• 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 Saturday, February 16, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 8-3-7-9
H Horse Comment
1 STEUBEN PATRIOT Enters this off a five week layoff. Has won four of five starts, but still, this is a major test for class. Must step it up.
2 BJ’S RAMEAU Been facing better in those last two starts and exits the same race as ‘Stallone. Will need more to turn the tables on him.
3 STALLONE BLUE CHIP Showed good speed from the pole last out and we can expect more of that here. Looks like the one to beat.
4 SEEK THE DRAGON Last race was a definite improved effort showing good late pace in that mile. Can easily see him hitting the ticket.
5 NEWSPEAK Was well-situated 2nd over last time but came up empty in the stretch, Hard to endorse off his most recent efforts.
6 PARADE MANUEL Was stacked up fourth over with cover last time, so it’s hard to say how much he had in the tank. Bottom of exotics?
7 WHAT’S THE STORY Sat along the pylons and was pinned inside before making a bold move up the pylons to just miss. Nice effort.
8 ARC DE TRIUMPH The driver change to Tetrick is going to attract plenty of attention at the windows. Made a brief break at the start.
9 PLEASE ME TWO Just could not get involved from a tough post last time. His previous effort was solid though. I can see including him.
10 VAVOOMSTER Just has not shown enough in his last pair of starts to merit consideration in here. Looks like the longshot.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 10-7-5-9
H Horse Comment
1 MICHAEL’S MARVEL Sat third along the pylons before briefly being shown racetrack. He did not offer any pace in the stretch though.
2 JOEY JOOKISS Stacked up with excess cover last time out, eventually gapping that cover. His prior effort was O.K. Mixed feelings here.
3 L M XKR I am not going to get too excited about a wire to wire win from post 1 against a soft field at Monticello. Needs more to win here.
4 MARINER See comment on L M HKR, as it applies here as well. I don’t trust his speed to carry him as far here either. Must go faster.
5 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE Was jammed in while catching a shuffle last time out. He has some pace late, and this race is a bit softer, too.
6 MR HALLOWELL Coming off a ten week layoff and an O.K. qualifier for this. Catches a soft field so I wouldn’t be shocked by him.
7 PAN GRAD Everyone will notice this barn change, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he actually goes off favored despite dull form. Watch tote.
8 GENERAL MONTGOMERY Recent form has been dull and it appears he has tailed off. Still, he has been facing better fields overall.
9 MAJOR WORK OF ART That was a good qualifier (same as Mr. Hallowell). He might need a start off the layoff, but I am watching closely.
10 NEW RELEASE Not a bad mile behind a repeat winner last time. This appears to be the right level and I expect to see speed from here.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-1-1A
H Horse Comment
1 PAPA RAY Had a perfect second over trip but was no match for the winner. Avoids that foe tonight, but this is no easy spot. Contender.
1A CEE PEE PANIC Went a very tough first over trip and he was dead game all the way to the wire. This one-two punch looks very tough.
2 CHICAGO HANOVER He was 3rd over and was probably going to get a piece when he hooked wheels and was forced offstride.
3 MAN HE CAN SKOOT Got parked to the ¼, yielded and was then shuffled with nowhere to go in the stretch. Watch the replay. My pick.
4 MR DENNIS Was parked to the ¼ last time and led between calls. Forced to try to rally up the pylons which is a tricky move. Chalk.
5 ETHAN HANOVER He hooked wheels with Chicago Hanover in the stretch, so it is tough to know how much he had. Andy opts off.
6 LINDWOOD PLAYER Where on earth did he come from last week? Last to first winner at 45-1. Are you going to buy into the repeat?
7 WHO DAT LOVE Showed late pace from very far back last week and I think this gelding has more to offer as well. Adds value to the field.
8 SUNDAY POKER Sat loose 2nd over behind Holdingallthecards last week before flattening out. He’ll need to be better than that here.
9 HANG TEN He did not have a smooth trip last week, eventually diving to the pylons with some pace. Another interesting value play.
10 VARSITY HANOVER Sat the pocket, but offered no response in the stretch. Hard to recommend off that kind of effort. Longshot.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 1-10-3-5
H Horse Comment
1 RELENTLESS DREAMER Was far back early last time and came with a big rally from a tough 5th over spot. He only needs to stay closer.
2 FOX VALLEY ARCTIC He was stacked up with cover as well, but did not offer much punch. The 26.4 final ¼ is misleading in that field.
3 SONIC DANCER Went a very tough first over trip last week and it just didn’t work out. If Callahan can work out a better trip, he’s a player.
4 ALEX BULLVILLE Was 2nd over in what became a stalled outer flow last time. But, he did hang a bit at the end of the mile. Mixed feelings.
5 MEGA LIGHTNING Sat the pocket in that qualifier and moved along the pylons under no urging at all. He might need a start. Tough call.
6 STRIPE’N STAR Was parked to the 3/8th’s last week and eventually tired. Callahan opts off now and he’ll need a helmet to follow.
7 CORKY BARAN Was well situated to the half mile pole, sitting second over. But he was flat off that perfect trip. Will need to improve.
8 LEGENDS LUCK He was stacked up with excess cover in that last mile and like ‘Arctic, wasn’t exactly flying home. Still, Tetrick opted here.
9 DOOMSDAY HANOVER Grabbed the lead early before eventually being shuffled back. When free, he appeared to run in badly. Tricky.
10 BLUE CLAW Was locked in 5th into the stretch and had to angle way out wide in deep stretch. He was really rolling late. Logical player.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 7-6-9-2
H Horse Comment
1 DR C’S Z TAM Recent form has not been too sharp with the exception of a race at long odds here. I need to see more from this gelding.
2 SOUTHERN SPORT He was 4th over and was 3-wide at the ¾ pole before flattening out in the stretch. Needs to stay closer from here.
3 DOUBLETROUBLE Went from awesome to empty in a week. Perhaps the move to this level just proved to be too much. Hard to play.
4 EAGLE JOLT Earned a confidence builder last time at Yonkers, but that field was softer than this. I am not totally sold on him in this spot.
5 HURRIKANE SCOTTY J Was 3rd over in what can be defined as a dull outer flow last week. Offered even pace in the stretch. Not sure.
6 MORGAN SHARK Went a very long, uncovered, first over grind in that last mile. A better trip can put him right there on the wire as well.
7 MCCEDES He caught a shuffle last week and offered some pace when free. I think he can build on that effort with any kind of trip here.
8 RELENTLESS G Sat loose 2nd over cover last week before gapping to 3rd over, then offering little pace in the stretch. I’ll pass for now.
9 VODKA IS TERROR He showed a good late kick, granted it was far too late to get to the wire first. Tetrick did opt off, which surprised me.
10 PRIVATE INTERVIEW Recent start was a step in the wrong direction. I think this level might be a bit too tough for him for now.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-7-5
H Horse Comment
1 TIREMAN Continues to struggle right now, so it is hard to endorse him given his current form. Tetrick opted off as well. Passing for now.
2 IDEAL MATTERS Was parked to the ¼ last time before making the lead. He continues to improve and should be a handful in here.
3 ARMBRO BILLOW Had no chance last time and caught a very sharp horse two starts back. He could wake up with this drop in class.
4 THAT’S JUSTICE Last three efforts do not inspire much confidence and I will need to see a form reversal before I can consider.
5 PEMBROKE DEWEY Turned a perfect pocket trip into a win last time. Now moves up the ladder and loses Miller. Tricky call in this spot.
6 LETTHEROCKBEGIN Was locked in during the stretch, but when finally free he appeared to drift out in the stretch. Tough to recommend.
7 FRISKIES CHEAPSUIT Came from well back to go by them all last time. He steps up the ladder once again, but is too sharp to ignore.
8 LIFE UP FRONT Last couple of starts have not been too promising and it would take a form reversal. He is getting some class relief though.
9 MACHAPELO Parlayed a perfect pocket trip into a rather easy win last time. Now moves back up to a level that proved too tough last time.
10 KEVLAR HANOVER Showed good early speed in that qualifier, but appeared to be a bit short in the stretch. I think he may need a start.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 7-4-9-2
H Horse Comment
1 CODE WORD I am just throwing that last race out. The winner was never challenged. His prior effort at Yonkers was good. Adds value.
2 THE POKESTER He was locked in and appeared to have pace as Campbell was looking for room. He may be overlooked in this spot.
3 MCCLELLAND Shook free too late between horses but appeared to have good late pace. I wouldn’t be shocked by a good effort now.
4 RESCUE PLAN He is exiting a race that produces a back to back next out winner. This spot is softer and he is major win contender.
5 I FOUGHT DALAW Same goes for him, as he sat along 3rd for the whole mile. He is pretty sharp right now, yet Callahan chose off. Tricky.
6 TRANSCENDING Making his second start back off the layoff for a red hot barn right now. I would not be surprised at all by a better effort.
7 VOICE OF TRUTH If you throw out that last effort, he certainly fits here. I don’t know why, but I just have a feeling he will pass them all!
8 MALICIOUS Has not been showing me enough at the end of his miles to make me consider him in this spot. Looks like a longshot.
9 WESTERN TSUNAMI Was fast leaving and then had to make a first over move into a strong mile. He continues sharp for a can’t miss barn.
10 MUSSELSFRMBRUSSELS I am concerned he will be left with too much to do from here, but he is too sharp to leave off your tickets.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 8-3-6-2
H Horse Comment
1 IDEAL CHAMP He just is not in his best form right now and it will take a lot more in this spot for him to break through and win.
2 OSCAR OSCAR A J Corbelli just went right by him last week. Now he avoids that foe in this spot, so by default, this is softer. Threat.
3 ON THE RADAR That was a big effort prior to the sick scratch and it wouldn’t shock me if he fires another big effort. Things to like.
4 BOLERO ANDREW He has missed 2 weeks now, so I am a little more skeptical regarding this gelding than ‘Radar. Tricky call now.
5 MORTAL ZIN Just has not shown his best so far and he was only marginally better with the class relief last time out. Needs to do better.
6 PERRITO CALIENTE Just got collared by No Bu who jumped up with a big mile last week. Wouldn’t be surprised to see him win again.
7 FOOLS GOLD Gets some class relief and is exiting a very good mile by Major Belle. Pierce chose off, and he is a fringe player here.
8 BAKIN ON THE BEACH I have been waiting for this class drop and with ‘Perrito in this field, his price might be better than it should be!
9 SILVER EAGLE Gets class relief but he is stopping the stretch right now. I need to see more from him late before I can endorse.
10 ESPRIT DE KAYJAY A Andy has to drive Oscar Oscar, so do not let that sway you here. This horse raced very well last week. Value.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 10-2-3-8
H Horse Comment
1 MR COOLIE Added Lasix in that qualifier and he finished up nicely. Still might need a start off the layoff. Tough field here as well.
2 FREDDY DAY HANOVER There are pros and cons here. Pro, this is a field he can normally beat. Con, Pierce chose off. I still like him.
3 SCOTTY MACH N This is the reason why Pierce chose off ‘Freddy. Another class dropper in better form. He looks extremely tough here.
4 RECENT NEWS That was a brave first over mile last time. This field did come up tougher though. I think he will need a better trip.
5 CASIMIR CAMOTION He also went a very brave first over mile in his last start, but faces the same challenge as ‘News. Tricky read here.
6 ERIDANUS N Stepping up off an out of nowhere mile, lighting up the board at 48-1. Make no mistake, this will be much tougher.
7 OUTRAGEOUS ART One of the Burke newcomers that seemingly went right down the road last week. Gets a tougher test in here.
8 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE Throw out that last start and you may have found yourself a nice value play in here. I would use him in exotics.
9 D GS WOODSTOCK That was a big effort last time and this horse is very sharp. The Allard horses are starting to pick it up a bit.
10 LAWGIVER HANOVER Like ‘Freddy, this is a spot that he should breakthrough in. The post will not help, but Tetrick will get him involved.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 11-7-3-6
H Horse Comment
1 ARTISTIC FLIGHT Just not able to get involved last time, his prior effort at this level was fair. If he can stay close, he can land a share.
2 TAKESHIGEMICHI Enters this off an extended layoff and is coming off a very disappointing season. I need to see a start before I can play.
3 COME ON RIDGE That was a game effort last time and Campbell seems to fit him well. No reason to leave him off your tickets here.
4 GAMBLER’S TALE Sky Tantrum was well-meant winner in that spot, so this gelding’s effort was a good one. Look for him to be right there.
5 ABACO Just not in good form right now and it has been a long time since he has won. That 3 for 58 record doesn’t inspire much faith.
6 EXPENSIVE TOY Racing very well right now and Marohn seems to get along well with this gelding. Expect speed from this spot, too.
7 WHERE’S WALDO Jumped up with a much improved effort last time and there is no reason to expect any less in this spot. Contender.
8 BRANDON’S COLT Gets some needed class relief but was not Gingras’ choice. It is worth noting, he dominated this level on 12/28.
9 LUCKY LAND Similar to Brandon’s Colt, he has not been racing well against better but is a candidate to wake up on the class drop.
10 DONTU GET LONELY Went from awesome to completely empty last time. Now post 10 in a 12 horse field. No idea what to expect.
11 TROUBLE HANOVER He is racing well and I like the driver change too. Post is an issue, but if he can find a way into it from here…
12 EAGLE ARTESIAN Off a couple of weeks and his recent form is just O.K. I would like to see a start before I consider in here.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 URAWOMANIZER Tried to rough it first over last time and it just didn’t work. Now catches the series favorite. Appears up against it.
1A BROOKSTONE Made the lead but just did not have enough in the stretch. He has speed, but he will need to step it up from here.
2 KING’S LEGEND Made an aggressive move to the lead before tiring just a bit. He battled back gamely but this is a tougher spot.
3 HOLDINGALLTHECARDS He was all out to hold off the fast closing ‘Bluff last time. Is he more vulnerable, or will he be better? Chalk.
4 YO CHEYENNE ROCKY Nice mile last time and he might be primed to knock off ‘Cards here. Looks like the most logical upset choice.
5 SHAWS CREEK BUFF He just missed pulling off a shocking upset last week. That price is gone, but he should be a factor once again.
6 PRINCE SHARKA He was finishing with a late burst as well last week. He will still offer plenty of value and should follow ‘Bluff as well.
7 LITTLE MICHAEL B Loomed up last time and he raced well, I thought. I am not certain he is up to the best of these though. Tricky call.
8 THE GREEN KNIGHT He has been picking up some checks lately, but this is going to be a whole new ballgame. Must step it up.
9 WHO’S YOUR MADDY I liked his last mile as he came with a nice rally. This will be tougher from this draw. Still including in gimmicks.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-8-7
H Horse Comment
1 FIVEKNUCKLESHUFFLE Wasn’t going to beat Machapello who had a perfect pocket trip last week. Gelding fits well in this feel. Gets bet.
2 ELUSIVE REWARD I don’t like to bet horses that regress that much off the claim. This is a drop in class but I am still skeptical now.
3 STAND BY CAM Showed good late pace at the end of that mile, so he is worth considering here as this race did come up a bit light.
4 ART OF ILLUSION That last mile was just O.K., so I would need to see a bit more out of him before I can recommend him. A slice?
5 FOOL OF IDEAS Gets a good draw here and I think we are going to see more of that speed from here as well. Bounces back here?
6 PAINTED BLACK Last few starts have not been too promising as he squandered a covered up trip last week. Need to see more from him.
7 LITTLE GOLD RING He has been racing O.K. and I could see him continuing to improve here. Looks like a major win contender in here.
8 JOHNNY Z Gets some class relief off that last mile which should only help. This field is not that strong, so he may just drop and pop.
9 WESTERN VICTORY Off a scratch and moving up in class. I don’t like the driver change and he will likely have too much to do here.
10 MAJOR TIPPER Moves up off a good try against a softer group. Catches the widest draw but he looks like a prime player again.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 9-4-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 CAMART HANOVER Nice win last time against softer. Now gets the move up the ladder and this race came up pretty tough for a C-1.
2 ASTOR He had some late pace last time and I though he was better than his previous start. Should be included in all exotics again.
3 CC RACY Nice win last time at Freehold and this is just a slight move upward. He might be dismissed by many and offer good value.
4 I DO HANOVER This horse is very sharp and he may just be racing against better horses lately too. Looks very tough to beat in here.
5 SHEER DESIRE Continues to race very well right now and he certainly cannot be ignored at this level. I expect to see speed again.
6 REGAL DELIGHT Recent form has not been too sharp in Canada and it’s hard to anticipate a sudden turnaround here. Longshot.
7 BEAR KING Gets some class relief and that may prove vital in this group. He is not very fast off the gate, so he may have a lot to do.
8 MYSTERIOUS MOMENT His last effort was better, but he is another that does not get off the gate too quickly. Hard to recommend.
9 ANDY BARAN Continues to race well and I think everyone is going to see the driver change here. Likely to get support, mine as well.
10 BETTOR WIN Raced well until making a break in the stretch last time. Tough post, but he should be a factor, assuming he stays flat.