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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 Thursday, January 24, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 9-2-8-1
H Horse Comment
1 DONATOPRINCESS Mare is making her first start in 15 months. She defeated ‘Action in that qualifier. Goes for top trainer. Is she ready?
2 TAKE IT TO NINE Put forth a great effort in Leg 1of the Super Bowl but then fell into a miscue last week. Her best will prove tough in here.
3 BALTIMOR AS Seems to have a new gear with the addition of Lasix. Recent form requires attention. Driver light on experience. Interesting.
4 HI PO AMAZING Just one qualifier to his credit. Winner of that event is one of the favorites in the Super Bowl Final. Likely watching one.
5 CLASSIFIED ACTION Hobbles seems to help keep him on stride in that qualifier. Still has been off for over 5 months. Mixed feelings.
6 BRISSOT Just 1 for 23 lifetime and seems to have a tendency to go off-stride. Recent form has not been particularly sharp either. Pass.
7 MAJESTIC SPLASH Took a shot at this level on 1-3 and was well-beaten. Last try at Buffalo doesn’t inspire me to wager. Longshot.
8 GOOD SOUND ADVICE Took money in both legs of the Super Bowl and was a disappointment. Just 1 for 32, but is a rebound candidate.
9 SOUTH JERSEY BUGSY Showed good speed in both tries in the Super Bowl. Feel his speed may carry him much farther here. Playing.
10 MARION MANHATTAN Has been off for 16 months and shows a series of mediocre qualifiers. That makes him a tough play for me.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-6-8
H Horse Comment
1 WILCOX He was awfully good in his first start off the layoff and this field might be even softer. Looms a very tough short priced favorite.
2 TERROR HIGH First time starter shows a pair of good qualifiers. His last was a bit better, so there is some improvement. Needs a start?
3 STALLONE BLUE CHIP Exits the same qualifier as ‘Terror, but has a bit more experience. Qualifier Report Grad had a big final ¼. Pick.
4 MR PRESLEY Showed a win last fall and was certainly better in that last qualifier. He might need a start, but I’m inclined to use him here.
5 A LIST He was disappointing last time when made a slight favorite. Has a right to improve in his 2nd start. Wouldn’t dismiss him just yet.
6 SEEK THE DRAGON Was asked to come from last while going 4-wide in his first start back. Clear candidate for improvement. I’m using.
7 GRACIE’S BOY Added Lasix in that qualifier and his last start, but I haven’t seen much improvement, if at all. Looks like a longshot here.
8 I DO HANOVER Barn has been hot to start the meet and his first start wasn’t bad. Is he ready to make up 5 lengths on Wilcox? Underneath.
9 OUTWARD BOUND Showed some decent races in Philly last year and like the sub-28 final ¼’s in those qualifiers. Bottom of the exotics?
10 NEWSPEAK Did not make any kind of impact in an identical spot last time. Hard to see how this is going to be any easier. Longshot.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 TOTALLY ADDICTIVE Not a bad qualifier at all and it might show that he is ready off the 4 week rest. One of many contenders in here.
2 AX MAN Made a break when taking some money last time. Turned things around in that qualifier. Which trotter shows up? Mixed feelings.
3 DOUBLE UP HANOVER Literally broke right on the wire last time. This gelding brings a lot of risk to the table. If he trots, he’s very tough.
4 NEW ZION Added Lasix and he showed up with a big effort last time. He is likely to be even better in this spot. Will be very tough in here.
5 PARTYATYOURPLACE He brings speed to the table and shows a very quick win at Yonkers. Not sure the longer stretch will help him.
6 JAILHOUSE ROCKIE Form at Saratoga has been just fair and he has been off for 5 weeks now. I need to see a start before I can play.
7 SAN REMO KOSMOS Classy 10YO has gone some pretty big miles here before. Effort from 12-13 puts him in the mix. Pros and cons.
8 LEAH’S EX Caught a shuffle last time but appeared to have trot in the stretch. He will need a better trip, but he can contend for the win.
9 JUSTA JERSEY BOY Showed speed last time and he just backed up throughout the mile. Hard to endorse off that performance.
10 TWIN B NAVIGATOR Exits the same qualifier as ‘Addictive, but was not as effective. Has been off for 5 months too. I need to see a start.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 7-1-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 BEACHFRONT Making his 2nd start off the layoff. There are no Wilcox’s in this group. He figures to be much better here. One to beat.
2 VAVOOMSTER See how the 2nd and 3rd place finishers from that qualifier did in Race 2. Just 1 for 31. I’m inclined to watch a start.
3 KREEFULL NIGHT Well beaten in that qualifier and his previous effort at this level was not particularly good. Appears up against it.
4 MILLENIUM WHEEL Gelding was not bad in his first start off the 5 week rest. He is a candidate to improve in this spot. Definitely using.
5 REAL FAR AHEAD Was not a factor in his last start when sent off at 163-1. Impossible to recommend off that effort. Longshot again.
6 BETTOR NOT MISS Daley not known for having them full cranked first out of the box. Qualifiers are just fair. Figures to need a start.
7 DHARMA INITIATIVE Showed speed in his first lifetime start. A clear candidate to improve this time. Exits same race as ‘Millenium. Pick.
8 ARC DE TRIUMPH Making his second start back off the layoff. He had to need that last start. He is a candidate to improve. Using.
9 HURRY UP AND WAIT Well beaten in a tough spot last time. Draws outside and doesn’t sport much form. I need to see another start.
10 WORLD CUP CULLEN Made what looked like a bold move in that qualifier, but the fractions were soft. Tricky read. I’m watching this time.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 PEBBLEBEACH DE VIE Well beaten by ‘Ginny in that qualifier. Came home in sub-28 both times, but were they tow-along quarters?
2 ROCKNROLL RHAPSODY Went on quite a run at Rosecroft but then got parked at Philly. Off 5 weeks. Looks like a dime-super saver.
3 IDEAL GINNY Miller off to a tough start on the meet. This filly has a lot of ability though. She is back on the track early. Short price looms.
4 LIZ’S LIL K K She could not have looked any better in that qualifier. Barn has been sharp. On paper, it’s a 2 horse race with ‘Ginny. Pick.
5 JUSTHAVENTMETUYET That last qualifier wasn’t terrible, but she has to make up a dozen lengths on ‘K K. That’s unlikely. Underneath?
6 SUMMER SUNLIGHT Seems to have gotten to a level too high at Monti. This spot isn’t going to be any easier either. Longshot.
7 MC GILLACUDY-HENRY Added Lasix last time, but put forth a similar effort. Just 1 for 26 lifetime and is hard to support on the win end.
8 SHARK LIGHTNING Seemed to be on the improve in Philly, but these two qualifiers are not what you want to see. Watching for now.
9 UP FRONT FOXY Well beaten in nw2 company at Yonkers. Doesn’t appear to have any speed and appears up against it from here.
10 CRAZY EIGHTS Connections stopped on her last summer, but it appears she has come back better. Watching very closely here.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 8-1-6-2
H Horse Comment
1 SKY TANTRUM Was gaining on the leaders last time and he looks awfully formidable in this spot. Expect an early move to the lead. Tough.
2 EAGLE ARTESIAN Likely had to need his first start back and is a candidate to improve here. Inclined to use in this spot at a price.
3 SHOWTIME SHARK Has not been sharp lately and it’s hard to predict a turnaround in this spot. I will continue to watch for the time being.
4 JL’S MAN OF ACTION Toss out the last start, he still hasn’t made many starts in the past 2 years. I need to see some improvement.
5 TERRYS STAR DRAGON Showed speed on the class drop last time but tired in the stretch. Hasn’t won in a while. Pace factor in here.
6 BUTN YOUR SHIRT ED Did not make much of an impact last time, but really didn’t have a chance. Gets a big driver change here too.
7 GET DOWN TONIGHT Recent form has been dull. He does return to the scene of his lifetime mark last year. A rebound is possible now.
8 WHERE’S WALDO Had to need his first start in 6 months and I like the way he was finishing. In this particular field, he can break through.
9 UPFRONT COSMO His last race was a bit better and he had no chance from post 12 when last seen here. Might be worth including.
10 TWICKENHAM Adds Lasix for the first time, but it appears he is in for a similar trip to last time. Cannot recommend in this spot.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 8-9-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 HONORARY HANOVER She was a complete non-factor last time. This field doesn’t appear any softer on paper. Tricky call in this spot.
2 IF I DIDN’T CARE That was a nice win last time at Balmoral and now she moves back to the Alagna barn. She looks like a contender.
3 SMOKE PAN MIRRORS Chased an improving mare last time and now avoids that foe. She figures to be a handful once again. Player.
4 OBSESSIVE ARTIST Mare is making her second start back off the layoff and that was a good try last time. Moves to the C-1. Possibility.
5 ELODIE That was a solid try last time, but how much was her and ‘Obsessive’s stretch drive aided by that race falling apart? Tricky call.
6 ALBANIAN ERA She has been pretty sharp at Monti. This will be a whole new ball game. Mare has plenty of speed and is a pace factor.
7 CARRIE ANN She was just even in the stretch after working out a decent trip from the second tier. Can she rebound here? Perhaps.
8 CAMMI PLACE We have seen many drop downs like this return dividends early in the meet. She has speed too. A drop and pop candidate.
9 K J HANNAH Game try last time and you would think a nw3 would be tougher than this. Mare looks like a major player in this spot.
10 JACK’S MAGIC JEWEL I loved her last week and she was flat. That race fell apart late and she was still outkicked. Not sold anymore.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 9-3-4-1
H Horse Comment
1 ARTISTIC FLIGHT Gets a drop in class and draws inside. I like the driver change to a more aggressive pilot too. Interesting horse in here.
2 BEWARE OF DARKNESS Seems to be struggling lately but is getting a touch of class relief. Not Tetrick’s choice but he can rebound.
3 COME ON RIDGE Showed an affinity for the longer stretch closing well at this level last time. Could set him up nicely for this week.
4 DEMANDING FORCE Probably needed that first start off the 3 month layoff. Figures to be tighter here. Still feel this race is wide open.
5 ALLAMERICAN CHIEF Not a bad effort at all in his first start back in a very long time. He could be sitting on a big race here. Using.
6 DONTU GET LONELY Adds Lasix for the first time which throws a wild card into this race. Recent form has been dull. Mixed feelings.
7 EXPENSIVE TOY Just not sure he is fast enough in this spot, but he was finishing well with broken equipment in that qualifier. Tricky.
8 CAMART HANOVER Seems to have tailed off a bit, although he had a rough trip last time out. I have to leave someone out, don’t I?
9 LAGUNA BEACH He is usually very tough when he makes the front here, but he just might have needed that start. Tetrick sticks. Play.
10 GAMBLER’S TALE It’s safe to say Lasix made a difference here. Now he moves way outside and loses Gingras. Should offer a nice price.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-4-9
H Horse Comment
1 MYSTICAL CON Just missed last time at 14-1, but did work out a nice cover trip. Gingras chose off now, but he still figures in gimmicks.
2 CAMERON CHIP Showed uncharacteristic speed off the layoff and just got tired late. She figures to be much tighter this time. Favored.
3 CAPTAIN PRIMEAU This is a slight move down in class off that last time and he enters this off a month layoff but was Gingras’ choice.
4 BLOMKVIST Off about 4 weeks coming into that last mile and showed a nice middle move. He figures to be a bit better this time.
5 JEDRIK HANOVER See how 3rd place finisher from that qualifier did in Race 3. Sharp with the exception of that break. Mixed feelings.
6 CHOCOHOLIC Showed speed from a wide draw last time, but tired late. He is likely to build off that effort but Campbell did choose off.
7 HEIDI FALLS He had to need that last start, being off for four months. He’s won here before and I expect him to be better this time around.
8 ZEITGEIST Holds a class edge over several of these. Will it show up here? Has been off for 5 months, so I am guessing he needs a start.
9 THE TRIPLE LINDY That was a good runner-up try last time and comes right back in a similar spot. Tough draw with two trailers. Possible.
10 RINGSIDE LAURYN Mare is getting some class relief but catches the worst of the draw. Not sure she has the speed to overcome it.
11 TAKE HEART Was going a big mile and then just got tired in the stretch. He has a right to build off that mile. Looks like a fringe player.
12 CALIPARI Recent form at Woodbine has been dull. Likely to get away towards the rear of the field here. Smooth trip not anticipated.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 6-10-3-8
H Horse Comment
1 MISS ANNALISE Squandered a perfect pocket trip last time. While she is a candidate to improve with a race under her belt, I am passing.
2 SHAYNA BABY Tried a change in tactics last time and it did not work at all. Drops to her lowest level in some time. I’m sketchy at best now.
3 BUCK STOPS HERE Recent form has not been appealing and she has a tendency to go off-stride. Pro-side, the barn is hot. Mixed feelings.
4 SHE’S WICKED GOOD Last pair of tries at this level have not been too promising. I need to see an improved effort before I consider.
5 COCOA BEACH Form in Canada was not bad, but her last try at Monticello was mediocre at best. Taking a wait and see approach.
6 JOYFUL YEARS Liked her last time at 28-1 and she just missed! Now the price is gone, but she figures as a contender right back here.
7 DYSNOMIA BLUE CHIP She seems to have tailed off lately and now moves to the bigger track. I will watch a start here before playing.
8 MS BETTYS HOPE Gets a move down the ladder which should help and she has won here before. Maybe a drop and pop? Tricky call.
9 MY SPRING FLING Coming off a winless season, but trainer Berger hands the lines over to Gingras. Still probably watching this time.
10 CAROLSTERN She proved her massive upset was no fluke with a nice effort last time. Can she blow past the entire field again? Maybe.