• Week Of 12/30 - 1/5
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  • MO31
  • TU1
  • WE2
  • TH03
  • FR04
  • SA05
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 04, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 9-1-2-10
H Horse Comment
1 LIVE JAZZ Always believed this guy had talent. Have seen him go some very big miles before. Winner of last was 2nd in A-2 trot last week.
2 MAN O MATIC Love the progress he made in his last qualifier. That was a strong mile. If he stays trotting, he will be tough. Short price.
3 HOLLY HILL MASTER Recent form has been just fair and last race was a total clunker. I need to see a rebound before I can endorse.
4 BIG SKY DOMINO Returned off a five week layoff and needed that start. That being said, he didn’t do enough for me to consider here.
5 ELIAS JOY On paper, this is a bit of class drop. That being said, Campbell opted off and his recent form is dull. I need to see one first.
6 IRON WILL His last start was a substantial improvement over his previous three efforts. Is he ready to build off that effort? Maybe a share.
7 LUBBOCK Being parked three-wide to the quarter at Philly is not where you want to be. His previous effort was sharp. Expect speed.
8 MISSY GOLDFIRE Recent form hast not been bad. The 3 for 33 mark is a bit of a concern, and I might be more inclined to use underneath.
9 ZUEREST Finished a good 2nd behind ‘Matic in that qualifier. These 2 go hand in hand. Exit same qualifier, both have breaking issues.
10 KEENAN His last two starts have been decent. Campbell opted here and he has the tactical speed to float away from here. Including.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-3-9
H Horse Comment
1 CASH MCCOY He has early speed, but the concern is his stamina. Last two starts he slowed substantially in the stretch. Needs a lot more.
2 LIBORIO He has raced some decent miles in the past. That being said, he has been off for 2 months and he appeared short in that QUA.
3 SWISS LIGHTNING Miller opts here, for a horse that has talent, but can make a break at any moment. He can win, if he stays trotting.
4 PILATUS Took the hobbles off in that qualifier and it wasn’t bad. Still not sure that he is fast enough to win this though. Mixed feelings.
5 VOLARE DE VIE This gelding has some ability and has some early speed as well. He is plenty fast enough well. Might carry his speed far.
6 HELIOS One of the favorites for the upcoming Super Bowl series, he is strictly the one to beat here. Love how he finished in his qualifier.
7 TAKE IT TO NINE Really like this mare’s form at Monticello. She is getting a start under her belt before the Super Bowl. Good test for her,
8 DARRON HALL Qualifier was fair. Concern is that he lost ground to ‘Swiss in the stretch. He’ll need to improve a bit at this point.
9 T G REV A little concerned following his 2nd qualifier as it was a step backward. I think he is better than that. Getting ready for the ‘Bowl.
10 BLT PRIME Those are back to back disappointing efforts. His win against nw1 at PcD doesn’t stack up against these. Post 10 too.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 3-8-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 ARTIE’S LAST PARTY That race she is coming out of completely fell apart. She was beaten by a 99-1 shot from post 10. Skeptical now.
2 K J HANNAH Certainly been racing well at Rosecroft and she has some speed to her too. Mixed feelings, but she wouldn’t shock me.
3 FAST AND FIESTY That was a disappointing effort. Perhaps she was used too much early on in the mile and a rebound could happen.
4 JARNAC Recent form has been fair at best and her last effort was a disappointment. I need to see her show some improvement first.
5 TWO WILLOW MCARDIE Cannot knock her recent form in western Pennsylvania. That being said, this is tougher than a $14k claimer.
6 BITTERSWEET BEST Snuck through at almost pulled off an upset at 38-1. Problem was, she was beaten by a 99-1 shot. Tough call.
7 SO WANTED Part of the early speed that resulted in those longshot results. She caught a shuffle last time. Change in tactics tonight?
8 FULL EXPLOSION I think she raced best in that Carolstern race, going a tough first over. Still, they all came home on the slow side.
9 AINT GOT A HOME Really had no excuse. Had a perfect trip and was just flat in the stretch. Will she be better with a start under her belt?
10 FEDS EXPRESS Recent form has been dull, as she finished last at the bottom level at Freehold. This looks like it will be too much to ask.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 1-6-9-4
H Horse Comment
1 CELEBRITY BOMBAY Qualifier Report graduate looked good in the morning. Still, Tetrick chose off. I think he will be a handful here.
2 BIG BALLER Put together a nice 2012 season, including 8 wins. Only 1 starts in 6 weeks. Inclined to include on the bottom of exotics.
3 CIVIC DUTY Form has not been sharp lately and the winner of his last did not race well here opening night. Longshot for now.
4 RUSH N SUPREME Last 3 starts have been decent and Simons pulled an upset last weekend. Is he ready for this? Might work out a trip.
5 IL MAGO See how Helios did in Race 2, as he exits that same qualifier. This 4YO can make a break anytime. Has talent. Mixed feelings.
6 FOUNTAINBLEAU VOLO There was a point last year where he was being viewed as the “next big thing.” The talent is there. Will it show?
7 SOME LIKE IT HOT She certainly has plenty of early speed, but she doesn’t always have the staying power. She’ll make the lead here.
8 EPIC TALE Recent form has been OK. The winner of that last race is a very nice horse. He looks like he fits in this spot. A possibility.
9 CHICK N TELL Don’t love the outside draw here, as he doesn’t have a ton of early speed. Just don’t think the trip is going to work out here.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-5-9
H Horse Comment
1 SPECULATION This gelding is extremely sharp right now. Exits a very good race, although the winner of his last broke here Friday. I like.
2 LETS GO BABY GO Exits the same race as Speculation, but feel he is a cut below that foe. Has plenty of early speed though. Maybe.
3 JESSESJO He has been facing some tough company lately. His last trip was far from ideal as well. Should take plenty of tote action now.
4 WALDORF HALL That was a nice win last time. Still, this race looks tough on paper. Kakaley chose off as well. Looking elsewhere.
5 LORD DARBY Turned a perfect trip into a win last time. Here is our first look at a horse moving up in the classified system. Big chance.
6 HURRIKANEBIGGEORGE Forced into an Open last time based on earning. Classified system will help here. Still might need more races.
7 BLESSED VICTORY Gelding has been doing a good job picking up checks in some tough company lately. A similar result is possible here.
8 A LISTER Sat the 3-hole trip last time and appeared to have some trot. He’ll have to find a way into the cover flow from this draw. Maybe.
9 VICTORY NUT First invader from Rideau Carlton that we have seen and he is awfully sharp. I suggest including him and tabbing for others.
10 IN YOUR ROOM Just had too much ground to make up last time. If Simons doesn’t blast, he may suffer the same fate here. Longshot.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-2-7
H Horse Comment
1 FOUR STARZ ALEX He is exiting some pretty fast races and holding his own pretty well. He is spotted properly here. Looks like a player.
2 ACTIVATOR Making his first start off the claim and he was pretty sharp for his previous connections. Another who looks like the part.
3 BELL’S PANACEA His last race indicates that he just might be best at the $15,000 level. He shows an interference line though. Watching.
4 TIME STOOD STILL Nice win at this level last time at Yonkers. Interesting that he moved up from Philly and won. A piece to this puzzle.
5 ELUSIVE REWARD Moving from condition races to claiming races always warrants a look. He raced well at this level at Pocono. Maybe.
6 BUSHWOOD Z TAM Gelding certainly has plenty of speed, so see how the track has been playing. Can he last on the lead? Tricky call.
7 WESTERN TSUNAMI Recent form had been ok, but I am not thrilled that he backed up in the pocket last time. Will need more than that.
8 MASTERS CHAMPION He has been facing $30,000 claimers, but strictly against 3 and 4 year olds. Now 5, I am not sure this is easier.
9 DIAMONDONTHEBEACH Stepping up off the claim and he has been sharp lately. Still, he is facing a proven group of $20k claimers.
10 ONLY ROCK N ROLL Last effort at Yonkers from post 7 was decent. Dube chose off though, and he likely will have a long way to come.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-6-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 LUCKY ROLL He has been facing some good groups lately and he is in pretty good form. This field is tough, but he is a sneaky player.
2 THE CHANCELLOR Made a break last time, but I didn’t love how he was going to that point anyway. I need to see a bounce back now.
3 QUICK DEAL That was an awfully good looking win last time at Yonkers and it appears Burke has this gelding peaking. He’ll be tough.
4 DON’T KNOW CHIP He was upset by ‘Justice last time, but he had to need that start. He will be tighter tonight. Expect him to get bet.
5 ALL ABOUT JUSTICE Pulled off one of the many upsets we saw on opening weekend. He won’t be 52-1 now. I’m not taking shorter here.
6 THE EVICTOR He came from a very tough spot last time. I love the draw for him and if he can work out a trip, he can get there. Using.
7 MARCUS BI He is a very interesting piece to this puzzle. Exits the same race as #1, and I think he is better on the bigger tracks.
8 LIKEABATOUTAHELL He was parked for a bit in that first start. Has a wide draw again and there are just too many other options in here.
9 THE BUDSTER Turned a perfect trip into a win. That being said, I think this race is MUCH tougher. Several of these could be A-1trotters.
10 PHOTO KING Has no speed last time, but was finishing well. Now he has post 10 and I expect a very similar effort. Minor award?
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 10-1-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 CHIEF KAREN Came from out of the clouds to score last time. Comes right back at the same level and remains sharp. Major contender.
2 UP FRONT KELLIE JO Talk about the bad post blues. This mare has been slammed with outside draws lately. Sneaky player in here.
3 DON’T POINT AT Wasn’t as good last time and that’s a concern. This field came up very tough and I need to see a rebound now.
4 HOT LIST One of the sharpest mares around. It looks like a move up in class, but look at what she was facing before. One to beat now.
5 DOCDOR LIBBY That was a nice effort last time at Philly. She is trending in the right direction, but this will be a tougher assignment.
6 CAT CORA She had a couple of tough draws against some tough groups of mares last time. I think she is a very intriguing mare here.
7 OCEANS MOTION This mare has put forth some really big miles in her career. I always liked her on the bigger tracks too. Interesting now.
8 SHAKY HANOVER Recent form has been just fair and taking a look at this field, there are too many other good options in this group.
9 RHAPSODY ROSE Nice win last time, but how does the Invite at Rosecroft stack up against this group. Win at Philly is a positive here.
10 DIAMOND TIARA Without question, she has been facing the toughest fields in this race. I was surprised Miller chose off. She intrigues me.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 MONSIGNOR FLAN That was a promising race last time at Yonkers. He has drawn into the “easier” of the A-2 trots. He is an exotics use.
2 MAGNUM KOSMOS Almost stole it and sparked an early pick 4 carryover last time. Faces a similar group here. His speed carries him.
3 SEA RAVEN Miller was looking for room through the stretch and really had to wait to find it. I liked how he finished. Give him another shot.
4 ROSE RUN HOOLIGAN The classiest horse in the race qualified very nicely. I wouldn’t be shocked by a big effort here. Contender.
5 ZOOMING His last race wasn’t bad from an impossible start. Draw a line through his 12/7 race and he looks pretty good. Overlooked?
6 MACS BAD BOY Exiting a very tough race. See how Lucky Roll and Marcus Bi did in the 7th (exit the same race). Prior form was solid.
7 ELLEN’S ISLE She was disappointing last time. The good news, she won’t be 6/5 this time around. A rebound wouldn’t surprise me here.
8 ICE MACHINE Tried to cut the mile last time, but the track was tough on the front end Friday. See how it’s playing tonight. A possibility.
9 CALCHIPS BRUTE Not only was he facing some tough horses, but he has a win. That being said, he’ll be a longshot here. Wide open race.
10 WIND SURFER Failed to make an impact on opening night and despite the connections, off that effort he looks like the longshot now.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 FOX VALLEY SWIFT Beaten a long way in that last qualifier which surprised me. Her form in Illinois was solid. Watching this one.
2 HERES MY TICKET Just an even try in her first effort at M1. Right back at the same level and some improvement is required in here.
3 DE VINS GIRL Got to a level that proved to be too much last time. This race is fairly similar to the last and might even be tougher.
4 CARAMEL CHINNO Moved a long way in the outer flow from the widest draw last time before flattening. She could be a lot better now.
5 CAMMI PLACE Seems logical to think she is going right to the lead, so see how the track has been playing. This is a step up though.
6 JOYFULJOY N Caught a buzz saw that moved up a level tonight. That effort wasn’t bad at all at 12-1. A logical player in this spot.
7 GORDYS FILLY YENTA Really like that fact that she moved up in class and raced well. Like ‘De Vin, this is another move up the ladder.
8 CLEAR VIEW HANOVER Did not make much of an impact last week. She is dropping a level, but has a wide draw and no speed.
9 FOR ALL WE KNOW She has been a check-earner for Burke, but she is in a tough spot here and feel she is a cut below the best of these.
10 HANNAH ISABEL On paper she is in line for an identical trip to what she had last week. Likely gets away last and has too much to do.
11 DRAGON PRINCESS This mare LOVES this track, and the tote board usually pegs her pretty well. If she takes money, I would go all in.
12 FAIR VOLTAGE Her last pair have been against tougher. I don’t love this draw and Andy chose off as well. Playing against in this spot.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-2-1
H Horse Comment
1 MOJARRA HANOVER Almost pulled off another upset at 41-1 last time. This field is tougher in quality. Worth including in gimmicks again.
2 THINKYOUCANDANCE Last pair of starts have been very sharp. This class is a step up from the $20k claiming level. Still has a chance.
3 DREAM’S BAR That was a sub-par effort last time as she squandered a ground saving journey. I need to see a rebound effort first.
4 ONE NIGHT She was finishing nicely at the end of that last mile and remains in good form. I tab her a major player in a very good race.
5 ELLEOFNXAMPLE She EXPLODED home last week from an impossible spot. That effort was so good, it is hard to not play her right back.
6 OLE MISS As great as ‘Elle was, is as disappointing this mare was. She still packs plenty of back class, and might rebound. I am skeptical.
7 ANGELWITHNATTITUDE She was OK last week. This race came up tougher than last and I need to see more before from her in here.
8 CAROLSIDEAL Not a bad try in her last start. Miller chose off though and this race came up tougher. I might be using her underneath.
9 CUZ SHE CAN Had no chance whatsoever last time. The problem is, unless Andy blasts, I envision a similar problem here. Not for me.
10 CELTIC DANSER She tailed off in her last pair of starts and now has the widest draw in a very good race. Looks like a longshot.