• Week Of 7/28 - 8/3
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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, August 02, 2013

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 6-11-4-1
H Horse Comment
1 MARZIPAN (Homebred) Was overmatched in the NJSS and was racing well last out before breaking. Battles for minor share.
2 OVERGROWN ($27,000 – HBG) Half-brother to Napolean ($789k) took a nice step forward last out. Gets a tough test tonight.
3 HILLUSTRIOUS ($56,000 – LEX) Half-brother to the sensational Snow White ($1.4M). Yet to race up to his pedigree. Must improve.
4 BROADWAY GABBER (Homebred) Dam earned over $300k on the racetrack. Seems to be on the improve. Exotics candidate.
5 TIME N TIDE ($40,000 – HBG) Was a little bit better last out at Tioga. Still a notch behind several of these on paper. Needs more.
6 TRIXTON ($360,000 – LEX) Dam is a full-sister to Andover Hall, Angus Hall on Conway Hall. Colt has been as advertised. Immense talent.
7 SMILEY (Homebred) Sports a fairly modest pedigree and his yet to go fast enough to contend with these. Appears a longshot.
8 LEMON DROP KID ($50,000 – LEX) Shares name with a Belmont Stakes winner. Comes from a modest family. Must improve.
9 LIGHTNING FORCE ($50,000 – LEX) Half-brother Lightning Storm can trot. Comes from the family of Stroke Play ($1.2M). Watching.
10 KARETS (Homebred) Has not made much of an impact on the track yet. Post makes things tough as well. Retains longshot status.
11 SUMATRA ($9,000 – HBG) Appeats to be a good and honest trotter with talent. Post hurts, but he is the one to challenge Trixton.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 1-4-8-6
H Horse Comment
1 HONOR THY DAUGHTER ($100,000 - HBG) Dam made almost $1 Million on the track. Looked like a potential star in the making.
2 BIKINI SO TEENY ($12,000 – LEX) Dam is a half-sister to Honorable Daughter ($979k). Last start was better. Some upside here.
3 WHEELY QUICK ($70,000 – HBG) Half-brother is in The Hambletonian (Wheeling N Dealin). Think she is better than last indicates.
4 CHIPPEROO ($52,000 – HBG) This is a full-sister to Adrian Chip ($1.1M). Toss out the last. Prior efforts were solid. She is a player.
5 YOGA ($31,000 – HBG) Dam is a half-sister to Strong Yankee ($1.4M). Comes from an excellent family. I see some upside with her.
6 YOU AND I ($30,000 – HBG) Both siblings to race have earned six-figures. She seems to know where the wire is. Interesting filly.
7 THISGIRLISONFIRE ($24,000 – HBG) There are some good ones in her family, including Porque ($272k). Making steady progress.
8 DEEPDISH ($320,000 – LEX) Comes from a magnificent family and is getting a touch of class relief here. Cannot sell too short now.
9 RARELY WRONG ($20,000 – LEX) Dam could race, earning over $300k. A kin to 7 winners. Will need to step things up though.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 3-7-1-6
H Horse Comment
1 OVER AND OUT Di Nozzi owns a win in a non-amateur event here this year. The horse fits with these as well. Cannot be ignored here.
2 ROMPAWAY ALVIN This gelding has had a nice career and Yarock can steer with the best of these. Has to be left in the conversation.
3 I’M FABULOUS Mare is a 26-time winner and has been facing some tough field s lately. Another that must be included in a wide open race.
4 NEON DREAM Last few starts have been better and Hoover has won here before as well. Think this mare is in tougher than she has been.
5 CATALYST Recent form is on the dull side, although this horse raced well earlier in the season. Needs to re-find his best form for this.
6 THEHOUSEISROCKIN Last pair of starts have been pretty good and you always have to pay attention to Heckoff in these events. Maybe.
7 CURRENT CRISIS Sharpest horse in the race and Krivelin is one of the best amateurs around. One of the logical contenders once again.
8 B L CLASS ACT He has been racing OK of late, but some of those races were tough fields. He is certainly fast enough for this event.
9 RUSH N SUPREME Comes out of a win in the Open at Hazel for Walker. Will have to come from far out of it though. Tough assignment.
10 WHATNBLAZES His last few races have not been particularly strong and his lack of speed makes post 10 very tough. A longshot now.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 9-2-3-4
H Horse Comment
1 SPIT FOR SPAT ($10,000 – HBG) Dam is a full-sister to the talented Falls For You ($1.3M). In excellent hands as well. Using a bit.
2 RAVINE ($32,000 – LEX) Dam is a half-sister to Elusive Desire ($1.3M). She has raced very well thus far. Gets some class relief.
3 SCREAM AND SHOUT ($60,000 – HBG) This is a full-sister to Costa Rica ($1.4M). Added the trotting hobbles last time. Contender.
4 CHOCOLATE CRISP ($19,000 – LEX) A kin to a six-figure earner. She was a bit overmatched in the NJSS. Expecting better here.
5 SPIRIT OF CASEY (Homebred) Dam earned over $666k. A kin to 3 six-figure earners. Dam is a half-sister to Passionate Glide ($2M).
6 I’LL BRING DESSERT ($27,000 – HBG) Half-sister to Laddie ($982k). She is yet to race up to her pedigree. Improvement required.
7 DEMOISELLE HANOVER ($55,000 – HBG) Half-sister to Hambletonian winner Donato Hanover. Needs to step up her game now.
8 ALWAYSINBLACKPEDIA ($10,000 – HBG) She has been facing some tough fillies lately. Her best effort puts her in the exotics hunt.
9 RED HOT SPICY (Homebred) Dam is a half-sister to Make You Mine ($735k). She has looked good in the mornings. Using here.
10 HOT SPRINGS ($120,000 – HBG) A kin to four winners from a solid family. She rebounded in her last start. Think she might need a race.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 TOSS CARTWRIGHT ($50,000 – HBG) Dam is a kin to Flawless Bluestone ($589k). Debut was a solid effort and I can see him winning.
2 STARSABOVEALLERAGE ($11,000 – HBG) He has been very solid so far. Loved his effort at Tioga as well. A logical contender in here.
3 RANNOCH MOOR ($6,000 – HBG) Dam earned over $200k on the racetrack but she is yet to race up to that pedigree. Must improve.
4 BEFORE I DIE ($25,000 – LEX) He was a little overmatched in the NJSS, but rebounded last time. A kin to 3 six-figure earners. Use.
5 SILVERHILL VOLO ($120,000 – LEX) Dam won the Hambletonian Oaks. Her last pair of final quarters concern me. Watching this one.
6 KING CITY ($52,000 – LEX) Another whose dam won the Hambo Oaks. She raced better in her last start. She fits well in this group.
7 REVRAC HARBOUR (Homebred) A half-sister to Handover Belle has yet to make a great impression on the track. Needs more.
8 JUKEBOX ORDER ($22,000 – HBG) A kin to both Sugar Trader ($730k) and Chocolatier ($1.3M). Only one baby race under his belt.
9 DRIBBLING ($35,000 – LEX) Dam earned over $844k. There is upside in his pedigree but improvement is required to contend here.
10 SEVERUS HANOVER ($20,000 – HBG) Comes from the family of Spellbound Hanover ($962k). Must stay trotting this time. Has speed.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 4-8-2-5
H Horse Comment
1 CRAZED N LINDY This was published prior to his race on Tuesday, so check that mile. Prior was just 1 for 11. Likely needs to improve.
1A LINDY’S TRU GRIT Winner of that last mile is in The Hambletonian. This colt has some ability and the speed to overcome the wide post.
2 BLUTO Thought he might be entered in the Hambo after his July 6th win. If he can trot under 1:53 again, he will be extremely tough.
3 TEXT WINNER His last mile was better and that could be a sing he is starting to turn the corner. Still, catches a very tough field here.
4 SMOOTHER RIDE He was OK last week finishing behind 3 horses entered in The Hambo. Off that last mile, he figures to contend here.
5 MAJOR ATHENS He has been racing OK of late, but connections had to be thinking Hambo after his 2YO season. He is a top player here.
6 AMALFI COAST Coming off back to back wins as this gelding is on the improve. He is getting a test for class in this field. Tough call.
7 ME AND CINDERELLA Earned a minor stakes win last time, but was well overmatched when facing similar 2 starts back. Will need more.
8 MY MAN CAN Added Lasix and earned a solid victory. Team Miller was probably thinking Hambo after his 2YO season as well. Player.
9 FICO Raced well in the Yonkers Trot, but was also the beneficiary of several breaks. He has the toughest of the draw as well. Tough call.
10 VALLEY OF SIN Added hobbles for that qualifier and is coming off back to back breaks. His prior form was solid. Second tier is tricky.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 3-9-1-2
H Horse Comment
1 CURTSY HANOVER She has been racing well in some tough races. The winner two back is in The Hambo Oaks. Must be included.
2 TRUE VALENTINE Another that has been doing good work on the racetrack lately. Enters this off a strong win. A logical contender.
3 TRUE DAY DREAM I don’t know if I have ever seen her put forth a bad effort. Think Gingras opted off the better filly in here. My pick.
4 SOUTHWIND COCOA Tried The Hambo Oaks, but was a cut below in there. This field didn’t exactly come up easy. Must improve.
5 DRINK THE WINE She has been OK lately and her 2 starts at Pocono put her in the mix here. Adds value to the bottom of exotics.
6 OMNIPOTENT She is entering this off a nice win, but this is going to be a much tougher task. Will need her very best to win this.
7 SHEENA’S SHADOW She does own a victory here and it was fairly impressive. She is facing a much tougher assignment here though.
8 MISS STEELE Her form went wrong at a bad time as she was gearing up for The Hambo Oaks. She is a risky play at a shorter price.
9 LADY BROADWAY She faced some very tough older horses last time and breaks at Yonkers I typically dismiss. A major contender.
10 RARING TO GO S She is going to get away dead last in here and while we have seen her fly through the stretch, this will be tougher.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 4-6-8-1
H Horse Comment
1 RAVEN VICTORY Think connections had their eyes on The Hambo at one point. He has the ability to be a major factor in this field.
2 BIZZARO LINDY Went to print prior to that NYSS start, so make note of that. Colt has not shown up with his best effort just yet.
3 BROMANCE HANOVER That was a breakthrough performance last time. Obviously, this is going to be much tougher this time.
4 EXEMPLAR He continues to race well, despite the defeat last time. He is versatile and will be a factor from start to finish here.
5 BROADWAY PRINCE Gelding has tackled some of the very best of this 3YO crop. He has a shot to take a move forward here.
6 BLOODSTOCKSHALLTAB He was a solid third behind a major Hambletonian contender in Spider Blue Chip two starts back. Contender.
7 SHOW TICKET Not a bad mile last time at The Meadows. Shows a couple of races that would make him a contender here. Player.
8 HERE’S JOHNNY Continues to race well and this field might fit him well. Figures to arrive late on the scene. I will be using him a bit.
9 CRYSTAL PHENOM His form has been in and out lately. I do think he has the speed to overcome the draw. A pace factor at least.
10 DEADLIEST CATCH Really liked what I saw from this colt last year. That said, he is a bit late arriving to the 3YO party. Tough read.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 2-7-3-1
H Horse Comment
1 ROSIE DE VIE ($60,000 – LEX) This is a full-sister to Dial Or No Dial ($1.6M). Coming off a sick scratch. That Ocean mile looks good.
2 I NEED HOTSTUFF ($107,000 – HBG) She has been racing in the tough NJSS and is getting a bit of class relief here. Can improve.
3 MY LADY DAY ($75,000 – LEX) Was a factor in the NJSS final and did not race poorly. This should be a softer spot for her. Player.
4 MAGNIFIQUE ($4,000 – LEX) She improved with the class drop last time which is a positive sign. This is going to be a bit tougher.
5 ARROYA BLUE CHIP ($7,000 – MORRIS) A kin to 5 six-figure earners and her dam made over $500k. Still needs to improve a bit.
6 NATIVE HALO (No Sale Info) Dam was a six-figure earner and comes from the family of Shady Character ($1.2M). Solid pedigree.
7 ACT NOW ($40,000 – LEX-SEL) Comes from the family of the great Artiscape ($1.4M). She has looked the part on the racetrack so far.
8 DOTTIE MAJOR ($8,000 – HBG) Has some good ones in her family including Farouk Hanover ($447k). Exits an extremely fast mile.
9 WITHMEWITHOUT ME (Homebred) A kin to 3 six-figure earners. This filly has disappointed in her first pair of starts. Needs more.
10 CUT A DEAL ($25,000 – HBG) She was a solid 3rd in the NJSS Final. Has the speed to overcome the draw, but loses Pierce. Maybe.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 8-1-6-4
H Horse Comment
1 PERFECT ALLIANCE Season started off on a solid note in the Empire Breeders Classic Elim. She was a bit better last time. Possible.
2 SILVER CREDIT She is a consistent check-getter and raced well in the NJSS. Has added Lasix recently and figures to be a late factor.
3 KIJAFA This filly has found a new gear in her last pair of starts. She gets a major test for class this time around, but is rather sharp.
4 DÉJÀ VU TOO She has been in tough late and really had no chance against Bee A Magician. Her previous effort makes her a contender.
5 CLEMENTINE DREAM Only two lifetime starts to her credit so I have to believe that this is asking a lot. She would surprise me in here.
6 CUPCAKE Her last mile was solid and the filly that beat her raced in the first division of The Duenna. Must be left in the conversation.
7 VIDA DE VIE Recent form has been rather dull and at this point it would take a form reversal for her to contend in here. A longshot.
8 HERCULOTTE HANOVER I like how she has started up this year, granted she has been facing softer. This is the lighter division, though.
9 VINTAGE OAKS Coming off a sick scratch and a 3 week layoff which is a slight concern for me. She is 0 for 7 on the year. Tricky read.
10 TONATO OF LOVE Post 10 is going to be tough for her. She will need to find some early speed. She is also prone to the miscue.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 1-3-4-5
H Horse Comment
1 OPULENT YANKEE (Homebred) Comes from the family of Oolong ($744k). Added the trotting hobbles and it helped. Contender.
2 SKATES N PLATES (Homebred) Pedigree is fairly modest and he has not been racing that well so far. Will need to improve.
3 CHOCOLATE DAY ($17,000 – LEX) He made an unfortunate break in the NJSS Final, but rebounded well in her next out. Player.
4 DAVE BRIGGS ($27,000 – LEX) A kin to Lhasa Muscles ($457k). Last start was not bad and he figures to be a factor once again.
5 RESOLVE ($115,000 – HBG) A kin to six-figure earners. This colt has shown speed on both ends of the mile at times. Logical contender.
6 SHIFT INTO GLIDE ($250,000 – HBG) Dam is a half-sister to Four Starz Robro ($637k). His career has gotten off to a sharp start.
7 ANGELS RANSOM (Homebred) Last pair of efforts are not particularly encouraging. Previous form was solid, though. Maybe.
8 SCACCO MATTO (Homebred) A kin to a Hambletonian starter in Banco Solo. Regressed into a break in his last start. Tough call.
9 RAGAZZO DOLCE (Homebred) Still waiting for this colt to race back to his pedigree. Cannot endorse until I see a form reversal.
10 MASTER KEMP ($50,000 – LEX) A kin to a six-figure earner. Comes from the family of Waikiki Beach ($344k). Has shown some talent.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 1-2-7-8
H Horse Comment
1 DANCING FOR MONEY ($35,000 – HBG) Dam was a solid race mare earning over $400k. This filly has been off to a great start. Logical.
2 PACIFIC WINDS K (Homebred) She really had a rough go of it in the Merrie Annabelle. She is much better than that. Rebounds.
3 LADY VIOLET ($125,000 – HBG) Dam is a kin to Personal Style, a Hambo Oaks winner. Off to a slow start but the pedigree is there.
4 STEFFI S (Homebred) Sports a somewhat modest pedigree and is yet to trot fast enough to win this. Looking for improvement.
5 ELLA TEEL ($23,000 – LEX) A kin to a six-figure earner. Clearly has some ground to make up on the best of these. Longshot for now.
6 IVORY PEARL ($135,000 – LEX) Dam was a star, earning close to $1.3 Million. Added the trotting hobbles last time out. Some upside.
7 SOUTH CAROLINA ($50,000 – LEX) Made a break last time but her prior form was solid. She packs some early speed and will contend.
8 TAGALONG KENDRA (Homebred) A kin to a six-figure earned. She has a start under her belt. There is some room to improve.
9 DYNAMITE HONEY ($80,000 – HBG) This is a half-sister to the Hambo Oaks favorites Bee A Magician. Pedigree may show up soon.
10 GODDESS ($110,000 – HBG) Dam earned nearly $300k. She looked much better last time at Vernon. Just has to overcome the post.
13 Thirteenth Race Entries
Picks: 1-8-3-10
H Horse Comment
1 RAMONA DISOMMA She looks good in this spot. Just caught a buzz-saw last time in Abrokenart Hanover. Will be a major factor.
2 MATT’S SMOKIN LIL Her recent form just has not been sharp. She will need to turn things around in order to contend here.
3 WHERETHEGIRLSARE This filly has some real ability and even though she is a 3YO tackling older, she will be a tough customer.
4 MISS ANNIE J Exits the same race as Ramona so I echo my thoughts for that mare. She has speed and is likely to improve.
5 ALWAYS LOVE ME This mare has been facing some tough customers lately and draws well here. Might work out a trip from here.
6 CAROLINES CULLEN N Her record in 2013 now stands at 0 for 18, so it is tough to recommend her on top. Looks like a longshot.
7 SAM SWIFTY She was good two starts back and also exits the Abrokenart Hanover race. She can jump up and surprise sometimes.
8 MY IDEAL Found the spot that enabled her to earn a victory last time. She now moves up the class ladder. I think she can contend.
9 CHARTREUSE HANOVER Overcame a break to make the lead last time before tiring in the stretch. She is 0 for 25 on the year.
10 SARANDON BLUE CHIP Things did not work out last time, but this mare can jump up with a big mile anytime. Watch the tote board.