• Week Of 1/6 - 1/12
  • SU6
  • MO7
  • TU8
  • WE9
  • TH10
  • FR11
  • SA12
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, January 11, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 8-4-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 VODKA IS TERROR Was on a nice streak until making an uncharacteristic break last time. Note, he was favored in that spot. Rebounds.
2 UPFRONT TICKET He just was never a factor in his first start of the meet. I think he is better than that. Still, he needs to improve.
3 KINGS POINT GRAD Last pair of starts were an improvement, but this is a whole new ballgame. Likely battles for a minor award.
4 BESTJETYET I was impressed with his first start back off the substantial layoff. If he can build off that effort, he is a legitimate contender.
5 STAR CHASER He has an awful lot of speed for Burke. The connections are likely to take plenty of money. Can he go wire to wire here?
6 EL BRAVO Going from a $10,000 claimer to this is just about as big a class drop there is. Longshot would need to take a big move forward.
7 INTERVENTION Welcome to The Meadowlands, Marcus Miller. Horse’s first 2 starts off the layoff just don’t stack up. He needs to improve.
8 CONNERY BLUE CHIP This gelding has some serious ability and his driver is consistently improving. Needs a trip, but can win this.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-8-9
H Horse Comment
1 MY LAST TRI Things didn’t work out from that wide draw last time. From this point he can stay closer. Toss him on the bottom of exotics.
2 ONE THROUGH TEN Could he have looked any better last week? Dominated that group. He will be a deserving favorite in this series.
3 MY SUGAR DADDY Outraced his odds last time to earn a check. Waters get a bit deeper now in this hidden class hike. Will need more.
4 DEFYING GRAVITY Nothing wrong with the effort he put forth last time. Looks like the biggest threat to the favorite. Can he beat One?
5 PRINCE SHARKA The move from a C-1 to this series is a substantial class hike. In addition, he was just fair in the race. Needs a lot more.
6 ROCKWEILLER Raced well here at times last year when in the Burke barn. Hard to see him winning this off his defeat at Rosecroft.
7 EVERGREEN POWER Made a break last time, but like ‘Prince, this is a serious move up in class. Hard to recommend in this spot.
8 ETHAN HANOVER An astute claim as he was nominated to this series. The most interesting horse in the race can earn at least a share.
9 MAN HE CAN SKOOT Continues to get hit with outside draws. This gelding won 16 of 31 starts last year. That’s not easy to toss out.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 THE GREEN KNIGHT I actually liked him on 12/29 prior to the scratch. But this is much tougher on paper. He should offer a price here.
2 MR DENNIS Just never got involved last time from a wide draw. Connections were aiming for this spot. That mile on 12/16 stands out.
3 SHAWS CREEK BUFF He was 7/5 last time but ended up in an impossible spot. He has every right to be better here. Price will be better.
4 DIAL A WIN See how ‘Connery did in the first division. Qualifier was respectable. Not he was 25-1 against ‘Dennis on 12/16. Tricky read.
5 CEE PEE PANIC Showed plenty of early speed from post 10 last time. This is a perfect draw and Burke has a tightener under his belt.
6 ARTS IDEAL HANOVER Loomed up on the outside but then fell into a bad habit by going off-stride. He’s better than that. Rebounds.
7 VARSITY HANOVER Got aggressive from the widest draw and it didn’t pay off. Slightly better post, another tough field .Not sold here.
8 BIG RED Not a bad try in his last, but at the same time that’s not good enough to win this race. Must step it up from here. Tough spot.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 1-7-3-5
H Horse Comment
1 STRETCH LIMO Nice confidence builder last time. This is a step up in class though. He might be turning a corner. Could offer some value.
2 AS YA’LL LIKE IT Last pair of starts were a step back. Previous form was sharp, but against lesser than this. Not sure he’s at this level.
3 MACHO LINDY Not a bad try last time at this level. His prior efforts were against some pretty tough groups. He fits well in this spot.
4 STAND GUARD Taking the modest drop from B-1 to B-2. Not sure if he is exiting a strong heat. Winner of last was 5th in A-2 next out.
5 R SAM He looks like the longshot of the group given his last four starts. But I do caution, he likes this track and the turnaround will come.
6 RINGSIDE LAUREN Recent form has been rather dull. Mare has been all over the class ladder recently. She needs a form reversal.
7 MY LEAP OF FAITH He hasn’t won in some time, but his last start was better. Post 7 here is easier than at Philly. He can move forward.
8 DW’S NY YANK That was a big qualifier and the horse he beat was an impressive winner in his first start. Likely to take money here.
9 TASTY MAX He didn’t do that much in that qualifier and he will likely need a start to hit his best stride. Watching very closely in here.
10 REAL BABE Made almost $150k without a win last year. Runner-up from that Qualifier races Thursday, so keep tabs. Needs a start?
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-1-3
H Horse Comment
1 RINGO He has been on quite a roll in Delaware lately. He catches a really good division here. But he’s part of the depth in here. Contender.
2 YANKEE DOODLE JIM Not sure those miles on the half at Maywood stack up against this tough group. Feel he is up against it in this spot.
3 EYES ONLY FOR YOU Can’t knock any horse that has won 50% of his career starts. Winner from last was 2nd to ‘Cards next out. Player.
4 HOLDINGALLTHECARDS I thought he would win a bit easier. That being said, winning is winning. He will be very tough in this series.
5 ARTHUR That was a very nice qualifier and this gelding might be the value of the field. Buter has him primed and ready. He’s a force.
6 BULLET BOB He went some big miles here last year. Showed some improvement in his 2nd qualifier. Is he ready for this. Tricky call.
7 WHO DAT LOVE He wasn’t much of a factor in his first start of the meet. Race timed in 1:51, but his form has gone the wrong way.
8 TIGER IN THE TANK Good to see him finish in 27.4 in that qualifier. See how ‘Connery did in the first race. Not sure he is ready for this.
9 SCREEN THE CALL That’s a good looking qualifier at Dover. Runner-up was 0 for 20 in 2012 though. Is he ready off the long layoff?
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 EQUITY He had a very nice season. When at his best, he can compete at the Preferred/Winners Over level. Loved his last ¼ in that QUA.
2 LUCKY ROLL He was a bet-back for me. Caught traffic in the stretch but was motoring when free. He still might offer a bit of value here.
3 HARBOR POINT This is the wild card. He never seemed happy on the track last week. But if he rebounds, he can win this. Plenty of talent.
4 BAD BOY BILLY Another gelding that should offer some value in here. His lifetime mark came right here. He might work out a decent trip.
5 SPECULATION Another that I marked as a bet back off his belated rally last time to just miss. If he builds off that, he will be a factor again.
6 ROSE RUN HOOLIGAN Really didn’t see any excuse last week. Had perfect trip, just got outkicked by Ice Machine. Could be better now.
7 STIR ME UP It appears he has reached a level that is just too high. I will look for him when he drops to the B-1/B-2 level. Not yet.
8 CELTIC MERCHANT His qualifier was just fair and his form before the 2 weeks off was a bit flat. I am going to watch a race first.
9 WALDORF HALL Worked out a trip and pulled off the mild upset last time. He is not likely to get the same trip tonight. Use underneath.
10 CHICK N TELL Pulled off a 33-1 shocked last time. Now moves to post 10 and steps up. Positive driver change though. Mixed feelings.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-10-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 CUZ SHE CAN Enters this off a sick scratch and a tough trip from post 10. Moves inside but this level looks a bit high for her right now.
2 MOJARRA HANOVER Bongiorno got everything out of this mare to hold on last time. She is in peak form but this race is even tougher.
3 ARGUMENT HANOVER This mare had no chance from post 8 and then got hammered at the windows. She is in excellent form. Tough.
4 CHIEF KAREN Speaking of sharp, this mare is razor sharp. She doesn’t pack any gate speed, but she can find the outer flow from here.
5 MJ’S BID Roughed it first over last time. If Miller can work out a trip, this mare could reverse her misfortune from last time. Contender.
6 RHAPSODY ROSE She was aggressively steered last time and it didn’t pay off. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a change in tactics here.
7 ALL ABOUT KISSES This mare didn’t do much from a favorable draw last time and now moves outside. Hard to recommend this time.
8 RUB THING She was driven to the lead, but didn’t have anything left for the stretch drive. She will need to find more in a tougher spot.
9 QUEEN OF ROYALTY Chased the foe to her outside in that qualifier. She has some recent class in her lines and she wouldn’t be a shock.
10 MYSTICAL VICTRESS This mare has plenty of class to her and her form prior to her brief vacation was excellent. She will be a handful.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 SYNERGY SEELSTER Had just too far to come from a tough spot last time. She can stay closer from here and I expect improvement.
2 SHAKY HANOVER Gets some needed class relief, but her recent form is lacking. I need to see improvement before I can consider.
3 NITE GAMES Off a sick scratch a dull effort is not usually a combination I look to endorse. Watching this start looking for improvement.
4 GROUNDED Appeared overmatched last time so she is getting some necessary class relief. I might wait for a turnaround with her as well.
5 REILLY’S DAUGHTER I am going to take a shot with her. She loves this track and qualified behind a good one last time. The pick here.
6 SLEAZY DOES IT Took a tour of the track last time and was finishing up OK. I expect her to show some improvement. Interesting.
7 HONEY DO JIGTIME Coming off back to back wins at Dover where she was ignored at the windows. I think this is a step up. Watching.
8 DELIGHTFUL DIVA This mare has plenty of back class and her qualifier was pretty sharp as well. She likes this track too. Could be tough.
9 GO ON BB I believe this is her final lifetime start. She will need to work out a trip from here. Does she have one more big race in her?
10 ONE NIGHT Made a move to the lead but was just even paced in the stretch. Her effort from 12/28 makes her a contender in here. Tricky.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 JL ROCKIN JAKE Enters this off a break and a sick scratch. Hasn’t raced in over a month as well. I will want to watch at least one start.
2 SPICE IT UP LINDY Put forth a nice rally to just miss last time at this level. That was a good effort. No reason not to include in this spot.
3 LONG STORY SHORT Allard has a sharp horse here. Toss out the effort from post 8 at Yonkers and he hasn’t missed a beat. Using.
4 PROUD MOMENT Caught a bit of a shuffle last time. That was his first start over the track this year. Expecting an improved effort tonight.
5 REV IT NOW Geldings form tends to go in and out. Has a perfect post, but I think he will need to work out an ideal trip to earn a share.
6 FLASHY LADY I really liked her qualifier. She closed out her year at Saratoga quite well also. This is the perfect spot. She’s a handful.
7 MOHEGAN HANOVER Got to a level that he appreciated last time. I feel this a step up, but when Miller gets a trotter going, they stay good.
8 JON WIN Qualifier was good, but his racing record recently is rather sporadic. I am going to watch this one as Tetrick opted off here.
9 TSMLIL ORPHAN ANDY Defeated Jon Win in that qualifier with a perfect trip. Prior form was lacking a bit. Watching one here as well.
10 SHANTY IRISH Clearly her last qualifier was a step in the right direction. But off 4 months and from post 10, I think it’s best to wait a race.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-7-3-10
H Horse Comment
1 WESTERN TSUNAMI He had a bit of late pace last time and now slides inside in a congested field. Stays closer and he is a contender.
2 IMAGE OF DAWN The now 14YO millionaire kicks off his final year on the track and he is razor sharp. This is a class hike. Possibility.
3 POWER SURGE Keep an eye on this gelding because he had a bit of pace late in that mile last time. Improved effort wouldn’t shock me.
4 LADY’S BIG MAN Added Lasix last time and he finished a bit better. Now he steps up in class. I guess he would be a surprise now.
5 NF INDEPENDENCE Steps up in class off a dull effort when claimed. It’s hard to see him improving enough to consider in this spot.
6 FOUR STARZ ALEX His form seems to be trending in the wrong direction which is problematic. Watching carefully for improvement.
7 STORMIN RUSTLER He is stepping up in class, but he was very good on opening night. Tepid call as the favorite in a wide open field.
8 DREAMZZZZ R FOR U Earned his first win of the year in his final start. Perhaps he can start 2013 on a high note? Appears to be a player.
9 BETTERTHANLYNX He is sharp, but this is a much tougher spot than an optional $12,500 claimer at Monti. Think this is too tough.
10 WISHER Gingras has one way into this race, he has to leave. If he can find a spot early on, he has a chance despite the wide post.
11 TIME STOOD STILL He was very good two starts back, but then took a step back last time. He’ll be at the mercy of the trip from here.
12 YA GOTTA GO When he works out a trip he can find a way into it, but that seems a tall order from this spot in the second tier.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-8-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 FOX VALLEY SWIFT She was a bet back from last week as she seemed loaded with pace at the end of her mile. Tetrick’s choice. I like.
2 LOVE YOU BYE I liked her last effort and think she is pretty sharp right now. If Carlson can work out a trip, I can see her on the ticket.
3 RUNAWAY TRAY First of a few in here getting some class relief. That being said, she didn’t show me enough last time to play here.
4 SADIES PLACE She found herself in too tough of a spot last time. This race did come up tough, and am not sure it’s a real class drop.
5 GORDYYY’S PET Came from last to score last week at 24-1. Now she steps up. Likely will still offer a decent price. Repeat within reach.
6 HOSTESS LISA She was really disappointing last week as I thought she would race better than that. I need to see more from her now.
7 RUNAWAY ROSE This is a move up in class and I am not sure the two that beat her last time would fare too well in here. Standing against.
8 REAL RAVISHING Aggressively driven against tougher last time and it didn’t work. This is a softer spot. I could easily see a drop and pop.
9 MISS SAND CREEK Exits the same B-1 as ‘Ravishing and she raced OK in there. Don’t mind the time, track was a bit deeper on 12/28.
10 TYKESA MOON Second time Lasix last out and backed up. That concerns me. Connections always take play so I will look elsewhere.