• Week Of 2/24 - 3/2
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  • MO25
  • TU26
  • WE27
  • TH28
  • FR01
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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 Saturday, March 02, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-7-1
H Horse Comment
1 KILLER QUAKES That Survivor Series was for $15,000 claimers, although some were better than that. Clear candidate to rebound here.
2 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE Talk about a big effort at 20-1. Improved off the claim with a step up in class. Now moves up again! This is tough.
3 ODIN BLUE CHIP His last pair of starts have been very good and the smaller field should keep him closer. Expect a big, late rally.
4 GAELIC THUNDER Aggressively moved to the lead and perhaps that’s not how he wants to race. I can easily see a rebound in this spot.
5 RUCKER PLACE I think the fields he are exiting at Yonkers are pretty comparable to this. Expect Tetrick to follow Campbell here.
6 OSCAR OSCAR Moved in for a claiming tag and Andy Miller opts off. To me, those are two negatives. Always seems to take play. Tricky.
7 ESPRIT DE KAYJAY A Disappointed as the favorite at Freehold, but Surick was driving. Back to Andy and I can see him waking up here.
8 TOUCH AND GO He may go overlooked in this spot. Remember, he did win at this level at 16-1 earlier. Interesting piece to this puzzle.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 7-4-2-8
H Horse Comment
1 BUY AMERICAN Qualifiers have been just marginal, although his final quarters have been decent. Might need a couple of starts too.
2 ARC DE TRIUMPH Made a bad break last time and is now just 1 for 19. On paper, he looks imposing here, but I can’t trust him to win.
3 SCOFANMAN Had no chance getting away last from post 10 last time. Likely will be able to stay closer, but Miller chose off. Longshot.
4 MILLENIUM WHEEL I like him in this spot. Gingras gets the call now and he will keep him closer. Any kind of trip will get him right there.
5 HYDRUSKO No shot in his last start here or his prior start at Freehold. Still need to see more from him, but will watch closely.
6 LONG FIGHT HANOVER His last three starts just don’t inspire any confidence. It’s a shame too, because he showed promise in Canada.
7 DHARMA INITIATIVE I expect a career best effort tonight. This race did not come up tough and he has been facing better. Contender.
8 FOX VALLEY LEO Just has not brought his better Yonkers form across the river here. Waiting for him to dial it back up. Can happen.
9 WORLD CUP CULLEN Tough trip last time parked to the quarter in a very good field. Miller’s choice should be better here. Things to like.
10 NEWSPEAK Now 1 for 35 and I just don’t see how he will get involved from post 10. Drafts behind horses and hopes to pass a few.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 GO GO RAIDER My guess is everyone is going to look at the ground he made up last week and fire. Tetrick’s choice looms a player.
2 A PLACE IN HISTORY Parked to the opening quarter and raced just evenly the rest of the way. I can see him improving in this spot.
3 PICTURE ME Showed a late rally and he had some pace in the stretch too. Right back in the same level he figures to be a handful here.
4 CYCLONE ARTIST No chance when you are last of 12 at the ¾ pole. He made up considerable ground too. I will be using him on tickets.
5 RELENTLESS DREAMER Continues to do a good job picking up checks but just doesn’t seem to be a win contender at this level.
6 STRIPE’N STAR I thought his last race was a bit better as he showed interest in the stretch. Live, if Pierce can get him in a live outer flow.
7 MYSTERIOUS MOMENT Not a bad effort last time as he was finishing up well. Not sure he will be as close early on in the mile. Tricky.
8 DUTCH RICHMAN Recent form has not been good and now he draws toward the outside as well. Just hard to recommend at this time.
9 ARTISTIC FLIGHT Sat along the pylons and basically towed along last time. Moves outside and I need to see signs of improvement.
10 MAY DAY He has shown speed in his last two start. Carlson did choose off, but Miller can be aggressive from here. Speed should come.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-9-8
H Horse Comment
1 MR HOLLYWOOD STARZ Nice win last time and that may boost his confidence a bit. This will be tougher and he has to go faster.
2 CRITICAL ACCLAIM He has been facing better lately and it’s worth noting that he shows a win at this level. Still watching this time.
3 WHAT’S THE STORY His last pair of efforts have been sharp and it seems as though he has turned a corner. Showing speed, too.
4 CARD KNOCK LIFE Not a bad try last time and he might be on the verge of breaking out as well. Still think he needs some improvement.
5 STALLONE BLUE CHIP Continues to race well and he might have been asked to do too much last time. I expect better from him tonight.
6 SKY IS THE LIMIT Getting some class relief so he has a right to improve in this spot. He could be poised for a better effort as well.
7 THE GOAT Just 1 for 18 and has been facing similar company in Canada. Still a bit skeptical though and Gingras chose off also. Not yet.
8 SEEK THE DRAGON Broke through with a win. See how Arc De Triumph did earlier. Will he have too far to come? Gingras elsewhere.
9 ALWAYS THERE He seems to be sitting on a big effort. The draw isn’t the greatest and Gingras will have to be aggressive. Factor.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 8-10-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 SILVER EAGLE Was bet off the screen last week and went a nearly identical trip. The break definitely cost him. Figures to be tough.
2 AHEAD OF THE CURVE Stepping up into a very tough race and it is worth noting he was 22-1 at a softer level last time. Repeat is tough.
3 BOLERO ANDREW Must have needed that start off the scratch and he seems to be ready to fire a big shot as well. Major contender.
4 PEMBROKE DEWEY Tough trip last time. His previous efforts were solid. This field did come up tough, so he should offer a nice price.
5 SIR ZIGGY’S Z TAM Came from nowhere to be a very good third. Lachance gets along well with him. Dangerous with the right setup.
6 DROP RED Went right down the road at Freehold last time. This will be tougher. I expect to see speed in this spot. Tough call again.
7 BLACK HAT Just has not impressed me since coming back. I haven’t seen enough to consider yet but I will be watching closely here.
8 SOUTHWESTERN DREAM I remember him coming over from Dover in a similar spot last year and winning. He is sharp, too. I like him.
9 HIGH NOON Not a bad effort at all last time, yet he looks like one of the larger prices in this field. It’s hard to toss out anyone here.
10 THE POKESTER He is a wild card. Draws widest without much speed, but is also getting some class relief. I expect a good effort.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-4-5
H Horse Comment
1 I FOUGHT DALAW He has been in with some tough company lately. That being said, this isn’t easy. There are some monsters here.
2 WARRAWEE NEEDY Got sick before making his first start last year and never really performed to his ability. I think this will be different!
3 ESCAPE THE NEWS Here is another that was considered a potential start going into 2012. He has come back monstrous. Major threat.
4 MR DENNIS Broke through with a big win in the Exit 16W Final. That being said, this will be much tougher. Not sure he can beat 2 chalks.
5 ONE THROUGH TEN Brutal trip trying to make the lead last time at Yonkers. Efforts in the Hirt were good. Expect him to earn a share.
6 IN COMMANDO A nice horse, but looks like one of the longshots in this group. I would like to have had a start off that qualifier.
7 YO CHEYENNE ROCKY Raced very well in the Exit 16W series. His speed always makes him a factor. Again, not sure he can win this.
8 KING’S LEGEND I really like this horse, but this series came up very tough. He brings speed to the party. Waiting for barn to wake up.
9 BAKIN ON THE BEACH He has been racing very well, but there is a difference between B-1 pacers and Open 4YO’s. Tough spot.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-7-8-2
H Horse Comment
1 WESTERN TSUNAMI I think he has reached a level that is just too difficult. The barn has cooled off considerably as well. Longshot.
2 RESCUE PLAN He continues to race well and earn checks. Can he jump up and win? If Tetrick can find a trip, he has a shot again.
3 CLIC K It looks like he reached a level in Canada that proved too tough. This spot looks equally difficult. Pierce chose off as well.
4 SHOOBEE’S PLACE Always liked this horse and he has been racing very well. He might like the longer stretch, too. Interesting at a price.
5 ROCKIN THE HOUSE Toss out his races against Golden Receiver and he looks pretty good. This field is tough and he is a part of that.
6 RIVER SHARK No disgrace in finishing 2nd to a horse that is just unbeatable right now. Miller’s choice is an exotics player again.
7 DIAL OR NO DIAL I think this is the horse to beat. Raced very well behind Golden Receiver all winter so far. Could be his time to shine.
8 ABELARD HANOVER Gelding continues to race very well and I think Pierce can fire him off the gate here, too. Looks like a major player.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 FREDDY DAY HANOVER Campbell got aggressive with him last time hoping to wake him up. Change in tactics tonight? Might improve.
2 FRISKIES CHEAPSUIT Got to a level that was just too much. No problem, now he is back where he can do some damage. Major player.
3 JOHNNY Z Back to back good efforts and he lost to a Burke horse last time on a night Burke couldn’t be beaten. Looks like a player.
4 BETTOR WIN Rallied well to score last time against softer. This will be tougher and I doubt a repeat for a horse that doesn’t win often.
5 LIVE ON Making his second start back off the layoff and he gets a drop in class as well. I can easily see him waking up with a better effort.
6 DR C’S Z TAM He had some pace last time and he might go overlooked in this spot. With the right kind of trip, I can see him rallying well.
7 BEACH BOY TIGER Very hard to endorse off those last 2 efforts and his last qualifier. Miller opts off as well. Longshot again.
8 RECENT NEWS If they go crazy fast up front, this is the gelding that might blow by the whole field. Always worth including at this level.
9 RAYMOND J Continued to race well despite the move up in class. He has the speed to overcome the draw as well. Things to like.
10 ELUSIVE REWARD Off a dull effort following the claim and a subsequent injured scratch. Miller off. Too many questions here.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 1-8-10-6
H Horse Comment
1 PRINCE SHARKA Drops out of the exit 16W where he was just a bit overmatched. Shows a good race at this level. Took money then too.
2 BLUE CLAW He is always going to take some money at this level, but I just never trust him to win. I’ll use him underneath as always.
3 DIANE’S SHARK I really thought he should have been better last time. Now Miller goes elsewhere also. Appears to be a longshot.
4 ASTOR That is an interference break so throw that race out. His earlier efforts were OK, but I really thought he could have been better.
5 ART FOR LIVING He has been a huge number in all of his last few starts, so I wouldn’t overreact too much to that last line. Still, a factor.
6 ALEX BULLVILLE Just missed last time and he appears to have rounded back into form. Draws well and should be in a live outer flow.
7 ANDY BARAN Dauplaise puts himself back at the lines and he got along with him fine two start back. Just too sharp to ignore again.
8 ROCKNROLL JEWEL Has a win against softer and did not race badly at all in the Survivor Series. He might bring some value to the race.
9 EMERALD EXPRESS He shows some decent races elsewhere but his race here just doesn’t thrill me. I need to see some improvement.
10 AMERICAN GI Good qualifier an I liked his effort last time. Watch the tote board, I have a feeling this horse might be sitting on a good one.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 7-3-5-12
H Horse Comment
1 WON’TBEFOOLEDAGAIN Has not handled the move to the east coast very well. I don’t love the 1 hole for him. Gingras chooses off too.
2 CRUZNWITHDABIGDOG Last start was an improvement and he is right back at the same level. That said, he needs to improve here.
3 WILLIE BOOTS I liked him last time and he raced well. Miller will needs to stay closer and if he does, he will be a win contender.
4 ST PETE STAR Another Canadian shipper. My concern is that he didn’t handle the move to this level at Woodbine. Might need more.
5 MAJOR WORK OF ART Now making his third start off the layoff so he figures to continue to improve. Gets a good draw and is versatile.
6 IN KENNY’S HONOR Did not factor much at the $10,000 level and now he moves back up to the $15,000 level. Gingras chooses off too.
7 WESTERN TRADEMARK Getting some class relief and that might be all he needs here. Looks like a major player in here. Will be tough.
8 WALL E Qualifiers are just OK, but this is Gingras and Burke so he needs to be considered as well. Has won here before as well.
9 ROJETTE’S BEST Struggled in his first start back and only has 4 starts in the last two years as well. I need to see some improvement.
10 ITS OUTTA HERE Recent form has been just marginal and now he has the worst of the post position draws as well. Up against it.
11 MARKET FORCE Well, he wont be able to show that same speed from here, but maybe that is a good thing? Needs a trip now.
12 VEAL MARSALA Just didn’t fire his best in the Survivor Final. If Allard can find a way into a live flow, he isn’t without a chance. Maybe.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-9-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 AXIOM HANOVER This horse has enough ability that he has been made eligible to The Meadowlands Pace. Off a sick scratch, though.
1A A BETTOR WORLD Stablemate was also scratched sick, so that is a concern coming into the Final. Draws well though. Things to like.
2 FIFTYSHADESDARKER Not sure he is up to the level of winning this, but he has some ability. Might use underneath at a price.
3 HUMILITY He has been very good and there was no shame in chasing the favorite to the wire last time. Legitimate threat in this spot.
4 TERROR HIGH A pair of nice efforts to start the series. Is he ready to take a step forward and win this? I’m not sure, but he is a player.
5 BEACHFRONT He just seems to be a notch below the best in here. He has speed, but I think he might still be up against it.
6 CHESAPEAKE BAY Hasn’t raced badly in the series, but it is hard to see him suddenly jumping up and winning this. Still a longshot.
7 ROCK ICON I liked his effort last time and he shows how deep this Final is as he will offer a price as well. Worth using in exotics.
8 WILCOX I am not sure he is as good as the favorite. Ironic that these two drew to the outside. Has his work cut out for him tonight.
9 RESISTANCE FUTILE Andy will find a way to get him into it, I’m not worried about the post. The price will be short and this field is good.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-9-2
H Horse Comment
1 MEGA LIGHTNING Just an even try moving to this level. Has the same inside post so it would take some improvement to hit the ticket.
2 SCOTTY MACH N Last pair of efforts have been ok, but I have not seen an indication that he is ready to jump up and win just yet.
3 DIGITAL Z TAM Came from an impossible spot last time. That said, he didn’t fly home, the horses were coming back to him. Not sold.
4 BULLET SPEED Got off to a nice start at Freehold, but he struggled in both tries here. Comes back against softer than he faced earlier.
5 COLD BATH Nice looking qualifier at Saratoga and perhaps he is ready to fire a better shot. Not sure we will see speed again though.
6 EASTEND EDDIE I guess he was a little bit better last time but he is still not racing to the best of his ability. Further improvement needed.
7 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE He has gone off form and is now coming off a sick scratch as well. I need to see a start now before I consider.
8 D GS WOODSTOCK Continues to race well and this looks like a field that he can beat. Has the speed to overcome the post. Major player.
9 POWER OF A MOMENT Finished 2nd behind a potential monster in that qualifier. Was just 2 for 32 last year but I think he can contend.
10 LIFE UP FRONT Just has not been racing well lately and I do not think he has the speed to overcome the post either. Up against it.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 DREAMZZZZ R FOR U Moves out of the Survivor Series and moves inside. Just 1 for 41 in the last 2 years though. Field came up light.
2 STORMIN RUSTLER Also comes out of the Survivor Series and he showed some decent efforts in there. Wont offer that 23-1 here.
3 I DO HANOVER Took a ton of tote action last time but made a break. He can rebound, but I caution, this barn has gone cold as well.
4 DJ LANCE Last couple of starts in Canada were solid and he ships down here while he appears to be getting sharper. Not without a shot.
5 CASIMIR CAMOTION Moves back to the C-1 level, but Andy Miller opts elsewhere. He has beaten these this year. Needs to rebound.
6 PAINTED BLACK Another on the class drop like so many of these, but Tetrick did not stay here. That makes him a tricky call again.
7 SOUTHERN SPORT I think the driver change and the drop in class will put a lot of money in his corner. Might be a vulnerable favorite.
8 AREZZO HANOVER He is very fast, but he can also make a break at any time. That makes him a very tough call. I might take a shot.
9 UPFRONT COUNTRYBOY Steps up off a win, so you have to ask yourself, do you like the dropdowns not in form or this last out winner?
10 LONG LIVE ROCK The last of the dropdowns but with the worst of the post position draw. I think there are too many other options here.