• Week Of 1/20 - 1/26
  • SU20
  • MO21
  • TU22
  • WE23
  • TH24
  • FR25
  • SA26
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, January 26, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 6-1-4-5
H Horse Comment
1 GUN SHOW Stacked up behind a dull cover flow and was fanned out three wide while far back. Miller’s choice of four needs a better trip.
2 BRANDON’S COLT Was a part of that dull cover that compromised Gun Show last time. Took money and disappointed. Mixed feelings.
3 RELENTLESS DREAMER Last pair of efforts have not been bad, but the winner of that last race poorly in a B-2. Tricky call again.
4 BLUE CLAW Collared by a horse that he probably should have beaten last time. This field is comparable. Likely favored once again.
5 GALLIC WARRIOR No question this horse has been very sharp in the blustery cold at Monticello. Is this tougher? Yes, but not impsossible.
6 HANG TEN Gingras’ choice has pace at the end of that mile and I think he can build off that effort. Good post, has speed. I like him here.
7 TALBOT REDNECK Showed speed and tired, similar to his last start at Rosecroft. Obviously, he will need to find more stamina in the lane.
8 MEDOLAND BIG CAM He had a pretty good season in 2012 and this is probably around the right level for him. Not that sharp now. Tricky.
9 WHO’S YOUR MADDY I am never typically a fan of Pompano shippers in their first starts. Barn change here. I will be watching closely.
10 LUCKY LAND Tried to float out from this post last time and never saw the pylons. Another tough post here. Not sold on the rebound.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-2-9
H Horse Comment
1 SEA ME NOW Starting to think that runner-up effort from 1-12 was more a result of the trip. Was not good last week. Passing in this spot.
2 WESTERN TSUNAMI He was gathering momentum too late to get to the winner last time. No problem. Still very sharp and is a player.
3 LEGENDS LUCK Obviously, he needed a start and now makes a move to this $25k claimer which is probably a bit softer. Watching again.
4 BELL’S PANACEA Moved up in class off a good effort at 35-1 and it didn’t work. Comes right back at that same level. Wait for drop down.
5 ELUSIVE REWARD Gelding remains very sharp right now and his speed can be utilized perfectly from this post. The one to beat again.
6 GIDDY UP DELIGHT His last race was better and this new barn made MANY equipment changes last week. He is a sneaky player here.
7 PAN GRAD Has been struggling a bit lately at a level below this at Yonkers. He’ll need to step up his game in order to contend here.
8 IN MINT CONDITION Just had way too much to do last time. Tonight’s problem is his lack of speed and the post. Bottom of exotics, maybe.
9 DREAMZZZZ R FOR U Continues to race well, finishing a good 2nd to ‘Tsunami and ‘Reward. This is another step up. Using underneath.
10 ODIN BLUE CHIP He moves to the Allard barn which is warrants attention. Simon will have to get him closer to give him a chance.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-7-9
H Horse Comment
1 SOUTHERN SPORT Caught what appeared to be a standout in Keystone Raptor last week. Top to bottom, this field has more depth.
2 MILLIONDOLLARTOUCH Last race was a toss-out based on equipment issue. Form in Canada was sharp. Barn off to a slow start.
3 MIDAS BLUE CHIP Raced well following Keystone Raptor around the track. Avoids that foe here. Still might offer some value here.
4 FIVEKNUCKLESHUFFLE Went a very game mile last week, going uncovered throughout. Major post improvement results in major action.
5 SONIC DANCER First two efforts have not been too promising. He showed ability last year. Let’s look for some changes this time.
6 CASIMIR CAMOTION Earned the 52nd win of his great career. Now, moves up in class so this will be tougher. Not sold on a repeat there.
7 ON THE RADAR Came a long way in the stretch last time. Tetrick’s choice will have to stay closer this time. He has a chance once again.
8 STAND BY CAM Continues to race well, but Pierce chose off this time. Gelding has some speed and I expect him to be involved early on.
9 BOLERO ANDREW Gets the tepid call as the favorite in a wide open field. Was bothered early in the mile last time. Cannot be dismissed.
10 WINBAK JAKE Claimed away from Burke and ambitiously spotted last time. Made a break and now has post 10 here. I need to watch one.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-8-10
H Horse Comment
1 ARMBRO BILLOW Not a bad try last week, but found this level a little too tough in the end. He will need to carry them farther here.
2 ARTHUR Gelding did not race bad against some very good horses in the Clyde Hirt. This spot is softer than that. Looms the one to beat.
3 IDEAL MATTERS Tetrick stuck here over three others, so that is a vote of confidence. Got a start under his belt. Will be much better now.
4 FREDDY DAY HANOVER Gets a driver change to Andy and was given a week off. First over is not his game, he needs a trip. Maybe.
5 BLACK HAT Looked a bit short in that qualifier and has been off for 2 weeks since. I need to see a start, even for this top barn. Not sold.
6 RELENTLESS G He was racing very well before being given 4 weeks off. He qualified well, but Tetrick did choose off. Mixed feelings here.
7 CHEYENNE KNIGHT This is a very good horse and he didn’t race badly in a very tough spot prior to the sick scratch. Watching closely.
8 FASHION DELIGHT Speaking of fast horses. This horse has a world of ability, but he is yet to be able to put together a full season.
9 LINDWOOD PLAYER Seems as though he has turned a corner the past two starts and continues to improve. Hard to dismiss completely.
10 CONNERY BLUE CHIP Was a bit of a “wise-guy” horse going into the Hirt, but it didn’t work out. Driver change to Pierce here. Interesting.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 3-8-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 LA HOLLYWOOD Qualified for the Final with a good effort in Leg 1. But I would be surprised if he is able to duplicate that here. Longshot.
2 JAILHOUSE JUICE Raced very well at 106-1 in Leg 2. Despite that effort, he now faces the best of this series. He is still a longshot.
3 NO LESS THAN MAGIC I think he will be the wise guy play in this field and I may be falling into the trap. Big driver chance. Lots of talent.
4 JOYEAUX DREAM If you like this gelding, you will get much better value on him tonight. I believe he is a cut below the best of this series.
5 FOR GOODNESS LINDY Showed a pair of good efforts coming into this Final, but things will get much tougher now. Looks like a longshot.
6 SWEET BEN Pulled off the upset last week, getting up by a nose. Similar to several of these, the water gets much deeper. Will offer value.
7 WHERE TO HANOVER Yes, he got beat, but he raced great. The top three in here, in my view, are not separated by much. Contender.
8 HELIOS Just had too much ground to make up on Wisenheimer. Gingras will need to keep him closer this time around. Another contender.
9 WISENHEIMER Got the jump on Helios last time and was able to hold on. I think he is a very small step below the best in the Final.
10 WINDSUN GALLIANO Showed how good he can be with that effort in Leg 2. Rewarded with post 10. The Best Super Bowl Final in years.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-1-7
H Horse Comment
1 HOLDINGALLTHECARDS Ethan Hanover gave him a run for his money in Leg 2, but he still prevailed. Looks like a deserving favorite.
2 SHAWS CREEK BLUFF Scratched sick after his Leg 1 win and Callahan chose off. Things seem to be trending the wrong way here.
3 ETHAN HANOVER Here is the “wise-guy” horse in this Final and I am buying in again. Callahan’s choice and has plenty of ability. The pick.
4 BESTJETYET Carlson said he just lost him in the stretch and is not sure why. Leg 1 winner cannot afford any mistakes this time around.
5 MR DENNIS Sold for $110,000 at the sale on Monday. Took the fight to One Through Ten in Leg 2. Could break through in the Final.
6 CEE PEE PANIC Showed how good he can be with a big effort in Leg 2. If Gingras can work out a trip, he figures to be passing horses late.
7 SCREEN THE CALL I liked him last week and seemingly so did everyone else. He is one of the Leg non-winners that has a chance here.
8 ONE THROUGH TEN He hasn’t won as easy as I would have liked, but he’s still aiming for a series sweep. This will be his toughest test.
9 VODKA IS TERROR Has responded nicely to Lasix and he will offer a HUGE price in comparison to his actual ability. Dangerous with a trip.
10 MAN HE CAN SKOOT Had pace in the stretch last week but gets stuck with post 10. Completes one of the toughest fields of the year.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 9-1-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 MYSTIC DESIRE Has he finally reached a level that is too high or was it just the trip that did him in? He is a rebound candidate in here.
2 RESCUE PLAN Continues to race very well and last week nobody was beating Silent Swing with the move he made. Contender again.
3 RIVER SHARK Last pair of starts have not been as sharp. But he looked good winning here on 1/5. He is another candidate to rebound.
4 MCCLELLAND I thought he was wildly overbet last week and was a vulnerable favorite. This field is pretty comparable. Requires value.
5 ROCKIN THE HOUSE Had no chance from post 10 against Golden Receiver. This spot is obviously much softer, but not easy. Player.
6 ABELARD HANOVER Scratched out of a difficult spot, and this is likely more up his alley. Off three weeks so I am going to watch now.
7 VLOS He has had success here and I always felt his speed was his biggest asset. This will be tougher than the last field he faced though.
8 MODERN DAY CLYDE Finished 3rd despite having a lot of ground to make up. Raced well at the end of last year as well. Interesting.
9 DINNER GUEST Could be the sharpest horse at the track sans Golden Receiver right now. Expect similar tactics despite the step up.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-9-3
H Horse Comment
1 THE POKESTER Not sold that the field he beat stacks up well against this group. He is sharp, but I feel this will be a much tougher task.
2 KEYSTONE RAPTOR Caught a field that he looked like a standout in last week. Now Miller chose off and this came up much tougher.
3 MUSSELSFRMBRUSSELS Bet like a good thing last week and was. Now steps back up, but he has class to him. Could be very tough.
4 DALHOUSEIE DAVE Caught a very tough field last time and raced well. This is another tough group, but he might offer some value here.
5 MAJOR BELLE Exits a very tough group last time and raced well. Perfect post here and he packs some speed. Very dangerous in here.
6 WOODSTOCK HANOVER Has raced well here before and he has been facing some good ones at Dover. A big effort here wouldn’t shock.
7 BAKIN ON THE BEACH He has been a bit of a disappointment, but he has been facing some tough fields. The rebound effort is coming.
8 E STREET PLAN Lightly raced 4YO has a lot of ability. I like the qualifiers and he’s properly classified. But he may need a start first.
9 VOICE OF TRUTH Has caught a bit of second-itis lately, but continues to race very well. Will he have too far to come once again though?
10 EIGHTEEN Nice win last time, but now shifts here and catches the outside post. This is a very good horse though. Tricky call in this spot.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 I FOUGHT DALAW Showed his talent with a big late rally last week. Comes right back and if he can build on that effort he will be tough.
2 OSCAR OSCAR He had a big season last year and he had to need that first start of the year. Obviously he will start to improve here.
3 NO BU He stayed closer last time and he still couldn’t get there. That concerns me. He’ll take money again, but is best used underneath.
4 EASTEND EDDIE He needed that first start back. Catches a good group here and he is a candidate to improve. Cannot be dismissed.
5 RECENT NEWS Losed Allard to No Bu, which is a concern, but he was super last week too. Great post as well. Don’t sell too short.
6 LAWGIVER HANOVER Racing well, just not winning. Tetrick continues to stick with him and one of these weeks he is going to win.
7 SCOTTY MACH N Making his 4th consecutive start racing out of a different barn. I wonder what affects that is having in him. Tricky call.
8 BAY OF SHARKS He had a very nice season in 2012, but his recent form has been lacking. See how this barns other horse did earlier.
9 GO WEST LUCKY CAM Form goes in and out. My concern is that both his wins were from post 1 and wire to wire at Yonkers. Not sold.
10 ART FOR ARTS SAKE Qualified well but has not raced in four months. He has ability and is one to watch and tab for a later date.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-9-1-7
H Horse Comment
1 STIRLING BRIGADE Didn’t race badly in his first start off the layoff. Miller sticks with this lightly race 3YO. Tells me he sees talent here.
2 TIGER IN THE TANK Came with a bit of a belated rally and got caught in between hoses in the stretch. Might take some “smart” money.
3 YO CHEYENNE ROCKY Finished a good 2nd on 1/5, but found the Hirt a bit too much. This is more in his spectrum. He is a contender.
4 FRESH DREAM Has been showing improvement since making his return. The 1 for 19 mark last year doesn’t thrill me. Still, has a shot.
5 BEAMMEUPSCOTTIE Not a bad qualifier in his return. Put forth some decent efforts as a 2YO. He might need a start or two here.
6 DAYDREAM LYNX Neither of his efforts here have been too promising. I need to see an improved start before taking a chance.
7 SKY IS THE LIMIT He has started off his 2013 campaign in fine fashion and appears very sharp right now. One of the major contenders.
8 DEBT OF HONOR Has not gotten on track yet this year and I will need to see a turnaround of some sort before I can look this way.
9 THE GREEN KNIGHT I think this is the horse to beat. Exits the Clyde Hirt series and raced well in Round 2. Gets Gingras. Expect speed.
10 CRITICAL ACCLAIM Struggled in his last pair of starts and now gets hit with post 10 in this large field. Looks up against it from here.
11 FOX VALLEY ARCTIC Last effort at this level did not inspire much confidence. Andy chose off as well. Looking elsewhere for the winner.
12 COUNTERTERROR Showed immense improvement in that last qualifier. Off for 5 months so I am still thinking he needs a start.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 7-6-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 FRED AND GINGER Was not able to duplicate his Leg 1 effort last week. The waters will only get tougher. Gingras did land here though.
2 DIAL OR NO DIAL You just are not going to make up 5 lengths on Golden Receiver in the stretch. Needs to stay closer from here.
3 SECOND WIND N Seems to be a bit overmatched in this series. Still a very nice horse, but think he needs a bit softer spot to shine.
4 MALAK USWAAD N Towed along for a share in Leg 2. Things will be much more difficult this time around. He is still a longshot to win.
5 VERSADO Was not the same horse in Leg 2. Normally, I would forgive that effort, but I didn’t like how he lost ground in the final ½ mile.
6 MR HASANI Had way too much to do last time so just dismiss that. If he can find a live outer flow, I can see him being second best in here.
7 GOLDEN RECEIVER What is left to say? He is looking for back to back sweeps in this series. Will take something unforeseen to beat him.
8 MEIRS HANOVER Did not factor in Leg 2 and things certainly won’t get an easier in the final. Takes back and hopes to pass a few late.
9 MODERN LEGEND This gelding has really shown me something in this series. It’s a shame he got hit with post 9. Bright future ahead.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE Made an early three wide move last week and appeared to flatten out in the stretch. Still a contender right back.
2 TAKEMEWITHYOU The first over journey didn’t work last week. Campbell will need to work out some sort of trip from here.
3 WHO DAT LOVE Been facing some tough company in the Hirt and his last race wasn’t bad. Gets some class relief and he should be tough.
4 PICTURE ME Seems to be rounding back into form. His speed has been carrying him farther and you can expect an aggressive drive.
5 BIG TEN CHAMP Found this level to be too much last time. This field isn’t much easier, if at all, on paper. I need to see some improvement.
6 FRISKIES CHEAPSUIT Similar to ‘Big Ten, the step up is the issue. Can he handle this much tougher spot? Not sold on the repeat.
7 BEAR KING Seems to always be left with too much to do. Andy will have to get him into the race sooner. Minor award appears likely.
8 NATHAN FEELSGOOD Gets some class relief back to the level of his win. Still, Tetrick chose off. Have to figure he is still a player.
9 MAR DREAM Gets a move down the ladder which should help. His last 2 haven’t been bad. We might see speed tonight. Value play?
10 SAYWHATUNEEDTOSAY Tried to leave from a similar spot last time and it didn’t work. Same tricky post tonight. Up against it again.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 4-10-3-5
H Horse Comment
1 GO GO RAIDER Moved up in class last time and did not factor throughout the mile. I don’t envision dramatic improvement in here.
2 ROCK THE COUNTRY There is a big difference between nw2500L5 at Freehold and this level at M1. I need to see a start first.
3 CARMENS BEST Pulled off the upset at 13-1 last week. Comes right back and should still offer a decent price. He can win again.
4 ALBION He might be a trap door, but he is my pick. Came from post 12 and closed well last week. Look for him to be closer this week.
5 WIT AND WISDOM Got collared in the final strides last week. Hard to believe this barn is 0 for 22 coming into this week. Win candidate.
6 CCS LOVER N Similar to ‘Go Go, he just did not factor at this level last time. I guess he can improve. Not sold on the win end though.
7 GOLDEN TIME Last couple of starts were good. He has been off for over a month though. Fits in this group. Gives me mixed feelings.
8 ART FOR LIVING Left with way too much to do last time. Not sure Campbell can blast here. Likely will have too many to pass again.
9 GENERAL MONTGOMERY He has speed, but it just isn’t carrying him as far as he needs it to. Looks like a pace factor in this spot.
10 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE He is the wild card. Despite the post, he is dropping to the level of his runner-up finishing. Carlson can be crafty.