• Week Of 4/28 - 5/4
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  • MO29
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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 Saturday, May 04, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 6-1-4-10
H Horse Comment
1 MINDSET Meadowlands Pace eligible colt had an impressive qualifier, defeating several of these. Connections like this horse. Logical.
2 CHIEF BIG SKY Yet to hit the board in ten lifetime starts and catches a few horses with some potential. Longshot.
3 ROCKIN ROMEO I like the improvement he showed in his second qualifier. Kicked home in 27, but will need to step it up a bit.
4 ALWAYS THERE A logical contender in this field, but he is 0 for 9 to start his career. Winner of last came right back to win again in 1:53.4.
5 LOFTY NATIVE Neither qualifier bodes well for his first pari-mutuel start. Best to watch his first lifetime start. Not this time.
6 SIR MICHIGAN Z TAM Paced a back-half in 54.2 I that qualifier and his final quarter speaks for itself. This colt might have the most upside!
7 UP FRONT PETE VK Gelding now sports an 0 for 11 record and his last race is concerning. I will be watching this time around.
8 WANDASBETTORCHOICE The good news is he paced a 26.4 final quarter in that qualifier. The bad news is he has to make up 8 lengths.
9 ITS ROYALTY Seems to have responded to the addition of Lasix, particularly in that last qualifier. I will watch his debut with some interest.
10 NET TEN EOM Another that responded to Lasix in his most recent qualifier. The post is unkind, but he is a contender to earn a share.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-2-6
H Horse Comment
1 JOHNY ROCK Ranked #7 on Week 1 of the “Road To The Meadowlands Pace” (See back of program). Sharp qualifier behind a good colt.
1A DUEL IN THE SUN Nice compliment to ‘Johny in this entry. I like how he finished behind The Captain. He should be left in the mix.
2 DELAWARE HANOVER Winner of last was 1-9 in the midst of a three-race win streak. Seems to be an improving gelding. Things to like.
3 KENZIE’S BEACH BOY Finished 3rd behind a back to back winner that was 3-5. That’s a good looking rally at a tough track to close at.
4 JOHNS POLYVIEW Winner of his last start is a Meadowlands Pace eligible, good looking colt. Worth noting, this colt was 1-5 against him!
5 REAL ROCKER Made a nice brush on the backstretch and he had a right to get tired, given it was his first start back. Catches a tough race.
6 ROCNROLWILNEVERDIE Winner of his last start was a proven winner here, but against lesser. Gelding seems to like this track. Maybe.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 7-1-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 MAJOR BOMBAY I LOVE how he has qualified back. He is not nominated to the FFA Championship, but I think he is poised for a big year.
2 ALEX BULLVILLE Good, honest horse gets a real test for class in this spot. Kicked home nicely last week, but this will be much tougher.
3 MEANT TO BE ME This horse has a fifth gear and when he hits it, he can be very dangerous. It’s just hard to predict. Watch this one.
4 URGENT ACTION Nothing wrong with finishing a good 2nd to Silent Swing in a race where he was shuffled back and rallied boldly. Price.
5 CAMAES FELLOW He has been facing some good horses lately in Warrawee Needy and Modern Legend. He should be an exotics player.
6 MICKEY HANOVER I love this horse. He loves to win and he seems to always give you everything he has. He’s a cut below We Will See.
7 WE WILL SEE $2.5 Million and counting. Veteran kicks off another year and is prepping for the FFA Championship. Clearly, the one to beat.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 ARTACUS Had the better trip, yet could not get by Rocks N Bonds last week. This field is a bit deeper. Still, he looms as a contender.
2 BIG ART Did not make much of an impact in his first start of the year, but earned a check and figures to improve. Live price play.
3 RALBAR Caught a bit of a shuffle and had some pace in the stretch. He is one that should improve in his second start back as well.
4 CAUTION SIGNS That was a decent start over the track. The 0 for 13 mark keeps me away from a win play. I will use in some exotics.
5 PRONOLOGY Z TAM Adds Lasix for this affair and that 25.4 final quarter is interesting. This colt might be ready to take a step forward.
6 EMERITUS MAXIMUS He went in some very tough races last year and is in the second-tier of Alagna 3-year olds. He can be good here.
7 DHARMA INITIATIVE Disappointed as the favorite in a field he probably should have defeated. Now 0 for 11 and I will bet accordingly.
8 MAJOR MERLO Was a non-factor at 53-1 last week and is now yet to hit the board in 5 lifetime starts. I need to see improvement.
9 COWBOY COFFEE He was disappointing last week as well. I could understand giving him one more chance, but the price will be short.
10 DOUBLE ROOM Back to back efforts where he finished out of the money, but his last race was better. Post 10 makes things tough.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 9-8-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 SHARKSTUNE Opened a big lead at Freehold and eventually tired. Miller opts elsewhere in this field, and I will likely follow suit.
2 GAELIC THUNDER He always seems to get some “wise-guy” money here, but his recent form just doesn’t stack up right now. I’ll pass.
3 PRINCE SHARKA He just isn’t going well right now and receives another class drop. I suppose the tote board might give us some clues.
4 ANDY BARAN Dauplaise makes the move to Miller and that will attract some attention. Raced well last week. Might break that 0 for 11.
5 IN KENNY’S HONOR Another that just is not in his best form at the moment. Does receive some post improvement, but I am passing.
6 BUCKEYE IN CHARGE He just looks like the fastest horse in the race right now. Hacienda went wire to wire last week. Short price coming.
7 GET JAZZED He was OK when last seen here. Winner of that last race came back to be 3rd in nw6000L5 at The Spa. Things to like.
8 COME ON RIDGE That was a good effort last week and I expect to see speed tonight. Callahan barn turning a corner once again.
9 LEBRON He is interesting, because I think I saw some pace in the stretch last week. Callahan’s choice might be good value in here.
10 DOMITIAN HANOVER I guess this is a slight move down in class, but Gingras goes elsewhere and his race 2 back wasn’t sharp either.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 1-8-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 GUCCIO Kicks off what I think is the best race of the year, to-date. He was monstrous at the FFA Level last week. Deserving favorite.
2 LITTLE BROWN FOX I can forgive his first race back, but I really expected more from him at Pocono. I think it’s hard to land on him in here.
3 GOOGOO GAAGAA He had a fantastic season last year and his last qualifier was good. Is he ready to trot in 1:52 or better tonight? Tricky.
4 SOLVATO I guess he is a longshot in this field. That’s how loaded this group is. Has talent, but likely needs a lifetime best to win this race.
5 HARBOR POINT He has been good and had to go a tough trip last time at Pocono. Perfect post and Pierce’s choice of three. Contender.
6 MODERN FAMILY He has really come into his own in his last two starts. Now 7 for 10 on the year. This horse is better than you think.
7 MAGIC TONIGHT Had to change the morning line when he trotted off the screen Wednesday night at Pocono. Gets a big test tonight.
8 UNCLE PETER He is starting to make the progress you want to see from a four year old. Likely to show some speed. Logical contender.
9 ANOTHER AMARETTO By default, he is the longshot of the field coming off that break, but make no mistake, this is a good horse, too.
10 MY MVP Hard to believe this horse will be 15-1 in here, but it is his first start back, and this race will go in 1:52. Still will have a big year.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-3-2-10
H Horse Comment
1 BULLET SPEED Clearly is going to be a factor in this field as he is very sharp. This race is tougher, but he cannot be dismissed.
2 BRAVE ALEX SEMALU He holds a class edge over several of these and is coming out of a tougher race. Still, Callahan goes elsewhere.
3 FANTADDY He got to a level that proved to be too much last time, no problem, he will be back in his comfort zone tonight. Contender.
4 SONIC DANCER Another that has been facing better. Winner of that last race is 14 for 18 lifetime and has won 7 of his last 8. Using.
5 CORKY BARAN Nice win last time, but he loses Callahan and steps up into a tougher race. He is sharp and needs to be considered.
6 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE He finished 2nd against what according to class was a tougher race. But I think this race might actually be tougher.
7 TOUCH AND GO Echoed the sentiments from the foe to his inside here. This horse did beat a good field on 3/23. Price will be there.
8 ORR HANOVER Just 1 for 12 on the year and catches a salty bunch here. He will need to be better than his last race to win this.
9 LOADEDUPNTRUCKIN Comes out of a lightning fast qualifier, but the bigger concern is this is his first start in a year. Watching this time.
10 SPECIAL T ROCKS He has been in pretty tough to start the year and he is one that is getting class relief in this spot. Takes money.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-2-7
H Horse Comment
1 WESTERN TRADEMARK Nice win at Vernon last week. He was racing decently at this level prior to that win as well. Things to like.
2 ROLLWITHITHARRY His form seems to blow hot and cold. Just 14 starts the last 2 years, so he is carefully managed. Appears a player.
3 BOXCAR Hasn’t won yet this year but his past 2 efforts have been an improvement. He is an interesting price play in a tough field.
4 QUINNMAN Moved to the Burke barn and is yet to return dividends. He is a bit of a wild card in this field. Watch the tote board.
5 MATTACARDLE Obviously he is exiting the Hudson River, which came up very tough. He figures to be tough on this drop in class.
6 HACIENDA Dominated a group that he should have defeated. Now gets a test on the move up in class. He is sharp, but this is tougher.
7 VEAL MARSALA Seems to be a fringe player at this level. I guess he had a little too much to do last time. Likely to earn a share of this.
8 THE VILLAGE RUSTY Has been dominating the $10k level at Dover. This will be considerably tougher, but he is very sharp. Tough call.
9 HANG TEN Caught a bit of a shuffle and he was finishing with some interest last time. With a trip, he can find a way into this.
10 MYSTERIOUS MOMENT Outside post looks imposing for this horse who doesn’t have much early speed. Needs to find a way into it.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 4-9-3-2
H Horse Comment
1 ROCKS N BONDS The 2nd and 3rd place finishers from his last win raced earlier in the card. See how they did. This is a big test for class.
2 AXIOM HANOVER First of four Meadowlands Pace eligible in this field. Just didn’t have it in the Weiss Final. He will need more than that.
3 SOURCE OF PRIDE Full-Brother to American Jewel debuted at #9 on The Road to the Pace. Has some quirks, but is awfully fast.
4 MARTINI HANOVER Another ‘Pace eligible is exiting a strong qualifier. See how Johny Rock did in The Simpson. A logical contender.
5 ROCKAHOLIC Has to make up eight lengths on Source Of Pride and this race is likely to go faster. Good draw, needs improvement.
6 IMA GIGGITY FOOL Continues to race well and gave Source Of Pride all he could handle last week. This race is even tougher.
7 STALLONE BLUE CHIP Doing a good job of picking up checks and he has won here this year. Still, will be tested for class tonight.
8 BAGS OF MONEY Respect any horse that wins 3 of their last 5 starts, but they were against softer. He’ll need to improve here.
9 SIR CARY’S Z TAM The last of the ‘Pace eligible qualified well and adds Lasix for this. Lachance has several intriguing three-year olds.
10 SEEK THE DRAGON Exits a very strong qualifier but he was just 7th when last seen here at this level. Will need to find more in the tank.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-2-9-10
H Horse Comment
1 RED STAR TOMAHAWK Yet to start since the claim as he was scratched sick last time. This is the right level. Call him a fringe player.
2 ART’S JIMMY RAY Not exiting the strongest of races, but I thought he may have been full of pace late in the mile. Miller’s choice, too.
3 DIGGERS REST N Endured a tough trip last time and with a smoother journey, the result could be better. Will offer a price.
4 SCARE TACTICS N Yet to earn a check in 2013, so that makes him a tough play. I will watch for signs of improvement for now.
5 BOBJACKS ANGLE A Has out-raced his odds a couple of times here recently, but it is rather hard to predict. I would suggest using him.
6 ELUSIVE REWARD Recent form has not been very sharp and he doesn’t pack much early speed either. I will be watching this time.
7 GO GO RAIDER Has done a good job of earning checks, but seems to be lacking the winning punch so far in 2013. Exotics contender.
8 BIG TIME ROCKS He has been facing better and I like the driver change, so he merits some consideration on those pair of angles. Like.
9 ART FOR LIVING I think he had some pace last time and I have similar thoughts here as I do for the other ‘Art. Must be included.
10 STORMIN RUSTLER I was surprised Miller opted off of this gelding. I think he has the speed to overcome the draw. Another player.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-1-4
H Horse Comment
1 MEL MARA Qualified very well behind Sweet Lou and he brings plenty of talent to this lineup. Appears ready off the bench. Contender.
2 IDEAL CHAMP Skips the last leg of The Hudson River at Tioga for this tougher spot. That’s interesting. I think he’s a cut below the best.
3 HURRIKANE KINGCOLE I like that he appeared to be much handier in his last qualifier than on 4/20. He is an imposing individual.
4 ST LADS ZOOM ZOOM He has gotten on quite a roll lately. This is the acid test for him. I think he will battle it out for a minor award.
5 HILLBILLY HANOVER Shut it down after his opening weekend score here. He has a start under his belt off the layoff. Interesting player.
6 I FOUGHT DALAW This field is more talented than the last field he faced, so that is a concern. Appears up against it in here for now.
7 LINDWOOD PLAYER Caught a tougher field last time and it showed. This is even tougher. Looks like the longshot of this group.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-8-7
H Horse Comment
1 BLADE RUNNER Raced better last time. Draws inside and I am curious to see what Pierce does. I think we see speed tonight.
2 WISHER He has been facing what are, on paper, tougher races. This appears to be a spot that he can wake up in. I will be including.
3 ROCINANTE Gets some class relief. This horse was 130-1 this week, but on the move down, better post, driver change, he takes play.
4 BLUES AT MIDNIGHT Has not been a factor in either of his last 2 starts. He needs to stay closer in order to contend. Still a longshot.
5 BEWARE OF DARKNESS Earned a confidence builder last time, but he did not factor when last seen here at this level. Not on board.
6 AVOGADRO HANOVER Chased after ‘Darkness last time and was the beaten favorite there as well. I will be leaning elsewhere.
7 BLUE CLAW He usually responds to a class drop like this. Remember, he won the last time we saw him at this level. Must use.
8 DEVIL’S EMBRACE N Gelding seems to be turning the corner and despite the 0 for 13 mark, he might be sitting on his best race.
9 FORENSIC Z TAM Dominated softer in those last two starts at Freehold. Will we see speed? He will need to be even better here.
10 BRANDON’S COLT Showed a couple of good tries at this level, but his last race at Freehold is concerning. Looms a longshot.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 9-5-8-1
H Horse Comment
1 KISS MY ART Beaten favorite last time but it is getting some class relief that looks imposing here. Needs to be carefully handled from here.
2 FREDDY DAY HANOVER Will he respond to this class drop? I wish I knew, because he is going to offer a price. Worth a bail-out bet.
3 SIR MELO’S Z TAM His last race may have hinted at some improvement. Likely to make one late move. I will toss in my exotics.
4 FLIGHT EXEC Looking at the lineup in that qualifier, I think it was average. Seems to be moving in the right direction. Needs a start.
5 STIRLING BRIGADE Aggressively driven last time and he got a bit tired. See how Devils Embrace N did earlier. Worth a long look.
6 COOL RUNNINGS Stopped last week so that is a concern. He has speed, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him race from off the pace.
7 BLENDED WHISKEY Tetrick was listed, but Berry is down to drive and Tetrick isn’t in the race. Interesting. Was just OK at Freehold.
8 AWESOME ARMBRO N Gets some class relief off that last mile and this was Callahan’s choice. A better effort would not shock me.
9 RELENTLESS DREAMER Facing much tougher in Hudson River, so he will welcome this class relief. Needs to stay close early. Player.
10 P L EARL Has not raced in almost six weeks and is shipping down from Canada. I recommend watching this first start back.