• Week Of 6/9 - 6/15
  • SU9
  • MO10
  • TU11
  • WE12
  • TH13
  • FR14
  • SA15
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, June 15, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 8-3-1-4
H Horse Comment
1 ANDY BARAN A dominant winner in Round 1, but against a softer group than this. A deserving favorite, but far from a cinch in this spot.
2 KAUFMAN HANOVER Got aggressive at 56-1 last week and just got tired in the stretch. Good effort, but he is still a longshot in this field.
3 ELUSIVE REWARD Elected to sit in and closed to earn a check in the stretch last week. He is better than that and I expect better in here.
4 BOBJACKS ANGLE A Nice effort behind a well-meant winner last week. This horse looks sharp and a live cover trip makes him a player.
5 AVOGADRO HANOVER He is a slow starter, so he is always at the mercy of pace and trip. A candidate to round out exotics with a trip.
6 S F LAW Finished an even 4th behind Andy Baran last week. This field is tougher, and thus, he will need to be better. Loses Allard, too.
7 MR BIGGLESWORTH Moved to the outside but could only get within 4 lengths of the lead. He, too, will need to be better. Longshot.
8 FREDDY DAY HANOVER I suppose we just draw a line through that effort in Leg 1. He needs a win to guarantee a spot in the Final!
9 CSARDAS Left for position, sat the pocket and then came up empty in the stretch. That just doesn’t bode well here, so I will pass.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 4-5-7-2
H Horse Comment
1 ALWAYS THERE Seems to be at a level that has proved to be too much. Draws inside and will hope to tow along and earn a share.
2 ROCKS N BONDS Not a bad effort in Round 1. He will need to improve to catch the favorite, be he can hit the ticket. Use in exotics.
3 QUIK MAGIC Left out of there and got a soft opening quarter. Got shuffled a bit, was still pacing well at the wire. Can hit the board.
4 WORD POWER Will be a massive favorite and deserves to be. Raced against an apparent speed-bias last week and raced huge!
5 ROAR This is going to be a racehorse. Nothing wrong with his effort last week and I expect him to continue to improve. Second best.
6 ROCK ICON Was not a factor last week and now he runs into Word Power. He will need to improve quite a bit in this spot.
7 IMA GIGGITY FOOL Going up against Word Power again after a game effort last week. Nothing to knock as he should hit the ticket.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-10-4
H Horse Comment
1 ITSAHARDROCKLIFE Not a bad effort last time behind Big Art who he faces again here. Draws better and is a candidate to improve.
2 MINDSET It goes without saying that this is the horse to beat. He is still Pace eligible, but he better start putting on his game face now!
3 SHADY CITY I would call his last race an even effort. That was his 2nd start in 4 days. He is just 1 for 17 in his career. Hope for a part.
4 NATHANIEL B Here is the wild card of the field. Goes for connections that are known to well here, but qualified really well. Interesting.
5 HILLBILLY KID Winless streak has now reached 17 to begin his career. Recent efforts are decent, but a win would surprise me here.
6 STIMULUS PLAN His last race was better and it was good to see him passing horses late. I would call him a deep exotics contender.
7 GRATIAS DEO Has not been able to bring that Plainridge form down to M1. None of his last 3 starts make him a contender here yet.
8 ROCK N AHARD PLACE Had to need that last start as he was off a long layoff. Still only 2 lifetime starts and I think he needs more time.
9 SCENARIO HANOVER Did not show much in his qualifiers and it appears that he is still the longshot of this group.
10 BIG ART Sat the pocket and pounced to a comfortable win last time. Things will be much tougher here, but he still is rated a contender.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 4-1-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 REAL MARRIAGE Beaten favorite from a week ago, but he raced well. Loses Callahan this week, so that will help the price for backers.
2 PARADISE STATION Back to back wins to start his season and this field is not that much faster than him. Mayland shipper can contend.
3 BULLVILLE HONEY Tioga shipper is just 1 for 21, but seems to always earn a check. I expect more of the same in this spot.
4 GALEX Brutal trip last time and prior to that paced a 1:52 mile. Anything close to that effort wins this race. Gets Andy in the bike, too.
5 PADRE MANUEL His form has not been sharp recently, but this is a bit softer of a spot. Still, he is 0 for 17 on the year. Mixed feelings.
6 CAPITOL TRIP Recent form just has not been good and I would need to see some improvement before I can consider here.
7 AIRBURST HANOVER Shows a win against nw1 company at Philly, but he was 22-1 that day and his follow-up effort was below par.
8 WORLD CUP CULLEN He has a couple of decent races against similar in Philly, but he is too inconsistent to feel confident. Tricky call.
9 RAGGS Last four starts have not been good and he was 178-1 last week and draws the far outside. Appears the longshot again.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 5-10-7-2
H Horse Comment
1 RELENTLESS DREAMER His rally was a bit too late last time, but it was a better effort. He is always dependent on trip and pace. Maybe.
2 HACIENDA He had a ground-saving trip last week and was closing nicely into a speed favoring stretch. Draws well, he is a legit contender.
3 HIGH OCTANE N He was also forced to close into speed-favoring conditions last week, so that rally wasn’t bad. Can hit the board here.
4 GEORGETOWN N This horse has ability and he was better in that qualifier behind Bettor Sweet. Still, I might watch a start.
5 UNICORN HANOVER He is in pretty good form right now and has an ideal post for this event. Gets Allard and he rates an upset glance.
6 DOUBLETROUBLE Finished 2nd beaten a nose against similar last month, but why did he get beat at Saratoga? Tough call now.
7 LAWGIVER HANOVER He was flying up the pylons last week and just ran out of racetrack. Harder will get him in position to close again.
8 NOBLE FALCON Good effort last time but just got collared in the stretch. This is the level he can do some damage at. Another player.
9 SIR ZIGGY’S Z TAM He is 0 for 15 on the year which makes him a tough recommend on the win end. He likely will be coming from last.
10 ALED HANOVER Coming out of a fast mile and he raced well there also. The Burke/Miller combo will get money. Contention runs deep.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 9-1-2-7
H Horse Comment
1 ROCKAHOLIC The first of many contenders in a very tough race. Good 2nd last week, but he is still 0 for 10 on the year. Rates a look.
2 ONLY THE LONELY Miller showing loyalty to Surick here, but Source of Pride is the better horse. That said, this horse can roll late.
3 LETS ROCK TOGETHER Added Lasix and was bet like an international good thing, but did not fire. The 3 week gap is a concern, too.
4 BANGBANGKISSKISS This horse was thought to have a lot of ability at one time. Ships up off a dull try and looks like a longshot.
5 STEUBEN PATRIOT Those are back to back good miles and he has a good post for this race. Might add value to the exotics.
6 ROCKY MOUNTAIN GUY Yes, he is dropping out of the Sire Stakes, but this is a pretty tough nw3. I think he needs to improve.
7 SEEK THE DRAGON Showed good speed on both ends of the mile last time. That said, this race is much tougher. But he is a contender.
8 TRACK MASTER D He has been racing well, although he probably should have won last time out. Appears a fringe player in here.
9 SOURCE OF PRIDE He is the best horse in the race and is Meadowlands Pace eligible. This spot won’t be easy, but he will be tough.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 9-8-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE That was a brave rally last week as he did not have the easiest of trips. This field is much tougher though.
2 BOLERO ANDREW Going from a C-2 mini-series to this spot is a monstrous jump up in class. He will need to be even better now.
3 BULLET SPEED He has gone some good miles here this year, but his recent form is a bit spotty. Needs one of his best efforts to cotend.
4 BREAKIN THE LAW Not sure what to do here. One month ago he was beat in nw4000 at Pocono. But his last mile was big. Tough read.
5 URGENT ACTION That was a good effort last time and he has won against similar here before. Allard’s choice is one of several players.
6 MCCLELLAND He has re-found his best form and enters this on a nice win streak. Based on his current form, he is another contender.
7 DREAM OUT LOUD N He has made his presence felt since his arrival and will get a major test for class in this spot. Intriguing player.
8 BETTORS GLASS Not easy to rally the way he has at Philly. Perhaps the longer stretch here can help? Will be coming late for sure.
9 PANESTHETIC Caught a bit off guard that Allard opted off. Smith has to use his speed to his advantage here. Will be blasting, I think!
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 9-2-5-8
H Horse Comment
1 BRANDON’S COLT Last two starts have not been too sharp and I do not believe that win against nw2500 company at Fhld holds up here.
2 ALLAMERICAN APACHE Yet to get back to the form prior to the claim, but he is getting there. This looks like a class drop. Interesting.
3 STORMIN RUSTLER That 0 for 16 bothers me a bit in this spot and his last effort at Philly was not up to par. He needs to be better.
4 UP TOWN WATTS Has not raced in 18 days and his form prior to the scratch was a bit dull as well. I will watch this time around.
5 DAMON BLUE CHIP This C-1 to C-2 move has proven to be a big drop. Andy does opt to drive Surick, but I actually prefer this guy.
6 COOL RUNNINGS Raised better on the initial dropdown to this level, but he has yet to return to that form. He needs to step it up.
7 KISS MY ART Like his stablemate Arezzo Hanover, he can break at any time, so he comes with some risk. He’s a player if he stays flat.
8 PRESTISSIMO He just ran into a buzz-saw last week, but that was a good effort. I expect to see speed in this spot. Another contender.
9 HANG TEN Comes out of that race won by Bolero Andrew who moves way up the ladder tonight. I think he is a major contender off last.
10 COASTAL N Was racing at the C-1 level when last seen here, but he hasn’t won in some time and is coming off a break. Not for me.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 5-6-3-9
H Horse Comment
1 LUCKY CADET Loomed up 3-wide turning for home last week, but he flattened out in deep stretch. He is just 1 for his last 27, too.
2 DIGGERS REST N Yet to win this year and while his last race was a bit better, he was still losing ground from the pocket last week.
3 FOUR STARZ TWINS He has raced himself back into shape and is going well. He catches a tough group and will have to pace 1:51 to win.
4 CC RACY Closed willingly last week at a big number from a tough spot. Can he build on that mile? If so, he would be a contender here.
5 BLUE STRIKE He too closed well on a racetrack that was not conducive to that racing style last week. Perfect post. Another contender.
6 THANKS FOR STOPPIN Beaten favorite last week is more likely to blast from here and make the lead. Expect a better effort this time.
7 BIG PUFF DOGGIE Was not much of a factor last week and he will need to improve in order to contend in this field.
8 ALA CARTE BILL Not a bad rally last time and he will have to put forth a similar effort here. The slow starts do not help him though.
9 AWESOME ARMBRO N Coming off what seemed like an overdue win last time. Will he come from last to win this? That’s a tough call.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 9-7-1-3
H Horse Comment
1 BEAU RIVAGE He is now 0 for 15 on the year and although he continues to race well, I will likely try to beat him in the top spot here.
2 BELL’S PANACEA His recent form has not been sharp and it would take a form reversal at this point in time to make him a contender.
3 COME ON RIDGE He has raced well at times here in the past and technically this is a class drop. He can wake up a bit in this spot.
4 ARTILLERY MAJOR He is entering this off a win, which is worth noting, but he will need to go substantially faster in this event.
5 POKER CHAMP Continues to get off the gate slowly and is now coming off a break as well. He retains his longshot status.
6 WHITTAKER He hasn’t been in sharp form recently and it would take sudden improvement to rate him a contender in this field.
7 BLUE CLAW There are certain spots where he jumps up and races well. The tote board usually indicates those spots. I like him here.
8 ALLAMERICAN CHIEF Coming out of the Bettor Sweet qualifier, but he is yet to hit the board in 2013 and I need to see improvement.
9 PALM’S BEACH He just had too much to do last time against a well-meant winner. I wouldn’t be surprised to see some speed here.
10 POP A TOP POP Form at Harrington has been just OK and without much speed from post 10, this looks like an imposing task.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-6-5
H Horse Comment
1 TOWNSLIGHT HANOVER That was a big mile, but I do caution that the track was very fast that night. This is a tough task on the move up.
2 STATESMAN N Nothing wrong with his last effort, but this is a tougher field than what he faced last week. This is a good horse, though.
3 BOLT THE DUER Got a perfect drive in the Dan Patch and it paid off. He is the class of this field and looks like the logical horse to beat.
4 VERSADO He is not as good now as he was earlier in the year. That said, his effort in The Molson was pretty good. He can hit the ticket.
5 MEIRS HANOVER He is pretty good when he gets away from the best FFA pacers, although this field is good. He is a fringe contender.
6 DIAL OR NO DIAL Is he ready off the 3 week layoff? That’s a big question. He should be a top-3 contender here, assuming he is ready.
7 ABELARD HANOVER Is now on a 4 race win streak and this might be his biggest test to date. Great drive by Milby last week. Logical.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 2-6-1-9
H Horse Comment
1 DASH N That was an aggressive try from post 10 last time and he should work out a smoother trip here. Wouldn’t shock to hit the ticket.
2 LONG LIVE ROCK Looks like the horse to beat in this series as he didn’t even take a deep breath last time. Overwhelming favorite again.
3 TREY Was not able to make up much ground last time and he looks like he is in too tough in this series. A longshot again.
4 CITY PIE Rolled home quite impressively last time at huge odds. Due to the presence of Long Live Rock, he will be a nice number again.
5 FIRE ESCAPE Sat in and closed well enough to pick up a check, and can he improve here? I suppose, but a minor award appears best.
6 REDNECK OUTLAW Enters this off a win, but he will need to step things up to beat Long Live Rock. Appears to be 2nd best in here.
7 MORALITY Made a bold blitz down the backstretch but could not clear. Not exiting the strongest division, so I think he is up against it.
8 HE’S A BEACHBOY Also doesn’t exit the strongest division and raced OK showing some late pace. I think he is a deep exotics use.
9 OVERNIGHT DELIGHT He has to make up 7 lengths on the favorite here, which seems like a tall order given how this race sets up.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 6-4-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 LEBRON Not coming off a very good effort as his form continues to move in the wrong direction. Hopes to tow along for a share.
2 ESPRIT DE KAYJAY A Coming off a win, but I will point out, that was the weakest division in my opinion. Might be a vulnerable favorite.
3 TOUGH LOVE He has continued to slide down the class ladder, without much success. Just 1 for his last 43. Not sold on his chances.
4 UPFRONT COSMO Nice effort last week behind Esprit De Kayjay A. If Abbatiello can keep him closer, he might be able to catch him.
5 VAVOOMSTER Showed speed last week, but faltered in the stretch. This post will give Allard some options. I wouldn’t sell him too short.
6 BOX CAR JOHNNIE He is coming out of a stronger field in my opinion. Better post and if Baggitt can work out a trip, he can get there.
7 MASTERMAKER Did not make much of an impact last time and it would take some needed improvement to contend here.
8 HURRIKANE ANTHONY Did not factor last time and it looks like he might get away last in here. That just isn’t going to work.
9 BIG RED I think we will see speed this time from Macdonald. Might be able to loop around a few. I would call him a fringe contender.