• Week Of 6/2 - 6/8
  • SU2
  • MO3
  • TU4
  • WE5
  • TH6
  • FR07
  • SA08
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 08, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 7-3-2-9
H Horse Comment
1 ITSAHARDROCKLIFE A little concerned that he couldn’t quicken in that last qualifier. Showed good speed in previous try. Watching one.
2 BIG ART Not the fastest of starters and he is yet to hit the board in 8 tries. If he can pace in 1:53 again, he has a big shot in this field.
3 GRATIAS DEO No idea what happened last time, but if he can race back to that 1:52.1 mile on 5/18, he will be very tough in here.
4 CLAREMONT HANOVER Showed improvement last time at Yonkers. Is he ready to duplicate that mile? Will need to go 6 seconds faster.
5 COOL LIKE FIRE Hard to gauge a qualifier with both pacers and trotters and he can make a break at any moment. Must stay pacing.
6 ROCK N AHARD PLACE Only 1 lifetime start and I am not too enamored with him losing 5 lengths in the stretch last time. Needs more.
7 SHADY CITY That effort at Tioga wasn’t bad and he was finishing well in his most recent mile. He might like the longer stretch here.
8 STIMULUS PLAN Only 1 start this year and he made a break. Qualifier was just OK. I need to see another start before I can consider.
9 REAL MARRIAGE Leading money winner in the field gets the very tepid call as the favorite. Coming out of a much stronger race.
10 EASTON BOUND Was not able to duplicate his Freehold form at Yonkers. Tough assignment given the draw and pace scenario.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 5-9-4-8
H Horse Comment
1 ROCKS N BONDS Exits the Sire Stakes, but keep in mind he was 39-1 against similar on 5/11. Still think he is in a tough spot.
2 MEETBEHINDTHEBARN That Stallion Series was a decent race and his prior win was sharp. Can he pace in 1:50? Mixed feelings.
3 ALWAYS THERE He raced well before the Sire Stakes and he has been in sub-1:52 with no problem. Looks like a contender.
4 TALKING BLUES Colt was racing well at the end of 2012 and has qualified back well. Beat a nice filly last time. Barn can fire one out!
5 WORD POWER Runner-up from that last mile came back to win. The horse he beat in that QUA won the Art Rooney. Enough said.
6 MONTERO BLUE CHIP Hard to get a grip on what happened last time. If you toss that mile out, he can be considered in here. Tricky call.
7 HE ROCKS THE MOON Nice win grinding into it at Yonkers, but this is a much tougher assignment. I will be watching this time.
8 NASSAU COUNTY Tough trip in that last mile, so I would just toss it out. Prior form was good. He has paced in 1:50.2 also! Possibility.
9 IMA GIGGITY FOOL I like the 11 of 19 exacta finishes, but 8 of those are runner-up efforts. Has the speed to overcome the draw. Using.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 7-3-2-8
H Horse Comment
1 TRAVERS HALL Last 3 starts have not been very sharp and he will need to pace much faster to contend here. Looks like a longshot.
2 VAVOOMSTER Took a lot of money last time, but did not fire his best shot. I suppose you can give him another chance in here.
3 HE’S A BEACHBOY Just had no chance in that last mile and Bolero Andrew would be 1/9 in this field. Worth a look with Callahan.
4 UPFRONT COSMO Makes his 2nd start back off the layoff and he had to need that last mile. Capable of better in a wide open race.
5 STAR OF THE GAME Form just has not been there regardless of post or trip. I need to see some improvement before I consider.
6 MORALITY He has raced well here before and catches a suspect group in this field. I am expecting a much better effort. Looms a player.
7 ESPRIT DE KAYJAY A This looks like a field he should beat. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him leave tonight either. Major contender.
8 SHOWTIME SHARK Not sure what happened last time. His race 2 starts back was not bad at all. Needs to get back to that race.
9 CC RACY That is 3 weeks in a row that he has come home in more than 30-seconds. It’s tough for me to recommend him off that.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 7-2-9-4
H Horse Comment
1 DIGGERS REST N Seems to do better at Freehold and his two starts at the C-2 level at The Meadowlands were not sharp.
2 FREDDY DAY HANOVER Looms as the horse to beat here. Good try last week in a tough C-2 field. Deserves to be the favorite here.
3 S F LAW He raced at better levels than a few of these at Freehold. But that form did not transfer here last time. He needs to be better.
4 ANDY BARAN Last pair of efforts are solid. While the C-2 he exits was not nearly as tough as ‘Freddy’s, he is a contender in here.
5 SIGN OF THE MOMENT Recent form just has not been sharp at all and it would take a form reversal for him to contend here.
6 MR BIGGLESWORTH Last race at Pocono was a little bit better and perhaps he is turning a corner. I might toss in some exotics.
7 HEZA TRICK N Here is your wild card as he has been facing better throughout. He was in The Levy 5 starts ago. Do not ignore him!
8 TREY That last mile wasn’t bad, but again I do not think that was the strongest of fields. Not sold on the win end, but might use underneath.
9 TOUGH LOVE He had been facing better than these and that last mile might scare the bettors away, but he is better than several of these.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 2-5-7-4
H Horse Comment
1 RING LEDA Earned a confidence builder last time but he catches a pretty tough group here. I would have to consider him a longshot.
2 CAUTION SIGNS See how Word Power fared in the opener and move this guy up if he raced well. Win 2 back makes him a contender.
3 PAPPY’S PAL A little concerned that he couldn’t pace with them last week, because this race will go in around 1:50-1:51. Needs better.
4 ROCKAHOLIC Exits the Sire Stakes and that will attract some attention, as will the Callahan/Burke connection. Might be vulnerable though.
5 SEEK THE DRAGON Hard not to like the late interest he showed last week. If he can build off that mile, he is a contender here.
6 STEUBEN PATRIOT That Excelsior Series is for the B-level NY-Sired horses, so this is a much tougher spot. I am looking elsewhere.
7 ONLY THE LONELY Not bad last time as he had quite a bit to do. Will be at the mercy of the pace and trip, but he can get involved.
8 TROON Better effort last time and perhaps he can build off that effort. That said, I still think he is a cut below the best of these.
9 HOT ART That was not a bad qualifier and this horse showed some ability in Canada. Take a good look at him on the racetrack.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 3-8-4-6
H Horse Comment
1 LAWGIVER HANOVER At his best, he can beat this field and he raced well this winter at The Meadowlands. Adds value to the exotics.
2 DAMON BLUE CHIP His race 2 starts back makes him a contender here. Keep in mind that was against 3 and 4 YO’s. Still can contend.
3 UNTOLD LEGEND He is getting substantial class relief as he was in very tough recently at Yonkers. Might go overlooked in this field.
4 HACIENDA That was not a bad mile last time and if you toss out that one try against nw10 company, his lines look really good. Player.
5 HIGH OCTANE N He is also getting some class relief but his form has not been there for the past month. A rebound can get him in the mix.
6 FORENSIC Z TAM Got to the right spot last time and it paid off. Can he move up and duplicate that mile? It gets tougher, but he can go!
7 GAMBLER’S TALE He is getting some class relief and his 2 prior efforts at Pocono make him a player in here. Interesting piece to puzzle.
8 RESCUE PLAN Another that is getting some needed class relief and this is typically a spot that he would race huge. Race came up tough!
9 PASS THE DECK Earned a victory last time but he loses Callahan and faces a much tougher assignment here. Up against the repeat.
10 KEYSTONE RAPTOR In good form, but against far lesser than this. Post 10 is not going to help either. Looking elsewhere for the winner.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-9-8-7
H Horse Comment
1 WESTERN DAKOTA Catches a tough field here. That 1 for 20 mark is concerning as well. Looks to sit in and tow along for a share.
2 MAJOR BELLE Another that finds a tough spot here. He went some huge miles this winter at The Meadowlands. Needs absolute best.
3 CASIMIR JITTERBUG He has tailed off since his winter in Canada, but that last mile was very tough. I expect a much better effort here.
4 WHIRL MONROE He won his way to a level that is just too tough. He can pace sub-1:50, but doing it against this field is much different.
5 FANCYFREESHARK He has raced himself into very good shape and is coming off a nice win at Philly. Things to like about this guy.
6 STATESMAN N Added Lasix last time and was favored, but really never had a chance as he was last turning for home. Capable of more.
7 PENCE HANOVER Took advantage of a track that played favorably to speed last time. This field is tougher, so I am skeptical of a repeat.
8 ANNIESWESTERNCARD Raced well throughout the Levy series and is coming off a win. Historically, he has been better on smaller tracks.
9 ABELARD HANOVER This horse is having some kind of year. He has speed, but is also versatile. Might take a lifetime mark to win this.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 9-10-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 PRINCE SHARKA Good effort last week chasing a well-meant winner. This race is much tougher though and I think he is up against it.
2 WYNUM MAGIC His recent form has not been as sharp and this barn is still searching for its first win at The Meadowlands this year.
3 K SLATER He is getting some class relief, but I cannot just play him off that angle alone. This is still a pretty tough field. Tough call.
4 SHORTSTACKED He is worth tossing in some exotics. His last 3 starts at Yonkers have been from posts 7 and 8. Bomb with potential.
5 FOUR STARZ TRACE Another shipping in from Yonkers without any recent success. Needs to get back to his earlier form to contend.
6 BULLET SPEED I think this level is a little bit too tough for him usually. That said, this field isn’t as tough as the last 2 he faced. Interesting.
7 DRUMFIRE A He has tremendous early speed and has been doing good work against similar. He’s gone wire to wire here before.
8 MIGHTY YOUNG JOE I wouldn’t be too hard on him as he is coming out of a 1:48.4 mile. He can certainly hit the ticket in this field.
9 HANGON COWBOY He has speed and that is where he does his best racing so throw out that last race. He is a prime contender here.
10 URGENT ACTION He is the class of the field and is coming out of a much tougher race. Allard will need to get him involved from the onset.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 8-3-4-2
H Horse Comment
1 WHITTAKER Recent form has been suspect lately. From the inside, he has to hope to tow along and earn a share of this. Longshot.
2 KISS MY ART Continues to take play and I guess the faithful are waiting for the wake-up call. I suppose this spot should fit him well.
3 SIR MELO’S Z TAM If he can race back to that mile on 5/11, I think he will win this race. Just needs to find the right kind of trip.
4 TWIN B HOLLISTER He has a class edge on several of these. That race from 5/18 is much tougher than this spot. Still, needs a trip.
5 POKER CHAMP Recent form has been dull and this doesn’t look like a Rosecroft shipper that I would rate as a contender in here.
6 PRESTISSIMO Seems to have tailed off since the claim, granted he was racing above the level of his claim. Expect improvement.
7 BELL’S PANACEA He was 69-1 last week in a similar spot and did not make much of an impact. Hard to endorse off that mile.
8 HERZON Just caught a buzz-saw last week in Bolero Andrew, who would be odds-on in this field. He might be the horse to beat here.
9 TENANT IN CHIEF It appears he likes to be forwardly placed, so Lachance will have to use some speed off the gate. Can get involved.
10 STORMIN’ NORMAN Doesn’t seem to have the speed to get involved from the wired draw and his recent form doesn’t bode well.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-9-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 THE LIFE BOAT Couldn’t handle the nw5000 level at Freehold and Yonkers, which is a legitimate concern here. Needs very best.
2 MOOSEHEAD JACK He has been OK in spots recently and that last mile wasn’t bad. Not sold on the win end, but can be included.
3 AWESOME ARMBRO N He has burnt some money lately and although this field looks like one he should beat, I am a little wary.
4 ALA CARTE BILL He figures to be better moving in from post 10, but he wasn’t able to win at the $8,000 claiming level at Freehold.
5 CSARDAS He came from out of the clouds last week, but that was a wildly rapid pace and he only closed in 29.1. Might be overbet.
6 FIRE ESCAPE Last couple of starts just don’t stack up against this field. Can he get back to that 5/11 race? Still, looks like a longshot.
7 KAUFMAN HANOVER Another whose recent form has not been sharp and will require improvement in order to contend in this field.
8 JETTIN JUSTIN Qualified behind the Aquarius champion last week. If he is ready off the layoff, he has a legitimate chance here.
9 THANKS FOR STOPPIN Has speed from the outside which will make him dangerous in this field. If he can pace in 1:51.2, lookout.
10 BLUE STRIKE Beat up against softer at Freehold and caught a much tougher C-2 field last time. The post is the concern here.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 2-4-5-9
H Horse Comment
1 WISHFUL DESIRE Exiting the Stallion Series in Pennsylvania. That 1 for 12 mark doesn’t inspire much confidence. Needs best in here.
2 LUCAN HANOVER He finished behind the big-4 in the NJSS Final. That was not a bad race. He is strictly the horse to beat in here.
3 DAVID ON ICE Yet to put forth a race good enough to win this. Coming off a break in a qualifier as well. Not sold on his chances.
4 MINDSET Connections have always liked this horse, but he endured a tough trip last week. Maybe with 2nd time on Lasix he can improve.
5 ROAR He is better than that last start suggests. Moves inside a bit and I expect him to be much closer. Worth including in tris/supers.
6 NUTMEGS MAYA Making his 2nd start back off the layoff, so just like Roar he can improve. Another exotics candidate at a price.
7 QUIK MAGIC Nice win last week, but this race is setup to go much faster than 1:52.4, so he will need to step up his game even more.
8 ROCK ICON Found a spot he could win in last week. But just like the foe to his inside, it will take even more to step up and win this.
9 LATE NIGHT JOKE Coming out of a pretty quick mile. Has he gotten past his breaking issues? If he has, then he is a contender here.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 8-5-6-3
H Horse Comment
1 THE MIDNIGHT OWL N Yet to finish in the exacta this year and that doesn’t bode well in this field. Doesn’t get away from the gate quickly.
2 OVERNIGHT DELIGHT Still with only 1 win in the past 2 years and he has never gotten back to his 3YO form. One of several players here.
3 BIG RED That last race was tougher than this so don’t be too hard on him. Gets The Captain in the bike as well. Things to like here.
4 BOBJACKS ANGLE A Steps in off a confidence building win, but he was 0 for 14 going into that. A little skeptical of a repeat off that.
5 ART’S JIMMY RAY Seems to have found his best form and he has an ideal draw to give Lachance some options here. A contender.
6 LEBRON Perhaps an omen with the NBA Finals underway? He is better than his last race indicates. Worth a toss into exotics.
7 PADRE MANUEL His form has not gone in the right direction and he is also 0 for 16. Looks like an outsider despite being Ginsburg’s pick.
8 LONG LIVE ROCK Beat a better field last time and he has been facing much tougher than this throughout the year. Looks like the chalk.
9 HURRIKANE ANTHONY Hard to make a case for him off his last 3 starts, but I can see him racing better in here. Deepest of exotics.
10 AVOGADRO HANOVER Doesn’t have any early speed and his recent form is only marginal. Appears to be up against it from here.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-8-10-6
H Horse Comment
1 BIG PUFF DOGGIE Not bad last time and if Lemon Drop Hall won on Friday, then move this guy up a bit. Rates an upset glance.
2 ELUSIVE REWARD When he finds the right spot, he can win and this looks like the right spot. I think Allard will be aggressive from here.
3 KINGS POINT His form has gone in the wrong direction and he doesn’t have any early speed either. Looks like a longshot.
4 LUCKY CADET Just 1 for his last 26 and his last effort doesn’t bode well in this spot. He will need to improve to contend here.
5 CITY PIE He won against softer at Freehold, but I am not sure that he is up to this level of competition. Another that needs his best.
6 FOUR STARZ TWINS He should be headed right to the front, but he needs to make up 3 lengths on Tomahawk. That can happen.
7 MASTERMAKER Was unable to defeat the bottom level at Freehold which is a legitimate concern here. Not sold on his chances.
8 REDNECK OUTLAW Making his 2nd start back off the layoff following a very impressive 2013 debut. If he can build on that, then lookout.
9 BOX CAR JOHNNIE Brutal trip last week and this race has some speed in it, so I am worried about the draw. Might be in for similar.
10 DASH N He holds a class edge on many of these, but he might be left with too much to do. That said, he will be on my tickets.