• Week Of 5/5 - 5/11
  • SU5
  • MO6
  • TU7
  • WE8
  • TH9
  • FR10
  • SA11
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, May 11, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 ALWAYS THERE Ran into a buzzsaw last week in Sir Michigan Z Tam. That race was solid, so he is a contender despite Miller opting off.
2 ITS ROYALTY Just could not get involved last week from post 9. Gelding figures to improve here, but he has to step up a lot to win.
3 WANDASBETTORCHOICE Making his second start off the layoff. Figures to be on the improve as time goes by, but needs much more.
4 HERE COMES SWIFTY Connections thought enough of him to originally nominate him to Meadowlands Pace. Horse has some upside.
5 BIG ART Did not improve from start 1 to start 2, but that concerns me. Good post, but I will be watching for signs of improvement.
6 NET TEN EOM No shot while adding Lasix from post 10 last time. He is a sneaky exotics candidate with any kind of improvement now.
7 RALBAR Emeritus Maximus is a stakes-caliber three year old, so don’t be too hard on him for that last effort. This field is much easier.
8 COOL LIKE FIRE Miller opted here off a series of qualifiers. Three qualifiers should have him ready. I suspect we will see speed here.
9 LEG UP Don’t dismiss this horse simply because he is coming from Freehold. Those wins are impressive and he can be a factor here.
10 DOUBLE ROOM Unfortunately gets hit with post 10 once again and that doesn’t bode well as a similar result to last time appears likely.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 5-4-7-3
H Horse Comment
1 CALCHIPS BRUTE Kicks off a loaded field. He hasn’t been able to solve Imperial Count recently at Yonkers. Needs A-plus effort here.
2 BIG SKY STORM Honest trotter is exiting upper-level condition trots for this much tougher spot. He appears to be the longshot in here.
3 KNOWS NOTHING First 4 year old of the field has a start under his belt. He will continue to improve, but others have seasoning edge.
4 GUCCIO That was not the same Guccio last time as he struggled on the far turn, but kicked home well when straightened up. Rebounds.
5 WISHING STONE He has stormed to the forefront of this FFA trotting division with a monster win last week. Obviously, a win candidate.
6 OPENING NIGHT Winner of that last came back to win the Meadowlands Maturity last week. Still believe he is a cut below the best.
7 SEVRUGA That last mile represented what I felt was the race of his life. Tough post, but Andy will be sending. A logical contender again.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 6-1A-3-5
H Horse Comment
1 TAKE IT BACK TERRY Gelding continues to race very well and despite only 1 win this year, he kicks off a very strong Burke entry.
1A VISIBLE GOLD This gelding has been on a tear since joining the Burke stable. Heading to the lead. Clearly looms as the one to beat.
2 YO CHEYENNE ROCKY He has picked up checks in all three legs, but his form is heading the wrong way. Looks like a fringe player.
3 DOMETHATAGAIN Made 2 moves in that leg at Tioga and just couldn’t hold off Visible Gold. Appears as the biggest threat to the favorite.
4 LONG LIVE ROCK Has been managing just to pick up minor awards in all three legs of this series. Will need a breakthrough effort to win.
5 HOLDINGALLTHECARDS That win streak that he went on feels like a long time ago. Still, his last pair have been better. Using a bit.
6 IDEAL CHAMP Towed along and kicked home nicely to finish 2nd to a budding star. Has the look of a gelding sitting on a big race.
7 MR DENNIS He just has not been the same since winning the Exit 16W Final and it is safe to call him a longshot at this point.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 5-10-8-4
H Horse Comment
1 STALLONE BLUE CHIP He is exiting a very tough race won by a major Meadowlands Pace contender. Moves inside. Tows along.
2 NICK FOTIU Seemed to relish his time on the smaller track. He was racing well here as well. Can he go with ‘Michigan? Exotics player.
3 ROCKS N BONDS Sharp win 2 starts back, but he went from 5/2 to 101-1 with the move up last time. This race falls between those two.
4 MOONLITEONTHEBEACH Meadowlands Pace nominee disappointed chalk players, but that was a good starting off point. A factor.
5 SIR MICHIGAN Z TAM Lachance has a very intriguing, late developing prospect. Races get faster, but who knows where his ceiling is?
6 CAUTION SIGNS Nothing wrong with that last try behind a stakes-caliber pacer. My concern is the 0 for 14 mark. I am using underneath.
7 COWBOY COFFEE I think he has gotten to a level that is a little tough for him. I will wait for these races to lighten up a bit later in the meet.
8 TROON Early last year, this gelding looked like he was going to be a major stakes horse. He can really go. Keep a close eye on him!
9 DAVID ON ICE That was a better effort last time, but make no mistake, this field is much tougher. I am skeptical of him at this level.
10 EMERITUS MAXIMUS He looked awfully good last week. He isn’t stakes to much, but is likely heading to the NJSS next week. Tough.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 6-5-8-7
H Horse Comment
1 CHEYENNE REIDER Has not factored much this season, yet to hit the board in three starts. Likely to tow along and hope for a share.
2 FOUR STARZ TWINS Remains pretty sharp following the lame scratch. Surick claimed him for that $12.5k mini-series. He fits here.
3 WHIRL MONROE This race is probably a bit tougher than what he has been facing at The Meadows. I will watch a start and re-evaluate.
4 HURRIKANE ANTHONY He might be a sneaky value play in this spot, coming off a confidence building win. I would include in gimmicks.
5 A PLACE IN HISTORY Merits favoritism in this field based on his last win at this level. Perfect post for his racing style. He will be tough.
6 SIR MELO’S Z TAM Had some sneaky late pace last week and I like the move to post 6. Likely to follow the favorite. I will be including him.
7 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE Interfered with twice in that last mile, so just toss it out. Prior efforts were good. Price might be better now, too.
8 FLIGHT EXEC He was also finishing well last time and if you like Melo, it’s hard not to like this gelding as well. Contention runs very deep.
9 THE VILLAGE RUSTY Not only did his form disappear with the ship up here, but so did his early speed. That concerns me. I’ll pass.
10 LLC DELIGHT He has gone some good miles here before, but he has yet to show that he is a 1:52 pacer. I will be watching this time.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 SWEET LOU Back to back sub-26 final quarters, even though he was getting out in the stretch last time. Still, Lou looks ready to go!
1A MEIRS HANOVER A nice compliment to Sweet Lou here as he is pretty sharp. Typically, he has been a cut below the best. Needs best.
2 DANCIN YANKEE Made some good money in The Levy, and is coming off a nice season. That said, this is going to be a tough challenge!
3 DYNAMIC YOUTH The 2012 Cane Pace winner is coming off a sharp qualifier and finished 2012 in fine form. This is one tough field.
4 GOLDEN RECEIVER We all know he loves this track and we know he is heading to the lead. Gets his toughest challenge to date this year.
5 RAZZLE DAZZLE Respect that he won The Levy, but a wire to wire win through a :56 half-mile makes me a bit skeptical. Tougher task.
6 WARRAWEE NEEDY I think it is safe to say he is back on top of his game. Gets a new driver this time around. Completes a stellar field.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-1-7-3
H Horse Comment
1 RELENTLESS DREAMER Came from literally nowhere to score on the class drop. Clearly, the post position improves. A likely contender.
2 BLUE CLAW Gelding usually needs everything to work out to win and this C-2 is tougher as all horses are coming off solid efforts. Tricky.
3 BLADE RUNNER He was 7/5 last week and got the job done, but he was just a neck better than Blue Claw too. Won’t accept a short price.
4 ELUSIVE REWARD Worked out a perfect trip and got the money thanks in part to that. Obviously, he won’t be 26-1 tonight. Conflicted.
5 BLENDED WHISKEY The driver change is going to attract some attention and I like the speed effort he put forth last week. My pick.
6 COOL RUNNINGS Not a bad try last week and if it hadn’t been for the late burst from Relentless Dreamer, he’d be a shorter price tonight.
7 STORMIN RUSTLER He certainly brings speed to the table, but Pierce does opt off here. He will be one of many trying for the lead.
8 GAELIC THUNDER I respect that he made two moves last time and that effort caught me off guard. Can he duplicate that tonight? Maybe.
9 PRINCE SHARKA Solid effort last week. I typically have a tough time endorsing this horse on the win end, but I suppose he can get a slice.
10 GO GO RAIDER The post really hurts him as he is the kind of horse that needs a trip. If he blasts, I don’t think he will have enough left late.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 6-3-4-7
H Horse Comment
1 TALL COTTON Kicks off a very evenly-matched group. He gets a big test for class here, but this is a fast horse. Sharp qualifier as well.
2 ICE MACHINE I fear he may be tailing off now. He stays away from Wishing Stone here, but this is the spot he will need to rebound.
3 MISTER HERBIE Defending Cutler winner qualified in style. Remember, last year he came into this race with 4 starts under his belt.
4 MODERN FAMILY This is a different horse than what we saw a year ago. He is knocking on the door of the best of this division. Tough.
5 MY MVP He is going to get better with every start and I wouldn’t blame anyone for using him at the price he will offer. Upside is there.
6 UNDERCOVER STRIKE I really, really liked his mile last week. Visually, he was finishing very well and I think he is ready for a peak effort.
7 GOOGOO GAAGAA Followed what was surprising dull cover behind Guccio. Does he leave tonight? He is the wild card of the group now.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 9-4-10-6
H Horse Comment
1 HEZA TRICK N That was one of the biggest class drops you will ever see. Now starts the move back up the ladder. I will watch this one.
2 MY SUGAR DADDY It appears that he has reached a level that is just a bit too much right now. He has won here twice. Offers a price.
3 VEAL MARSALA Jumped up with one of his better efforts and now moves up the ladder again. I think he is more of a C-1 type. Maybe.
4 KEEP GOING Given the right setup, this horse can come home with a flourish. I am inclined to toss him on my tickets. Trip may be there.
5 CAMBASSADOR He remains in good form, but can he really go with Special T Rocks and Major Bombay? Needs his absolute best.
6 PANESTHETIC That break was disappointing at Tioga and now he catches a pretty tough group. Backers should get a decent price.
7 BREAKIN THE LAW Made almost $400,000 last year, but has not had the same success so far at age 4. That’s a common tale. Watching.
8 CANE RIDGE Has almost uncontrollable speed at times and the attempt to get him off the gate last time didn’t work. Must blast in here.
9 MAJOR BOMBAY The winner of that last race is an excellent horse. We Will See was in that field too. Second start back, he will be tough.
10 SPECIAL T ROCKS That last mile was not only impressive, it was rather dominant. Cane Ridge may complicate things if he wants to leave.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-5-9
H Horse Comment
1 DOUBLETROUBLE Seems to have gone off-form recently and will hope the move to The Meadowlands will perk him up. Wait and see.
2 HANG TEN Came from far, far back last time, but I like the way he was finishing. Moves inside and is an exotics contender for sure.
3 BULLET SPEED This is a better spot as there was no shame being 2nd to either of the top 2 last time. He’s the pick in this group.
4 BOLERO ANDREW On paper, he has been facing much better and his price should reflect that. He can easily jump up and win this.
5 HANGON COWBOY Gets Gingras for the first time, and I think that will attract some attention. Expect to see speed. The price will be short.
6 FILLED WITH WONDER Shows only one bad line recently, but this will be a much tougher assignment. I need to see a start here first.
7 WESTERN TRADEMARK He seems fast enough to go with these, but I don’t see a win in his future in this field. Using him sparingly.
8 LORD TERROR Has not been much of a factor recently and based on his current form and the depth of the top 2 in here, I will pass.
9 SIR CARY’S Z TAM Pace eligible got a start under his belt and figures to improve off that mile. He has some serious go to him as well!
10 ORR HANOVER That was just an even try last time and with this outside post, it is hard for me to expect much better. Tries for a share.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 2-3-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 FRED AND GINGER He has always been just a cut below the best of this division and I think that is the case here. Exotics player for now.
2 HURRIKANE KINGCOLE I cannot express how impressive his last win was. His turn of foot is electric. If he can rate now, lookout!
3 FOILED AGAIN If I told you his lone win at The Meadowlands came in the 2011 Graduate, would you believe me? Still, obvious contender.
4 CASIMIR JITTERBUG Tailed off a bit through the Levy series and this FFA Championship is the best of the best. He does like a big track!
5 MODERN LEGEND I have always liked this horse and he is racing well in Canada. This is a real test for class. He is an exotics player now.
6 DIAL OR NO DIAL Gelding is entering this race in good form. Is he ready to step up against the top 2 in here? He is very close at this point.
7 MR HASANI N Made a mistake at Yonkers last time which this gelding can sometimes do. Is he ready for this? He appears as a longshot.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-4-3
H Horse Comment
1 MEL MARA He is eligible to the FFA Championship, but connections are clearly taking their time with him. Exiting a very good race. Player.
2 LINDWOOD PLAYER His effort last week surprised me, because finishing within 3 lengths of Kingcole wins this race. Don’t see short.
3 COBALT MAN He has rounded into form recently and now steps into a very tough group. I think he is up to it as this group is pretty even.
4 SOUTHWESTERN DREAM He has moved to the Burke barn and has responded. Comes back to The Meadowlands and looks tough.
5 MEANT TO BE ME Every so often, this veteran will jump up with a big mile, but it is usually against softer than this. Passing this time.
6 URGENT ACTION Still scratching my head as to why he took as much play as he did, and never made the gate. I am watching this time.
7 AMERICAN RAGE Raced awfully well at Yonkers, but not the same at Woodbine. My concern here is that he is better on smaller tracks.
8 DINNER GUEST Allard got the money at this level last week with Mickey Hanover, so now he tries it with Dinner Guest. Exotics player.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-7-6-2
H Horse Comment
1 BRANDON’S COLT Recent form has gone in the wrong direction. While he gets post improvement, I cannot endorse at this time.
2 SHOWTIME SHARK If you pull that mile from post 10 out of the equation, his lines look pretty good. Draws well and looms a factor.
3 PALM’S BEACH He owns a win at The Meadowlands this year, but his recent form is not very sharp. Appears a longshot, for now.
4 DOMITIAN HANOVER One can argue that the post improvement will make a difference. But he is a slow starter. Bottom of exotics, only.
5 OVERNIGHT DELIGHT This horse has never really lived up to his potential or race to his talent, because it is there. Maybe worth a flyer.
6 FORENSIC Z TAM He is a horse that either needs a trip or needs to be much the best like the last 2 at Freehold. He can get a trip here.
7 ROCINATE He might have hung a bit last time, but he catches a much softer group here. Expect Gingras to work out a trip. Contender.
8 AWESOME ARMBRO N Recent form just isn’t there and he was getting into contention when he broke stride last week. Mixed feelings.
9 KISS MY ART Cannot explain what happened last time as he just bore out badly on the back stretch and retreated. Hard to predict now.
10 KINGS POINT Went right down the road at Freehold. Big difference between that and post 10 here. I think he is up against it here.
14 Fourteenth Race Entries
Picks: 6-4-7-9
H Horse Comment
1 IN KENNY’S HONOR Showed that old speed last time but then began to retreat and broke. Catches a soft group here. May stay close.
2 PADRE MANUEL His last two starts are better, but he will need to step it up considerably to contend here. Looks like a longshot for now.
3 BLUES AT MIDNIGHT Yet to get involved since returning to The Meadowlands and is hard to recommend at this point. Longshot.
4 BEWARE OF DARKNESS I think his last effort makes him a logical contender here. That same speed will go a lot farther this time.
5 ART’S JIMMY RAY He probably should have been better last time, and he is yet to hit the board this year. I expect a better effort here.
6 STIRLING BRIGADE Added Lasix last time, but I think that will go a long way in this field. Recent form is suspect, but I will take a shot.
7 ART FOR LIVING His effort two starts back will put him right there on the wire in this group. I think we will see some speed here.
8 SHARKSTUNE Was nearly 90-1 last week and never got into the race when he was wiped out. Should offer longshot lovers a price.
9 RED STAR TOMAHAWK He was better last week, and if Callahan can find a way into it, this gelding has a chance to get involved.
10 AVOGADRO HANOVER Had he drawn better, I would have given him a look on the win end. But his lack of speed makes things tough.