• Week Of 2/17 - 2/23
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  • MO18
  • TU19
  • WE20
  • TH21
  • FR22
  • SA23
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 23, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-6-7
H Horse Comment
1 PLEASE ME TWO Has taken steps backwards since his 2013 debut. Not the fastest off the gate, so I don’t love the 1 post either.
2 ERES TU Tetrick’s choice of three made his debut a winning one at Yonkers. Toscano tries him on the big track now. Legit favorite.
3 VAVOOMSTER Now just 1 for 34, yet was still Miller’s choice. Recent form is dull and I need more than post improvement to consider.
4 ALWAYS THERE It is never easy to make your first lifetime start in a series. He figures to be better here. Give him a long look.
5 WHATS UP ROCK His last qualifier was better, but this was not Tetrick’s choice. Showed some promise at 2. Might need a start.
6 ARC DE TRIUMPH Raced well last time to just get nipped. He is coming around and is overdue for a win. Using in all my gimmicks.
7 MILLENIUM WHEEL Continues to do a good job picking up checks, but doesn’t seem to pack the punch for a win. Using underneath.
8 CARD KNOCK LIFE Overmatched in the Trendsetter and he just hasn’t done much since arriving here. In this field, he can improve.
9 HYDRUSKO Coming out of some very soft races over at Freehold and he will have to be much faster here. Longshot in this field.
10 SCOFANMAN Similar to Hydrusko in the races he is coming out of. Not sold that the move to M1 and post 10 will help matters much.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-1-2
H Horse Comment
1 TRANSCENDING Burke simply could not miss last Saturday and this was one of those. Clearly, this will be much tougher. Exotics player.
1A ROCKIN THE HOUSE Very impressive winner last time, but he hasn’t been seen in four weeks as well. Post makes things tricky as well.
2 MR HASANI N Tried his best to park out Golden Receiver and it did him in. Got a tightener under his belt. Comes from off the pace here.
3 EUROPAN UNION Not sure what happened last time, just never got in the race. He will need to be much better than that now.
4 RIVER SHARK Hard-knocking horse likely will battle for minor spoils here. Must turn the tables on Abelard, let alone, Golden Receiver.
5 GOLDEN RECEIVER Brilliant, nothing left to say. Now, last year he got beat in his first start following a month layoff from the Presidential.
6 ABELARD HANOVER My pick to be the one to upset Golden Receiver this time around. Razor sharp and might be primed for the upset.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-4-9
H Horse Comment
1 SEQUIN HANOVER She had a wheel of another breaker hit her leg, so don’t be too hard on her. Expect speed tonight. Major factor.
1A GOOD SOUND ADVICE He is not the safest gaited trotter and that showed last time. I think he is a cut below his stable mate here.
2 NO LESS THAN MAGIC Just when I jump off the bandwagon, everything goes right, the favorites break and he pays $62! Not sure now.
3 ON THE PODIUM Added Lasix for this series and while he raced very well in round 1, I feel he was exiting a weaker division. Longshot.
4 HELIOS Was in a perfect spot behind Real Babe when he broke. He is good enough, so see how he looks on the track for clues. Player.
5 WHERE TO HANOVER Continues to race well each and every start and you have to figure he has one of these with his name on it!
6 PITTSTOP RUTHIE Outraced her 90-1 odds in round 2 to qualify for the final. She will have to be even better here. Retains longshot status.
7 VOLARE DE VIE If you had been following this guy, he was one of the easier 30-1 shot’s you could find. Price will still be decent tonight!
8 OUR MOJO I liked him last week and he just came up empty. Now Tetrick goes elsewhere and I cannot recommend playing him here.
9 REAL BABE Brutal trip. Never saw the pylons and was parked literally 6-wide for part of the first turn. Problem, she has post 10 now!
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 11-3-8-7
H Horse Comment
1 CYCLONE ARTIST Kicks off a wide open affair. Shows a good race in nw3 company, but recent form is suspect. Tows along for a share
2 TERRYS STAR DRAGON Qualified better than he raced on 2/2, but he brings some question marks to the table. Mixed feelings here.
3 BUBBIE BOY Hasn’t really put forth a bad effort lately, but hasn’t found a way to win either. Fits a similar mold to many of these. Player.
4 FORENSIC Z TAM Won at the C-2 level here, but his two subsequent races were not up to par. Needs to step up his game here.
5 DUTCH RICHMAN Continues to struggle and now gets some class relief but I cannot recommend given his current form.
6 A PLACE IN HISTORY Making his first start back off a 3 month layoff and adds Lasix. I need to see a start before I can recommend.
7 BETTOR WIN Post 10 just didn’t work out last time. If he can race back to the majority of that mile on 2/2, he has a chance in here.
8 BLUE CLAW Showed speed and tired last time. I think on paper this group is a bit softer. He can win, but is a luke-warm favorite here.
9 ART FOR LIVING He is a bit of wild card that might be worth a look. Exits a good race in the Survivor. My only concern is his lack of speed.
10 DIAL A WIN Continues to struggle off the gate and now catches a tough post in this bulky field. Appears up against it from here.
11 GO GO RAIDER I might take a shot here. He is exiting some fast miles and even though he wasn’t Andy’s choice, he gets Tetrick.
12 IM A NICE SKY Showed a good race two starts back that can make him competitive in here. Still appears to be a tricky call at best.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 AHEAD OF THE CURVE With the exception of Burke trainees, the Meadows shippers have not been faring too well. Watching one start.
2 LAWGIVER HANOVER His form has gone the wrong way, even with the class drop. Now he gets post improvement. One more chance.
3 MORTAL ZIN Gets another drop in class and this looks like the one that should do it. Expect a much improved effort. Win contender.
4 ODIN BLUE CHIP Showed a big mile coming from off the pace. The move out of claimers is the question mark. Still looks like a player.
5 AREZZO HANOVER Will he pace? That is a question I cannot answer. I can tell you that qualifier looked every bit as good as you think.
6 SCOTTY MACH Not a bad try last time and he seems to be moving in the right direction now. Wasn’t Tetrick’s choice, but still has a shot.
7 SIR MELO’S Z TAM Just not going well right now so he makes the trip over to the big track. I need to see some improvement first.
8 EASTEND EDDIE He slowed considerably in both miles. Has now been off a month and gets class relief. A total wild card in this spot.
9 RECENT NEWS I don’t love the post as is lack of speed will make things tough, but I expect he will be passing a few in the stretch.
10 ETHAN HANOVER His form has really gone in the wrong direction and now lands in post 10. I cannot consider until I see improvement.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 8-2-1-4
H Horse Comment
1 PAPA RAY Continues to be very sharp and will likely find himself in a live outer flow in this field. Must be included in all exotic tickets.
1A CEE PEE PANIC What happened last time? He just stopped. Now draws outside. I suppose we can throw out that race, but it’s tricky.
2 YO CHEYENNE ROCKY Part of a blanket finish last time and he just missed despite a tough trip. A logical alternative to the favorite.
3 PRINCE SHARKA Not racing badly, but just appears to be a cut below the prime contenders in this group. Will offer a big price.
4 HOLDINGALLTHECARDS Doesn’t appear to be the overwhelming favorite here that he once way. Still the one to beat, but is vulnerable.
5 MR DENNIS Is he saving his best for last? Made a big move and rightfully got tired last time. He is a player in this wide open field.
6 HANG TEN Perfect post following his monster upset last time. Can he repeat? If he works out a trip, he appears good enough. Value.
7 LITTLE MICHAEL B He brings speed and is Carlson’s choice. Still appears to be a notch below the best of these. Not sold on the win.
8 LINDWOOD PLAYER Round 1 upsetter came with another big late rally. He is going to be a nice price and he might swoop the field!
9 SHAWS CREEK BLUFF Did not solidify his good round 1 try in round 2. Now he has the widest draw without any speed. Pass from here.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-2-5-7
H Horse Comment
1 MUSSELSFRMBRUSSELS Just had too much to do last time and will be popular with some players due to the post improvement. Maybe.
2 PERRITO CALIENTE Another big effort and he now climbs the ladder to this tougher A-2 level. Burke has him on his toes. Major player.
3 FOOL’S GOLD Has not been able to duplicate that form from his win at Dover and will remain a longshot until showing improvement.
4 LETTUCEROCKU A This is one sharp horse and he now takes a shot on the big track. Yonkers shippers have fared pretty well so far.
5 WESTERN TSUNAMI He finished up nicely last time and now draws a better post. This barn has slowed down a bit, but he can rebound.
6 LETTHEROCKBEGIN Steps up off a win, but loses Gingras. He does pack plenty of early speed and should be a pace factor.
7 THE POKESTER He went a very tough trip last time and continues to race well. If he can find a live outer flow, he has a chance in here.
8 WHITE MOUNTAIN TOP See how the winner of that qualifier fared earlier. Off a three month layoff, he probably does need a start.
9 MCCLELLAND Nice effort last time, but now he catches post 9 without a ton of speed. Corey will have to be aggressive to get involved.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-6-7
H Horse Comment
1 ARMRBO BILLOW Recent efforts have been a struggle. Last effort was particularly troubling on the class drop. Took a lot of play too.
2 STAND BY CAM Used every inch of The Meadowlands stretch to get up in a blanket finish. Now, he faces a bit tougher. Tricky call.
3 BOLERO ANDREW He had to need that last start and is a candidate to improve this time. Tetrick chooses off, but I may include in exotics.
4 LIVE ON Making his first start back off a 5 month layoff. Exits a fast qualifier and was Miller’s choice. An interesting contender in here.
5 LINE OFFICER Just had not gone forward recently and despite the slight class drop, I am going to look elsewhere in this spot.
6 IDEAL MATTERS He is going to continue to take money and eventually he is going to win. I am skeptical to take a short price on him.
7 FRISKIES CHEAPSUIT Did not fare as well with the move up in class so that is a concern. Miller has to keep him closer from here.
8 SO TAKE THAT Last pair of starts were improvements and now Ford tries him on the bigger track. Expecting him to be far back early.
9 MACHAPELO Has not been able to show that he can thrive at this B-1 level. I am likely watching this time around for future consideration.
10 SIR ZIGGY’S Z TAM Nice qualifier and he certainly has some back class. Now off a month and hit with post 10. I will watch this time.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-7-10
H Horse Comment
1 MEGA LIGHTNING Nice win last time at a level below this. This field appears pretty wide open and he has a chance to repeat here.
2 CAMART HANOVER Back to back wins at the C-Level. This will be a whole new ballgame though. He is a very sharp horse, though.
3 PRIVATE INTERVIEW Was a non-factor from post 10 at this level. I suppose he can stay closer from here, but is still a longshot.
4 JOHNNY Z See how Stand By Cam did earlier. If he won on the move up, then move this guy way up! Obvious he can race big here.
5 DIGITAL Z TAM Recent form has been dull and he is coming off a 1 for 36 season. I need to see more from him in here.
6 LONG LIVE ROCK He was a bit better last time at Yonkers, but not good enough to beat these. Still, I might throw him in the super.
7 PAINTED BLACK His last effort was much better and if you like Johnny Z, you should like this guy as well. I will be using him throughout.
8 CANE RIDGE How on earth was he 17-1 last week? Just because he was claimed from Burke? Expect speed from the bell once again.
9 ARSENAL Burke seems to have sharpened this one up and if the barn is having a good week, his odds will reflect that. Contender.
10 GAELIC THUNDER One of the sharper horses in the race will likely be coming from last. Still Campbell’s choice will be a major factor.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 11-12-1-7
H Horse Comment
1 SONIC DANCER Burnt some cash last time when he got pounded at the windows and came up short. Callahan chose off here now. Player.
2 REFLECTION ON ME Making his second start off the layoff so he figures to be better, but I still need to see another start from him.
3 PICTURE ME Gets some class relief and was Callahan’s choice. I suppose that makes him the favorite, but he is far from a cinch in here.
4 MYSTERIOUS MOMENT Not a bad try last time and his last pair of efforts have been better. I suppose he can earn a share of this.
5 DIANE’S SHARK Did not fare very well in the Survivor Series and this is a bit of class relief. Still want to see some improvement.
6 YANKEE DEVIL Added Lasix and responded with a sharp win against a softer group than this. He is a candidate to repeat. Loses Tetrick.
7 I DO HANOVER Last few starts have been very good and he is a logical contender in this wide open group. Expect a solid effort here.
8 ARTS IDEAL HANOVER Coming off a race where he stopped and a sick scratch. That is not the combination I am looking for.
9 GIDDY UP DELIGHT Last two starts have not been very good, granted those fields were better than this. Still need to see more from him.
10 RINGO Thins have not worked out since he was sold at the mixed sale. What happened to his early speed? Watching this time.
11 SKY TANTRUM Slowed to a walk last week which is troubling. Still was Tetrick’s choice and if you toss that race out, he’s a big threat.
12 GAMBLER’S TALE Coming off back to back solid efforts and now gets a bump up in class as well. He is too sharp to ignore at this point.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 7-6-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 OIL MAGNET He has been on a tear of late, granted last week he had the perfect trip. Draws well and is hard to leave off any tickets.
1A KILLER QUAKES Pretty tough 1-2 punch for an entry, wouldn’t you say? He is also very sharp and will be heard from early and often.
2 VEAL MARSALA Gingras beat him last week, not Killer Quakes. If you like him right back, the good news is he won’t be even money.
3 STORMIN RUSTLER He has been knocking on the door and racing well. Does he have one more gear in him? That’s what it will take.
4 VILLAGE BLAST Those efforts were nearly identical and they both suggest he will have to raise his game to win in this spot.
5 GET IT NOW Really surprised to see him get beat by Cambassador last time. There is plenty of speed in this field. Action will be hot.
6 FOUR STARZ Q Just a thought, looking at all the speed here, perhaps Carlson should take back and get into the live flow. Might work!
7 BOILER BOB THE QB On paper, he seems to be the most likely candidate from any kind of rapid pace. ‘Bob might sweep the field!
8 DREAMZZZZ R FOR U Another that could benefit from any type of live setup. Has the look of a horse that could be tossed in the super.
9 CAMBASSADOR I don’t like him in this spot. Cannot use his speed effectively and will have too far to come if he takes back. Not for me.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 TREND SPOTTER Wiped out at the start last time so forgive that effort. This field is not as tough and he might go overlooked in here.
2 SILVER EAGLE Nice rally last time and the bettors will take notice of it. A repeat of that effort makes him a prime player in this group.
3 STAGECOACH HOLDUP Endured a tough trip last time, but he was a compelling winner two-back. Carlson won with him at Dover, too.
4 PEMBROKE DEWEY I thought he had more pace that it looked last time. Miller won with him earlier. There are things to like here.
5 CODE WORD One of the worst trips I have ever seen last week. He was pacing sideways at the finish. Gets a class drop. Sneaky play!
6 DALHOUSIE DAVE His form just has not come around like I had hoped. Now Tetrick chooses off. I need to see some improvement.
7 OSCAR OSCAR He might continue to get bet, but I think I am going to look elsewhere this time. Hasn’t been the same since the DQ.
8 ON THE RADAR Loomed up boldly last time but then didn’t fire a knockout punch. I can’t rule him out, but I am looking elsewhere on top.
9 BAKIN ON THE BEACH Big effort last time to just miss. It is hard to believe that he is still looking for his first win this year! Must include.
10 HIGH NOON Clearly that last race was very tough and the draw didn’t help. His prior efforts were OK. Watching and keeping tabs.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-7-5-10
H Horse Comment
1 WIT AND WISDOM Has he tailed off or were the last two starts just a bit too tough? Barn is due for a wake-up. Perhaps this is it.
2 CRUZNWITHDABIGDOG His last few starts have just not been up to par and it would take a turnaround at this point to threaten these.
3 IN MINT CONDITION Tough trip, but he literally stopped last time. Given a week off and comes back at the same level. Tricky read now.
4 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE Steps up off the claim away from Mark Ford. He is coming off a win and that merits some consideration.
5 WILLIE BOOTS Liked him last week and he simply ran out of gas. This is a much softer spot and Miller sticks here. Some things to like.
6 GENERAL MONTGOMERY Just doesn’t appear to be going well right now and he also needs a turnaround at this point to consider.
7 MAJOR WORK OF ART Coming off a no chance mile and is making his second start off the layoff. Campbell sticks. An interesting option.
8 ROJETTE’S BEST Has shown a series of qualifiers with none of them showing faster than a 30 second final quarter. That won’t get it done.
9 WON’TBEFOOLEDAGAIN What happened last time? His prior efforts at the Meadows were decent. But I will be watching after his last.
10 CARMEN’S BEST Threw in a clunker last time. That happens. This group should be much more to his liking. Looms a major contender.