• Week Of 3/4 - 3/10
  • SU4
  • MO5
  • TU6
  • WE7
  • TH08
  • FR09
  • SA10
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, March 10, 2012

1 First Race Entries
Picks: 9-4-7-6
H Horse Comment
1 IDEAL SPIRIT Just has not returned to the races very sharp and I’ll be waiting for any signs of improvement before I consider.
2 LETS GETIT STARTED Hard to believe this is the same horse right now that paced sub-1:50 at Lexington. Qualifier was dull. Not yet.
3 THOMAS J Certainly brings speed to the table, but does not always finish his miles as strong as he starts them. Very tough Nw6500.
4 ON THE RADAR Racing well at the level above this, so that alone makes him a contender here. Has speed too. Very dangerous.
5 TARVER HANOVER Just nipped in the shadow of the wire last time. Note, that race was not as strong as this. Player, but demand value.
6 KEYSTONE RAPTOR Easily defeated softer shipping down from Canada. Race is so tough, he is not even strongest on the class hike.
7 BIG BAM RAY Speaking of strongest on the class hike, wow! That was a compelling effort. Now he gets a much stronger test. Possibility.
8 JIMMIE HANOVER Biggest class drop of the field, but he has been well-beaten lately. Won in 1:52.3 at YR earlier. Which horse shows up?
9 REGIL TIGER Appears to be on the slow and steady improve. Again, this is not a typical Nw6500, but he is still very much a contender.
10 TIREMAN Now just 2 for his last 37 and his recent form has been dull. Another class dropper in search of answers. More questions for me.
2 Second Race Entries
Picks: 9-8-5-2
H Horse Comment
1 LOCO FOR COCOA Lightly raced colt overcame the wide draw and outraced his odds at YR. Racing himself into shape. Maybe for a part.
2 ROCK THREE TIMES Last start was a decent try. Using that as a gauge along with his tries in the Trendsetter, he’s a player here.
3 BLUES AT MIDNIGHT He just could not get involved last time from another wide draw. Post improvement and 2/18 effort was decent.
4 JIN DANDY Flashed surprising late foot behind a well meant winner last time. If he continues to improve, he is offers interesting value.
5 WOOP D DO BAZZLE Looks like a recent private purchase by Super Bowl winning connections. Nice effort at Dover. Contender for win.
6 RAJI’S BLUE LINE Yet to do his best racing, and the winless streak has now reached 11. Not sold on his chances here.
7 BIGTIME RUSH Given some time to regroup. Sent off at long odds in all 4 of his M1 tries. Price will be shorter now. He wouldn’t shock me.
8 OH MY JOEPA Has now put together a couple of good tries to start his M1 career. Finished just behind #2 in last try. Good price too.
9 ONE THROUGH TEN He showed serious talent at times last year, enough to make him the one to beat in this field. All systems go.
10 E STREET PLAN Similar to #9, he showed some ability as a 2YO. Like the improvement from one QUA to the next. Could be ready.
3 Third Race Entries
Picks: 9-3-6-7
H Horse Comment
1 A MAJOR HAZE Really has only one sub-par effort so far, and that occurred racing on the lead from post 10. That’s not his game. Player.
2 NO SURRENDERS The negative is I don’t like the 3/32 record. The positive is he is clearly racing himself into shape. Interesting at a price.
3 BREAKIN THE LAW Has been on quite a roll lately. Gets a nice test tonight from #6. One of the two the rest are chasing. Logical player.
4 HELLO HOT SHOT Making first start in nearly 6 months. Showed improvement in that QUA, but not enough to be ready first off the bench.
5 NO FOREIGN XCHANGE Last qualifier was just even. See how E Street Plan did in the 2nd, too. Think he needs a start. Watching for now.
6 TAKE A WALK Beaten fave in the Trendsetter gets a new challenge tonight in #3. Speed and class drop make him an obvious contender.
7 BETTORS GLASS Showed up with a much improved effort in his 2nd start off the layoff. A duplicate of that try makes him a player here.
8 MORALITY Just has not returned sharp after an 8-win campaign last year. Lack of early speed puts him at a disadvantage too. Not yet.
9 IDEAL CHAMP Any 2 year old that can pace 1:52.3 on a 5/8th’s oval has talent. Needed last start. Has every right to improve. Value play.
10 UPFRONTOUTTHEDOOR Nice try last time, and almost pulled off the 11-1 upset. This field is even tougher, so he needs to step up again.
4 Fourth Race Entries
Picks: 3-6-4-1
H Horse Comment
1 WARNING ZONE A 1-2 finish here would already send him past last year’s earnings. Nothing to knock about him. Solid every start.
2 GIDDY UP DELIGHT He is certainly sharp right now, but this is a major test for class. I need to see one here before I can recommend.
3 BLATANTLY GOOD Very impressive winning the Invite last time. Another showdown with #’s 1 & 6, plus new faces. Obvious contender.
4 ATOCHIA Sprinted home in that QUA. Is he ready for his best first time out off just on QUA? Could be prepping for the Levy with this.
5 ONE MORE LAUGH The extra QUA may give him an edge over #4. Double millionaire kicks off a stakes latent season. Another prepping?
6 GOLDEN RECEIVER Came up a bit short after the layoff. Does he get back on track here? We know where he will be turning for home.
5 Fifth Race Entries
Picks: 2-3-1-5
H Horse Comment
1 RISK MANAGEMENT Stole last win with a 59.3 middle half. Now gets some post improvement too. Obvious contender right back.
1A INTRIGUED ROYALLY First over against entry mate last time. Would expect him to look for cover in this spot. Good compliment to #1
2 ART Z Just could not sprint home with the winner given the soft fractions. Like the improvement he is showing. Take a shot at a price.
3 FOOL’S GOLD Beaten just a neck by a well rated winner. Bier puts Tetrick up now. Likely to take money. Should prove dangerous.
4 FREDDY DAY HANOVER Made a break trying to get to the lead off the gate. Should offer a similar price tonight. Not without a chance.
5 BOI Like many, he got caught in behind the slow pace. Obviously has a right to improve, especially with an ideal draw. Another contender.
6 SOUTHERN SPORT Could not have been any better in first start back. But what happened in the last two? Not sure we can expect more.
7 A J CORBELLI Raced well in his lone start in Canada. He has won here, and in a fast time before. Did miss Round 1. Still, he’s a player.
8 TOUCH THE ROCK Yet to find his best in 2012. Catches the widest draw and in a tough field like this, I think he is up against it.
6 Sixth Race Entries
Picks: 9-1-8-3
H Horse Comment
1 FITZ’S Z TAM Raced decent enough against better when last seen here. Also got a nice win at YR, and now drops out of the Open. I like.
2 STRANGE HANOVER Still think the field he beat was a cut below this bunch. Against this group, he needs his absolute best.
3 HICKORY HORACE Good try last time, getting beat by a very sharp horse who race in the 4th tonight. Obvious contender right back.
4 WAYWARD SON Has not been at his best the last three starts and this field is particularly tough. Not sold on his chances in this spot.
5 KEEP GOING Gets a drop in class, but he raced at this level on 2/18 without any success. Likely longshot. Looking elsewhere.
6 MONEY TWITCH A Well beaten last time against the level above this. Form at Yonkers was solid. He could wake up in this race.
7 PICTURE ME Seems to have tailed off in the last pair of starts and I don’t think this is the right spot to expect a form reversal.
8 TUNEARIFFIC With the exception of one break at Yonkers this guy has been razor sharp. Cannot dismiss 8YO who can win again.
9 DROP RED Continues to slide down the class ladder while improving. That makes him very dangerous here. Expect a solid try. The pick.
10 BETTOR DESIGN Put together two good efforts, but last time was a complete non-factor. I cannot endorse off that last race.
7 Seventh Race Entries
Picks: 5-3-1-7
H Horse Comment
1 VALENTINO First step on the road to what connections hope is a big season. He’ll be at the Open level eventually. Nice starting point.
2 GRAMS LEGACY He may have been best in that last effort, as he could not have kicked home any faster. Love the way he has returned!
3 FUTURE CHARACTER Seems to have one move. Lately they have been saving that move to the end of the mile. Best tactics for him.
4 BLUE CLAW Veteran has tailed off again. His form will go in and out all year, and it is nearly impossible to predict when it comes back.
5 RHOMBUS Finally, he gets the kind of post he can do his best work from. Expect a trip similar to 2/25. Steps up, but I expect him to rally.
6 ARTIST’S VIEW All out to hold on over #’s 2&3 last time. Now he tackles those same foes and a much tougher group overall. Tougher.
7 MELVYN Has been doing good work against some tough company. Still searching for that elusive win, this is a spot he can get it. Using.
8 GD AIRLINER Make no mistake, this is a nice horse and the turnaround is coming eventually. If you think it’s tonight, you will be rewarded!
9 REAL SPECIAL Raced well in his 2012 debut, but what has happened since? Last week he never got involved and stopped. Passing.
10 BOLERO ANDREW He has been pacing some fast miles, and maybe he doesn’t like the small track. Maybe give him one more chance.
8 Eigth Race Entries
Picks: 9-10-6-3
H Horse Comment
1 OL’ MAN RIVER His race has been the same each week. Stacked up with too much to do, kicks home in 27. Can Romano get him closer?
2 AWESOME ARMBRO N See how Smokin N Grinin did in the 2nd on Fri. to get a gauge on Allard shippers. Wild card in group. Intriguing.
3 MASTER STROKE Another with one move. In 2 of his last 3, it was timed well. When moved to the lead, he is not as effective. Time it well!
4 PAN GRAD Form has moved in and out since arriving. At his best, he can contend for a share, and off a dull race he should offer value.
5 JOE PALZ Off about 5 months, and just one slow qualifier is not enough to have him fully cranked. He needs a start.
6 HANKS KID Love his speed, question his stamina. Notice he finishes underneath 4 times as often as he wins. Use him accordingly.
7 TAKEMEWITHYOU Has not been at his best at this claiming level. It seems he needs a softer spot to do his best work at this point.
8 BEST MAGIC A little confused by the month off and slow QUA. Can forgive the dull try vs. tougher. Back in the right spot. Mixed feelings.
9 CAMBASSADOR Avoids Western Trademark this time, and that might be all he needs. Strictly the one to beat and will be bet accordingly.
10 COBALT MAN Made 2 moves to the lead and it did not work. Now has the far outside. Needs to time his move better. Can improve.
9 Ninth Race Entries
Picks: 3-5-6-1
H Horse Comment
1 VOICE OF TRUTH Added Lasix and had a spurt for about 3/16th’s of a mile before flattening out near the wire. Can improve. Maybe.
2 PENCE HANOVER That was a rather dull try last time. Gapped cover and really didn’t do much in the stretch. He has tailed off.
3 ALEX BULLVILLE His final ¾’s last week was 1:22.2. That’s impressive. May only need to stay closer tonight and he could be a factor.
4 STONEBRIDGE WISH Thought his first M1 effort was one he could build on, but instead he regressed against softer. Still waiting.
5 ART FOR ARTS SAKE Yes, he is exiting a 1:51.4 mile at YR. You just don’t see that often. His 2/11 mile here was OK. Can compete.
6 HEART OF ROCKNROLL That last was just too much for him. This seems like a more manageable spot. Elusive win may be within reach.
7 TRIPLE MAJOR Goes off the claim for Alagna into a condition event. Interesting move. A good effort would not surprise me at all.
8 FINANCE THE MASTER Drop and pop last time. But, now it’s right back up the class ladder and this will be much tougher. Not sold.
9 MCCLELLAND Gets a bit of class relief and this is one of the horses I am waiting for a big effort. It’s coming. Hard to predict when.
10 MCDANA N His last effort was OK. But, it was from the pole at YR. His try here was not up to par. Taking a wait and see approach.
10 Tenth Race Entries
Picks: 2-1-9-3
H Horse Comment
1 ROCKIN GLASS Loved him last week and he was solid. Can he beat ‘Oscar? New pilot tonight and he needs his absolute best. Possibility.
2 OSCAR OSCAR Could not have been more impressive so far and at this point it is going to take something unforeseen to get him beat.
3 LAGUNA BEACH First Round winner has not been quite as sharp since things got tougher. He needs to step it up to win here.
4 IN KENNY’S HONOR Clearly has not been able to duplicate that Rd 1 effort and has been no match for Oscar. Needs much more.
5 ALASTAIR HANOVER Was not able to get to ‘Glass and has yet to tackle ‘Oscar. Maybe the “new shooter” angle can work? Minor award.
6 FLOAT BLUE CHIP His form has gone in the wrong direction as the series has progressed. He needs to pick things up to compete here.
7 TYREE Took some wise guy money on the driver change last time and he finished 3rd, granted beaten almost 9 lengths. Outsider.
8 BLADE RUNNER Added Lasix last time and didn’t improve. At the mercy of the trip. Looks like a longshot in the Final.
9 COLONEL MOFFIT They could have gone around again, he was never getting to ‘Oscar. How does he make up that ground tonight?
10 JK KINAHURRA No speed from the widest draw. Loses Andy to stablemate ‘Oscar. Trails early, passes a couple late. Longshot.
11 Eleventh Race Entries
Picks: 8-9-6-10
H Horse Comment
1 THE ADMIRAL His recent form has not been good. But, the last time he raced at this level he was a good 2nd. Right spot. Value play.
2 BERRY BERRY FAST Returned with an improved effort last time. Has proven he can put together back to back solid tries. Possibility.
3 ELUSIVE REWARD Well beaten in that QUA, pacing only 1:59, granted on a slow track. But has been off 10 months. Needs a start.
4 POWER SURGE Just has not been sharp since starting his 2012 campaign. In search of answers, but more questions at this point.
5 GUNMANS BANDIT Similar form to #4. Connections continued to slide him down the ladder without success. Needs a form reversal.
6 ACTIVATOR Took a start to get acclimated to the track. These field has some question marks in it, and he can take advantage of that.
7 NF INDEPENDENCE Did he just not like being on the front at YR? It’s possible. That race is too bad to be true. Beat these on 2/18.
8 THE LIFE BOAT Normally, he is a cut below this level. But this field did not come up strong, and he is in good form. Can jump up and win.
9 DID IT AGAIN Scratched sick last time, but he wired a tougher $20k claimer before that. He is the favorite and the one to beat here.
10 IRISH ELITIST He has raced himself into shape and is an obvious contender here. Post is no problem (see last race). Cannot dismiss.
12 Twelfth Race Entries
Picks: 9-5-2-3
H Horse Comment
1 THE BAD DEPUTY Seems to be the type that can round out the bottom of the dime supers. I do feel that a win is beyond is reach.
2 JOANS BAD BOY Dropping from the Rags to Riches has produced multiple winners. This spot has the potential for another. Using.
3 DA VISION OF ART Drolet sneaks him in for this condition that he fits by a mere $188. Always an interesting angle. Anticipate good effort.
4 ROCKNROLL JEWEL Which horse shows up? The one that rallied boldly on 2/11, or the non-factor from last time? Should offer value.
5 MCSOCKS Was favored against better last time which could make him favored again. Looks like a spot he can do damage. Must use.
6 ART AT HEART Again he took money and again he stopped. Fool me once, shame on me. Twice, shame on you. What’s three times?
7 GAELIC THUNDER Been a popular commodity at the claim box. Been away for a few weeks and shows up for a condition. Interesting.
8 HARVARD’S Z TAM It’s safe to say his 2012 season has not gotten off to a great start. Has to show something before I can endorse.
9 SKY TANTRUM This is a pretty sizeable class drop and his effort on 2/18 is good enough to win this. Similar to #5. Tough to dismiss.
10 SHOW ME BIG SLICK See how Big Bam Ray did in the opener. Feel this may be a tougher spot. Will have a lot of horses to pass.