• Week Of 1/27 - 2/2
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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 Friday, February 01, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 8-4-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 SHINE N SHIMMER Adds Lasix for this tough assignment. Raced against some tough mares at Dover. Better post. Tows along for a share.
2 MYSTICAL VICTRESS Took a ton of tote action off a troubled trip last time and raced very well. This race came up a little tougher. Player.
3 ELLEOFNXAMPLE With the exception of that no chance mile on 1/18, she is very sharp. Still at the mercy of pace and trip. Contender.
4 SOUTHWIND JAZMIN Mare has been keeping some pretty tough company at Yonkers. This is a drop in class. Could be the one to beat.
5 ACE OF PACE Was just a step behind ‘Jazmin on 1/18, but will likely offer a much better price. Mare has won here before. Interesting.
6 MOJARRA HANOVER Regressed a bit when reaching this level last time. This field came up even tougher. Appears up against it.
7 MJ’S BID Broke through with an impressive performance last time. This field will be tougher and I am not sold on the repeat. Tricky call.
8 MAGIC STARLIGHT This is a pretty big step up from that last start at Yonkers. Her speed looks dangerous in this group. Very interesting.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 I LOOK SPECIAL Must respect any horse that wins 17 of 30 starts in a year. Not off to a great start this year, but this mare can rebound.
2 MY SWEET SHEILA Recent form has been lacking and this mare will need to turn things around to contend. Appears overmatched.
3 ZUMBA MOUSE Making her second start back off a 6 month layoff. Gets some class relief and she has won here before. Tricky call now.
4 LIBRA VITA Was poised for a big stretch drive but didn’t pack any punch after fanning three wide. Gets post improvement. Can rebound.
5 GRECALE AS Gelding has not won in quite some time. This is a similar spot to that C-2 trot he was in on 1/3. Runner-up there won next.
6 BLOMKVIST Never made the gate last time which is a reoccurring problem with this gelding. If he stays trotting, he is a threat. Tough read.
7 BELIEVABLE Nice effort last time and maybe he is starting to turn the corner. That being said, I’m not sure that he is fast enough for this.
8 APOLLO BLUE CHIP Almost pulled off a shocking upset in the 12 horse field. He is another that can make a break anytime. Not sure.
9 MR FENWICK Last effort was not bad and he seems to be finding his form. He might have too far too come from here. Looking elsewhere.
10 DC’S PIGGY BANK Not a bad try last time, but feel he might face the same predicament as ‘Fenwick. Too much ground to make up.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 3-8-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 CARD KNOCK LIFE Saved every bit of ground last time but had no pop in the stretch. He needs to show major improvement off that mile.
2 ROCK ICON Showed serious improvement in that second qualifier. That was a cold and windy morning too. Colt seems to be ready.
3 TERROR HIGH Not a bad first race. Liked that he kicked home in under :28. Figures to improve in his second start. Likely to take play.
4 MR PRESLEY Second race off a three month freshening. Showed some decent form last year. Might have needed that first start back.
5 MATTOX’S WESTERN Really has never put forth a bad effort. Has speed too. He will need to go faster, but I wouldn’t sell too short.
6 AXIOM HANOVER Last qualifier was an improved effort on the same cold morning as Rock Icon. I suppose I will watch his first start.
7 WHAT’S THE STORY Just 1 for 15. Most experienced in the field. Last 2 starts were not great, but look at his effort at this level on 1/3.
8 BETTOR NOT MISS This is an intriguing prospect in this field. Likely to improve 2nd time out and had just too much to do last time. I like.
9 PROTOCOL Nice win last time at Dover and you ignore these connections at your own risk. Merits a long look in a wide open race.
10 LONG FIGHT HANOVER Di Nozzi will drive recent $45k purchase himself. This horse would be favored with a catch driver. Tricky call now.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-6-8
H Horse Comment
1 BEAU JOE This field is a bit tougher than the last he faced, but he raced well on 1/18. Gets Gingras back. Still, looks like a longshot here.
2 B L CLASS ACT Getting some class relief into the B-2/B-1 Handicap, but many of these trotters are making that drop. Needs a rebound.
3 PROUD MOMENT Had a tough trip last time. Expect him to make the lead early in the mile with post relief. Clear bounce back candidate.
4 FEEL THE PRESSURE Made a break in her only start in the last 8 weeks. If she trots, she can contend in this field. Mixed feelings here.
5 WESTSIDE LINDY Never got involved last time. Draws a similar post here and will need to stay closer. Might use him underneath.
6 IN NOMINE PATRI Gelding has some early speed and has raced well here before. Qualifier was decent and he should be fair value.
7 VAPORSTAR He was in over his head in his last few starts as a three year old. Bought for just $18,000 out of the sale. Might need one.
8 BIG BALLER Could rival Cruise Queen as the most overbet horse of the night. Totally blocked in the stretch again. Seems to find trouble.
9 IN YOUR ROOM Continues to move a bit down the ladder and I suppose his last pair have been better. Expect to see some speed.
10 BAD BOY BILLY Exiting some pretty tough races at Yonkers, but his lack of speed is a concern given his draw. Looking elsewhere on top.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 8-1-10-5
H Horse Comment
1 FIFTYSHADESDARKER Took some support last time but made an uncharacteristic break. Callahan chose off, but I might take a shot.
2 BEAMMEUPSCOTTIE Makes his first start back and is coming off a sick scratch. Showed some promise as a 2YO. Watching this one.
3 A LIST Disappointed as the favorite on 1/17. Throw out that last mile with broken equipment. Tetrick chose off though this time. Tricky.
4 AUCKLAND FLYER That wasn’t a bad qualifier on a very cold and windy morning. Making his first start in nearly 4 months. Watch one.
5 BEACHFRONT Rebounded impressively with the addition of Lasix last time. Takes on Wilcox again, but has the post edge. Contender.
6 SKY IS THE LIMIT Just caught a faster group last time. I can easily forgive that and it’s not like he was terrible either. Big shot here.
7 A BETTOR WORLD Not a bad qualifier and good to see him finish the mile well on a cold day. Does he need a start? Another to consider.
8 POWER ROCK Seems to be on top of his game lately and adds to what is a very contentious group. Expect speed. Looms a contender.
9 FOX VALLEY LEO Went first over at Yonkers last time on a tough night condition-wise and just got tired late. He is a rebound candidate.
10 WILCOX Went into those strong headwinds on a cold night last time and I think it took its toll. He is still going to be very tough here.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-7-10
H Horse Comment
1 QUICK DEAL Put the hobbles on in that qualifier and responded impressively. Gelding might step up in this spot. One of the contenders.
2 IL MAGO Fought gamely in a stretch drive with Fountainbleau Volo. Is he ready for this step up? Seems on the right path for Harder.
3 SPICE IT UP LINDY Raced as well as one could have expected last week. This race isn’t any easier though. A similar result in here?
4 MAGNUM KOSMOS Campbell chose off, but he is an interesting horse here. Just doesn’t seem to like Yonkers. If he trots, he can win.
5 JUST LIKE LLOYD Racing very well right now and draws a perfect post for this try. Might be the one to beat in a very deep field.
6 ELLEN’S ISLE Which mare shows up tonight? Just as she was starting to get back to form, she threw in a break. See how she looks!
7 MUGSHOT JESS Seems to be on top of his game right now and along with Il Mago, is taking a bump up in class. Should be rallying.
8 MY LEAP OF FAITH Could not quite handle this move up last time, although he was finishing well. Can he stay closer? Tricky call here.
9 THE BUDSTER Raced better last time, but still seemed to flatten coming off cover last time. Now moves outside without any speed. Pass.
10 LUCKY ROLL Outer flow just didn’t work last time as the :59.1 middle half did all the closers in. Watson barn going well. Can’t dismiss.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 CAMPHOR HANOVER Has not handled similar levels at Yonkers in 2013. Draws well, but Tetrick opts off. Tows along for a share?
2 RHAPSODY ROSE Mare will be sent to the lead and she appears to be the speed of this group. Can she last longer this time? Possibly.
3 COWBOY’S DREAMER Exits a pretty good race and this class relief can only help. Should work out a good trip from here. Top contender.
4 RAMONA DISOMMA Liked her qualifier and this is the right spot for her return. I might want to see a race first. Watch the tote board.
5 AUTUMN MAGIC Continues to race very well despite the moves up in class. She might work out an ideal trip from here. Contender.
6 GORDYYY’S PET Not a bad effort from post 12 last time out and she should work out a good trip from here. Miller opts off though. Tricky.
7 CLEAR VIEW HANOVER Love the way she has been rallying and Lundell seems to have her firing on all cylinders. Cannot be dismissed.
8 STAR KEEPER Got the trip over the track so she is a candidate to improve. Has speed from this draw. See how other Hall trainees did.
9 HOSTESS LISA Just did not factor on the class hike last time and catches another wide draw. Might wait for the drop back to the B-2.
10 DELIGHTFUL DIVA Continues to earn checks, but I though she should have been better last time. Now post 10, I’ll play against this time.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 9-1-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 VICTORY NUT Got very aggressive from that wide draw last time. Set a torrid pace on a cold night. Class drop and post relief. Intersting.
2 SPECIAL EDDIE Has speed, but that break last time scares me a little bit. This is the right spot and I like that he picked up Pierce.
3 OUTLAW Got a touch of relief last time and responded with an improved effort. Winner of that has a lot of potential. A share, maybe.
4 IRON WILL Trip just didn’t work out last time. He was a bit overbet based on the trip from 1-4. He can rebound, but far from a cinch.
5 HOBOKEN SONNY Shows a win surrounded by a pair of breaks. He is a risky proposition and Campbell chose off. Mixed feelings.
6 SOAPY SAP Can she win? Yes. Will she be overbet off that last mile coming from too far back? Yes. I don’t want the short price she offers.
7 MARION MONACO Has not won in a long time, but barn is off to a hot start. It’s hard to play him on his form, but barn is too hot to ignore.
8 RUSH N SUPREME Has not been a factor in either start and did not respond to the class drop last time. Looking elsewhere once again.
9 THE TRIPLE LINDY Gelding is on top of his game and now gets a bump in class. I think he fits in this spot. Take a good long look here.
10 GREY ICE Off three weeks here and he did work out a perfect trip last time. Gingras goes elsewhere this time. Tricky call from here.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 10-4-3-6
H Horse Comment
1 KING’S CAVALIER For a moment, I thought he was going to circle up and blow by the field last time. He remains sharp. This field is tough!
2 ZUEREST Took a big shot last time and raced very well. See how the winner did earlier in the card. A definite pace threat in this group.
3 APRIL SUNSHINE Think she was getting tired when she broke last time. With a smoother trip, she can contend in this wide open affair.
4 MOHEGAN HANOVER I liked him last week and he raced well. It was not easy to close last Friday either. Give him another shot.
5 DENNIS Both qualifiers were solid. Raced well behind Modern Family in that first one. Classy trotter makes his first start in 15 months.
6 REAL BABE Took advantage of a track that was playing kindly to the front end last week. This spot will be tougher. Miller’s choice of three.
7 CIVIC DUTY Not sure what to make of his last start. I don’t think he had any trot in the stretch. Loses Gingras. Hard to play off his last.
8 FOUNTAINBLEAU VOLO Went a very big mile into some fast early fractions last time. Loses Miller, but if he can build on that effort…
9 NOT AFRAID He should wakeup in this spot, but he has been disappointing so far. Expect speed and improvement. Will take play as well.
10 TAKE MY PICTURE The other class dropper has not been at a level this low in some time. If he can find a way into it, look for him late.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 9-6-4-1
H Horse Comment
1 MOVE ON Post improvement was all he needed to turn things around quickly at Freehold. A threat at this level from the pole.
2 FOUR STARZ TWINS Has been facing better, nut has been overmatched as well. Loses Gingras now as well. Hard to endorse here.
3 SPECTACULAR MAN Recent form has not been sharp and he has not won in some time as well. I need to see more before considering.
4 TROUBLE HANOVER Responded well last time to a ground saving trip. Loses Andy in here, but off his last effort, he is a contender.
5 WHERE’S WALDO No idea what to do with this horse? Barn is on a tear, but he has been dull. Likely to still take play. Tough call now.
6 THE OTHER CHEEK Racing against better at Freehold and has been proven on the big track. Looks like the one to beat in this group.
7 JOEY JOOKISS Not a bad effort at massive odds last time. Not sure that he can jump up and win, but I suppose he can land a share.
8 LAGUNA BEACH He was slightly bothered early in that mile. But he worked out an ideal journey and was flat in the lane. Tricky now.
9 BLADE RUNNER Loomed up three wide but just had too much ground to make up. Like the move to Pierce here. An interesting factor.
10 TAMAYO Big effort last time and just missed. Was one of the few making up ground in the stretch last Friday. Will have many to pass.
11 OK COGNAC Has not been much of a factor at this level and now will need the help of a trip from here. Playing against in this spot.
12 JL’S MAN OF ACTION Last pair of starts have not been too promising. Post 12 now adds to the dilemma. I need to see improvement.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-10-8
H Horse Comment
1 PAY TRIBUTE Just an even try last time at Yonkers and did not fair well at this level when last seen here. I will be watching this time.
2 FOX VALLEY SWIFT Has not been able to duplicate that effort from 1-4 in her two subsequent starts. Loses Tetrick in this spot too.
3 SHAKY HANOVER Gets some class relief here for the second time of the meet. Wasn’t Tetrick’s choice, but she can improve here.
4 SYNERGY SEELSTER What a rally last week just to come up a nose short. Draws well and catches a similar group. Contender again.
5 BELL ON WHEELS Really had no shot last time and this mare was racing against better not too long ago. There is a wakeup coming.
6 CRUISE QUEEN Will be the most overbet horse of the night off that last blocked in mile that everyone saw. Do you take the short price?
7 SWEET HEDGE Efforts in Canada were just marginal. Moves to the Remmen barn. Is there a big wakeup coming? Tricky call now.
8 SMOKE PAN MIRRORS Continues to race very well. Gets her first difficult post of the meet though. Stepping up in class as well.
9 GORDY’S FILLY YENTA Loses Miller and has post 9 in this spot. Based on her last two efforts, isn’t she going to have too much to do?
10 DRAGON PRINCESS Continues to race well, but she is also continuing to take money and not winning. I am using underneath again.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 SKY TANTRUM Almost went down the road last time. Now catches a field that he just looks the best in. Expect similar tactics. Very tough.
2 GAMBLER’S TALE Has been better since the addition of Lasix and I like the move back to Gingras here. Should be prominent throughout.
3 ALLAMERICAN CHIEF Making just his 3rd start back off a long layoff. He should start to show more from here on out. Watch closely.
4 CITY PIE Although this is the lowest classified race at M1, it is still a move up from the lowest level at Freehold. Watching this time.
5 BEWARE OF DARKNESS Tough trip last time. Has a class edge on some of these. Gets Miller and draws well. Adds value to exotics.
6 EXPENSIVE TOY Marohn drove this horse like he was the best last week and he almost was. Off that mile, he cannot be dismissed here.
7 TUNE ME OUT Recent form has been rather dull and he did not race well at this level when last seen here. Need to see more.
8 ITS OUTTA HERE Woke up with a much improved effort at Freehold and he had been facing better here. Give him a long look here.
9 BUTN YOUR SHIRT ED Recent form has not been sharp and now Gingras chooses off. Draws outside without much speed. Not sold.
10 EAGLE ARTESIAN Last effort was an improvement, but now he catches post 10. Carlson will have to be very aggressive from here.