• Week Of 7/7 - 7/13
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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, July 12, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 8-5-2-9
H Horse Comment
1 CRAZELYN Did get caught in a tough spot in the stretch last week as winner opened up daylight on the field. Filly can improve here.
2 HERCULOTTE HANOVER That was a good starting point for her 2013 campaign. Caught a shuffle, but rallied a bit in the stretch. Use.
3 GOOD SKIES The winless streak stands at 14, and Yannick opted off here. Have not seen enough yet to consider him a contender.
4 ZOLI Raced admirably in the Survivor Series and this is a significantly softer spot. The 0 for 15 scares me, but I will be including.
5 DUOLATTACHEATIN Very solid effort in the Survivor Series Finale. The winner is in the Dancer tomorrow. Merits strong consideration.
6 BALLET SLIPPERS That 1:55.2 qualifier might be deceiving as he was beaten 19 lengths in a fast mile. I need to see a start first.
7 JAIPUR Showed speed last time, but could not carry it the entire mile. Needs to regain the form he showed on May 31st. Tough read.
8 VARIETY GIRL Exits a key race as the winner is in the Dancer and the runner-up came back to win. Looms a major contender in here.
9 MASSMANIAN DEVIL The 0 for 17 is a tricky proposition, but she raced well at this level and is exiting a tougher spot. Price will be short.
10 THE FRESH PRINCE Form just hasn’t progressed and now he has been off for five weeks following a sick scratch. Not for me.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 7-4-10-6
H Horse Comment
1 SILVERHILL VOLO ($120,000 – LEX-SEL) Expensive yearling is being brought a lot slowly. Would have liked to see him finish a bit better.
2 RANNOCH MOOR ($6,000 – HBG) Yet to come close to the 2:00 barrier, so I will have to pass until I see him go a bit faster.
3 CLAVICLE HANOVER ($4,000 – HBG) I like the improved speed he showed last time. That was a sign of improvement. Using a bit.
4 NUNCIO ($7,000 – HBG) He looks like a steal at that price tag. Really liked his last baby race. Peter Haughton eligible is a threat here.
5 ANOTHER TRANSCRIPT ($20,000 – LEX-SEL) Last race got faster and he wasn’t able to turn in the same performance. Must progress.
6 MOCHA MOTION (Homebred) Showing solid and steady improvement and is a kin to a pair of winners. Looms a factor in this spot.
7 FATHER PATRICK ($105,000 – LEX-SEL) This is the full-brother to the standout millionaire Pastor Stephen. He has been amazing so far.
8 CLIMB HIGHER ($6,000 – LEX-SEL) Did not make the gate in his debut and he was 114-1 in that spot. I will watch this time around.
9 AVENTURE ($9,000 – MORRIS) Not a bad looking line at Tioga, granted we can’t be sure what he beat. I will watch this start.
10 RAGAZZO DOLCE (Homebred) He wasn’t that bad in his debut and this was Lachance’s choice of three. Pedigree will show up soon.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 3-4-7-5
H Horse Comment
1 DR ALFONSO Not much happening in his corner lately. Had the same slot last time and didn’t keep pace. Looks like a longshot again.
2 BERRY BERRY FAST With the exception of that last start, he is in better form than most of these. I can see him hitting the ticket.
3 FRESH DREAM Tetrick’s choice in here and although his recent form is suspect, second time Lasix on a driver switch is interesting.
4 IN KENNY’S HONOR This looks like the kind of field that he can beat. I think Pierce gets aggressive here and sends him to the lead.
5 ALBION That was a strong last effort and with Tetrick opting elsewhere, the price on this horse might be better than it should be. Use.
6 ITSOVALIGHTSOUT Recent form at Buffalo hasn’t been great, but the barn change will alert the public. A total wild-card in here.
7 CULLENS BLUE JEAN Hasn’t raced in a month, but he is coming off a win at this level at just 4/1 and is The Captain’s choice. Using.
8 EXECUTIVE FELLA That qualifier on July 2nd wasn’t bad, but the lack of wins recently concerns me. I will watch this start.
9 COMICAL STAR A Making his 2nd start back off the layoff so he has a right to improve. Still rate him a longshot in this field.
10 FIRST IMPRESSION He took money in some spots in Canada that are perplexing. Enters this off a 6 week layoff. Mixed feelings.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 7-10-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 CANTAB JONES That effort from June 14th makes him a contender. Given a couple weeks off since the mistake. Wouldn’t dismiss here.
2 VINTAGE OAKS She is exiting a series of extremely difficult races. Do not take that lightly. Also gets Gingras for the first time. I like her.
3 DETOUR HANOVER He can flat out fly early and Miller wrapped him up late in the mile, where he was a touch steppy. On the improve.
4 EQUINOX BARBARA This mare intrigues me as she has been running out of ground in her last 3 tries. She might like the longer stretch.
5 KEYSTONE SADIE This field is substantially tougher than that nw1 she is exiting at Philly. I think this field is too tough for her right now.
6 PS EMILY’S TUITION Shows good speed but her stamina seems to be lacking. She catches a tough field here and I think this is tough.
7 DEADLIEST CATCH This is a really promising colt and with the trainer driving there could be value here. He can win this race. My pick.
8 BETHEL HANOVER Her last two starts show the difference in The Stallion Series and PASS. This race falls in between the two.
9 LITTLE BITTY LIES Filly is off to a good start this year but she is facing a much tougher group here. I need to see this start.
10 HERE’S JOHNNY Rates a very long look in this field despite post position 10. Winner of last is in The Dancer tomorrow. Must include.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 7-2-6-8
H Horse Comment
1 REDISDCOVERY ($6,000 – LEX-SEL) I like that he finished in 27.1 last time, but I am not sure he has improved much since his debut.
1A SPORTS SINNER ($31,000 – LEX-SEL) Showed decent progress in his 2nd start and seems to be moving in the right direction. Maybe.
2 BAKERSFIELD ($75,000 – HBG) Plenty to like with this son of American Ideal. Has shown good speed on both ends of the mile. Like him.
3 CARD SHOCK ($60,000 – HBG) Those are two even tries to start his career for a barn that is known for its patience. Watching this one.
4 IDEAL FASHION ($115,000 – HBG) Half-brother to the very talented Fashion Delight. Surprised to see him back up at Saratoga.
5 ROCKEYED OPTIMIST ($10,000 – HBG) Just an even try in his debut but he showed he can pace in 1:55. Pierce goes elsewhere.
6 BOTTEGA ($10,000 – HBG) Not a bad effort at all in his pari-mutuel debut. Exits the Sire Stakes into a spot where he can hit the ticket.
7 ALWAYS B MIKI (Homebred) One of the most impressive young colts I have seen. My pick to win this and the Indiana Sire Stakes.
8 STAY UP LATE ($67,000 – HBG) Half-brother to $1.2 Million earner Real Nice has looked good in the morning and merits consideration.
9 NUBBLE LIGHT (Homebred) Was just an also-ran in the NJSS and now has to overcome post 10. Looking elsewhere in this group.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 6-7-8-9
H Horse Comment
1 PITTSTOP RUTHIE Kicks off an extremely tough handicapping puzzle. Racing well of late, but gets tested for class. Stays close early.
2 SENOR GLIDE He has a great deal of back class but his recent form makes him a longshot in this contentious group. Pass for now.
3 RARING TO GO I thought she was going to be better last week, but To Dream On stole the race. That’s not this filly’s style. Rallies here.
4 ANOTHER AMARETTO When he catches the right group, he can do damage. This particularly race came up tough. Bottom of exotics.
5 ANDOVER AMERICA He is in excellent form and is coming off a very fast mile too. Perfect post, too. This is a contender despite layoff.
6 BROADWAY ROCKS Exits the same condition as ‘Andover, but he lost to that foe when they last matched up. Might use underneath.
7 FROM ABOVE Came with his typical turn of foot, but just could not get by the surging Temple Of Doom. Still racing very well. Contender.
8 SUMMER INDIAN It looks like Burke has him figured out. He is incredibly fast and Yannick will be sending him along. The one to catch.
9 AISLING Another that is in good form. Now 9, and maybe he is a step slower than his younger days. Still give him a look in a tough race.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 10-7-8-3
H Horse Comment
1 DREAM’S BAR Her last 3 starts do not give me much confidence that she can jump up and contend in this very tough field. Longshot.
2 EXPRESS JET She was racing very well early in the year, but her last two efforts are troublesome. I need to see a start here.
3 RAMONA DISOMMA Waiting for her to flash that ferocious late kick we have seen before. I can see her sneaking into the trifecta.
4 IDEAL GINNY Not bad last time finishing behind Twin B Elite who she meets again. Think she needs to step up to win this event.
5 AUTHORIZE Filly has just been overmatched so far this year and has not made the transition from 2 to 3. Watching this start closely.
6 CAROLSIDEAL Completely dusted a much softer C-2 group. This field is considerably more difficult and she will need even more.
7 ODDS ON AVENTURE Exiting a very tough field at Pocono and she raced well against similar here last month. Merits a long look.
8 EIGHTHUNRDOLARBILL She was excellent last week and looks like the favorite of this bunch. Still, wouldn’t want too short a price.
9 SHINE N SHIMMER She seems to have tailed off lately and is just 1 for 22 on the year. Callahan goes elsewhere as well. Passing.
10 TWIN B ELITE Burke seems to have this mare moving forward and the post isn’t going to be a problem. I am on board here. My pick.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 8-3-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 LUCKYCHARM HANOVER Back to back solid tries, although he burnt some cash last week. Merits strong consideration despite move up.
2 ELIN That’s not a bad mile in her last try at Mohawk, my concern is it came 42 days ago. I have to think she needs a start.
3 THISTLE DHU Racing against some good horses and he was dominant when exiting stakes company before. Tackles older in here.
4 FOUNTAINBLEAU VOLO Surprised he beat Luckycharm last time, but I still think he will offer the higher price. Loses Lachance though.
5 PURE BARRE Posted a big upset in her most recent start and she seems to be in good form. Might offer a decent price in this spot.
6 SHOELESS WHITE SOX Throw out that last start. Prior form was solid, but it was against softer than this. I think he is in tough here.
7 SWAN IN A MILLION Interesting to see Iron Mike land here. His recent form has not been sharp and I will be looking for improvement.
8 GO TAPAIGH See how the Burke barn is going tonight. My gut is, he has a couple of wins by the time you read this. Major danger.
9 JAILHOUSE FUNK Recent form just hasn’t been there, granted those are 2 wide posts and a break. So a rebound wouldn’t shock me.
10 EPIC TALE Silva did wonders with From Above, so perhaps he can turn this trotter around. Watching very closely for future consideration.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 7-5-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 CC RACY Shows a good effort in the opening leg of the Caramore, but not much else recently. Tows along and hopes for a share.
2 ANSY BARAN Really tailed off in his last pair of starts and has now been off for 3 weeks. I will be watching in this spot.
3 C MAJOR HANOVER Gelding has plenty of early speed and he does have big track experience in Canada. A pace factor, at least.
4 ESPRIT DE KAYJAY A He sat inside, but offered no pop in the stretch, so he will need to be better than that. Using underneath for now.
5 HE’S A BEACHBOY He is exiting a tougher race and he won the 1st Consolation of the Caramore. Positive driver switch here as well.
6 AVENUE HANOVER I am still trying to figure out how he lost last week. Literally, did everything but win. Will take money once again.
7 POP A TOP POP Raced better last time and I like the move to Gingras here. Might escape at a decent price in a competitive field.
8 CORAL SNAKE Only one start in the last 3 months and he was beaten 20 lengths. Looked a little short in that qualifier. Watching one.
9 BLUE STRIKE Sat the pocket, but retreated last time. Seems to have lost the form he showed early in The Caramore. Passing here.
10 SEEK THE DRAGON Exiting some tough races, but just have not seen enough from him to consider in this field. Looking elsewhere.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 5-7-3-6
H Horse Comment
1 CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM Now 0 for 21 on the year and I don’t see a whole lot of angles to hang your hat on here. Looking elsewhere.
2 CAITIR Has not raced in a month and did not factor too well in The Flower Child. I want to see a start before I consider her.
3 KENDA That last field was much tougher than this. This is a monstrous drop as that C1/B2 Handicap was very tough. Expect better.
4 CIVIC DUTY Not exiting a particularly strong field in Philly, so I am not putting much stock into that runner-up try. Up against it.
5 CHINESE CUISINE Just have a gut feeling that he will either win this in a romp or not hit the board. Likely to take plenty of tote action.
6 MARCUS BI His form has gone the wrong way, but he is catching a rather soft division this week. I think he improves this time.
7 PILATUS Exiting the same tough event as Kenda, so I repeat, this is a BIG class drop. I think his early speed makes him very dangerous.
8 ARMRBO ARISTOCRAT Has not won in the past couple of years and his recent form just has not been sharp. Looking elsewhere.
9 BIG SKY ANGELINA Now 0 for 16 on the season and did not factor in the Flower Child. I need to see some improvement here.
10 BELLA’S SPUNKYPUNK Did not make it through the first turn last week and now will have to overcome post 10 as well. Not for me.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 4-2-5-3
H Horse Comment
1 D’ORSAY Pulled the 20-1 upset at Mohawk and that effort really was surprising. Can she duplicate that mile? Will not be 20-1 this time.
2 WIN MISSY B She got better as the year went on last year and actually earned more money than Maven. Pierce goes elsewhere though.
3 REAL BABE Good try last time as she was finishing that mile very well. Has won 7 of 12 starts this year and cannot be dismissed.
4 MAVEN So far, she just doesn’t have any competition in this division. Millionaire will be a short price chalk and is strictly the one to beat.
5 CEDAR DOVE Coming off a four week layoff so that is a concern. Her prior 2 tries in The Armbro Flight were very good. Exotics player.
6 PERSONAL STYLE The Hambo Oaks winner from a year ago has tailed off since her Armbro Flight Elimination. Needs to rebound here.
7 BEATGOESON HANOVER Making her 2nd start off the layoff, and she was interfered with last out. Miller’s not here to drive her though.
8 PEMBROKE HEAT WAVE She will likely have to come from last in this field which I think is going to be too tall an order. Longshot.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 3-2-7-1
H Horse Comment
1 CAROLSTERN Is now 0 for 16 on the year. Occasionally, she can jump up and hit the board at this level. Bottom of exotics at a price.
2 HOW ‘BOUT A SMOOCH She has been knocking on the door since the addition of Lasix and this looks like the spot she can get it done.
3 JET WASH Recent form has been lacking, but she has some back class as well. Wouldn’t at all be surprised by a rebound in here.
4 JARNAC Shows a decent race in series action a month ago, but I haven’t seen enough to rate her as a serious win contender here.
5 MY IDEAL Just 1 for 15 on the year and I am yet to see a start from her that makes her a contender in this group. Longshot.
6 AINT GOT A HOME This mare is exiting much tougher races and is debuting on Lasix here. She should fit well in this field.
7 WATTAQUEEN Coming off back to back wins and that should go a long way in this group. Merits strong consideration on the win-end.
8 BITTERSWEET BEST I think she is tailing off and was not Pierce’s choice in here. I expect to see speed from this mare. Maybe a share.
9 GE’S JODY Her earlier starts at Freehold just have not transferred into success at The Meadowlands. Needs to step her game up.
10 SUCHA BAD GIRL In decent form at Harrington, but Miller will have to fire her off the gate to get her in the race. Using a bit.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 9-8-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 PALM’S BEACH Continues to put together consistent efforts, but just doesn’t seem to win too often. I will likely play accordingly.
2 BIG PUFF DOGGIE Much improved effort when moving to the claiming ranks. We see that quite a bit. This will be tougher. Fringe player.
3 KISS MY ART Needs to stay close and stay pacing. Has not been seen in a month, so that is a concern. A very tricky call in a tough field.
4 CSARDAS He has been off for 5 weeks and is coming off a sick scratch. I will bet that he needs a start and will pass this time.
5 HURRIKANE ANTHONY He has to make up six lengths on Palm’s Beach, which will be tough. I do think he can hit the board here.
6 COOL RUNNINGS Recent form just hasn’t been there and it would take a form reversal for him to contend in this spot.
7 JETTIN JUSTIN Another whose recent form has not been sharp and he will need to turn things around to be a factor here.
8 BOBJACKS ANGLE A Exiting a tougher race where he raced very well. Just 1 for 19, but he looks like a player in this field. Using.
9 NEXT FLIGHT I think he has been overmatched in his last pair of starts and he will find this field more to his liking. My top selection.
10 ALLAMERICAN CHIEF Doesn’t have much speed and has not won in a long time. Likely to get away last in here. Playing against.