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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, May 10, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-2-1
H Horse Comment
1 DÉJÀ VU TOO One of the few Czernyson trained horses that didn’t fire. Didn’t want to see a break in her first start. Still, she has talent.
2 LADY DYNAMIE She got chased down by a filly I have always been fond of last week. Faces that foe again and is an exacta contender.
3 CANEEL HALL Nice recovery at Fhld, but I am skeptical of that field. Winner is a B-level NYSS horse. Runner-up just broke her maiden.
4 DREAM IN CHOCOLATE Obviously, she has to make up 11 lengths on the top pair in here. Taking a wait and see approach.
5 TRUE DAY DREAM Big driver change. How this talented filly went off at 28-1 last, I’ll never know. Has a right to have a very good year!
6 SOUTHWIND COCOA The winner of that qualifier is a very talented 3YO filly. This filly has plenty of ability and is a prime contender.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-4-7
H Horse Comment
1 M C’S DIAMOND Coming off a break and a broken equipment line. That said, I think this filly is going to have to step up her game.
2 HOLY MARY Making her second start back off the layoff. She is 0 for 11 in her career and in this stakes event, I will be watching.
3 MISS STEELE I liked the way she finished and if the top 2 fillies from her last start raced well in the opener, she will be very tough. Choice!
4 FIND THE MAGIC Adds Lasix for this event, but she is yet to race back to her qualifier, which concerns me. Lasix can move her forward.
5 ANDIE SOPHIA Went a tough trip in her first start of the year and she might have the most upside in this field. Expect speed tonight.
6 AUDIO She is exiting softer races than the top 2 contenders in this field. Her current form is solid, but she needs to go much faster.
7 VIDA DE VIE Runner-up from last would be a longshot in this group. Filly added hobbles last time and has speed. She battles for a share.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-7-3
H Horse Comment
1 CRAZY ABOUT PAT Disappointing effort last week. Gets a key driver change this time, though. A contender in a wide-open field.
2 HERE’S JOHNNY His effort 2 starts back puts her right in the picture, but can you forgive the break? I am guessing she gets bet.
3 THE FRANCHISE Winner of that event just trotted away from the field with ease. Still only came home in :30. Might be an underlay.
4 KEGLER HANOVER That 27.4 final quarter looks awfully good in a field that seems to have trouble finishing. Might escape at a price!
5 ZOLI Gelding is getting some post relief, but anticipating some improvement is a pure guessing game at this point. I will watch again.
6 BROADWAY BLAZE Winner of that last qualifier was 3rd in the Dexter Cup next out. Made $5,000 per start last year. Interesting.
7 ETRUSCAN HANOVER Finished behind a stakes placed trotter in that qualifier. That effort showed good progress. Curious at a price.
8 TAXISDUE Hard to recommend off just two qualifiers, one of which shows a break and neither of which broke the 2:00 barrier. Longshot.
9 GLISTER HANOVER Last effort was a disappointment. Interesting to see Campbell get the call now. I expect a more aggressive steer.
10 CANTAB ABS Has raced well in both starts this year, but burnt some cash last time. Post 10 won’t help. Skeptical on the win-end.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-8-9
H Horse Comment
1 MIASMA HANOVER Improved leaps and bounds in that last qualifier. Exits a qualifier behind a stakes-placed filly. Might earn a share.
2 LET HER ROCK Did not make much of an impact last time while squandering a second over journey. She needs to be much better here.
3 A AND G’S DESIGN Hard to get a good feel for that qualifier, as she was beaten 13-plus lengths. Previous 2 tries tell me to watch one.
4 MAGNA BLUE CHIP Sat the pocket but did not offer much punch in her first start back. This filly is likely to get a bit better each start.
5 GRAPHENE Likely to take plenty of support following to narrow defeats, both as the favorite. Perfect post gives Miller options. Chalk.
6 HAPPILYEVERFASTER Exits a strong qualifier won by one of her division leaders. Goes out for a new barn and I will watch a start.
7 JETTA BLUE CHIP I like the improvement she showed in her qualifier, and I also like that she qualified twice. There is some upside here.
8 IDEAL A LITTLE She was stacked up fourth-over in that last start and finished full of pace. She might be overbet off that mile. Contender.
9 CERTIFIED IDEAL Very disappointing first start back, but then she bounced back with a strong effort at Freehold. Worth another shot.
10 GIANNA’S DELIGHT Making her second start back off the layoff. Not sure Andy will be blasting from here, so I am inclined to pass.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 3-8-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 MUSCLE MOUNTAIN Raced well against some good trotters last time. Slowly developing and could to see him trot in 1:54.3 last out.
1A BLUTO Loved both his qualifiers here and was given a good education mile at Pocono. Now the stakes begin and he is a prime contender.
2 VAYA CON DIOS I suppose he couldn’t have gotten much closer than he did at the finish, given his start. Moves inside. May earn a share.
3 SHOW TICKET The 29.4 final quarter in his qualifier was a warning, and he was indeed short last out. Figures to be tighter for this. Player.
4 KEYSTONE ACE Tried to gut it first over last time but that just wasn’t going to work. Now moves in with stakes company. A longshot.
5 LAUGHING KING Solid efforts at Vernon, but I question the strength of those fields. 1:57.2 at Vernon is not enough to win this. Tricky.
6 CAJOLE HANOVER Blew the doors off that last field with a big move on the turn and finished up well. Miller opted off, though. A share.
7 SUPER CLASSIC Made a break leaving the gate and perhaps there will be some equipment changes here. Still retains longshot status.
8 FASHION BLIZZARD Good to not only see him stay trotting, but go in 1:54.4 at Philly. Serious Hambo hopeful is a very fast trotter.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-4-5
H Horse Comment
1 IL MAGO Gets class relief exiting the fastest trotting mile of the season. Still, is not sharp and it would be a guess to predict improvement.
2 BROADWAY ROCKS Not a bad effort last time following the flow and earning a share. Still, this will be tougher. Not sold on the win-end.
3 TEMPLE OF DOOM He hasn’t been the same since he ducked out at the finishing while winning his 2013 debut. Need to see him improve.
4 MELADY’S MONET Might be a sneaky longshot in here to include. Gets post improvement and was trotting well in the stretch. Maybe.
5 WALDORF HALL I think this field is tougher than what he has been facing at Yonkers. Perfect post, might be able to work out a trip.
6 LEXIS AMIGO Also exiting that mile won by Wishing Stone and he wasn’t bad at all. I expect speed from Campbell. Must be included.
7 BEATGOESON HANOVER She has found her best stride and is coming off 2 monster miles. Appears the winners circle goes through her.
8 ELLEN’S ISLE The pro is she broke through with a solid effort, the con is this is MUCH tougher. Still, barn is razor sharp. Mixed signals.
9 QUICK DEAL Will he trot? I wish I could answer that. He is the fastest horse in the race, but watch him heading to the gate. Tough call!
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-9-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 BULLET POINT Field kicks off with the wild-card. It’s hard to compare her Western Fair races with here. Good qualifier at Woodbine.
2 DRAGON PRINCESS Toss out the last. I believe this field is tougher than what she was facing last week and the price should reflect that.
3 DE VINS GIRL That wasn’t a bad effort last time, but she rode the pylons and earned a check. I expect similar tactics tonight.
4 LADY’S ART She was a logical winner last week. Now she moves up, but Millers opted here over three others. Cannot be ignored.
5 SMOKE PAN MIRRORS Earned a confidence builder last time, but that 57.3 middle-half was soft. This will be much tougher. Not sure.
6 MAJOR LOOK Remember, she beat American Jewel last year. For some reason, she has not come back as sharp. Intriguing player.
7 MISS SAND CREEK Good try to just get collared by the classy radar contact. The problem is, she catches that mare again. Shows speed.
8 RADAR CONTACT Nice effort last week and comes right back at the same level, but now a B-1 she is forced outside. Sill, a logical player.
9 DESTINY’S CHANCE She has some pace last time and that was a strong race. Gingras is likely to use some speed here. Including.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 5-10-8-9
H Horse Comment
1 SPECTATOR K Callahan chooses off after a solid try where he was collared by Helios. Expect Pierce to be gunning from the pole.
2 TSMLIL ORPHAN ANDY Only beaten less than 4 lengths for all the money last time. He will be a huge price that I might toss on my tickets.
3 LATTE HALL I am skeptical about the field that he beat two starts back. Still, winner of that last mile has won 3 of his last 4. Mixed feelings.
4 DOUBLE UP HANOVER He was flashing some late trot last time and that might be a sign that he is turning the corner. Exotics player.
5 D’ORSAY Made 2 moves in that qualifier to be collared by Go Tapaigh. Still, this barn is too good right now and she looks ready. Must use.
6 ORANGE BIGI You know you have a tough field when one of the longer shots is coming off a 21 length win in a qualifier. Watching one.
7 FROM ABOVE See how Ellen’s Isle did in the 6th tonight. Back down a level, so he can improve, but he also may have peaked. Tricky.
8 CAMERON CHIP Came with a belated pylon rally last time, but she isn’t getting the kinds of trips she needs to win. Still, I am including.
9 GO TAPAIGH Another Burke trotter that can fly, but can also break at any moment. If you toss him out, he will probably beat you.
10 HELIOS Gets the very tepid call as the favorite in a wide open field. Really liked his last effort. Post 10 is tricky. I’m hitting ALL in my pick 4.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-10-6
H Horse Comment
1 BIG SKY BATS Chased home the favorite last time with a decent effort. Mare is in good form, but will need a trip to beat the chalk. Maybe.
1A BIG SKY ANGELINA Just never seemed to get in the race last time from the second tier. Now draws outside without much speed.
2 TIGER’S TOO GOOD That was a game effort from post 10. Now moves all the way inside, and I really don’t like the pole for him. Tricky.
3 CAITIR Another that just didn’t seem to get involved from the second tier last time. Just 2 for 34 lifetime and that doesn’t bode well here.
4 SAVAGE PRIDE Just towed along and was able to earn a share, but was still well beaten by ‘Cousins. Needs to step her game up here.
5 WALLTOCOUSINS Seemed to really relish the long-stretch at M1, after struggling home at The Spa. Took a ton of money, too. Very tough.
6 PAPER BACKED LINDY The final ¼ mile between the 2 heats were night and day. If this gelding trots, he might be able to get the money.
7 MARCUS BI That 56.3 middle half seemed to really take its toll late as this gelding was tired coming to the wire. Not sure he can beat #5.
8 SAM’S HONEYBEE He was getting closer at the wire, but I think that was a sign that the race was falling apart more than him closing.
9 PEGASUS POINT I put a circle around him, as he was trotting best at the wire in that heat. Naturally, he draws post 10. Use underneath.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 4-7-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 LIVE ENTERTAINMENT Might have been the filly to beat in that Weiss series, then broke and regressed in Final. Gingras’ choice of four!
2 HERE AGAIN Won Tuesday night at Yonkers impressively. Granted, this is a tougher field. Surprised to see Miller elsewhere in here.
3 SOLID QUEEN Pulled off a 30-1 upset from post 10 last time. Now makes a double jump in class so this will be even tougher. Tricky.
4 JK BLACK BEAUTY Had 2 races 9 days apart as a 2 year old and was then shut down. Last qualifier says she has come back sharp!
5 MS CAILA J FRA Has graduated out of the nw2 company, so things are going to get tougher from here. Expect speed once again.
6 ABROKENART HANOVER Tough loss last time, but Lady’s Art got the pocket trip behind her. There is a ton of speed in the field. Player.
7 CRAZY EIGHTS She beat a stakes-caliber filly last time, so don’t sell that win too short. That said, she will need to go 2 seconds faster.
8 GOTTASEEABOUTAGIRL Mare just is not heading in the right direction now. There are plenty of sharp ones in this group. Longshot.
9 LOVE YOU BYE She is getting class relief, but it is interesting to see Gingras opt off a Burke trainee, even if it is for Takter. Tough call.
10 BIJOU THEATER Post 10 is not going to help, as given the speed in this field, a middle post would have made her very dangerous.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-4-5
H Horse Comment
1 SIX GUN HALL Never made the gate last week and is yet to trot a mile that would make him a win contender in this field. Longshot.
2 IL PIZZAIOLO Has now made breaks in 2 of his last 3, including a race here. That 2:01.4 win is just not going to stack up here.
3 COCOTIER Another coming off 2 miscues in his last three starts and in a field that appears top heavy, he battles with others for a share.
4 MY MAN CAN Big effort last week and it was good to see him show improvement in his 2nd start back. One of the top 3 contenders here.
5 TORNADO His last start as a two year old would make him a factor in this group. Off just the one qualifier, I am not sure he is ready.
6 EXPLOSIVE ACTION Loved his first start back and it wouldn’t shock me if he goes off favored off that last mile. Big rally last time. Pick.
7 CORKY He was one of the best two year olds in the country before his scratch in the Wellwood. Hambo hopeful will be a handful here.
8 MODEST PRINCE Draws outside and catches a pretty salty bunch in his three year old debut. Likely to be last early. Passing for now.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 PEACEFUL EZ FEELIN She was disappointing last year and was on the smaller side like her dam. Pierce opting off concerns me.
2 MOMS FORTUNE Del Cid puts up a catch driver which is likely to attract some play, but Gingras did opt off. Will she trot? Expect speed.
3 THISTLE DHU Not sure what happened in that last qualifier, but the previous try was solid. This filly packs some speed. Things to like.
4 WORLD TOUR I liked this filly’s two qualifiers. That said, I expect she will need a start, but her talent should earn her a piece of this.
5 CASSA’S IMAGE Adds Lasix and in this field that may be dangerous. Perfect post will give Gregory some options. Might offer value.
6 DOC BOYCE Beat a pair of these in that qualifier, yet Miller opted off. This filly has some ability and still must be considered a contender.
7 ONLINE EXCLUSIVE Just did not get involved last time behind a runaway winner. With a start under her belt, she has a right to improve.
8 CRAZELYN Pierce goes here over the Peaceful Way filly. Still, she out-raced her 103-1 odds last time. I think this field is much tougher.
9 VARIETY GIRL Exits the same race as Online Exclusive and did a little bit more than that filly. She can improve as well, but I will pass.
10 SUZELLE HANOVER Her two efforts so far have been night and day and now gets hit with post 10. I think she is a fringe player in here.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-3-7-1
H Horse Comment
1 CAROLSTERN She just hasn’t had the pace needed in the final quarter to threaten on the win-end. That said, I am using her underneath.
2 HOW ‘BOUT A SMOOCH Had to need that last start from post 9 where she was never involved. Expect her to be much closer here.
3 CHAROLETTES MAGGIE Loomed boldly last week but collared by a 30-1 longshot in the stretch. Figures to be a short-priced player.
4 DREAM’S BAR Another that just never got involved last time, but should be able to stay closer here. Berry’s choice has a chance.
5 FEDS EXPRESS I like the post for her and she probably will get a good trip, but her recent form just doesn’t entice me at this point.
6 LIZ’S LIL K K It’s hard to make a case for her at this point. Her form is nothing like it was this winter and she is still a longshot.
7 RUB THING This might be the class relief that she needs as any of the top 3 in that last mile would be heavy chalk in here. Contender.
8 SOUTHERN VIKING Last two efforts at Rosecroft just don’t offer much promise for this start. Appears up against it in here.
9 LIGHTNING PAIGE Another whose form has been dull of late and any play would be based on a guess of improvement. Longshot.
10 FEELINGMIGHTYGOOD She is exiting what I thought was a stronger than usual nw2. Post will hurt, but she should be included.