• Week Of 3/31 - 4/6
  • SU31
  • MO1
  • TU2
  • WE3
  • TH4
  • FR05
  • SA06
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 06, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 2-3-5-6
H Horse Comment
1 MONTREAL PHIL Went on a nice streak before catching a good horse in Mickey Hanover. This field is select and talented. Must step up.
2 MAJOR BELLE That was a huge mile last week. He didn’t deserve to lose. This race is even tougher, but he is a legitimate contender.
3 STATESMAN N Now we will find out just how good this horse is. He beat 2 good horses at Philly last time. He looks like the real deal.
4 TRANSCENDING He has won against a notch below these in the past here, but he is coming off 2 nice wins. Gets an acid test tonight.
5 ABELARD HANOVER He was raging with pace last week, but just shook free too late. He is going to be the favorite again. Contender.
6 SILENT SWING Like a fine wine, he gets better with age. That said, he utilized a perfect trip to just get up. I’m not sold on a repeat.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-7-3
H Horse Comment
1 ALWAYS THERE I like that he finished in 26.3 last week, but that race in general produced a fast final quarter. Sits in, tows along.
2 JOHN THE DRUMMER Was not a factor against many of these similar foes last week. Needs to step up his game considerably now.
3 UP FRONT PETE VK Added Lasix last time and raced better. He has gone to the gate 9 times. That said, I expect further improvement.
4 CONTRABAND HANOVER Very similar to the foe to his inside in the improvement he showed last time. Same angle, shorter price.
5 TETONS As the races have gotten faster and his posts have gotten wider, his performance has gone in the wrong direction. Not for me.
6 AMERICHI Series of qualifiers and I like the improvement. It is just his first start, but it appears there is some talent here. Interesting.
7 OLDE TIME HOCKEY Are you going to take a short price again? I’m not, I am resigned to let him beat me at a short price.
8 MAJOR BLUE COAT Showed speed at Pocono last time but then made a break. Now 0 for 8 on the season and I need to see more.
9 ARTACUS Is 1 for 1 in his career, but that win came back in November. Not sure he is ready for this off just one qualifier.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 8-5-4-7
H Horse Comment
1 BULLET BOB He has scored at 2-1, 20-1 and 31-1 so far this meet. Now he moves up yet again. Believers will get a good price again.
2 ON THE RADAR Taking the same move up in class as Bullet Bob, virtually, but he has raced against similar before. Callahan’s choice.
3 TOUCH AND GO Interesting to see Callahan opt off this one, despite winning at a tougher level than On The Radar. A possibility.
4 WINDSONG HARLEY Has gotten on quite a roll since joining the Burke barn. Off a 2 weeks and that barn has been quiet here lately.
5 MUSSELSFRMBRUSSELS Seems to always come with a belated rally and just run out of ground. Better post and he should be right there.
6 PENCE HANOVER Shows two nice wins, but on paper this field is much tougher than what he beat at Philly. I think he needs more.
7 SIR ZIGGY’S Z TAM Not sure why he didn’t fire last time, other than that being a very fast mile. River Shark might go that fast here too.
8 RIVER SHARK All things considered, he should win this race. He has faced better throughout his career. A popular single in this Pick 4.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 ROCK ICON Continues to race pretty well and is exiting a decent race. This race is wide open though and a short price won’t appeal.
2 IMA GIGGITY FOOL Exits the same race as Rock Icon and finished ahead of that foe at 24-1. These two go hand in hand now.
3 WHAT’S THE STORY Split the two foes to his inside last week and may have been the most impressive of the trio. Must include.
4 SAX SOLO Even if you toss out his last try, his recent efforts at Yonkers don’t stack up well here. Lifetime best is required here.
5 HYDRUSKO I think he has hit his ceiling as he appears to be a 1:54 pacer here. Don’t anticipate a necessary breakthrough effort.
6 STIRLING BRIGADE Has been facing series action recently. Winner of 3/23 leg is the real deal. This will be much softer. The pick.
7 ROCKY MOUNTAIN GUY Good to see him show that kind of interest in the final quarter. Now gets Andy Miller. I expect even more.
8 ROCNROLWILNEVERDIE Steps into this off a win, but remember they got to the half in 1:01.4 in that mile. Very tricky call now.
9 ROYAL STARZZZ I just don’t like the way he finishes his miles. Didn’t debut until his 4YO season either. Not sold on his chances.
10 CAVIART SHILOH Making his first start back in almost a year. I like that sub-27 final quarter in his qualifier. But, he should need a start.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 6-4-10-3
H Horse Comment
1 HE’S A BEACHBOY Just missed making the final and he has raced well most of the season. Like how he rebounded from 3/24 effort.
2 THE LIFE BOAT Was no match last week and even though this is the Consolation, he would need to improve dramatically here.
3 COME ON RIDGE I thought he would have been better last week on the move back down the ladder. Should be better in here.
4 ALL MY LIFE Tough trip last week and this is the right level for him. Moving to post 4, I can see him working out a better trip now.
5 MORALITY Liked him last week and he put forth just a fair effort. This is going to be a bit softer, but he will need to be better.
6 MY SUGAR DADDY He is going to take some play. Exits one of the better heats from last week and had pace late. My top selection.
7 ANDY BARAN Just has not put it all together as of yet and I can’t bank on him jumping up with a big effort now. Still passing.
8 BEWARE OF DARKNESS Another whose form has been off lately. This was Pierce’s choice, so maybe he saw something last week.
9 STORMIN RUSTLER That was an even try last week and the betting public thought he would be better. Campbell goes elsewhere now.
10 DIAL A WIN Stung to the quarter and all in all that wasn’t a bad try. I was surprised Pierce chose off in this spot. He should be included.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-9-2
H Horse Comment
1 RADAR CONTACT Talk about a wild card. A mare pacer facing boys dropping out of a FFA series. I think she is fast enough for these.
2 GAMBLER’S TALE That nw17500 is a tougher spot than this B-2 level. Back where he belongs and he can be a contender in here.
3 D GS WOODSTOCK Nice looking qualifier after the break. He thoroughly dominated a similar group on 3/2. Looks like a major player.
4 PEMBROKE DEWEY Speaking of thoroughly dominating, he easily dispatched a B-2 field on 3/16. Beaten at 2-5 last week, though.
5 ESPRIT DE KAYJAY A Got a confidence builder at Freehold last time. Is he ready to jump back into this spot? Call him a fringe player.
6 GRAMS LEGACY Was looking like a wise guy play off his last mile, but the presence of Takter Jr will help his value. Watching again.
7 ART Z This is a very good horse, but he hasn’t races in 11 months, so that is a concern. Qualifier wasn’t bad. Has to need a start now.
8 SAMANDAR Gets some class relief, but he had a perfect trip and just had no pop in the stretch last week. Still need to see more.
9 ALEX BULLVILLE If Bullet Bob pulled off another upset earlier, then move this guy forward. This is the right level for him. Contender.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 7-1-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 BELL’S PANACEA Kicks off one of the most wide open fields of the meet. Just missed in a quick mile. Callahan did choose off, though.
2 DUTCH RICHMAN Beaten favorite last week draws well and has early speed. Just needs to finish a bit better. One of many contenders.
3 SIR MELO’S Z TAM Dominant mile last time, but it wasn’t the fastest of these heats. New lifetime mark will be required again.
4 BLENDED WHISKEY Sneaky play as I though he had pace in the stretch last week. Berry needs to keep him close. Brings value.
5 HURRIKANE ANTHONY I guess he is one of the long shots of this group, but he is in very good form. Perfect post as well. Tough call.
6 AREZZO HANOVER Showed what he can do last week and he is your likely favorite off that mile. That said, there are so many options.
7 CORKY BARAN That last mile reminded me of the Corky Baran of old. What a monstrous rally throughout the mile. Major contender.
8 ARC DE TRIUMPH Had a perfect pocket trip and chased ‘Melo around the track. That tells me he needs to improve to win this.
9 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE This is the right level for him, but he will likely be one of the longer priced horses. Use many in this Pick 4 leg.
10 LINE OFFICER Good effort last week just to get collared by The Baran. Psot 10 won’t help, but he has early speed. Tricky read.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 8-2-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 LONG LIVE ROCK Decent try last week showing good speed on both ends of the mile. Must get away smartly from the pole.
2 RECENT NEWS Betting public was all over this guy last week and they were right. Figures to be a similar price once again. Contender.
3 HANGON COWBOY Chased recent news last week when taking a lot of money himself. One of a few Burke horses that raced well.
4 FANTADDY Seems to always attract attention at the windows and I suppose this won’t be any different. Likely favorite will be tough.
5 KISS MY ART Just had too much to do last time. Gets his regular pilot back and if Andy can keep him close, he has a chance in here.
6 ROCKNROLL JEWEL Disappointed in his effort last week as I thought he would be better. I will call him a fringe player this time around.
7 DANA’S SHARP SMART Did just enough to land a spot in the Final, but things get much tougher here. Would be a big surprise.
8 STONEBRIDGE COWBOY That was some effort last week and this horse beings plenty of class to this event. Surprise package.
9 DIGITAL Z TAM Just 1 for his last 44, so it is hard to like him on top, and he will need a trip from this wide draw to get involved.
10 DJ LANCE Was finishing well last time and he remains in good form. That said, if he comes from last, he is at the mercy or pace and trip.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 6-10-7-9
H Horse Comment
1 RUCKER PLACE There are a ton of angles in this race. He is dropping from Yonkers claimers. Expect him to sit in and tow along.
2 ELUSIVE REWARD Has raced just 3 times in the last 2 months, finishing last in all 3 with an injured scratch. Seems unlikely.
3 JETTIN JUSTIN If you like Rucker Place, this gelding was facing $40,000 claimers at Yonkers. Let the tote board be your guide.
4 HACIENDA Now here is just a $15,000 claimer at Yonkers, but he is coming off a win at 7-5. Likely to take some support. Maybe.
5 PRINCE SHARKA Gets some class relief and moves to the level of his most recent win. Still, Callahan goes elsewhere. Tricky call.
6 WESTERN TRADEMARK He might be tough in this field. Moving down to a lower level and he has been facing better. Expect better.
7 COASTAL N Just 2 starts in the last 16 months and they came in Australia. Home in 26.4 in that qualifier. Watch the betting for clues.
8 RAYMOND J Hard to recommend off a pair of breaks and a 29 second final quarter in a mediocre qualifier. Retains longshot status.
9 CAMART HANOVER What happened last week? He stopped in the stretch and that is a concern. Price should be better for beleivers.
10 UNION MAN HANOVER Exits the same race as Western Trademark, so if you like one, I would suggest using the other as well.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 7-2-1-3
H Horse Comment
1 STRUNG OUT Gets some class relief and moves inside. Perhaps making a second consecutive start at M1 will help him. Tricky read.
2 SPECULATIVE EDGE On paper, he appears faster than these. But I am always a bit skeptical of those Dover times. Still, a player.
3 GAELIC THUNDER Exits the same race as Strung out and was only 6-1 in there. Has faced better throughout his career. Expect better.
4 K R’S CRUISER Shows one decent race at Pocono, but his last effort at Philly is concerning. He will need to be better than that here.
5 BRANDON’S COLT Yes, he has won at this level this year. But what happened last time? He is a riddle in a wide open field.
6 ERIDANUS N Why did he not improve on the class drop last time? Remember, he pulled a shocker here once this year. Tough call.
7 BULLET SPEED This driver change will attract plenty of attention and on this move down in class, I expect he will be extremely tough.
8 EAGLE LUCK While the move from an Open-2 to a C-2 looks like a big drop, make note this horse was 6th beaten almost 9 at this level.
9 DEVIL’S EMBRACE Recent form has remained dull and he is yet to hit the board in ten starts this year. Still a longshot.
10 BENNS SUPERMAN A popular play last week and he raced well. Can Manzi get him away smartly from post 10? He needs to find speed.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-7-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 HOLDINGALLTHECARDS Guessing he had to need that last start. He has still won 6 of 8 this year, but wow, is this race tough!
2 BAKIN ON THE BEACH I think the betting public is getting frustrated with his inability to win. That said, he is a very good horse. Using.
3 IDEAL ROMANCE Looks like the longshot of this group as his recent form just doesn’t appear to stack up well against these right now.
4 MR DENNIS Got caught by a sharp horse. I still think he does his best work off a helmet, which I expect to see in this spot. Very tough.
5 DOMETHATAGAIN See how River Shark did earlier, as this 4YO is exiting a very tough race. Can contend with any kind of trip.
6 TAKE IT BACK TERRY Burke gelding does not attract the presence of Miller. Still, has plenty of early speed and will be a factor.
7 IDEAL CHAMP Has now reeled off 4 in a row and he has now found his best stride. Looms a major factor tonight and in this series.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 10-8-5-3
H Horse Comment
1 IN KENNY’S HONOR This is a move down the class ladder and it was Pierce’s choice. Still, I have a hard time picking him on top.
2 MUST BE THE BUNNY Exiting some pretty soft races at Pompano. Ships north to a new barn and I think it’s best to watch one here.
3 GODDESS’S JUSTIN Nice mile last time and this is probably a move down in class. Still, Miller opted elsewhere. I will be using him.
4 ALEXPANDERTHEGREAT Did not bring his New York form with him into the Garden State last time. I need to see improvement.
5 DM BIG DOG DADDY Miller’s choice is making his 3rd start off the layoff which is often a horse’s best. Better post too. Things to like.
6 LUCKY LAND Had too much to do last time, so it is tough to get a read on that mile. A candidate to toss on the bottom of dime supers.
7 GENERAL MONTGOMERY Has been off for a month (see layoff report below). Recent form has not been sharp either. Passing.
8 FOUR STARZ TWINS Continues to be very sharp as Drolet has him on his toes. Expect speed and another prime effort. Contender.
9 BLADE RUNNER Exits the Rags To Riches series and raced well in the final. That should keep him in the hunt in this group.
10 VEAL MARSALA The move from a B-2 to this level is a move down in class. The betting public will note that. The horse to beat.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-2-1
H Horse Comment
1 DIGGERS REST N Just a couple of even efforts and he was not Callahan’s choice. This field is wide open though. Contends for a share.
2 P J LUCKY He is tough to gauge off that last effort. Seems the type of horse that needs to be driven from start to finish. Tricky call.
3 REFLECTION ON ME Steps into this off a win, which is more than most can say. Off that effort, he seems to be a player in here.
4 SHOWTIME SHARK Enters this off a win as well, so I guess that’s something. One of several candidates in this wide open field.
5 WELL DONE HANOVER Back to back tough trips and this was Miller’s choice. I think there is more in the tank here. Expecting better.
6 ART FOR LIVING Gets the tepid call as the favorite here at 7/2 as he endured a tough trip last time. Just needs a trip to contend here.
7 ALLAMERICAN CHIEF Recent form has been dull and it appears that he will need to step up in a major way to contend here.
8 COOL RUNNINGS Form has been just OK lately and he has won just 2 of his last 42 starts. I need to see more from him in here.
9 CRACKER PULLET Seems to have the speed to overcome this draw, but can he last in this long stretch? That’s a tough question.
10 FRESH DREAM Form has been dull and this outside post with a lack of speed makes things very tough. Looks like the longshot.