• Week Of 6/30 - 7/6
  • SU30
  • MO1
  • TU2
  • WE3
  • TH4
  • FR05
  • SA06
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, July 05, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-5-1
H Horse Comment
1 VINTAGE OAKS Stayed flat with the addition of trotting hobbles last time. Winner of that mile could be a Hambo contender. Some upside.
1A MISS STEELE Good insurance policy to her entry-mate as she has improved since the addition of Lasix. Granted, this field is tougher.
2 SINA Not sure she can trot in under 1:54 and that is what it will take to win this race. Will need to build off her lifetime best in this group.
3 SHARED PAST NJSS Champion just caught a monster at Mohawk in The Elegant Image. This is a softer bunch and she will be tough.
4 MA CHERE HALL Back to back strong tries to start her season and she finished a neck behind a Hambo contender in E L Rocket. I like.
5 TRUE DAY DREAM This is a quality filly that likes to win. She packs major speed and has won here several times. Another contender.
6 KIJAFA Looms the longshot of the field as she is making her first start of the year and has not trotted fast enough to win this race.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 MISTERY WOMAN This filly has come back strong and is on the Road to the Hambo Oaks. Racing quite well and is a major contender.
2 RARING TO GO S I still cannot believe we got 11-1 on her last week. She has an explosive kick and loves the long stretch here. Player.
3 VIDA DE VIE She was a cut below the best in the New Jersey Sire Stakes and her last pair of starts are not particularly encouraging.
4 ALSTON HALL She is steadily improving, but is also taking a quantum leap in class in here. Would be a real surprise to see her win this.
5 TO DREAM ON Sad to say she just has not made the transition from 2 to 3. Has added trotting hobbles this year and needs to rebound.
6 PERFECT ALLIANCE Never made the gate last week and that is back to back miscues as well. Can earn a minor award if she trots.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 6-9-10-7
H Horse Comment
1 SAXINTHECITY Coming off a sick scratch and a break so that is a bad start. If she stays trotting, she will need to stay closer and tow along.
2 ICY CHISEL Can he trot fast enough? He hasn’t shown a mile fast enough to win this as of yet and is coming off a miscue. Must rebound.
3 NANTICOKE HANOVER Only 2 lifetime starts under her belt and is yet to earn a check. Filly appears to be up against it at this time.
4 CRAZELYN She has speed, that is for sure, but her stamina must be questioned. I don’t see her taking this field wire to wire.
5 MERGATROID Added Lasix last time and she posted her slowest final quarter to date. Off that, I cannot consider her a contender here.
6 ALL TROT Nothing wrong with that first effort off the bench as he responded to Lasix nicely. Gelding figures to be a major factor in here.
7 TAKE ONE MORE LOOK Tote board could tell the tale here as he was a different horse in his 3YO debut. Moves to the Drolet barn also.
8 CLEMENTINE DREAM A pair of decent qualifiers at Gaitway and she doesn’t catch the strongest field here. Perhaps a minor award.
9 TO THE GOOD LIFE Aggressively handled last time and he was much better. Granted, he is 0 for 7, but he seems to be on the improve.
10 LIGHTNING POWER Disappointed as the 3/5 betting choice last time, but raced better. The draw hurts and I will try to beat him on top.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-1-2
H Horse Comment
1 IHEARTQUESTIONMARK Mare was just never in the race last time, and this field isn’t pacing in 1:50. Worth a second look in here.
2 SMOKE PAN MIRRORS It appears she soured with the move up in class, but raced better on the drop last time. She fits in this field.
3 SUPERSTAR DREAM While she was 2nd last week, I feel like if you ran that race 5 times, 5 different horses would have been 2nd. Not sold.
4 HOW ‘BOUT A SMOOCH She is rather unpredictable and seems to show up with better efforts when you don’t expect it. Tricky call now.
5 LIGHT OF DAY She showed good speed on both ends of the mile last time and has consistently raced well here. Looks like a contender.
6 HOT BEACH GIRL Mare just has not been able to bring her Rosecroft form to the bigger track. Looms a longshot once again.
7 MATT’S SMOKIN LIL Not a terrible effort from post 10 last time but she will need to stay closer and finish better. Up against it.
8 ARIANE HANOVER Moves back down to the level of her most recent win, a race that produced a next-out winner, too. Logical contender.
9 JARNAC Shows a good race 2 starts back. But she also needs to be able to stay closer early in the mile. Arrives late on the scene, if at all.
10 SAD STORY Last couple of starts have not been particularly sharp and her lack of early speed is also a concern. Not for me.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 10-5-1-2
H Horse Comment
1 WELL BUILT ($30,000 – LEX-SEL) Nice effort behind a very impressive colt in Southwind Spirit. Continues to show solid improvement.
2 ANGELS RANSOM (Homebred) Exits the same race as Well Built and was not far behind that foe. I think these two colts go hand in hand.
3 SKATES N PLATES (Homebred) Did not make much of an impact upon his debut and he will need to show rapid improvement here.
4 MARZIPAN (Homebred) Tried to rough it first over and it was a bit too much to ask. I could easily see him improving a bit with a trip.
5 HILL I AM (Homebred) Son of Muscle Hill looked awfully good in his first start and there is very little not to like about him. Major contender.
6 CHOCOLATE DAY ($17,000 – LEX-SEL) Consistent sort for sure. He chased Hill I Am all around the track last week. Must improve a bit.
7 RAGAZZO DOLCE (Homebred) His breeding speaks for itself, but he is developing slowly. He will need to take a step forward in this spot.
8 CLIMB HIGHER ($6,000 – LEX-SEL) While he raced much better last time, make note that was a slower mile. He’ll need more in here.
9 MUSCLESPRINCTONIAN (Homebred) Colt was just even last time out while taking some play. Figures to be a little bit better here.
10 QUIKWIT ($100,000 – LEX-SEL) I really liked how he was finishing last week. There is talent here and the price should be decent, too.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 9-7-10-6
H Horse Comment
1 GO TAPAIGH Which gelding shows up? That is always a tricky question with him, but I do caution believers, he is facing a salty bunch.
2 SWAN IN A MILLION He did trot a faster mile last time, but he was still well-beaten and I need to see him stay closer to consider.
3 WALLTOCOUSINS He won at a level that was a notch below this when last seen here. This field is tougher. Qualifier was just OK.
4 LOVELY VACATION Things did not work out last time and I think she is in even tougher this time around. I will be looking elsewhere.
5 ZUEREST He typically shows good speed here and Poliseno is having the meet of his career. He is a pace factor, at the very least.
6 ELLEN’S ISLE Not a bad race off the four week layoff and she figures to build off that mile here. Could offer a decent price this time, too.
7 ANOTHER AMARETTO He is very sharp right now and when he races at the right level, he proves to be tough. Hard to dismiss again.
8 TEMPLE OF DOOM He is a logical contender in here as he raced well against similar when last seen. Figures to be a factor once again.
9 FROM ABOVE Continues to race very well and I think he is better on the bigger track. Figures to be rolling late and should be in the mix.
10 ICE MACHINE It wasn’t too long ago when he was one of the best trotters around. Perhaps his last effort is a sign his form is returning.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-3-10-8
H Horse Comment
1 BEST BOSS Just didn’t stay close enough last time, which is something we have seen before with her. Perhaps she will stay closer here.
2 DELIGHTFUL DIVA Pulled first over and did enough to earn a check last time. If she can improve off that mile she can earn a piece.
3 MIKELEH Making her first start back off a six-month layoff and qualified with a big rally. She wouldn’t shock me in this field. I am using.
4 RAMONA DISOMMA Took a big class drop last time and it didn’t seem to help much. She is just not in very good form right now.
5 EIGHTHUNRDOLARBILL Last pair of starts have been better and she seems to be turning the corner. Could hit the board in this field.
6 BIJOU THEATER We have seen horses make the transition from the Open at Saratoga to this level successfully. Looms a contender.
7 SHAKER REI Mare continues to race well, but is making a move up the class ladder here. Will need her best effort to date to win this.
8 LIZ’S LIL K K She is also quite sharp right now and she is facing her toughest field in some time. She will be closing through the stretch.
9 SWEET HEDGE The drop in class certainly helped and she is coming out of a very fast mile. Likely to see speed once again. Player.
10 ABROKENART HANOVER Very sharp mare has the speed to overcome the draw and continues to race well. Using once again.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 4-10-7-8
H Horse Comment
1 BEFORE I DIE ($25,000 – LEX-SEL) That was an even effort in this gelding’s first start. Took some money and can be better here.
2 TIME N TIDE ($40,000 – HBG) Was not much of a factor last time out while sent off at 128-1. I need to see improvement here.
3 GREAT SOCIETY ($50,000 – LEX-SEL) Went on a wild gallop last time out as the 8/5 favorite. Will offer a much better price now.
4 SUMATRA ($9,000 – HBG) Flashed some good late trot in his debut and I liked what I saw in the stretch. Absolutely worth including now.
5 KING CITY ($52,000 – LEX-SEL) That was a brave first over trip and I admire the fact that he held on for a share. Worth using in gimmicks.
6 MUSCLE MIDAS ($300,000 – LEX-SEL) Very expensive yearling purchase has been making slow and steady progress. In tough here.
7 MUSCLE ON IN ($15,000 – HBG) Not a bad try in his first start and if he can improve off that effort, he can hit the ticket in this field.
8 FLACCO ($62,000 – HBG) Things to like from his first couple of tries in baby race action. Ignore these connections at your own risk.
9 CHERRY HILL PARK (No Sale Info) Not a bad first try, although I would have liked to have seen him finish the mile better. Watch one.
10 SOUTHWIND SPIRIT ($105,000 – LEX-SEL) Big good-looking son of Muscle Hill will be the chalk in here. Record speaks for itself.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 BLADE RUNNER Finished a well-beaten 2nd behind an overwhelming favorite last time. Appears to be a logical contender in this group.
2 CR FIXED ASSET Last pair of starts just don’t look too sharp and I need to see a rebound effort before I can recommend.
3 BIG PUFF DOGGIE His recent form doesn’t look too good on paper either and he will need to turn things around as well.
4 GO GO RAIDER Nice win last time and he certainly looks like he should be a handful on paper. Cannot leave off the tickets once again.
5 WILDRIDGE SAM Out-raced his odds last time and put forth a decent effort. Draws well and he is a win contender with the right trip.
6 GETONTHEWAY Finished right alongside Wildridge Sam and was flashing good late pace. Exotics contender should offer some value.
7 QUITE WESTERN Has not won in a long time and is now 2 for 58 lifetime. Just cannot endorse given his record at this time.
8 BENNS SUPERMAN Was facing better prior to the lame scratch, and Go Go Raider showed the drop in class works. Wouldn’t dismiss.
9 WON’TBEFOOLEDAGAIN He has been OK recently and while it is tough to expect a breakthrough winning effort, he can be used here.
10 L M XKR Doesn’t have the speed to overcome the post and he will likely be coming from last. I don’t see that working out here.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 DUSTY DIAMOND Pulled off quite the upset at 30-1 last time. This will be much tougher and he will need even more to win here.
2 PEGASUS BLUE CHIP Big rally to finish a solid 3rd last time out. Faces some similar foes here and has to be rated a contender again.
3 HELIOS Sat the pocket when he made an uncharacteristic break. I would draw a line through that effort and expect a better result here.
4 MARCUS BI It appears that his form really tailed off and I will need to see an improved effort before I can recommend him.
5 LUCKYCHARM HANOVER That was a great first start back and now he has the perfect post and figures to be a handful. Top contender.
6 CAMERON CHIP Blasted again and got tired this time. Gets some post relief and she is likely to race better this time. I am including.
7 POINTE OF HONOUR I think he is exiting the weaker of the C-2 events from last week. I might include on the bottom of some exotics.
8 VAPORSTAR Tetrick put him in the race and he just got tired. I think with a cover trip, he can find his way onto the ticket. Tough call.
9 CAPTAIN PRIMEAU He will have a lot of ground to make up and I am not sure he will pass enough horses to sneak into the exotics.
10 SILVER CREDIT Filly is coming out of a tough race, but is now a 3YO filly facing older, without speed, from post 10. Passing this time.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 CAVEAT EMPTOR Looked much better in that qualifier, but his tendency to break is a concern. He can contend, if he stays trotting.
2 CREATINE Solid try last week from a tough post and now catches a short field and draws inside. Looms a logical contender in here.
3 MUSCLE MOUNTAIN Not a bad mile and he was finishing with some interest. Will have to turn the tables on Creatine and Spider this time.
4 BANCO SOLO Connections believe him to be a Hambo contender. No mistakes allowed. Big effort will move him on to The Dancer.
5 SPIDER BLUE CHIP Was the beneficiary of a break last week, but he did fight back to win. I expect to see him on the lead from here.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 8-10-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 ERGO HANOVER Colt has talent, but he has not found his best stride yet this year. Needs to get things back on track quickly.
2 ARTHUR’S TURN Exits the trotting event with the sizzling fractions and he just couldn’t keep up. The pacesetter is back in here though!
3 BLUE DIAMONDS Was 30-1 last time when she made a break. Filly will need to trot much faster this time around to contend.
4 TORNADO Did not factor in The Survivor Series and he has not been able to regain his form of his most recent win. Must step it up!
5 ONLY IN MY DREAMS Getting some class relief from that tough nw4 at Pocono. Prior form was fairly solid. Things to like with this gelding.
6 TEAM SIX Made up considerable ground despite the break in stride last time. Looms a major contender off that big final quarter.
7 BAS HANOVER His form has been spotting, be he has some talent as well. If he stays trotting, I can see him in the mix for a minor award.
8 BIZZARO LINDY Antonacci calls on Tetrick to take the lines and perhaps they are ready to unleash this son of Crazed. Major contender.
9 DEWEY LANE Form just has not been there and he continues to appear overmatched at this level until form is improved.
10 DETOUR HANOVER The talent is clearly there. Now, if he can learn to control his speed, he will be a force to be reckoned with.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-6-3
H Horse Comment
1 BUZZ BOMB Recent form has not been sharp. Draws inside and he must try to stay closer and tow along for a share. Not sold.
2 BALTIMOR AS Has not brought his Saratoga form over to the bigger track and he, too, has not been sharp of late. Needs more.
3 CULTURED PEARL Last pair of starts have not been particularly strong, but prior to that he raced well. Wouldn’t shock me here.
4 ARMBRO ARISTOCRAT Now 13 and he has not won in quite some time. I will need to see a good race here before I can consider.
5 MERRY MAIDEN Caught a shuffle last week, but offered even trot when she was free. She can be better in this field. Top 3 candidate.
6 SIX GUN HALL Gets some class relief which can help in this field, but Tetrick did opt elsewhere. That said, he can hit the ticket.
7 TIPSTER Looks like the horse to beat off his last pair of starts and his price should reflect that. In line for his first win in quite a while.
8 FLOWING JAMES Disappointed when sent off at a ridiculous price of 9/5 last week. Price should be better. Using sparingly.
9 YOZHIK While he had to need that last start, it did not show me enough to merit consideration in this field. Looking elsewhere.
10 KRISTINS VICTORY Three straight starts from post 10 is not fair, but she rallied better last time. Arrives late on the scene, if at all.