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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 Friday, April 19, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 THE EVICTOR I have always liked this trotter and he raced well in his last start here. That being said, this is one tough field. Needs best.
2 ICE MACHINE Allowed to coast through a soft half-mile and trotted home in 54.3. This trotter is absolutely for real and will be tough.
3 GUCCIO He trotted home in 54.1 last week and that was his first start of the year. Getting ready for the Maturity. Major challenge for ‘Ice.
4 ARCH MADNESS He trotted a sharp final quarter in his 2013 debut, but couldn’t make up much ground. Will need to stay closer this time.
5 WISHING STONE I liked the burst he showed in the last 1/8th of a mile last week. He is going to be a major force in this division this year.
6 SEVRUGA He and Ice Machine have been the 2 best FFA trotters so far in 2013. Now comes the acid test. We’ll find out how good he is!
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-1-8
H Horse Comment
1 TATTOO YOU One of 2-3YO fillies tackling colts and older in here. Stakes winner from last year qualified well behind foe to her outside.
2 LADY DYNAMITE Put the trotting hobbles on in that qualifier and seemed to help. Remember, she was impressive at time last year.
3 SIX GUN HALL Did not travel smoothly on the far turn, clogging the outer flow. Showed some trot in the stretch. Still needs to be better.
4 STIRLING BULLET Winner of that qualifier is an 11yo veteran. NYSS competitor from last year is prepping for another NY campaign.
5 MUSCLE MOUNTAIN His first start as a 3YO reminded me of the 3YO debut of Muscle Massive a few years ago. Trotted a ton late!
6 LA HOLLYWOOD Aggressively driven last time and made an unfortunate break. Still, he must have felt good early in that mile.
7 RINGSIDE NGUYEN He has trotter a couple of miles that earned him a check so far this meet. I think a minor award remains his ceiling.
8 SECRET INGREDIENT His 2013 debut was a good one. Now he moves in against tougher and will likely get away back. Passes a few.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 CAVIART SAVANNAH Debuts for the Daley barn tonight. That last qualifier was an improvement. Remember, this barn is very patient.
2 CERTIFIED IDEAL She is the filly to beat in here. It is her first start of the year and is gearing up for the NJSS. Looks very tough, though.
3 CLASSIC ROCK Runner-up from that last race is a 5YO mare that is 0 for 13, so I don’t make that a very strong race. This will be tougher.
4 HERE AGAIN She looks like a major player in this field. I wish she would have finished her mile a little better, but she’s improving.
5 FEDS EXPRESS I liked her effort from two starts back at Philadelphia and it’s hard to compare this to the $12.5k claimer she was in here.
6 JUSTROLLWITHIT She was 2nd over in that last mile and offered little kick as the favorite. Winner was 15-1 and was 1 for 17 going in.
7 FEELINGMIGHTYGOOD Moving from a $6k claimer to nw2 is not a typical occurrence, so this is unique. She is sharp. This is tougher.
8 SOLID QUEEN Exits the same race as Here Again, finished ½ length behind that foe and will be a better price. Need to see speed!
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-1-7
H Horse Comment
1 ORDER BY KEEPER Graduated from the maiden ranks with style. That was a visually impressive effort. Gets a good test in this group.
2 MICHAEL’S WILD BOY Has never given a poor effort and that Weiss series is similar to the Super Bowl. Gelding catches a classy bunch.
3 MY MAN CAN Chased the Peter Haughton runner-up in that qualifier. Loved the way he finished. He was in some big races last year, too.
4 IDEAL REVENUE Yes, he has beaten this level. The horse he beat last time has come back to win. This is a tougher group though. Tricky.
5 JAILHOUSE JUICE Those back to back final quarters warrant attention here. Needs to stay closer. The 1 for 28 is a little scary. Using.
6 VIBE BLUE CHIP Added Lasix in that qualifier, but made a break. Burke getting him ready for the PASS. Appears to need a start.
7 POSSESSED FASHION Finished 3rd in the PASS Final last year. Showed good late acceleration in his qualifier. Poised for a good season.
8 AMARCORD Well, if you used him at 88-1, you still got 66-1 last time and he raced well. This will be much tougher. Will offer a price again.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 9-7-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 HERE’S JOHNNY The winner of that qualifier has Hambletonian hopes. Brief campaign last year, but it showed his potential. Lachance!
2 THE SPECIAL ONE He is yet to build upon his debut and regressed into a mistake last time. Looks like a longshot in the short term.
3 SUZELLE HANOVER See how Lady Dynamite did in the 2nd race. I liked her effort winning that qualifier. A filly with some potential.
4 THE FRANCHISE If Order By Keeper won again, move this colt up. Impeccably bred and brought along slowly. One to watch in here.
5 GLISTER HANOVER Made a break in both starts as a 2YO. Stayed trotting in that qualifier, but I am going to watch for the time being.
6 MOMS FORTUNE Not a bad try in her first lifetime start and is certainly a good starting off point. Let’s see if she shows improvement.
7 CANTAB ABS Exits the same qualifier as ‘Jonny and was a bit better. Trond tends to bring them along slowly. Still, should be a factor.
8 DUE CALZE Mare is now 0 for 13 and at this point I would like to see her finishing her miles a little better. I need to see more here.
9 EMBRACE PEACE Brilliantly named filly has gotten some good seasoning in Delaware. This is not an easy nw1. Will be including.
10 CRAZY ABOUT PAT Colt got a start under his belt and should build off that. Will we see speed? Must get involved from wide draw.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-9-1
H Horse Comment
1 HELIOS He has been a little disappointing in his last two starts. Catches a sharp horse with a lot of potential. Must dig in this time around.
2 CELTIC MERCHANT Gets some class relief and didn’t race badly at the B-2 level last time. 30-time winner cannot be ignored in this spot.
3 PILATUS Gelding had too far to come last time, but offered just even trot in the stretch. Has won nearly half his starts. Worth including.
4 BLUERIDGE TORNADO The $10k level at Dover is a tad softer than this. Interesting claim and has been off for 3 weeks. Tricky read.
5 ALL MUNKY BUSINESS Gets another move down in class and she was a little bit better last time. She is better than her recent form.
6 FROM ABOVE Trotted a ton in the stretch last week and if Silva has this guy figured out, he might go on a little streak here. Tough again.
7 MISS LEE Mare has put forth a mixed bag of efforts, but I think she is exiting a fairly strong heat. Worth including at some kind of price.
8 RINGSIDE LAURYN This level has been too tough for her in the past. Made a break last time and was not Callahan’s choice again.
9 PAISLEY Never a doubt last time going on a tour de force. Now he moves up in class, so this will be tougher. Still we play a role here.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-8-2-1
H Horse Comment
1 GORDYYY’S PET Kicks off a wide-open field on a move up in class. She has not won at this level yet this year. Not sure about a repeat.
2 CLEAR VIEW HANOVER Similar to the mare to her inside, this lass is moving up off a win as well. She has more back class, though.
3 MYSTICAL DIVA Not sure what happened last time as she slowed dramatically and then missed a week. She has plenty of class, though.
4 QUEEN OF ROYALTY Like the mare to her inside, she was an also-ran in the Matchmaker. But, she should have been better last time.
5 ITS DE LOVELY She is exiting a very fast mile at Philadelphia and seems to have speed as well. Looms a factor in a wide open affair.
6 DELIGHTFUL DIVA Exits the same pair of races as Lovely and their efforts are very similar. I suppose if you like one, you should like both.
7 MYSTRA Finished second to a Breeders Crown Champion in that qualifier. That was a fast mile. Interesting piece to this difficult puzzle.
8 RHAPSODY ROSE She has speed and will be a pace factor at the very least. I would recommend using as many as possible in the pick 4.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-2-8
H Horse Comment
1 VAPORTSTAR Has taken a substantial amount of money in his last two starts. This race is very tough and he should offer a better price.
2 CAMERON CHIP She had some sneaky late trot 2 starts back, so that last rally could have been seen coming. At the mercy of pace/trip.
3 IN NOMINE PATRI Moved up and caught a very sharp horse last time out in Harbor Point. Moves back down to the level of his win.
4 IDOL KEMP Has faced a couple of tough fields in his last pair. This group is closer to what he faced three back. Expect a big effort here.
5 PEMBROKE HEAT WAVE She is starting to turn things around. I don’t think she does her best on the half. Should be a factor now.
6 BAMBINO HALL Winner of his last start is a nice trotter. I don’t think we’ll see that same speed in here. Raced well at this level earlier.
7 FOX VALLEY SMARTY Went right down the road in a strong mile last time. This will be tougher, but the price should be similar to last time.
8 DASH FOR THE CASH Beaten a neck by ‘Patri at this level, but that was a strong effort. He fits here and is another contender in this group.
9 DOUBLE UP HANOVER Gelding seems to have tailed off recently and I suppose given the depth of this field, he would be a surprise.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 HEIDI FALLS He showed improved speed last time and now draws the pole. Pierce will have to use that speed again. Logical contender.
2 ORDER BY CORLEONE His effort 2 starts back can win this race. He has not won since his 4YO season, but he fits in this field.
3 LATTE HALL That’s an interference break last time at Pocono. NYSS competitor from last year has some upside in this field. Player.
4 KILLER WHALE It’s always hard to gauge any horse exiting an Amateur race. His qualifier at Philly was decent. He is a sneaky player here.
5 BIG SKY BATS Good draw to set up her late kick, which was not as effective in the C-Notes Final. In this field, she figures to be better.
6 IMA QUE T I like the progress she made in her last start. The 1 for 38 record makes her a tough play on top, but I will use underneath.
7 OLIVER KISS Another exiting the amateur race, which is where he has spent most of his year. Wasn’t Campbell’s choice. Longshot.
8 NEW YORKS FINEST Recent form has not been particularly sharp, but Callahan did opt here. Needs to improve to contend for the win.
9 CAUTIOUS OPTIMISIM She is 0 for 14 on the year but has been racing well lately. That said, this will be much tougher. Needs best.
10 T JS MR LAVEC Exits a decent qualifier but Piece opted elsewhere. Doesn’t have much speed and appears likely to get away last.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-8-10
H Horse Comment
1 AUBSESSION I like the steady improvement she showed in her qualifiers. She will need to go fast here, but that appears likely. Main threat.
2 ALWAYS LOVE ME Making her second start back off the freshening so I anticipate some improvement now. Adds value to the exotics.
3 SADIES PLACE Last start was an improvement as she kept up and earned a share. If she can build upon that, she might surprise you.
4 DREAM’S BAR She really appreciated the move down in class last time. It is likely that she will stay closer from here. Legitimate player.
5 SHAYNA BABY She intrigues me tonight as last week she was tightened up a bit and overall it was a better effort. Not without a chance.
6 I DO IT MYSELF I thought she was going to be better last time. She brings a mixed bag of efforts and at this point it’s a guessing game.
7 ARIANE HANOVER She did not take too kindly to the move back to the big track last time. I wouldn’t be shocked if we saw speed tonight.
8 JOANNIEHASAFANNY The last time she races at this level, she won. That wasn’t enough to keep Miller on board, though. Still a player.
9 VY HANOVER Recent form has been a bit suspect and she can throw in a break occasionally too. I will be looking elsewhere this time.
10 RUNAWAY TRAY Left hard last time and she put forth a good mile in doing so. She will need to use that speed again. Exotics player.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-2-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 MELDAY’S MONET Steps up off a sharp win against softer. This would be a tough class jump, normally. But The Fox makes it tougher.
2 LITTLE BROWN FOX Very fast trotter makes his 4YO debut. Gingras listed to make the trip over to drive. Poised for a big season.
3 LEXIS AMIGO Raced well against a very tough horse in Harbor Point. This will not be any easier, but he is an exotics contender here.
4 TEMPLE OF DOOM Came up short last time and the fact that he hasn’t built on his debut is a bit of a concern. Still, he can jump up here.
5 IL MAGO Broke leaving the gate at Pocono last time. His prior efforts were solid here. If he can stay trotting, he will be a factor in here.
6 BEATGOESON HANOVER This is a bit of class relieve, but the presence of Little Brown Fox makes this very difficult. Tries to earn a share.
7 TOBER Making his second start back off the freshening and his first start back was excellent. He might go overlooked in this group.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 3-1-9-2
H Horse Comment
1 BIG SKY ANGELINA Her last two efforts have been an improvement, so that is encouraging. Headed in the right direction. Contender.
2 IN FOCUS Will this be the spot he wakes up in? It’s hard to answer at this point, but his back class may shine through in this spot.
3 TIGER’S TOO GOOD He looks to be very tough in here. That was his first start off a substantial layoff and he raced very well. Chalk.
4 ARMBRO ARISTOCRAT Made the lead from post 1 at Philadelphia. Campbell did opt off and this 13YO has not won in some time.
5 GETINONTHESECRET Mixed bag of efforts in her last few starts. Her best effort would fit in this group. We might see speed in here.
6 HOWMUCHUBENCH Stepping up in class off a dull effort. He raced better on 3/1 before he broke. I need to see some improvement.
7 ASHCROFT Making his second start off the layoff, so improvement is to be expected. I will be watch very closely for future consideration.
8 JULIA’S WAY When she doesn’t go offstride, she races well. Mare has some versatility and was Campbell’s choice. Has a chance.
9 SPECTATOR K He will be leaving to try and find good early position. Andy goes elsewhere, but he will be a pace factor at the very least.
10 DREAM KID Gelding had just too much to do last time. I am not sure this is going to work out much different than that. Needs a trip.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 GORDYS FILLY YENTA Seems to be in a good race/ bad race pattern. Campbell’s choice of three in a very difficult field. Contender.
2 DRAGON PRINCESS She was a little better last time, but this field is tougher than what she faced in her last start. Mixed feelings.
3 BRITE JET Mare has speed, that is for sure and she is plenty sharp enough. I usually want to see a start from Rosecroft shippers first.
4 RUB THING She was aggressively handled in her last start and got a little tired late. With a smoother journey here, she can hit the ticket.
5 CHEYENNE PATTI Disappointed as the favorite last time. This barn had a tough week, with several scratches. See if barn is warming up.
6 KIMMY She broke through with a sharp win last time and now moves up in class. She does lose Campbell here. This will be tougher.
7 PICKED BY AN ANGEL Nice qualifier, but this is her first start in over five months so the chances are she needs a start first.
8 BIJOU THEATER She was rolling late and just ran out of ground last time. Callahan sticks and she will be a major factor once again.
9 DE VINS GIRL See how Clear View Hanover did earlier in the card. If that mare won, then move this mare way up. Should be a factor.