• Week Of 2/3 - 2/9
  • SU3
  • MO4
  • TU5
  • WE6
  • TH07
  • FR08
  • SA09
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 08, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 2-3-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 MOJARRA HANOVER Like many of these, this appears a bit of a slide down, but based on the competition, it’s really not. Must show more.
2 MAGIC STARLIGHT Thought this mare has raced very well and her last start might springboard her to a peak effort. My top selection.
3 SHINE N SHIMMER Added Lasix and responded quite well last time. This mare could be sitting on a big effort as well. Major contender.
4 MJ’S BID She just had too much to do last time, stacked up with a tough trip. Much better draw and she seems to always offer value.
5 DON’T BLAME HER She is the real class dropper in the field, coming from the Open at Yonkers. She had some big miles here in 2012!
6 CLEAR VIEW HANOVER This mare is just extremely sharp right now, as her final kick has been electric. That being said, this will be tough.
7 MYSTICAL VICTRESS She continues to take money, but I think she might be a bit vulnerable here. I did not like her most recent effort.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-2-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 BEAMMEUPSCOTTIE He has his work cut out for him. Has a lot of ground to make up on Wilcox here. Looks like a longshot again.
2 SKY IS THE LIMIT Took money against Wilcox last time ,but was no match. Trip wasn’t the smoothest though. Has a right to improve.
3 FOX VALLEY LEO Total non-factor in his prep for this series. Callahan will keep him closer, but he has a lot of ground to make up.
4 WILCOX He looks like the favorite in this series. Beachfront, who he has twice easily defeated, romped when avoiding this gelding. Tough.
5 STIRLING BRIGADE Has not been much of a factor in either of his two starts. Winner of last was third in a tough field. Exotics player.
6 BEACHFRONT How is he going to catch up to the favorite? Nice gelding, but it is hard to predict that he can turn the tables. Underneath.
7 AUCKLAND FLYER Colt is still looking to hit his best stride. Loomed up last time, but flattened. He has a right to improve. Mixed feelings.
8 DHARMA INITIATIVE I don’t like that he regressed in his second start. It seems he needs to be much closer to the pace. Can improve.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 6-8-10-2
H Horse Comment
1 DW’S EASTER Never made it away from the gate last time. He can rebound, but he is a risky play off his last mile. Looking elsewhere.
2 MAN O MATIC The move to this barn is going to attract plenty of attention at the windows, simple as that. Do you take the short price?
3 AX MAN Would have liked for him to finish his mile a bit better in that qualifier and his breaking issues are always a concern. Tough call.
4 STRIKING FOREVER Adds hopples for this assignment off a miscue. Tetrick chose off. I will watch to see how he looks warming up.
5 JAILHOUSE ROCKIE It’s hard to endorse him given his last two efforts. This spot isn’t any easier than his last race. Longshot.
6 TOTALLY ADDICTIVE All indicators show that this horse is ready to fire a big effort. Finished well last time. Second race back. The pick.
7 MR FENWICK Like the speed that he showed last time and that was not a bad effort. Expect similar tactics here. Can hang on for a share.
8 BLOMKVIST You always have to ask the same question with him. Will he trot? If the answer is yes, then he can win. Always a risky play.
9 LABIRINTO SAS IT Outraced his odds on 1/17 but then came up with a dud last time. I don’t like the move outside here. Longshot.
10 APOLLO BLUE CHIP He has been finishing well, but he will likely be coming from last here. Hard to see him passing them all. Underneath.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 2-3-4-7
H Horse Comment
1 RESISTANCE FUTILE Kicks off a wide open field. Races at Woodbine are typically well spread out. He came from very far back. Player.
2 A BETTOR WORLD Here is a colt with a big shot. Could not have finished any better last time. Stays closer and is right there on the wire.
3 POWER ROCK Gets the call as the favorite based on his effort against Wilcox last time. Far from a cinch, but leads the list of contenders.
4 HUMILITY I really liked his qualifier. Forget the time, it was a windy morning. I’m not sure he can win right off the bench, but he has a shot.
5 MR PRESLEY Well beaten last time as he actually regressed from his first start. That’s a concern and in this field he just isn’t an option.
6 WORLD CUP CULLEN Was aggressively handled last time from the widest of draws and made a mistake. Miller off now. Needs to improve.
7 ROCK ICON Nothing at all wrong with his first lifetime start. He does give ground in experience, but he has talent too. Mixed feelings now.
8 A LIST His last start was better, but the negative now is that Pierce goes elsewhere. He is an outsider at this point, but watch closely.
9 CYCLONE I think his connections thought he had more ability than he showed last year. Alagna gets him ready early in the year. Maybe.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 IRON WILL Showed improved speed last time, but the 1-post has not been the place to be this meet and he loses Tetrick. Tricky call.
2 SHANTY IRISH Will she trot? She looks good in the mornings, but cannot keep it together at night. Always a threat, always a risk.
3 UPFRONTSTRIKESGOLD Keep tabs on how Ax Man did earlier but I just cannot rate him a contender off that qualifier. Pass for now.
4 EPIC TALE Tetrick lands here and this trotter is getting some class relief. He is another that is not always on his best behavior. Maybe.
5 DASH FOR THE CASH He looked awfully good winning last week, and Campbell has that first over grind with trotters down pat! Contender.
6 ZUMBA MOUSE She just outclassed that field, and some may be wishing they dipped in for the $15k claiming tag. A threat to repeat.
7 BLOOMFIELDCANTIFLY Well beaten by ‘Irish in that qualifier and it appears that she is in need of a start at this point. Watching.
8 HOBOKEN SONNY Off a break in two out of three starts and a sick scratch. Pierce chose off as well. I will be watching this time around.
9 CELEBRITY BOMBAY Off his qualifier on 12/20, I will say he has been disappointing thus far. See how Real Babe did in the ‘Singer.
10 REV IT NOW Moves outside with no speed. Shows an interference break, but this just doesn’t feel like the spot he will wake up in.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 8-7-9-6
H Horse Comment
1 VICTORY NUT He got down to the level he can contend in and raced much better. He is the only B-2 trotter in this field, however. Tougher.
2 DW’S NY YANK Burke has this gelding very sharp right now. This race will be tougher, but he raced well here earlier. Not without a chance.
3 ZUEREST Went on a wild gallop last time which was a bit uncharacteristic. Driver change tonight to Callahan. Expect his typical speed.
4 THE CHANCELLOR I liked him last week and he was disappointing. Now he gets a class drop, but this field came up tough. Passing now.
5 IN NOMINE PATRI That was a good effort at this level last time and he should be only better in his second race back. Cannot be ignored.
6 FOUNTAINBLEAU VOLO He just seems to be lacking that knockout punch that we saw last year. Should work out a trip from here.
7 LIVE JAZZ I have seen this gelding at his best, and his best can win this race. Confidence builder under his belt. Tetrick’s choice of four!
8 VAPORSTAR I loved his rally last week as he seemed to be loaded with trot. There is talent here and I will be playing him if he offers value.
9 THE TRIPLE LINDY Boy, is he ever sharp right now. These races will continue to get tougher, but he is just too good right now to leave out!
10 SCORPION MOON He is so close to the $1 Million mark, but this race is just too tough a set of circumstances. Tough post, tough field.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-6-7
H Horse Comment
1 UNRED HANOVER I liked her qualifier quite a bit and I respect any mare that has won half of her 12 starts. Major win candidate here.
2 RAMONA DISOMMA She got on track just a bit too late last week. That’s OK, I expect her to be closer turning for home tonight. Player.
3 HOSTESS LISA She just has not handled the move to this B-1 level. Post improves, but I will wait for her to slide back to the B-2.
4 COWBOYS DREAMER Took some play last week but was a disappointment. Now Pierce opts off, and it’s a guessing game from there.
5 ARCTIC FIRE N Was not able to sustain a first over grind last time at Yonkers. Previous form was OK. Perfect post. Price for exotics.
6 RHAPSODY ROSE Her speed placed her in a perfect trip last time and she almost won. See how ‘Clear View does in the 1st. Contender.
7 AUTUMN MAGIC She just was not as good last time, granted she never saw the pylons. She can rebound in this spot. Still a short price.
8 GORDYYY’S PET Rallied from a very difficult spot last time and she had some pace. Can Bongiorno keep her closer from here? Tricky.
9 NEVERMIND FRANCO N On paper, this is a class drop, but I think this level is pretty comparable to the WO12000 at Dover. Maybe.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 7-9-5-10
H Horse Comment
1 WALDORF HALL He is a bit perplexing. Raced well at this level early in the meet, but wasn’t as good last time. What do we expect now?
2 WINDSUN GALAXIE He has been racing very well lately. I do think this race is tougher than what he has been facing. Still, very interesting.
3 MUGSHOT JESS Just found this too tough last time and that’s a bit concerning. This field, in particular, came up very tough. Needs more.
4 PRICEVALLEYREVITUP I think it’s safe to say this gelding has tailed off lately. Team Miller tries him on the big track. Equipment changes?
5 SPICE IT UP LINDY Continues to out-race his odds and he draws a perfect post here as well. Always a sneaky exotics player at a price.
6 MY LEAP OF FAITH It appears this level has just proven to be too tough. He has a bit of a better draw here, but he needs to step it up.
7 FEEL THE PRESSURE Moves up off a nice win. This will be tougher, but this is a talented horse that you cannot dismiss. Contender.
8 LUCKY ROLL Showed big speed from post 10, but it took its toll. Miller goes elsewhere in here and at this point, I tend to agree with him.
9 EQUITY If Burke can get this gelding going, I think he can be a borderline Open trotter. Nice confident builder last time. Short price likely.
10 DON’T KNOW CHIP Post 10 is a killer here. I don’t see how he won’t be coming from last and I cannot bank on hip passing them all here.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-9-6
H Horse Comment
1 SHAKY HANOVER Receives the same class drop she would have seen last week. Off three weeks, moves inside. Tetrick chooses off.
2 NUTMEGS YANKEE Steps up off a nice win here. I do caution, the C-1/B-2 Handicap appeared to be too much. Will this be any different?
3 CHILD’S PLAY Aggressively handled last time and actually raced well. Mare seems to be on the improve and might be sitting on a big one.
4 SWEET HEDGE Like the way she closed last time and she should only be better this time around. Likely to take play. Pierce’s choice too.
5 DRAGON PRINCESS I think believers are starting to abandon ship. It’s always tough to dismiss her, but she needs to turn it back around.
6 SMOKE PAN MIRRORS Just had too much to do last time, but I like how she finished. If Marohn can find a live outer flow, watch her.
7 ASSET MANAGEMENT She is very sharp right now and comes right back at the level of that upset win. Out to prove that it was no fluke.
8 SYNERGY SEELSTER She hung a bit in the stretch last time squandering an ideal trip. Maybe she needs to be farther back? A player.
9 ONE NIGHT The class relief is the key here. She wasn’t racing bad at the B-1 level either. Pierce does go elsewhere, though. Still contends.
10 CARAMEL CHINNO She has been pretty sharp lately but this is move up the ladder and she will likely have a long way to come in here.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-6-4-7
H Horse Comment
1 RINGSIDE LAURYN Moves all the way inside as she had no chance last time. I wouldn’t be at all surprised by an improved effort here.
2 CAPTAIN PRIMEAU I was surprised that Gingras opted here. I took a shot with this gelding last time. Now I am off the bandwagon.
3 POINTE OF HONOUR Earned a confidence builder down at Freehold, but this will be tougher. Still, he is pretty sharp. Maybe at a price.
4 AEQUITAS I am sure he needed that last start and he has a right to improve here. Still, Tetrick did choose off. I wouldn’t dismiss him.
5 WEEKEND VACATION Neither qualifier told me that he is ready. Enters this off a five month layoff. I want to see a start before I consider.
6 BABY BLAZE Stepped up and raced better. Tetrick gives him a vote of confidence and he figures to be a logical contender in this field.
7 MYSTICAL CON Racing well and it is worth keeping tabs on how The Triple Lindy raced earlier. Likely relegating him to bottom of exotics.
8 DOUBLE UP HANOVER He will likely either win this or break. I don’t mind the step up, it’s just always risky playing him. Look for value!
9 SPECTATOR K He is another that is not always on his best behavior. Draws outside in a bulky field. I am looking elsewhere for now.
10 CAMERON CHIP Caught the worst of the draw. She is at her best from off the pace, but that might be too far back from here. Tricky call.
11 JULIA’S WAY Last qualifier was better but this is her first start back in three and a half months. I will be watching and tabbing for later.
12 HEIDI FALLS Likely getting away well back here and he just hasn’t showed enough at the end of his miles to consider. Playing against.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-7-2
H Horse Comment
1 CARD KNOCK LIFE Squandered a second over trip last time. Has the same post, but does catch the softest of the Trendsetter divisions.
2 CHESAPEAKE BAY Racing well at Dover, but those shippers have been hit or miss and a lot of miss lately. Campbell looks elsewhere.
3 FIFTYSHADESDARKER I think this is the most likely winner of the race. Put up a fine showing against the series favorite. Campbell sticks.
4 HOMESTAKE Added Lasix in that qualifier but it didn’t appear to do much good. Enters this off a long layoff too. Looks like a longshot.
5 MATTOX’S WESTERN That was an solid try against Terror High last time and this gelding remains very sharp for this. Expect a good try.
6 ALWAYS THERE This is very tough spot for this colt to make his first lifetime start. Barn doing very well, but this is a lot to ask.
7 TERROR HIGH Nice win last time out, but this will be tougher. Ryder trainees tend to get better as they go, and this gelding fits that mold.
8 JPS MINI ME Qualifiers have gone in the wrong direction and now he draws outside in a tough spot. I need to see a start first.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 9-2-3-6
H Horse Comment
1 ARTIE’S LAST PARTY Off a sick scratch and a dull try. Has speed, but Miller did choose off and I don’t know if the big track helps.
2 ROCK ANN ROLLING Took a shuffle to last in her most recent start, so I am inclined to toss that out and give her another look. Maybe.
3 MISS SAND CREEK She raced very well in her last start but was a sick scratch at Yonkers. Another with speed and she is a player here.
4 STAR KEEPER Mare is getting some needed class relief, which will help. But, I am leery of that 1 for 17 mark in 2012. Mixed feelings.
5 JOYFUL JOY N She seems to be able to earn a minor award when she works out a trip. From this post, I expect that to be the case.
6 GORDYS FILLY YENTA She was not as good last time, and perhaps she is better from far off the pace. Makes one big late move again.
7 CAMPHOR HANOVER Another getting some class relief, but she was not Tetrick’s choice and I need to see some improvement first.
8 SANGAAL If you saw her qualifier, you are betting her, it’s that simple. She moved all on her own from far back. Time is irrelevant. Pick!
9 DREAM’S BAR She showed major improvement last time and it appears she is turning the corner. I am inclined to include her on tickets.
10 RUNAWAY TRAY Off a sick scratch and near one month layoff and is now saddled with post 10 as well. Too much to overcome here.