• 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 Saturday, February 09, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 7-1-3-6
H Horse Comment
1 PAPA RAY Won just three days ago with a big stretch rally at The Meadows. Looks like the more compelling part of the entry. Tough.
1A URAWOMANIZER Had to need that first start back off the extended layoff. This gelding has some talent and he will only get better.
2 VARSITY HANOVER A bit of a tough trip last time being parked around the opening turn, but then retreated. Needs to step it up.
3 THE GREEN KNIGHT Never saw the pylons in that last mile and had a rough draw too. He is much better than that. Legitimate threat.
4 WHO’S YOUR MADDY Cannot knock this horse’s form right now, but he will be tested for class here. Campbell’s choice is a contender.
5 WHO DAT LOVE Made an aggressive move to the lead last time but could not last. He’ll need to step up his game in this spot.
6 BESTJETYET He is always a risky play as he can take off running without any warning. Better in that qualifier. Not without a chance.
7 YO CHEYENNE ROCKY That last line was rough to say the least. He has a lot of ability and despite the outside draw, he is my top pick.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 SUNDAY POKER Just had no chance in that last mile. He is better than that line shows. Catches the series favorite though. Minor share?
2 BROOKSTONE Went a first over mile last time at Yonkers and faded late. Previous form was solid. Looks like a logical exotics player.
3 SCREEN THE CALL Went down to defeat at 1/9 last time. Had a no chance trip in the Hirt final. A logical horse to use in your gimmicks.
4 MR DENNIS Surick has him very sharp right now. Is that enough to beat the favorite? I’m not sure, but he looms the danger to the chalk.
5 PRINCE SHARKA That was a respectable effort last time, although this race will go about 4 seconds faster. He needs to step it up.
6 SHAWS CREEK BLUFF Went first over against the favorite in the Hirt Final and that just isn’t going to work. Takes back, waits for flow.
7 E STREET PLAN Risky play as he has a tendency to jump off-stride. At this point, feel the risk outweighs the talent. Watching now.
8 HOLDINGALLTHECARDS Obviously, he is the horse to beat. Widest draw off four big miles. I would not be shocked if he got beat tonight.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-7-3
H Horse Comment
1 HANG TEN Made a mistake in the prep for this last time. I need to see an improved effort at this level before I can recommend. Longshot.
2 KING’S LEGEND This is a very good horse. Remains extremely sharp right now and his qualifier here was very strong. Has a big shot!
3 CEE PEE PANIC Caught that backstretch interference in the Hirt Final where he was pretty much wiped out. Expect a rebound here.
4 LITTLE MICHAEL B Gelding brings plenty of early speed to the party and he will ensure a lively clip up front. Plenty fast enough for sure.
5 ETHAN HANOVER He was disappointing in the Final of the Hirt. Had a perfect trip but just wasn’t good enough to beat ‘Cards. Better here.
6 CHICAGO HANOVER Another who caught interference in the Hirt Final. He has ability, but he will need an improved effort to win this.
7 MAN HE CAN SKOOT Gelding loves to win and he is very sharp right now. Outraced his odds in the Hirt Final too. Major contender here.
8 LINDWOOD PLAYER Not a bad try last time. I do think he will have to come from last here and I am not sure that will work out.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-2-7
H Horse Comment
1 TAKEMEWITHYOU Gets another class drop but was not Campbell’s choice. That gives me mixed feelings. Still, he can drop and pop here.
2 OUTRAGEOUS ART Moves to the Burke barn which is going to attract some attention at the windows. Off 6 weeks though. Tricky call.
3 WHISKEY PETE Now making his third start back off the layoff and he should continue to show improvement. Still watching at this point.
4 ANDY BARAN Racing very well and seems to always offer value. He has speed so that gives Dauplaise options. Leave in exotics.
5 DIAL A WIN Here is a total wild card. I was very surprised to see Pierce go elsewhere, but he is just coming out of better races, I think.
6 UPFRONT COUNTRYBOY Has been one of the few that have not raced well for Harder. I need to see some improvement first.
7 ALEX BULLVILLE His last race from post 10 was not bad and he is a candidate to improve here. Tetrick chose off though. Mixed feelings.
8 BLADE RUNNER Broke through with a big effort last time, but this is tougher than that $10,000 claimer. I liked him last time, not sure here.
9 ASTOR He squandered a perfect soccer trip last week and off that mile, I’ll take the approach to try and beat him in this spot. Vulnerable?
10 THANKS FOR STOPPIN His lack of speed makes this a rather difficult task. He will likely have to come from last and that will be tough.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 10-2-8-5
H Horse Comment
1 RINGO Made a break last time and he has regressed a bit over the last few starts. He can rebound, but I will be watching for now.
2 MORGAN SHARK Raced well in his first start for the Burke barn and he figures to be even better this time. Should prove tough to beat.
3 RAYMOND J Steps up off a win. This will be a tougher assignment and he will need to go a bit faster here. Tough call in this spot.
4 ART OF ILLUSION Been facing similar company at Yonkers and has picked up checks with regularity. Makes the transition to M1 now.
5 VODKA IS TERROR Put forth a respectable showing in the Hirt. Tetrick chooses the hot barn over this horse. Still think he has a big shot.
6 DOUBLESHOTASCOTCH Speaking of Tetrick’s choice, he lands here despite this horses sub-par recent form. Watch the tote board.
7 DOUBLETROUBLE Similar to Raymond, he is stepping up off a win. He was leaning in a bit in the stretch. Not sure he can repeat here.
8 SOUTHERN SPORT Raced much better last time and seems to be on the improve. Carlson has options as he is quite versatile. Player.
9 PEMBROKE DEWEY He had some kind of year in 2012 winning 14 of 19 starts. This year has been tougher. Needs to step things up.
10 D GS WOODSTOCK Raced well with the addition of Lasix and he has the speed to overcome the draw. He’s a live player in this field.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 FOREIGN OFFICER Kicks off a completely wide open field. Has speed from the inside and he should be tighter with a race under his belt.
2 MORTAL ZIN Gets some class relief in this spot, but this field is tougher than your typical B-1 pace. Tetrick opts off. This looks tough.
3 A J CORBELLI He was raging with pace in the stretch, but this field is so wide open, will he get pounded like normal? I like him here.
4 WOODSTOCK HANOVER He continues to race pretty well and I have always been a fan of this horse. Not without a chance in this race.
5 IDEAL CHAMP Has a class edge over many of these and this was Miller’s choice. Gets the tepid call as the favorite, but this is wide open!
6 BEACH BOY TIGER Did not take to the half-mile oval last time and he is a candidate to improve here. Still, it’s tough to land here.
7 THAT’S JUSTICE Won at this level prior to stepping up into a couple of tough spots. He adds to the riddle of this race. Has a shot.
8 ON THE RADAR With all these horses sharp or dropping down, it’s tough to select the one horse stepping up. But he is sharp too!
9 OSCAR OSCAR Disqualified from that win last time. Comes right back at this same level, but make no mistake, this race is tougher!
10 TREND SPOTTER Continues to show speed and race pretty well. He did regress a bit last time and he catches the toughest draw, too.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-5-9-6
H Horse Comment
1 DROP RED He figures to be better with a start under his belt and we know the kind of miles he has put up in the past. Legitimate contender.
2 BAKIN ON THE BEACH Still searching for that elusive win this year. Continues to race pretty well, but this race is tougher. Underneath.
3 THE POKESTER At this point I feel that he will do his best racing at the level below this. Not sold on this move up in class just yet.
4 FOOL’S GOLD Shows some decent miles lately, but is also not Miller’s choice. Gets starts in back to back weeks here. Exotics player?
5 MUSSELSFRMBRUSSELS He raced very well last week chasing a well meant winner. Perfect post and he figures to be a contender.
6 MCCLELLAND Gets some slight class relief and he might respond to that. Still feel this is a solid race from top to bottom. No short price!
7 K SLATER His qualifier was decent but he has been off nearly two months. Figures to need a start or two before considering.
8 ARMBRO BILLOW He needs to show me that his win at the B-1 level was no fluke before I can consider him in this tougher spot.
9 WESTERN TSUNAMI He is razor sharp right now, but this will be the ultimate test for class. Uncertain, but he is just too sharp to ignore.
10 MAJOR BELLE Had too much to do last time and I fear a similar situation here. My guess is Gingras blasts from here. Trip required.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 8-2-3-5
H Horse Comment
1 LETTHEROCKBEGIN Shows a win at this level, but his recent form has been a bit off the mark. Tough to bank on a rebound. Tricky call.
2 MCCEDES I am conflicted here because I like this horse in this spot, but the Woodbine shippers have not been good. Tough decision here.
3 FREDDY DAY HANOVER Exits what I thought was a pretty tough race and The Pokester is better than I thought. I expect better here.
4 PERRITO CALIENTE Went right down the road against lesser on a track that was favoring speed. I will play against at a short price here.
5 ESPIRIT DE KAYJAY A He had some pace left in the tank at the end of that mile and from this post he figures to be in line for a trip.
6 NO BU My approach with him has been the same every week. Continue to use him underneath, but let him beat me on the win end.
7 ELUSIVE REWARD Goes to a new barn off the claim. Was not Andy’s choice, but he packs speed and will be a pace factor at the least.
8 SCOTTY MACH N That was a sneaky little mile last week and he gets to make his second consecutive start for the same barn now.
9 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE Continues to race very well but now catches a wide draw and will likely need to be even better from this spot.
10 DALHOUSIE DAVE He raced a bit better last time, but I am not sure how much early speed he has from this tough post. Tricky spot.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-4-1
H Horse Comment
1 FIVEKNUCKLESHUFFLE He has burnt quite a bit of cash at the windows lately. Went a tough first over last time and needs a better trip.
2 STAND BY CAM Last pair of starts have not been as sharp despite showing improved speed last time. Needs a form reversal. Maybe.
3 MACHAPELO Making his second start back off the layoff which is also his second start for Toscano. Expect a better effort in this spot.
4 PICTURE ME Form has gone in and out, but I thought he had some pace at the end of that mile last week. Callahan did choose off.
5 LITTLE GOLD RING Another making his second start back off the layoff and he was finishing up nicely last time. I expect him to improve.
6 HURRIKANE SCOTTY J Never got involved last time and now Pierce chooses off. He can improve, but I need to see an improved effort.
7 DUTCH RICHMAN Gelding just has not shown enough for me to consider at this time. I will watch and tab for a later date. Longshot.
8 GIDDY UP DELIGHT It was tough to close into that race last time and he paced home in :27. Not sure he can work out a trip from here.
9 PAINTED BLACK Was driven very aggressively last time and was forced three wide early. It’s tough to bet on him off that mile.
10 FOOL OF IDEAS Stepping back up off the win. It’s nice to see the confidence builder, but this level looks too tough for him at this time.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-12-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 WHAT’S THE STORY Showed speed last time and he is a pace factor at the very least in a wide open affair. I would use him in gimmicks.
2 ACTION BRAD I really like him in this spot. He has been facing better horses and not racing badly either. Expect him to be prominent.
3 ARC DE TRIUMPH Making his third race back off the layoff and he figures to be a factor based on the improvement he showed last time.
4 MILLENIUM WHEEL Another that seems to be on the steady improve and despite being 0 for 7, he figures to be a factor once again.
5 NEWSPEAK He has not been much of a factor at this point and despite the post improvement, I need to see more before I can consider.
6 OUTWARD BOUND Making his 2nd start back off the layoff and he is another candidate to improve. One of many possible contenders.
7 LONG FIGHT HANOVER Went on a wild gallop from post 10 last time when trying to time the gate. I have no idea what to expect now!
8 PADRE MANUEL Stepping up from the lowest level at Freehold, so this is a tricky spot for him. I need to see some improvement first.
9 MCGENIUS Making his first lifetime start from post 9 in a bulky field. I need to see a start and tab for future consideration.
10 STEUBEN PATRIOT He is 4 for 5 lifetime so that merits consideration here. Has the toughest post, but I think we are going to see speed.
11 VAVVOMSTER Making his second start back off the layoff but I didn’t see enough from him last time to merit consideration here.
12 PLEASE ME TWO If this gelding can work out a trip from this tough post, then I can see him in the mix. His last was a major improvement.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 8-2-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 I FOUGHT DALAW Raced well at this level last time despite the hike up in class. Draws well and should be a factor once again.
2 VOICE OF TRUTH Maybe, this is the spot where he will get there. Draws better and will likely stay closer. Price should be right in here.
3 RIVER SHARK Has plenty of class and he raced well in a good field last time. Runner-up came right back to win as well. Win candidate.
4 CODE WORD Whipped around the track last time at Yonkers and that is good to see. Things will be much tougher here though. Tricky.
5 TRANSCENDING Nice qualifier but he catches a good field here and I cannot be sure he will be ready to fire off the layoff. Tough call.
6 INTHEBLINKOFANEYE Exits a pretty good race and he has speed as well. See if this barn had made some noise at all this week.
7 ABELARD HANOVER Was bet off the board last time and he raced like it. I expect him to put together a string of good efforts. Very tough.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 5-9-10-8
H Horse Comment
1 CANE RIDGE Moves to a new barn off the claim. This is a tougher spot, and people will see claimed from Burke and jump off, I think.
2 CCS LOVER N Has not been racing well of late at this level as he seems best suited for a level below this. Wait for the class drop.
3 IN KENNY’S HONOR Gingras goes here over Cane Ridge, which surprised me. Stepping up off a loss against softer. Not sold.
4 NEW RELEASE Neither of his last two efforts are very encouraging and this is a similar spot. I need to see some improvement first.
5 IN MINT CONDITION Woke up with a big mile last time but now faces a bit tougher group. Still, he should be left in the mix once again.
6 TERRYANG FRA He has been very hit or miss lately and moving back into the claiming ranks is interesting. Callahan opted off.
7 COLD BATH Making his first start back off the layoff for a barn that has been off to a tough start this meet. I need to watch one first.
8 GAELIC THUNDER He is back on top of his game and steps back into claimers off a confidence building win. He fits in this spot.
9 ODIN BLUE CHIP Added Lasix last time and endured a very tough trip. I think he can be better in this spot and he figures to take play.
10 GODDESS’S JUSTIN Racing well at Yonkers and he has typically done his best work on the smaller tracks. Still, I like him in this spot.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-10-8
H Horse Comment
1 CHEYENNE UMBERTO Did not make much of an impact at this level 2 back, but it’s worth noting he was only beaten three lengths.
2 ALBION When is this gelding going to get a trip? It might come tonight. If players overreact and pound him, then I will look elsewhere.
3 ERIDANUS N Moves down the class ladder but loses Tetrick in the process. Lewis has shocked us once already this meet.
4 TROTTOWN KING Racing pretty well lately, but Tetrick also opted off this gelding and I just don’t see him jumping up and winning this.
5 DOOSMDAY HANOVER I like him in this spot. He has speed if Callahan wants to use it and he remains in fine form as well. Contender.
6 BULLET BOB I have seen him go some pretty nice miles here in the past, but he is almost impossible to play off his last 2 starts.
7 MARKET FORCE Moves to a barn that hit the ground running this meet, but he didn’t look good in the stretch last time. Tough call.
8 MAJOR TIPPER Not a bad first effort at M1 in a very fast mile. Feel this race came up softer than that as well. Cannot be dismissed.
9 SHEER DESIRE Continues to race well and this was Tetrick’s choice of four. Has speed and remains pretty sharp. Must be included.
10 WESTERN VICTORY Loved him last week and he almost got there! Now he will have to overcome post 10. Can he pass them all?