• Week Of 2/10 - 2/16
  • SU10
  • MO11
  • TU12
  • WE13
  • TH14
  • FR15
  • SA16
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 15, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-8-9
H Horse Comment
1 CELEBRITY BOMBAY Went a very tough first over trip last time. Winner of that heat has come back to win her next 2 starts. Prime player.
2 IRON WILL Led throughout but faltered in the stretch when challenged by ‘Lindy. Gelding will need to find more in the stretch. Maybe.
3 BLOOMFIELDCANTIFLY Respectable qualifier behind ‘Shanty. I would have liked to see a little bit more in the stretch. I’ll watch this time.
4 EPIC TALE Tetrick showing loyalty to Schnittker here with a trotter that has showed promise but is yet to deliver the goods. Class drop.
5 LEXIS AMIGO Exits a key qualifier for tonight’s card as several horses are exiting that heat. Got a bit rough in the stretch in there, too.
6 SHANTY IRISH Mare just does not stay trotting when the lights come on. Can she win? Absolutely, but she is a major risk as well.
7 UPFRONTSTRIKESGOLD Has not shown a recent race mile that he made an impact and his qualifier was dull. Wait for the turnaround.
8 DASH FOR THE CASH Went an impressive first over grind last time. That was a big effort. He steps up in class here, but he can handle it.
9 IN YOUR ROOM Was four wide coming off the turn last week and showed even trot in the stretch. Similar trip results in a minor award.
10 HOBOKEN SONNY Off nearly a month and coming off a sick scratch as well. First start back from post 10 seems too much to ask.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-1-4
H Horse Comment
1 WILCOX Showed a burst off the gate before finding hole in a fast early quarter. He was extended a bit in the stretch. Short price still looms.
2 MR PRESLEY Regressed from his first start to his last and that is a concern. This field is even tougher than the last as well. Not sold.
3 DHARMA INITIATIVE Had no chance last time, so I expect this effort to be better. But at the same time is he ready to be Wilcox et al?
4 HUMILITY Really liked his qualifier. He made a big move on the backstretch. That being said, is he ready to take on the favorite here?
5 BEAMMEUPSCOTTIE Was a non-factor last time against a similar cast. Not sure it’s possible to predict a turnaround in this spot.
6 MATTOX’S WESTERN Led briefly between calls last time and I thought that last effort was sharp. Gelding is in form. Should offer value.
7 TERROR HIGH Made a bold move to the lead last time and won while extended in the stretch. Gets a test tonight in Wilcox. Like him.
8 A LIST Sat second over last time but faltered in the stretch. That type of effort just is not going to cut it in this series. Needs to step it up.
9 SKY IS THE LIMIT Was stacked up fourth over, which was a lot to overcome. That being said, he had no punch in this stretch. Tricky now.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-9-8
H Horse Comment
1 OVER AND OUT See how Lexis Amigo did in the first. Just an even try in that qualifier and he comes with a risk of breaking. Tricky call.
2 APRIL SUNSHINE Was parked out early and made a brush, but never cleared the lead. Still, this mare didn’t quit. That was a big effort!
3 THE CHANCELLOR He is always a risky play and many bettors will take a chance on this class drop. Still, I have my reservations here.
4 MAGGLIO His last qualifier was better, but he did not improve enough for me to warrant consideration in this field. Wait and see here.
5 BAD BOY BILLY Was a non-factor from the widest draw last time. The post improvement will help. He can rebound for a share now.
6 LIVE JAZZ I say it time and time again, this horse has talent. Perhaps the last will prove a confidence builder that can spring him forward!
7 GAELIC AND GARLIC See how Monster Luke did in Race 1 today and if that horse won, move this one way up. NYSS winner last year.
8 ZUEREST Went on a wild gallop last time, which is unusual for him. Expect that same speed and a better effort. Don’t dismiss this time.
9 BIG BALLER That is another bad trip, this time he got parked the mile. If this gelding ever catches a smooth journey, he’ll be right there.
10 FOUNTAINBLEAU VOLO Flashed decent trot off a third over trip, but this post is going to make things tough. He’ll have to pass them all.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-8-1-7
H Horse Comment
1 BEACHFRONT He is good when he doesn’t run into Wilcox, which is the case tonight. Still, there are promising horses in this field, too.
2 CHESAPEAKE BAY Showed good speed at Dover and I like the move to Callahan here. A pace factor at the very least. Can he last?
3 A BETTOR WORLD Adds Lasix here after being shuffled to last and showing a big late kick coming to the wire. Best bet of the night!
4 STIRLING BRIGADE He has been in against some tough fields and on paper this is actually a drop in class. Will he respond? Tough call.
5 FOX VALLEY LEO Was a non-factor in his first start here, but his Yonkers form was pretty good. I wouldn’t blame anyone expecting better.
6 AUCKLAND FLYER Was far back early, but got into a live outer flow, but had no kick in the stretch. He can improve second time back.
7 CYCLONE A promising two year old, but he has not shown much in either qualifier. I am going to watch him closely as there is talent here.
8 ROCK ICON He went a very brave first over last week and if Terror High won earlier, move this guy way up. A deserving favorite now.
9 HOMESTAKE Added Lasix in that last qualifier but still appeared to be flat. First start back off the bench and coming from last. Tough task.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 1-7-8-3
H Horse Comment
1 FEEL THE PRESSURE The runner-up from her 1/25 qualifier raced Thursday, so tab that. This mare looked cranked and ready to go!
2 MUGSHOT JESS Did not handle the move up in class last week. Draws better and this field might be a bit softer than the last. Improves?
3 I’M FABULOUS Last pair of starts at Yonkers were vast improvement off that break. Winner of last is in to go later. I can make a case.
4 MY LEAP OF FAITH Moves to a better post and perhaps that will result in a better performance. Still, I will wait for a class drop to bet.
5 BASTILLE Gelding has been in some tough races at Yonkers and he is now making his third start back off a brief rest. He can improve.
6 PRICEVALLEYREVITUP Seems to have found similar levels at Yonkers too tough. Still, you can never just dismiss anything from this barn.
7 LUCKY ROLL Tough mile in a good field last time. This is a softer spot. Expect the same speed and a better result despite Miller opting off.
8 SPEED BOMB Speaking of barns that cannot be dismissed. 10YO drops out of the Open at Yonkers. Figures to be a factor in here.
9 MONSIGNOR FLAN Recent form is pretty good and is one of a handful of Yonkers invaders this week. Tough draw. Closes for a piece?
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-2-8
H Horse Comment
1 MOJARRA HANOVER Mare has not factored at this level the last two starts. Faces many from that same race last out. Needs more.
2 MJ’S BID Was very good two starts back, but caught a rough trip last time. Still she finished well and always offers a price. I am using.
3 JOLTING KATE Making her second start back off the bench, so that warrants a looks. Still just 1 for 22 last year. Not sold in this spot.
4 MAGIC STARLIGHT Not a bad try last time and she should be tightened up for this. Expect Gingras to send, she might be the one to beat.
5 MYSTICAL VICTRESS I thought she squandered a perfect trip last week. She seems to always take money too. Needs to be better now.
6 CLEAR VIEW HANOVER She finishes very wide and very fast. If Allard can ever keep her in a straight line, she’ll never lose! Contender.
7 ELLEOFNXAMPLE Tough trip last week. That being said, I think she will do her best work at the level below this. Watch for better.
8 QUEEN OF ROYALTY She is a sharp mare right now and I think she has the speed to leave fast enough from here. Very interesting.
9 DON’T BLAME HER Was no match for ‘Royalty last time, so that’s a concern. She might need a start over the track from here too.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-7-8-9
H Horse Comment
1 PHOTO KING He was very good last week. That being said, he loses Gingras and I have not been a fan of the rail spot this year. Tricky.
2 IL MAGO Chased a monstrous performance from Quick Deal last week. He might be fully cranked and ready to go in this spot. Interesting.
3 JUST LIKE LLOYD Like others, ran into a buzz-saw last week. That being said, this field isn’t exactly easy. Best used underneath for now.
4 SPICE IT UP LINDY Not a bad mile last week behind that dominant winner. Good draw and I expect a similar journey. Earns a share.
5 COCO LINDY He looked good in that qualifier. See how ‘Lexis did in Race 1 as well. Vincennes Trot winner from last year looks ready!
6 WALDORF HALL I think he needs to be on a helmet to do his best racing. He might get that setup here and should offer a square price.
7 EQUITY He has really hit his best stride since the addition of Lasix. Remember, he won a Free For All here last year too. One to beat.
8 DON’T KNOW CHIP That was the ‘Chip we know. What a rally! Tetrick opting to Lindy is more of a plus for Lindy than a minus for ‘Chip.
9 ICE MACHINE Toss out the break at The Meadows. Some just don’t handle that track. He was very good when last seen here. Using.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 5-9-6-8
H Horse Comment
1 GORDYYY’S PET She had a long way to come last week, so I understand her being outkicked. If Clear View raced well, move her up!
2 ANGELWITHANATTITUDE Mare is in very good form at Dover, the problem is the Dover shippers have not been racing well here so far.
3 ARCTIC FIRE N Seems to have tailed off a bit at Yonkers in her last pair and this race did not come up easy. Need to see one first.
4 HOSTESS LISA She has not handled the move to this level well at all. She might improve with the better post, but it’s a tough call.
5 RAMONA DISOMMA I liked how she was finishing last week, she just got on track too late. Expecting a better, explosive turn of foot now!
6 AUTUMN MAGIC Never saw the pylons last week and paid the price in the stretch. That being said, her prior for was good. Still using.
7 NEVERMIND FRANCO Another Dover shipper, except this mare is not as sharp so I will take a wait and see approach before considering.
8 RHAPSODY ROSE She just got nipped by the very wide, very fast closing Clear View Hanover. If you like Gordy, you have to like her!
9 UNRED HANOVER Beat the boys in that last qualifier, including Veal Marsala who raced on Thursday. Stakes placed mare looks good.
10 COWBOYS DREAMER Wide draw is not going to help as Allard will have to be creative. If she can blast, I expect to see it. Speed.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 6-2-3-9
H Horse Comment
1 ASSET MANAGEMENT At first glance, that looks like a big rally. But I really think that race fell apart. I’m not sold on the repeat here.
2 ONE NIGHT On the drop in class, this is probably the mare to beat. Moves off the rail, which I like. Expect Pierce to be aggressive here.
3 SYNERGY SEELSTER She needs a helmet to do her best racing, but she seems to be lacking the knockout punch. Not sold on the win.
4 GORDY’S FILLY YENTA Mare is a slow starter, but she might be able to follow ‘Synergy here. I can see her sneaking into the mix.
5 DRAGON PRINCESS She has been disappointing lately. When she finds the right spot, she fires. I’m surprised she hasn’t won yet.
6 NUTMEGS YANKEE Steps up off a very impressive win. Will that be the confidence builder she needs? It’s a possibility. Factor again.
7 LIGHTNING PAIGE She seems to have tailed off a bit at Yonkers lately and I am not sure the move to the Big M is going to turn it around.
8 SHAKY HANOVER Off a month now and sick scratch. Her prior form was rather dull as well. It’s hard to recommend her at this time.
9 SWEET HEDGE She finished quite well behind a well meant winner in her last start. With a trip, she is a major contender, despite the post.
10 SMOKE PAN MIRRORS Continues to race well and she handled the move up quite well last time also. Needs to find a hole early on.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 SPECTATOR K Remember, he won at this level on 1/3. His last two starts are a concern though. I don’t love the 1-hole in this field either.
2 BABY BLAZE Chased a multiple, next-out winner last time in Real Babe. A repeat of that effort makes him very tough. He’s my top pick.
3 THROUGH THE NIGHT Stepping up off a sharp win at this 1 1/16th miles distance. Tetrick did choose off, but I can see him in the mix.
4 MYSTICAL CON Last pair of starts are pretty solid and Gingras landing here surprised me a little as well. Must be included in all spots.
5 WEEKEND VACATION Coming off an extended layoff and a pair of sub-par qualifiers as well. Seems to be up against it in this spot.
6 CAMERON CHIP She just has not come back herself. One of these nights we will see that patented Cameron Chip stretch drive.
7 BOINGA What happened last time and she was a total non-factor without much of an excuse either. I suppose she could rebound.
8 DOUBLE UP HANOVER Wins or breaks is his M.O. Last time Campbell held him together. JC is the perfect driver for him too. Chalk.
9 PAISLEY Back to back solid efforts, yet Gingras goes elsewhere. Off that, believers should get a better price. Not without a chance.
10 JULIA’S WAY Off for nearly 4 months and her qualifiers were not strong enough to merit consideration in her first start back. Longshot.
11 RINGSIDE LAURYN Did not handle the move down in class. I suppose the 11 post is better than the 10. Still not sold this time.
12 HEIDI FALLS Regressed in that last start and now will be stacked up in post 12. Another that I need to see improvement from first.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 8-1-3-7
H Horse Comment
1 RESISTANCE FUTILE Making his second start back off the layoff. It is not easy to come from 16 lengths back at Woodbine either. I like.
2 CARD KNOCK LIFE Last pair of starts just don’t stack up against the best of this group. Need to see more at this time to consider.
3 FIFTYSHADESDARKER That was a very tough mile last time and he hung in there very well against the series favorite. Should be good.
4 WORLD CUP CULLEN Tough trip and eventually went off-stride. Now Carlson opts off and he is a total wild card at this point.
5 AXIOM HANOVER I liked his qualifier and the recovery he made on 2/1. That being said, he can make a break without any warning.
6 ALWAYS THERE Barn going well, but I haven’t seen quite enough of him yet to consider. Andy doesn’t opt off many Surick horses, either.
7 GOINTHRUTHEMOTIONS Well, I guess he has third-it is? He seems to be consistent, but he also needs to step it up to win this.
8 POWER ROCK Callahan should have him firing off the gate for sure. That effort against Wilcox wins this race. Looks very tough to beat.
9 JPS MINI ME I don’t like the fact that he regressed in his last two qualifiers. Now he has the widest draw too. Need to see a start.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 7-4-1-2
H Horse Comment
1 THE TRIPLE LINDY This gelding is extremely sharp right now. That being said, this is a much tougher group. Cannot be dismissed again.
2 NOT AFRAID Raced much better against a next out winner last time. Is he ready to break through and win. It’s a possibility. Using.
3 ELLEN’S ISLE Talk about a risk. This mare packs some back class and may respond to the class drop. Or, she might break. Tough call.
4 THE BUDSTER Another class dropper in here that makes for an interesting race. He has been OK his last two starts. Drop and pop?
5 TSMLIL ORPHAN ANDY Talk about slammed with bad posts at Yonkers. He is very interesting with his racing style and post improvement.
6 KING’S CAVALIER Was not as good last time as that race was tougher than the previous. Should be able to follow ‘Andy from here.
7 VAPORSTAR He was finishing very well last time and has the look of a horse that will storm by the field one of these nights. Contender.
8 SCORPION MOON Can you trust this gelding to stay flat? At this point, I can’t. I will be watching closely though. Tab for next time.
9 BRUCE THE BRAVE Form is in and out in Canada, so that is a concern. Woodbine shippers have been up and down so far as well.
10 IN NOMINE PATRI Outraced his odds last time and is now rewarded with post 10. Irish Joe might have to use some speed from here.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-5-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 SLEAZY DOES IT Mare appeared to have some pace last time, so that is encouraging. This is the softer of these divisions as well.
2 CHILD’S PLAY That was a tough trip last time and it should tighten her up for this. Take a good long look as she has a shot in here.
3 ROCK ANN ROLLING Caught a shuffle last time and never really had a chance. I wouldn’t be shocked by an improved effort this time.
4 LEXUS ARTIST Steps up off a win at 66-1. The bonus is now you get Gingras in the sulky who is driving lights out. Interesting call here.
5 DREAM’S BAR She is getting better and better and one of these nights, she is going to break through and win. Perfect post as well.
6 MISS SAND CREEK Off a sick scratch and three missed weeks. That being said, she was favored against a similar field last time.
7 STAR KEEPER I thought she should have been better last time so I am a bit concerned with that effort. Should offer a price here.
8 SANGAAL What a monster move she made in that qualifier, all by herself, without any cover whatsoever. I think she is ready to fire!
9 JOYFUL JOY N Her efforts have been decent lately and she has some early speed as well. I can see using her at a decent price here.
10 CAMPHOR HANOVER Dropping down a level, but this race is wide open and I think landing on this mare would be a bit of a reach.