• Week Of 2/24 - 3/2
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  • MO25
  • TU26
  • WE27
  • TH28
  • FR01
  • SA02
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, March 01, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 1-7-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 NO LESS THAN MAGIC Nice effort in the final of the Singer. He seems to have found his best stride. Legit contender will take tote action.
2 DW’S NY YANK Burke will have quite a bit to say about this series starting here. Gelding is on quite a roll and is exiting a solid win.
3 ENRICO AS He is exiting a pretty quick mile at Yonkers. The bigger track is an unknown here, but I liked his last effort. Appears a player.
4 MOHEGAN HANOVER Continues to race on a consistent level, but still cannot break through with a win. Sliding him into my exotic tickets.
5 MAGGLIO He has put together back to back solid efforts. This will be tougher. The post is a plus. Follows Mohegan, battles for a piece.
6 SPECTATOR K Does his best trotting at a level below this. Off his recent efforts, he appears to be the longshot of this group.
7 VOLARE DE VIE I think the price is finally gone on this ultra-consistent gelding. Expect speed once again. Way too sharp to ignore again.
8 AWSOME VALLEY He has put together a nice string of efforts, but the Dover shippers have been hit or miss so far. Watching this time.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 6-4-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 DON’T KNOW CHIP Appears that he has reached a level that is a bit too tough right now. Sits in, tows along and hopes for a piece.
2 OPENING NIGHT Making his second start off the layoff. He had a long way to come last time. Winner of that race is on a tear. Contender.
3 PHOTO KING Both of his wins this year have come strictly in A-2 company. This race came up short and with a trip he can land a part.
4 SPICE IT UP LINDY He has been racing very well lately and it seems like he can handle this level. One of the main dangers to Sevruga.
5 ICE MACHINE Stayed trotting last time, but that first over move didn’t work out. One of these night, he’ll stay flat and get a trip. Maybe.
6 SEVRUGA There wasn’t much competition in that qualifier. He could be poised for a big season. Holds a class edge on most of these.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 4-9-10-8
H Horse Comment
1 LIGHTNING PAIGE Sat third over but offered no kick in the stretch. That’s a problem. Her prior effort was just marginal. Need to see more.
2 CHILD’S PLAY Disappointed as the favorite two starts back. Got some class relief last time but still didn’t fire. Looks like a longshot now.
3 SIR LB’S Z TAM Making her first start off a 13 week layoff. She finished up both of her last 2 qualifiers well. My gut says she needs a race.
4 GORDYS FILLY YENTA Shot the gap up the inside and Bongiorno did well to earn a check. He’s driving better than we have seen before.
5 JOYFULJOY N Showed improved speed in her most recent start, but tired in the stretch. She needs to step things up to win. Minor award.
6 CUZ SHE CAN Typically, she has spent her career facing better than this. Can we bank on a return to better form here? Worth including.
7 MISS SAND CREEK Getting a touch of class relief to this handicap. Her last effort was better and I can see her as a threat. Expect speed.
8 SMOKE PAN MIRRORS I think this is the right spot for her. She is typically at the mercy of pace and trip. I see speed outside too. Tricky.
9 STAR KEEPER With the exception of her races at the B-1 level, she has been pretty sharp. She has speed from this draw too. Contender.
10 NUTMEGS YANKEE Mare is going to be blast from here. It is worth noting she was a dominant winner at the C-1 level. Major player.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 8-3-4-10
H Horse Comment
1 MYSTICAL CON His form has clearly gone the wrong way in his past two starts. Loses Gingras as well. Not much speed. Longshot.
2 MCATTEE Tried the Singer series but it just didn’t work out. Showed a good race prior to that series. Will need to find that form again.
3 UPFRONTSTRIKESGOLD Gets some class relief and his last two starts weren’t that bad. Catches a field with some questions. Player.
4 ZUMBA MOUSE Was not able to make the transition to that B-2 level last time. This field could be more to her liking. Expect a rebound.
5 BEAU JOE Parked to the ¼ last time and by the time he made the lead, he had already done too much. Need to see more from him.
6 DEAD WRONG No chance from post 8 at Yonkers last time. Her previous effort was strong. Seems to do best racing on smaller ovals.
7 MARION MONACO Gelding continues to search for his first win since 2011. That’s tough to take. Last start was below par as well.
8 RINGSIDE LAURYN I like the new dimension of speed she showed last time. Mare seems to be turning the corner. Could be set for best.
9 PERMANENT JOY This gelding is sharp right now. My only concern is the post as he doesn’t have much early speed. Mixed feelings.
10 APRIL SUNSHINE Beaten favorite from one week ago gets the worst of the draw and Gingras will have to find some speed. Still tough.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-3-9
H Horse Comment
1 BRUCE THE BRAVE I like the move he made despite being well back through a slow middle half. Allard keeps him closer. Using here.
2 HOBOKEN SONNY Loved his last effort. Locked in and didn’t shake free until inside the last 1/8th. Finished up well. Looms a major threat.
3 GREY ICE The driver change is going to attract plenty of attention and his last effort stacks up well here. He has speed as well. Player.
4 PEMBROKE PRAYER Four of his last five starts he has had some tough posts. He made over $100k last year too. Things to like here.
5 CAMERON CHIP Just when I thought she was ready to fire a big shot, she threw in another sub-par effort. Hard to predict once again.
6 KING’S CAVALIER That last effort was from a very tough spot. He doesn’t pack much speed, but if he follows Cameron, he has a shot.
7 GAELIC AND GARLIC That qualifier he won has not come back very strong. I am surprised he hasn’t been better. Look for improvement.
8 LEXIS AMIGO Broke as the favorite and then added hobbles and qualified at Freehold. I suppose he might be better here. Mixed feelings.
9 NEW ZION Yes, he is stepping up off a win, but at the same time this is the sharpest horse in the race. Has some speed as well. Maybe.
10 MISS LEE Making her first start back off a three month layoff. She doesn’t have a ton of early speed from here. Watching this start.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-4-2
H Horse Comment
1 ELLEOFNXAMPLE Back down to the level where she can be most effective. Such an evenly matched field. Miller did opt off though.
2 DREAM’S BAR Miller scored with her last time making it two in a row with this mare. Now he is elsewhere but Gingras lands a sharp horse.
3 FOX VALLEY HERMIA Adds Lasix for her 4YO debut and take a look who she beat in that qualifier, world champion Androvette. Maybe.
4 JK FINE ART That 1:51.4 mile looks awfully good in this field. Now making her second start off the layoff. She looks like a prime player.
5 JET WASH This mare does her best racing on the bigger tracks and she adds Lasix too. I can easily see Campbell working out a trip.
6 QUEEN OF ROYALTY Exits a tough race won by an open-type mare. Shows some good efforts at Yonkers too. Wouldn’t shock me here.
7 DOCDOR LIBBY Exits the same race as ‘Queen, so if you like that mare, this mare shouldn’t be far off your radar. Best on smaller ovals.
8 SANGAAL Loved her last week and she turned a perfect journey into an easy win. Gets a move up the ladder. Miller’s choice of five.
9 BLACKJACK PRINCESS She went some big miles last year as a 3YO, but her qualifiers both looked a little bit short. Needs a start.
10 ANGELWITHNATTITUDE Favored at this level last time, but disappointed. Now she draws post 10 and is a tough reach in a difficult race.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 7-8-5-3
H Horse Comment
1 PEMBROKE HEAT WAVE On her best, this mare can go with this group. Is she ready off the bench. Her qualifiers were not bad. Tricky.
2 DEFINITELY MAMIE She is making her third start off the layoff, but neither of her first two were particularly good. Watching this time.
3 MUGSHOT JESS With the exception of one race against a freak, he is very sharp right now. Seems to always offer value, too. Interesting.
4 ZUEREST Found a field where he was able to go right down the road. This is going to be tougher and I am not sure he wires this field.
5 VAPORSTAR Made a break as the favorite last time. That makes this a tough call. If he trots, he is a contender in a wide open field.
6 FEEL THE PRESSURE This level has been a bit too tough for this mare in her last couple of starts. I would need to see improvement.
7 IL MAGO That first over trip just didn’t work out last time. His prior starts make him a contender here. Could be a bounce back candidate.
8 WALDORF HALL Almost pulled it off last time and he continues to race well. Has the tactical speed to overcome the draw. Contender.
9 THE CHANCELLOR Needed a perfect trip against a softer field to win. This will be substantially tougher. Looking elsewhere in this spot.
10 SPECULATION He shows a good race at this level, but his last two starts have been rough. Tough posts at Yonkers. Watching closely.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 6-9-2-7
H Horse Comment
1 MOJARRA HANOVER Showed speed last time but offered only even pace in the stretch. Kicks off a wide open betting affair. Tricky read.
2 UNRED HANOVER Broke through with a big effort last year and now she moves up in class. This race will be tougher, but she’s a threat.
3 OOH BAD SHARK I like the improvement she showed in that qualifier, but in such a tough race I am banking on her needing a start.
4 CAT CORA She has raced herself into very good form. This barn has been cold all meet though. Difficult call in this spot. Fringe player.
5 CLEAR VIEW HANOVER Has she tailed off or just gotten to a level that is a little too tough? Perfect post for her style. Mixed feelings now.
6 N Y YANKEES She raced well in her first start here. Post 8 in that Open at Yonkers just wasn’t going to work out. This spot is much better.
7 RHAPSODY ROSE She continues to race very well and has plenty of early speed. Expect Campbell to be aggressive. Still a contender.
8 BEST BOSS Coming off a bit of a down year. She has beaten better than this in the past. Off the layoff, I will be watching her first start.
9 BILLMAR SCOOTER That is a good tightener to get under her belt. She has speed and plenty of class. I expect a big effort from her now.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-2-1
H Horse Comment
1 CELEBRITY BOMBAY He is a “trip horse.” If you race him off a helmet, he’ll give you a good effort. Pierce will need to fish for cover here.
2 TSMLIL ORPHAN ANDY She raced well behind a sharp wire to wire winner last time, saving ground throughout the mile. This is tougher.
3 UPFRONT BILLY Nothing wrong at all with his season in 2012. Loved his qualifier as he was flat out flying late. 26.4 final quarter jumps out.
4 DASH FOR THE CASH While on paper this is a drop in class, I am not sure this is really much easier. Winner of last is very sharp. Tricky.
5 TOP BILLING I loved his qualifier. He has always been a good looking horse and if he stays trotting, he will be tough here and all season.
6 MAGNUM KOSMOS His form has tailed off and his most recent effort is really troubling. Will he trot? That’s another question. Not for me.
7 WHEELS Already has more wins in 2013 than all of last year, but against far lesser than this. Big test for class. I will watch this time.
8 IN NOMINE PATRI He is racing well but seems to always offer value. This field has some depth to it so I anticipate that trend continues.
9 SAND WYNDHAM Gets another move down the ladder and one of these nights he will find the right spot. I will watch very carefully.
10 MY LEAP OF FAITH Another that is getting some needed class relief but he catches the worst of the draw without any speed. Underneath.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-9-3-10
H Horse Comment
1 MISTER KING Last two efforts are an improvement but they are against lesser than this. Will need to stay close and hope for a share.
2 DIPIETRANTONIO He did hang a bit in the stretch last time, but he figures to continue to improve. I think he is the most likely winner.
3 TWIN B NAVIGATOR His speed is not carrying him as far as it used to. I suppose the extra 1/16th of a mile won’t help that. Not sure.
4 HOWMUCHUBENCH Making his second start off the qualifier. Last time he got his start around the track. A candidate to improve.
5 HEIDI FALLS Yet to fire his best shot, but we have seen him win here before. Gets some needed class relief as well. Watching closely.
6 SOME KINDA SPUNKY He was finishing his mile with some interest last time, so perhaps he is a candidate to build off that effort.
7 BALTIMOR AS Last two efforts at Freehold just aren’t going to cut it in this spot as he is facing a tougher group here. Longshot.
8 MR FENWICK His recent form has been just even and it will take more than that to win at this level. We might see speed from him.
9 JAILHOUSE ROCKIE Shocked us last week at 60/1. Safe to say that price is gone, but if you didn’t have him at 60/1, do you take 4/1 now?
10 BLOMKVIST He was all out from the head of the stretch to the wire. He is probably favored again, but from this post, I will play against.
11 LOVE ME DO Qualifier was ok as the top two in their will make some noise in their divisions this year. Will she stay trotting? Tricky read.
12 BROADWAYS FORTUNE Another you was racing well against softer, but her last couple have not been up to par. Needs more in here.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-2-8
H Horse Comment
1 LOVE YOU BYE She did a good job to hold off Myluvmylife last time. Yannick is going to be aggressive again. She will take a lot of money.
2 GORDYYY’S PET She never saw daylight last time so it is tough to judge how much pace she had. She does get a nice drop in class.
3 ASSET MANAGEMENT Clogged in traffic last week and when daylight appeared, she was struck by someone else’s whip. I like her now!
4 DRAGON PRINCESS She continues to go in the wrong direction and it will take a form reversal for her to get the job done. Watching.
5 DAY TO PONDER Her last pair of starts in Canada have not been her best. In fact, her lone win looks more like the exception than the rule.
6 SYNERGY SEELSTER Coming off a sick scratch after her form seemed to slide. I suppose with a trip she can be effective. Must step it up.
7 LEXUS ARTIST Caught a sharp winner in Sangaal last time. See how that mare did earlier. Shows some decent races prior to that.
8 ONE NIGHT Solid try with the addition of Lasix. I don’t see her being 16-1 in this spot and she is a candidate for consideration once again.
9 SIR JILLIAN Z TAM Has done a decent job of picking up checks in some tough spots at Yonkers. I don’t like the outside post for her.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 WESTSIDE LINDY First over trip last time didn’t work as the speed just kept on going. Still, last two have been better. Using in exotics.
2 WINDSUN GALLIANO He is a total wild card at this point. The ability is there, but he is not good off the gate and can break anytime!
3 QUICK DEAL I don’t know if there is a trotter currently racing that can go with him right now. The one to his outside will test him tonight.
4 MODERN FAMILY It appears that he has made a great transition to his four year old season. This is a great showdown to start the series!
5 HARBOR POINT He continues to disappoint as one of the early book favorites for this series has not panned out. Must turn things around.
6 BROADWAY ROCKS Nothing wrong with his qualifiers, but some of these have a seasoning edge on him. Could be poised for a nice year.
7 WHERE TO HANOVER Loses Tetrick tonight and he wasn’t particularly good in the Singer Final. It appears that he has tailed off now.
8 FREE ROLLIN His last effort just won’t stack up against these. He needs to find his absolute best and I am not sure that will even do it.
9 NOT AFRAID His last couple of starts have been better, but this will be even tougher and he doesn’t seem to have that killer instinct.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-10-5
H Horse Comment
1 KISS MY ART I think he will be good in here. That was a fine effort in his first start back off the layoff. He should only improve from there.
2 THREE ARTIST Exits the same race as Kiss My Art, so if you like one, the other cannot be far behind. Looks like a contender again here.
3 THANKS FOR STOPPIN Took play on the class drop and simply did not fire. Believers in a bounce back will get a much better price.
4 GET JAZZED Continues to struggle since getting that win in his first start of the year. It’s hard to predict a turnaround now. Pass for now.
5 PALM’S BEACH Finally gets away from post 10 and this time around Carlson will have some options. Take a shot and throw him in the mix.
6 ALLAMERICAN CHIEF His last start was OK and he seems to be heading in the right direction. One of these nights he is going to win.
7 MACHAL ANGELO He didn’t beat much in that qualifier and his last race at bottom level at Georgian is troubling. Watching for now.
8 WHERE’S WALDO Made a break last time. He has tailed off in my opinion, but my guess is he still takes money. Siding with others again.
9 CHEYENNE UMBERTO Showed speed last time but then retreated from there. Perhaps a change in tactics again will help? Underneath.
10 BLADE RUNNER I really liked him last week and he almost got there. Post 10 is tough and he will have to pass them all. Using a bit again.