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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 Thursday, February 28, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 6-3-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 IT’SALL YOUR FAULT Has not factored in his first two starts of the year. I suppose she can stay closer from here. Deepest of exotics.
2 MC GILLACUDY-HENRY She avoids a few mares that were very tough at this level. Good draw, positive driver change. Things to like.
3 CHEYENNE MIRIAM Dominated this level last time, albeit against the softer of the two divisions from last week. Trainer off to great start.
4 CAMPANILE HANOVER Adds Lasix for this move to M1. Those nw1 races in Western Pa. are not particularly strong. Slow miles too.
5 SHARK LIGHTNING Not a bad try off the qualifier and perhaps she is turning a corner. Still needs to make up some ground on best here.
6 DREAMING ALIINA I like her in this spot. That was a solid try in just her second lifetime start. Further improvement makes her very tough.
7 MS CAILA J FRA Off a break and a sick scratch, so obviously she has some issues to get past. Her best makes her a competitor here.
8 PURA VIDA Making her 2nd start off the layoff so she figures to improve. That being said, feel it is best to watch another start.
9 IDEAL PORTRAIT That last effort was not terrible as she showed some late interest at 143-1. Allard opts elsewhere and she will be a price.
10 JK LETITGO Tetrick doesn’t opt off too many Toscano trainees, so that tells us something. Tough post too. Leaning elsewhere this time.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-8-1
H Horse Comment
1 B L CLASS ACT Tough trip last time. The winner of that race was an open-type trotter early in 2012. Good compliment for stable mate.
1A JEDRIK HANOVER Typical quirky gait last time and this time he broke. Assigned post 10 after his first prep win. Must stay trotting.
2 SCORPION MOON He brings plenty of back class to this engagement. This is much softer than those last two races. Will be a factor.
3 TREMENDOUS HIT He didn’t fair very well in the last Billings prep, but this came up a bit softer. I expect some improvement now.
4 FOR GOODNESS LINDY Raced much better last time on the class drop and perhaps he can build off that effort. Likely a price here.
5 ORDER BY CORLEONE He didn’t race badly last time, coming from a long way back. He doesn’t win much, but draws a good post here.
6 WHATNBLAZES Struggled in his last pair of starts, including a try in the Billings prep. I need to see some improvement before considering.
7 SWIFT KID Last pair of starts have not been up to par. Prior efforts were solid. Obviously, he will need a form reversal in this spot.
8 LABIRINTO SAS IT Shows a pair of decent tries here. I don’t believe that last race was very strong, but he is in better form than some.
9 THE WINDSURFER A Going into his last race he was in pretty solid form, but I am fearful his last race will be similar to this particular spot.
10 SAM’S HONEYBEE His last race was an improvement on the class drop. Second tier isn’t the worst thing for him. Tows along for a share.
11 GUIDING LIGHT Not a bad try last time, but why was his previous try at The Meadowlands so poor? Mixed feelings. Tricky call in this spot.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-2-1
H Horse Comment
1 SOUTH JERSEY BUGSY Adds Lasix for this and gets some needed class relief. He was on OK 3rd last time at this level. Exotics player.
2 MOREY He was carefully handled off the gate and raced a little better. Perhaps Buter can be a bit more aggressive from here. Contender.
3 LEIGH ANN Making his second start back off the layoff. Lasix certainly seemed to help last time as well. Looks like one of the key players.
4 DAGGET Shows a pair of breaks surrounding that win at Freehold. Like that he gets Miller here, but this will be tougher and he must trot.
5 CORLEONE HALL Making his second start, so he figures to improve. He is also freshly hobbled for this event as well. Exotics player.
6 WILD SMILE Gelding has gone on quite a streak at Freehold. Obviously, this gets tougher and he will have to go faster. He is very sharp.
7 AMARCORD Well-beaten by Wild Smile in a pair or starts at Freehold. His last was an improvement. I question whether he is fast enough.
8 LA HOLLYWOOD Took money last time but made a break off the gate. Now 1 for 22 lifetime as well. Not sure I want to take a chance.
9 LUVALADY Winner of last was a big favorite. He didn’t race too badly in there. Lightly raced so improvement is a possibility in this spot.
10 CAMP SPEEDY Just has not shown enough in any of his Meadowlands starts to make me consider him in this spot. Draw hurts too.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 5-10-1-7
H Horse Comment
1 FOUR STARZ TWINS Chased home a “runaway” winner last time and raced pretty well. Draws inside so figures to stay close. Possible.
2 CR FIXED ASSET His last pair of starts are a bit concerning. Granted, he is getting some post relief, but I need to see a turnaround.
3 TAMAYO Gelding just had no chance last time from a near impossible spot. Draws much better and I suspect he will be a popular play.
4 MARINER Was not a factor last time and off that mile I have a hard time playing him in this spot. I will be watching for further improvement.
5 MICHAEL’S MARVEL He is on the slow and steady improve right now and despite Dave Miller choosing off, I expect a big effort here.
6 JOEY JOOKISS I don’t like that his form seems to be going in the wrong direction and at this point I need to see a rebound before I play.
7 LAGUNA BEACH This looks like a spot where he should wakeup. The Survivor Series was substantially tougher than this. Takes play.
8 JO WILLY Rallied from a tough spot last time, despite broken equipment. He was 107-1 in that spot, so I suppose he will be a price.
9 L M XKR Gingras opted off and his last effort was just even. He needs to step his game up to be a win contender in this spot.
10 ALBION I don’t think he wants to be on the lead, so toss out that last start. Still feel he has a big race in him. I would not overlook him now.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 9-4-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 SHINING EMBER Adds Lasix, which he has raced on in his recent qualifiers. I am somewhat concerned that he is a risk to go offstride.
2 BAILEYS PHOTO I thought he was sitting on a big effort last time and he broke. Now Mollor will drive himself. Might be handled carefully.
3 EMILY DO Last two starts are a bit troubling and his form seems to have gone in the wrong direction. I will be watching for improvement.
4 AX MAN Stayed trotting and that was one of his best efforts to date. Marohn might be more aggressive in this spot. Win contender now.
5 HLDONTGHTTOYURDRMS Adds Lasix for this, so that might explain the sluggish final quarter last week. I expect speed this time around.
6 CASH MCCOY Makes a return after one month and gets a move to Miller now, so that might attract some play. Bottom of exotics for me.
7 JULIA’S WAY No chances last time and he gets a drop in class now. I could see him racing better in this spot. Might include underneath.
8 DUSENBERG Did not make any kind of impact last time and his qualifier didn’t wow me either. Looks like a longshot in this field.
9 CHOCOHOLIC I like him in this spot. This is the softest field he has faced in some time. Expect Bongiorno to be aggressive from here.
10 TUSCAN LINDY Off a pair of dull tries and an injured scratch. Now has been off for a month and it’s hard to recommend him here.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 8-4-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 SLEAZY DOES IT Moves back to the level he raced well at two starts back. Draws well and gets a driver switch here. Using a bit.
2 RUNAWAY TRAY Gets some class relief here and that might be all she needs to turn things around. Makes her second start back here.
3 MATT’S SMOKIN LIL Seems that this level is just a bit too tough for her. I will wait for a slide down the class ladder before I consider.
4 IF I DIDN’T CARE Last qualifier was an improvement and this field didn’t come up too tough. She can be sitting on a decent effort here.
5 LIZZIE’S DREAM She continues to race well and her recent form makes her a contender once again. Not sold on the win end though.
6 LOOKINFORAGOODTIME This field is a bit softer than what she faced last time. I would expect her to race better in this spot. Price play.
7 ROCK ANN ROLLING Added Lasix last time and she didn’t race much better. I suppose she can improve this time around, Possibility.
8 SHAKY HANOVER Another that is getting some class relief here. She has been facing much better but her form has been suspect.
9 BEAUXARTS HANOVER Shows just one qualifier off a long layoff. Her previous form at the end of 2012 was solid. Likely needs a start.
10 GALE STORM Last qualifier was not up to par and her prior form was not sharp at all. Widest post as well. Looks up against it.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-3-7
H Horse Comment
1 CORKY BARAN Looks like the type of spot where he should be ready to fire a big shot. He has loads of back class as well. Player.
2 FRESH DREAM No shot from post 8 last time and he faced some solid horses in that nw3 company as well. A turnaround is possible.
3 COME ON RIDGE Continues to show his customary early speed, but he hasn’t held on yet. He appears the one to catch and beat here.
4 STONEBRIDGE ROCKET I expect he is going to take plenty of play off that try from post 10. He might be overbet in this spot too.
5 TAKESHIGEMICHI Making his 2nd start off the layoff so he has a right to improve. He has a history here as well. Might improve now.
6 PAN GRAD Claimed in back to back starts, but I didn’t like how he went last week, despite finishing 3rd. Just 1 for his last 34 too.
7 BRANDON’S COLT Woke up on the class drop last time and off that effort he figures to be a prime contender in here. Things to like.
8 ALLOVERAMERICA His last two starts have been better. 11YO is just 1 for his last 34 though. Hard to recommend him on top here.
9 ZEN MAJOR His form is starting to go in the wrong direction. I think he is better if he is closer to the pace. Appears to be a fringe player.
10 DONTU GET LONELY I have no idea what has happened to him since that win. Now has post 10 as well. Looks up against it.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-3-9
H Horse Comment
1 NEWPORT VOLO That last mile at Yonkers was deceptively good. He made up a lot of ground late. I can see him towing along for a share.
2 HABANERO He typically does his best work at levels similar to this. His last qualifier wasn’t bad. Off the layoff, he might need a start.
3 THROUGH THE NIGHT Nice effort last time behind a well-meant winner. Draws inside and this barn has been live this meet. Contender.
4 POINTE OF HONOUR Has now won 2 of his last 3 starts, so that is something. Unproven here, but he might be too sharp to ignore.
5 CANADIAN WILDCAT Love the post improvement and he was really rolling late in that mile. Don’t be afraid to include him at a price.
6 PAISLEY He seems to be tailing off. I wouldn’t be shocked if Miller races him off a helmet this time either. Needs to turn things around.
7 CURRENT CRISIS Has a start under his belt but now he loses Miller. I need to see another start before I can consider playing him.
8 PILATUS Gelding has been racing well and he certainly fits in this field. Likely to attract plenty of attention in this group as well. Tough.
9 BOINGA She has not been the same since that win, although she raced a bit better last time. I expect further improvement here. Using.
10 AEQUITAS He has been doing a good job picking up checks. Draws outside and Tetrick does opt off. Tough call in this spot.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 7-3-2-8
H Horse Comment
1 ROYAL TODD Raced a little better last time at Freehold which is encouraging. Still, Campbell opts off and I will likely watch for now.
2 EAGLE ARTESIAN No chance from a tough spot last time. Gets major post improvement and I expect Campbell to be aggressive.
3 HE’S A BEACHBOY Seems to be rounding into form and this gelding went a quick mile here last year. Gets Gingras as well. Player.
4 DOIN TIME TOGETHER Couldn’t handle the Survivor series and his previous efforts were rather dull as well. Looks up against it.
5 BEWARE OF DARKNESS Another whose recent form just has not inspired much confidence. Needs to turn things around at this point.
6 NIGHT TRAIN SHANE His last race at Freehold was better, but his starts at The Meadowlands just aren’t up to par. Fits in this field though.
7 DRAGON KING Now just 1 for his last 35 but his recent form does stand out here a bit. He appears to be the one to beat in this group.
8 PALM BEACH BOY Confidence building win last time. Granted, he will need to be much faster here, but I won’t be surprised by more.
9 ALL BLUES Those slow last quarters make him tough to play, but his speed will be a factor here. Off a while and changes barns too.
10 ABACO Added Lasix last time and it didn’t seem to help much. Don’t like the post draw and Campbell chose off too. Longshot.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-10-12-1
H Horse Comment
1 CAROLSTERN Has not raced in over a month and is coming off back to back scratches. Her prior form makes her very tough in here.
2 CHARTREUSE HANOVER I like her last effort and perhaps this new barn has her heading in the right direction. Things to like now.
3 GOING BROKE Has been off a while and I have a hard time playing a horse that slowed like she did in that final quarter. Passing here.
4 JOYFUL YEARS I guess that 70-1 price is gone. Right back at the same level and she likely still will offer some value if you like her.
5 CAMMI PLACE Exits what I thought was a pretty good race and gets some class drop as well. Miller chose off, but I like her anyway.
6 I DO IT MYSELF Form at Monticello has not been up to par recently and I need to see some improvement before I can consider.
7 FOX VALLEY SWIFT Gets some class relief but at the same time was not Tetrick’s choice. I suppose there is some room to improve.
8 DE VINS GIRL She disappointed many last time as fans thought she was sitting on a big effort. This is a similar field. Can bounce back.
9 FRISKIE BEAUTY Has not been a factor in either start at this level and there just isn’t any reason to expect a turnaround here.
10 KIMMY I liked her a bit last time and she came through with a big rally along the pylons. Post is tough, but she will be coming late.
11 LADYBONES That wasn’t a terrible try last time and although Miller opted off I can see Berry sitting with her and towing along for a piece.
12 ARIANE HANOVER Her form has been just OK and the move to Allard is a bit interesting. Post is an issue. Some things to like here.