• Week Of 4/7 - 4/13
  • SU7
  • MO8
  • TU9
  • WE10
  • TH11
  • FR12
  • SA13
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, April 13, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 1-7-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 TAKE IT BACK TERRY Raced quite well in the prep for this event, pacing a back half in under :55. Draws well. Looms a logical contender.
1A I’M THE PIED PIPER Had a nice season as a three year old and shows pair of decent tries to start his season. This field is tough, though.
2 IDEAL CHAMP Certainly packs major speed, but he did get tired last week. Let’s see if he can last a bit longer tonight. Still a player.
3 DOMETHATAGAIN Came a back-half in :54.2, so he was motoring home. That was a very impressive effort. Any setup makes him tough.
4 RELENTLESS DREAMER That qualifier did not do enough to earn him win consideration in this deep field. I will watch for improvement.
5 BAKIN ON THE BEACH Could have vied for favoritism last week before the scratch. Still searching for a win this year. Using accordingly.
6 LONG LIVE ROCK He has a win here this year, but it was against far lesser. He has a burst to him, but I think this is just too tough.
7 MR DENNIS He had a quarter mile burst in him that if timed right makes him very tough to beat. If he hits the front at ¾’s or later, he’s gone.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 1-8-3-9
H Horse Comment
1 DHARMA INITIATIVE He is 0 for 9, but he is exiting stronger races than this. Pierce’s choice might need to be aggressive from this draw.
2 ARTACUS Just his 2nd race back off the layoff, so he figures to improve here. He did finish in 27.1 last week. Feel he has more to offer.
3 COWBOY COFFEE Not a bad mile, despite being the beaten favorite in his first lifetime start. Callahan’s choice figures to be better now.
4 DOUBLE ROOM Making just his 2nd start of the year and it is hard to gauge how that mile at Northville stacks up here. Watch one.
5 DAVID ON ICE Toss out that last try from post 8. Figure his form is closer to his 3 previous efforts. Tries to earn a minor award here.
6 TETONS Did just enough to earn a check last time, so that is a step in the right direction. Campbell’s choice will need more in here.
7 BUY AMERICAN Exits the same qualifier as Relentless Dreamer in Race 1. If that one scores an upset, move this horse’s stock up.
8 NICK FOTIU Looks like the chalk in here as he is showing progress with each of his starts. Expect Miller to be aggressive. Looks tough.
9 ALWAYS THERE I like the progress he showed last time as well. On paper, he is fast enough and I wouldn’t be too quick to dismiss.
10 ROCK N BONDS Always good to see a nice qualifier on the return, but that field wasn’t too strong. Pierce chose off. I might watch one.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 1-9-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 BENNS SUPERMAN Really had no chance from post 10, so don’t be too hard on him there. Prior form fits with these. I like him in here.
2 LUCKY LAND Has picked up an occasional check recently and he did have a lot of ground to make up last time. Loses Callahan, though.
3 ROYAL MORN Had to need that first start back and it was a pretty quick mile. Miller chose off. See some mixed signals from this one.
4 HOORAYFORTHEGRAY Has been OK recently at Dover against a level that is a notch below this. With a trip, he can contend.
5 DM BIG DOG DADDY Miller got aggressive last time and he ended up a good 2nd against the horse that is the one to beat in this series.
6 PREMIER Seems to be pretty sharp right now and he is coming off a 12 for 22 season as well. Expect speed. CC sticks. Much to like.
7 GO GO RAIDER Loomed up three-wide at Philly last time but did not fire as the 3-5 favorite. He will need even more in this spot.
8 PAN GRAD Just 1 for his last 38 now and his most recent effort doesn’t bode to well for this. It will take some improvement this time.
9 MILLIONDOLLAR ART I like the speed he showed last time and that was against a level that might be better than this. Interesting.
10 MEDOLAND BIG CAM Surick has a couple for the series. Interesting to see him put himself down to drive after Andy chose off.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-7-5
H Horse Comment
1 SHOWTIME SHARK That was an even try last time. On paper, I don’t think this field is as strong as the last one he faced. Expect better.
2 DEVIL’S EMBRACE N Had no chance last time given the way the race unfolded. That was a fast mile too. Interest price play here.
3 HURRIKANE ANTHONY Dropping out of that C-Note Final, I think this is the horse to beat. But he is the likely chalk, too. No value.
4 HYDRUSKO This is actually tougher than the fields he has been facing, and he hasn’t been fair too well lately. Looks like a longshot.
5 STIRLING BRIGADE Exits the same race as Hydrusko, so like that foe is stepping up. Still, I think this gelding has some upside. Maybe.
6 FIRE ESCAPE Hard to make a very good case off his last couple of starts at this level. Seems to be better on the smaller track.
7 HIGHLAND TERRIFIC This is a tough call, because Fire Escape made a similar move here, and it hasn’t panned out. Worth one shot.
8 HARRAH’S BEST Gelding was a little better last time and he did pace in 1:51.3 here last year in a lifetime best. Toss in the dime super.
9 COME ON RIDGE His form has gone the wrong way and he enters this off a sick scratch as well. That will keep me away this time.
10 BUTN YOUR SHIRT ED Showed some good form at Freehold prior to his last start. From this post, he will likely come from last.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-4-5
H Horse Comment
1 COOL RUNNINGS Stepping up off a pretty popular win. That field was not particularly strong so this move up might be a challenge.
2 STONEBRIDGE COWBOY Exits that tough C-1 Final. Prior efforts were pretty solid. The 0 for 11 mark this year is a bit troubling.
3 KISS MY ART Finished up his last start with some good pace and that is an effort he can build upon as well. Andy’s choice, too.
4 FOOLS GOLD Has not been seen since March 11th (see layoff report). Has back class, but it is hard to predict when he will show it.
5 MY SUGAR DADDY Steps up off a win, so that’s a plus. This will be a tougher assignment, but does have an ideal draw here.
6 ROMAN CONQUEROR N That last race was tough, so don’t be too hard on him for that. Prior efforts fit with this field. Major factor.
7 FANCY FOOTWORK Did enough to earn a check against a similar group on 3/30. Will need to step things up in this spot to contend.
8 MCCEDES Doing a good job of earning checks against fields that are competitive with this group. Not sure he can break through and win.
9 BOBJACKS ANGLE A Last effort was a bit puzzling, as his prior efforts were solid at this level. Wouldn’t dismiss too quickly.
10 PRINCE SHARKA Packs some good early speed, but his last 3 starts, the stretch was a bit too long. Looks like a fringe player here.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 JJ SHARK Kicks off a very competitive field. Was not Andy’s choice, but does show some fast miles in Canada. Tricky call in this group.
2 GAMBLER’S TALE Gelding has raced pretty well here in the past, but this level is a bit tougher. Will need his absolute best to win this.
3 YO CHEYENNE ROCKY Levy was too tough, no problem as this field is a move down in class. He has gone some big miles here.
4 HOLDINGALLTHECARDS I think he is starting to cycle back in the right direction. He has a huge chance to win in this field. Player.
5 VERDAD Always believed this horse had some talent and in his second start back off the layoff, he figures to be better. Needs best.
6 ALL WEEK That is a good looking qualifier but this is a tougher crew than he typically faces. He is another that has talent but needs best.
7 MATTACARDLE I liked his last effort at The Meadows, but this is a much tougher assignment. Still, if he can build on that, he has a shot.
8 VISIBLE GOLD He is on quite a roll recently and this is a bit of an acid test. Has a ton of speed and can finish well also. Major contender.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-8-5-7
H Horse Comment
1 BRAVE ALEX SEMALU Recent form at Dover has been O.K., but this will be tougher. Draws inside and will likely sit in and hope for best.
2 WINDSONG HARLEY Was dismissed at 12-1, which is not typical for this barn. Feel this field is even stronger than last. Will need more.
3 I LIKE DREAMIN Making his second race back off the layoff and he raced in some big stakes last year. Has some upside. Intriguing.
4 TOUCH AND GO It seems like he may have reached a level that is a bit too much. His prior form was good. For longshot lovers.
5 PENCE HANOVER Blew up the tote board at 32-1 last time. He won’t be that price again, and this field will be tougher. Repeat is sketchy.
6 ROCKSTAR TEMPER Those are some good fields that he was facing at Philadelphia. I wouldn’t be shocked to see some improvement.
7 ON THE RADAR Endured a tough trip last time, so that mile is a bit better than it looks. Prior win was a good one. Has some potential.
8 DINNER GUEST One of Allard’s better horses and he wasn’t too far back against a good group on 3/30. Looks like a major contender.
9 BETTOR AGAIN Faced a fast horse in that last qualifier and raced in some tough spots last year. Might need a start, though. Tricky.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 7-3-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 FANTADDY Stepping up, but is always popular at the betting windows. Won from the inside post recently as well. Major contender.
2 DIGITAL Z TAM Sprung the upset last time as Lachance used his speed effectively. That was just his 2nd win in 45 starts. Doubt repeat.
3 THE POKESTER This is the level he does his best work in. But Campbell opted off for a Yonkers invader. Still think he is a contender.
4 UNION MAN HANOVER Found a field he could beat last time. Now he moves back up to a level he struggled with at times. Tricky.
5 HANG TEN Interesting to see this one and ‘Vodka alongside each other as they come from the same series. Campbell’s choice.
6 VODKA IS TERROR Callahan’s choice exits the same race as Hang Ten and seems that these two are very close. They go hand in hand.
7 ALEX BULLVILLE Continues to race well at this level and I like how he is finishing his miles as well. Many things to like in this spot.
8 FREDDY DAY HANOVER This is a bit of a move down, but Pierce chose off, so that is tricky. Gower driving himself. Tricky call here.
9 CANE RIDGE He is coming off a nice win streak, but this is going to be much tougher and Callahan has opted off as well. Tough task.
10 MORTAL ZIN Nice effort last week at Yonkers and this field is pretty comparable on paper. Has the speed to overcome the draw.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 6-1-9-2
H Horse Comment
1 CAMBASSADOR Raced well in the Rags to Riches series, and if Cane Ridge won the 9th, move this gelding way up. Tricky call if not.
2 CORKY BARAN If he can find a way to stay a little closer, he will probably win more races. Moves up in class too. I will include him.
3 MR COOLIE He is in sharp form as well and this level is a bit of a move down from that last field at Yonkers. Things to like here.
4 DREAMS ARE REAL Never seems to take much play and pulled off a monster upset two starts back at Philadelphia. Tricky call here.
5 COASTAL N He figures to improve in his second start, but he wasn’t really flying in his last quarter. I might toss him underneath.
6 VEAL MARSALA I think he is strictly the horse to beat here. He owns a win against better on 3/23. Better post. A lot to like with him.
7 HANGON COWBOY Interesting to see Miller go elsewhere this time around. Made a break last week, so he comes with some risks.
8 ART Z Moves down in class off a mile that he didn’t have much of a chance. He has a lot of back class, and eventually it will pop up.
9 AREZZO HANOVER It appears that Surick has him figured out. Is he ready for the move up in class? If he is, then he is very tough.
10 WESTERN TRADEMARK Likely coming from last, so that always makes things a bit tricky. Passing many in the stretch is likely.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 7-2-1-4
H Horse Comment
1 CAMART HANOVER This looks like a spot he can do some damage in. Moves inside and I think Andy is going to get aggressive.
2 STORMIN HUSTLER Gelding is on the improve and this is a field he can be a major contender in. Still is 0 for 10 on the year. Pros/cons.
3 P J LUCKY Big effort last time and if Cool Runnings did well earlier, then move his stock up. Some things to like in this field. Contender.
4 IDEAL ROMANCE This is a move down out of that Hudson River Prep. Recent form has not been too sharp, though. Tough task.
5 BLUES AT MIDNIGHT Not coming out of the strongest of qualifiers. This is his first start back in 6 months. Looks like a longshot.
6 ROCKNROLL JEWEL Gets some class relief off a couple of decent tries against tougher. Figures to be better on the class drop.
7 HACIENDA See how Union Man Hanover did earlier on the move up in class. Exits the same race as Camart Hanover. Miller elsewhere.
8 LOST HEART Recent Dover form has been a bit dull. Will try something new on the move here. I will be watching this start, first.
9 ART OF ILLUSION Nice effort a few nights ago at Yonkers and off that, he seems to fit in this field. Might offer some value here also.
10 ERIDANUS N Showed speed last time and finished with some interest as well. The post will be a challenge, but liked his last effort.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-7-3-6
H Horse Comment
1 VOICE OF TRUTH That is a good field he beat last time as the runner-up is an open-type pacer at times. This field is very tough, though.
2 MONTREAL PHIL Did a good job to earn a check last time, but things don’t get any easier here. Looks like he contends for a small award.
3 MAJOR BELLE Continues to race very well and one of these miles has his name on it. This field is a little tougher though. Things to like.
4 BETTORS GLASS Raced really well here, so maybe he likes this track better. With a trip, he can round out some exotic wagers.
5 A J CORBELLI Allard’s best horse is facing a good field. He is very fast off the gate and is one of the prime win candidates in this field.
6 ABELARD HANOVER Coming off a 2 week break and a sick scratch. He would have been favored last week. This is a tougher field.
7 ROCKIN THE HOUSE I typically toss out breaks at Philly, some horses don’t like that track. Is probably the one to beat. Expect speed.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 FOUR STARZ TWINS He is clearly the one to beat in this field. Surick with a sharp claim here for this series. He is going to be a handful
2 SUPREME COURT Recent form has not been very sharp. Yet to hit the board this year. He will need to improve a bit to contend.
3 SCARE TACTICS N Is 0 for the last 2 years, so obviously that is a concern. I will be watching this for signs of improvement.
4 BUSHWOOD Z TAM Coming off back to back wins and he has also won 4 of his last 5. Appears to be the one to challenge ‘Twins.
5 LEMON DROP HALL Enters this off a win, but he is a notch below the top 2 in here. I expect to see speed here. Fringe player.
6 SHELLYSBLOCKBUSTER Nice win at Freehold last time, but this is going to be a tougher assignment. Needs to go faster here.
7 IN KENNY’S HONOR His last effort is concerning as he backed up through the field. He is better than that. Let the tote board guide you.
8 GODDESS’S JUSTIN He is racing deceptively well right now and he can rally from far back, which is what he will have to do here.
9 MUST BE THE BUNNY His last effort was not very promising and now he has post 10 as well. He needs to step his game up here.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 9-6-4-8
H Horse Comment
1 IN A CRAZE He had a good season in 2012, but his last three starts are a bit suspect. Looks to tow along and earn a share.
2 ELUSIVE REWARD Coming off some efforts that don’t look very good on paper. Gets some more class relief. I’m watching this one.
3 BRANDON’S COLT Improved effort last time and that is encouraging. Wasn’t Pierce’s choice, but I can see him being a factor.
4 BULLET SPEED He was bet off the board last time and endured a very tough trip. Andy will likely make the lead from here. Player.
5 MORALITY He regressed his last start which is a concern. Campbell chose off as well. He will need to show some improvement.
6 CRACKER PULLET Didn’t show the same speed he typically displays last time, but he finished up with some pace. Has a chance.
7 ART FOR LIVING Coming off a sick scratch and he hasn’t responded to this class relief like I had hoped. Need to see more.
8 BLADE RUNNER This looks like the kind of spot that he could wake up in. Pierce’s choice of three. We may see speed here.
9 BLENDED WHISKEY Not bad last time as that was a fast mile. See how Arezzo Hanover did on the move up. Things to like here.
10 PEDRO ISLAND Has been off for three weeks and gets hit with post 10 as well. I need to watch a start before considering.