baby race last time. Was ambitiously spotted in an Ontario Sire Stakes before. Contender.
2 DRAGON WINGS (Homebred) Took a run at the NJSS, but it was too much. Catches a very tough field here. Needs more.
3 BELIEVEINTHESPIRIT ($50,000 – HBG) He was OK in his debut, but the Excelsior is a notch below the better NY horses.
4 ALWAYS B MIKI (Homebred) Really love this horse. He was a compelling winner last time. Good matchup with Ideal Magic.
5 BIG BOY DREAMS ($9,000 – MORRIS) Racing very well so far, but again he is exiting some softer company. Tested for class.
6 WELL KNOWN SNOB ($100,000 – LEX-SEL) Took a shot at a tough spot last time and it was too much. Needs to improve in here.
7 USEFUL HANOVER ($9,000 – HBG) Nice win in The Landmark. Still needs to go faster but this colt has some upside to him.
8 IDEAL MAGIC ($52,000 – LEX-SEL) Hard to be more impressive than this son of American Ideal. Hard to keep him out of the exacta.
9 RESPECTABLE DREAM ($20,000 – LEX-SEL) I never like to see breaks in a debut, but Buffalo is a tough place to start. Tough read.
10 HOLD ALL BETS ($20,000 –LEX-SEL) He has been pretty good in the morning and has speed as well. Likely chasing a minor award.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-9-10
H Horse Comment
1 ROCK N AHARD PLACE Faced a well-meant winner last time and he didn’t race badly. Draws inside, but catches a very tough group.
2 NATHANIEL B His last race was an improvement, but this field came up tough. He picked up smaller checks against lesser here before.
3 BETTOR’S JACKPOT Worth noting that he was 143-1 last week, so he did well to earn a check. This race will be even tougher.
4 ALEXA’S JACKPOT Lightly raced gelding got a vote of confidence from Allard opting here. He needs to stay closer to the pace tonight.
5 TALKING BLUES Chased Something Special last week and that was a good mile. He continues to race well and is a major contender.
6 MINDSET Once Meadowlands Pace hopeful is usually pretty tough in a spot like this. I think he gets a good challenge from ‘Blues here.
7 STALLONE BLUE CHIP Just was not a factor at all last time and was not Lachance’s choice. Still, coming out of tougher races. Maybe.
8 DRINKABILITY Really don’t like that last mile and he doesn’t seem to have the pop in the stretch to contend in this field.
9 UF ROCKIN DRAGON Shows good speed last time, which is his routine when he stays pacing. Will be a pace factor at the very least.
10 STIMULUS PLAN Made a break when 20/1 last time. That was a tough field and this colt has some ability. I will be using him underneath.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 1-6-3-10
H Horse Comment
1 DOUBLETROUBLE He was facing better when last seen here and is coming off two solid races. Gelding looms a logical factor in here.
2 ANDY BARAN Figures to show speed in here, but he has tailed off since The Caramore series began. Needs to turn things around.
3 DASH N Tried to do things on the front end at Yonkers and it just didn’t work. I expect a change back to closing tactics. Expect better.
4 DVCFLYINGFRENCHMAN Never really got involved in a tougher race last time. He figures to improve in his 2nd start off the bench.
5 URGENTLY Last try at Tioga doesn’t sit too well with me. Only shows one good mile in his last five starts. Looking elsewhere in here.
6 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE He has done well at this level in the past and usually offers a decent price. Last mile was tough. Has a chance.
7 MACHIN MUSIC Coming off a sick scratch and a four-week layoff. Usually, I want to see a start before I consider. Looking elsewhere.
8 STAND BY CAM He can be dangerous when he finds the right spot and he won here earlier this year. Interesting if he offers a price.
9 COOL RUNNINGS Raced much better last time, but I caution, that was a much softer bunch. I think this field will prove to be tougher.
10 HANG TEN Shows a couple of good tries from an outside post here. He doesn’t win often, but he can be used in gimmicks a bit.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 6-10-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 LET’S ROCK TOGETHER Kicks off a wide open race. Allard will likely have to protect position from here. Exits a strong race as well.
2 SOMEPLACE SPECIAL He looked very good last week and now steps up against tougher. A repeat of that effort makes him very tough.
3 ROCKS N BONDS Raced well in The Survivor but his last start was not as sharp. Exits the same race as ‘Let’s Rock, but has to improve.
4 ROCKAHOLIC He has been picking up checks for the most part, but his last mile was not as strong. He will need to step it up here.
5 ALWAYS THERE Beat a horse with a future last time, so that is promising and he adds a lot of depth to a very tough race. A contender.
6 VISA VIPER He was just OK last time in that tough condition event. If he works out a trip, maybe he can clunk up for a share of this.
7 SLY RULER A Couple of even tries at Yonkers, although this particular field looks stronger than what he has been facing. Needs more.
8 ROCKY MOUNTAIN GUY Winner of that last mile picked up a solid check in The Meadowlands Pace. A major contender in this field.
9 A BETTOR WORLD He has raced well here in the past, but his form has not been as sharp lately. He needs to turn things around.
10 OLDE TIME HOCKEY Looks like he is heading for the NYSS championship in the fall. Last time at this level, he dominated. Contender.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 6-3-9-10
H Horse Comment
1 LOVE N LINDY Exits a qualifier that was 2/5th’s of a second off a world record. Things don’t get much easier in this very tough field.
2 D’ORSAY Was an also-ran in The Miss Versatility last time, but was a winner the race before that. Shows a mixed bag of efforts.
3 REAL BABE Continues to race well this year and it probably just a slight step behind the best of this division. Must be included in exotics.
4 BLUFF This mare has really sharpened up lately so Trond will be taking a shot in this series. Gets a major test for class, but she is sharp!
5 WIN MISSY B I am hoping that she just needed that start because this is a high-quality filly. I expect her to be better this time around.
6 MAVEN While that wasn’t her most brilliant win last week, it was one of her most courageous. Refused to lose. Leader of the pack so far.
7 COWGIRL HALL She has been racing well lately, but this is a whole new ballgame. She did make over $350,000 last year. Watching one.
8 LOVELY VACATION Her last couple of starts have not been up to par and this field is incredibly tough. Looks like the longshot here.
9 PERSONAL STYLE I thought she was a winner last week, but she just could not get by the top-2. She has gotten back to her best form.
10 CHECK ME OUT She was very rough in her last qualifier and this being her first start, from post 10, I expect she needs this start.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-7-1
H Horse Comment
1 LONG LIVE ROCK Faces several of the same foes from one week ago. He raced well in that spot after being parked to the ¼. A Chance.
2 GAMBLER’S TALE Moving down the class ladder just a bit and falls at the level between his last 2 starts. Looks like a fringe player here.
3 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE Continues to give a mixed bag of efforts. It appeared he had some pace last week and can be there with a trip.
4 NEXT FLIGHT Loved him last week as he defeated a much softer group. This will be substantially tougher. Not taking a short price.
5 ON THE RADAR Never saw the pylons as that was a big mile last week. Draws well and Parker has options from here. Obvious contender.
6 ROCKNROLL JEWEL Continues to race very well and really out-raced his odds last time as well. Yet another contender in a great race.
7 DAMON BLUE CHIP Tough beat last time, but he raced very well. Burke will not be ignored here and he is a key contender here as well.
8 PRINCE SHARKA Coming out of two fast miles, but it was against softer. He did not fare as well at this level, but he can’t be ignored!
9 CAPTAIN WEBBER N Burnt some cash down at Harrington and has the widest draw here so I think he is up against it from here.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 4-7-1-10
H Horse Comment
1 BLUE STRIKE Not a bad effort last time at this level and he moves way inside here. Will likely sit closer early and will be a factor.
2 HE’S A BEACHBOY Backed up considerably last time which is a concern. He seems to have tailed off since his most recent win.
3 BRANDON’S COLT His last couple of starts were OK, but he is still not showing enough to merit consideration for the win.
4 PALM’S BEACH Failed to put together back to back good efforts last time. He is a candidate to turn things around. Will show speed.
5 TY’S A BIG STAR Recent form has not been sharp and despite drawing well, I will be looking elsewhere in this field for the winner.
6 GET JAZZED Those $25,000 Claimers at Saratoga can be tough and it looks like he should enjoy the longer stretch here. Maybe.
7 FREDDY DAY HANOVER Holds a class edge over many of these and I won’t hold the break at Yonkers against him too much. Player.
8 KISS MY ART He is always a question mark as he can make a break at any time. He will likely be coming from far back again.
9 CC RACY Recent form has been dull and his lack of speed is a problem given his outside post. Not sold on his chances this time.
10 CHEYENNE REIDER His most recent races have been pretty good, but keep in mind, he is 0 for 11 on the year. Using underneath.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-8-6
H Horse Comment
1 CULLENS BLUE JEAN See how First Impression did earlier in the card. Had to need that start off a four week rest. Can improve now.
2 IDEAL DANNY Just 1 for 19 so far this year, but his last race was a slight improvement. Has a chance to contend for a minor award.
3 DR ALFONSO Form has been dull and he has just 1 win in the last two years. I will be looking elsewhere for the winner.
4 WILDRIDGE SAM Was not able to duplicate his start at 41-1 last time. So which horse shows up this time? Still will be a longshot.
5 BENNS SUPERMAN Was a well-meant winner last time and pulled away impressively. Should work out a good trip here. Logical player.
6 BLADE RUNNER Seems to fit well at this $10,000 level right now and his form seems to be coming back around. Looms a contender.
7 GRATIAS DEO Has been struggling at the non-winners of 2 level and his recent form is suspect. Will need to step it up from here.
8 GO GO RAIDER Three of his last four starts have been good. He fits well at this level. Just 1 for 18 on the year. Logical contender.
9 CR FIXED ASSET Beaten over 35 lengths in his last 3 starts. That doesn’t bode well for this spot. Retains his longshot status.
10 WON’TBEFOOLEDAGAIN Made an aggressive move to the front last week, but the result was the same. Looking for a minor award.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-5-9-10
H Horse Comment
1 BETTOR’S CHOICE Tough to get a good gauge on the move form a nw5 to this spot. Form has been OK. Always offers a price.
2 POP A TOP POP That was a good runner-up try two starts back, but what happened last time? Needs to bounce back in here.
3 CASIMIR CAMOTION The 13YO veteran just has not been in good form recently and it would take a reversal to contend here.
4 OSCAR OSCAR There was a time, like Casimir that he would be 1-9 in this field. Changes barns yet again. Needs another turnaround.
5 KAUFMAN HANOVER Faced better than these in each of his last two starts. His prior pair of efforts make him a logical contender.
6 WHITTAKER He has done well to earn minor checks in the his last few starts. Still thing a win may be a bit of a stretch this time around.
7 SEEK THE DRAGON Added Lasix last time and he passed a few in the stretch. He will need to stay closer in this group to contend.
8 HIGHLAND TERRIFIC That last field was tougher than this and I think he is worth a very long look in this field. A major contender here.
9 CORKY BARAN Getting some solid class relief and he has a very good history here. Needs to find some speed but he can win this.
10 THANKS FOR STOPPIN He also is getting some class relief this time and will need to get away from the gate quickly. A contender.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-7-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 A COOL CARD There is nothing to knock about this horse, but he catches a very tough field. Likely to get away near the back in here.
2 LETTHEROCKBEGIN When he finds the right spot, he can be very dangerous. This doesn’t look like that kind of spot. Needs best.
3 ALED HANOVER He has tailed off in his last pair of starts, but if he can race back to his previous form, he can contend in this field.
4 BOLERO ANDREW This horse continues to roll along and he raced well at this level a couple of starts back. He is a major contender.
5 ALL SPEED HANOVER Continues to knock on the door, but he is still 0 for 6 to start the season. Needs a bit more to break through.
6 ERLE DALE N He was finishing very nicely behind some very good horses last time. Expect him to be a major contender here.
7 IDEAL CHAMP Strong effort last time and he is quite sharp right now. This was Lachance’s choice. He has speed and is racing well.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 10-7-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 ALLAMERICAN APACHE That Jackpot series is pretty tough at Yonkers. I think he fits at this level. He draws well and can be a factor.
2 ALLAMERICAN CHIEF He hasn’t hit the board in 12 starts this year and I haven’t seen a sign of a form reversal coming yet.
3 BOBJACKS ANGLE A He continues to race well and this is the right level for him. Needs to stay a little bit closer. Should be a late factor.
4 GIANT SCULPTURE He is a bit of a wild card in here, showing just one start since shipping in from the Midwest. Could be in tough.
5 CSARDAS He seems to have tailed off around a sick scratch. I will need to see a solid sign of improvement before I can consider.
6 LITTLE GOLD RING Slid down the class ladder, but it did not seem to make much of an impact. This should be a good spot for him.
7 RELENTLESS DREAMER He is a slow starter, but with this drop in class, he looks the best on paper. Maybe Lachance gets aggressive.
8 UPFRONT COSMO Exits The Jackpot series as well, but his outside draw and lack of speed are a concern. I will be looking elsewhere.
9 CORAL SNAKE That last start does not bode well, considering the addition of Lasix. I need to see him finish his miles better.
10 MR DENNIS He won the Exit 16W series this winter. But, this does not appear to be the same horse. That said, he still fits with these.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-9-7-8
H Horse Comment
1 YUMA HANOVER Has not been racing well at this level at Philly and has not won in over two years. Not the recipe I look for.
2 LIFESONG Lachance was named but isn’t sticking around for the race. I think that is an important handicapping tool for this event.
3 MOMMA’S ARTIST He is also looking for his first win of the season and his recent form has been rather dull. Not sold on his chances.
4 REIGNING DRAGON Raced well at Pocono a couple of starts back, but this horse is 1 for 50 lifetime. I cannot recommend on top.
5 MACH MY WORD He is sharp, but he is also making a move up the class ladder. Still, his recent form is an important factor in here.
6 COMICAL STAR A Still on the road back following a 7 month layoff. He was more involved last time. Might be able to hit the super ticket.
7 BIG PUFF DOGGIE He raced well at this level two starts back so there are some angles to look for. Not without a chance this time.
8 FRESH DREAM He was better last time, but he was still beaten a dozen lengths. In this field, he can build on that mile. A contender.
9 MICHAEL’S MARVEL Two of his last three starts at this level have been solid and I think that makes him a favorite in here. Using.
10 MASTERMAKER He has been off for over a month and his form prior to that was not strong. Post 10 won’t help this slow starter.