01/03/2013 1:46PM

Meadowlands: Qualifying Insider and Horses to Watch 1/3/13

Derick Giwner
New Meadowlands Grandstand (1-3-13)

Starting today and for the foreseeable future, I’ll be covering all the qualifying action at the Meadowlands. Each week you can expect a report of the best performances and some sneaky-good efforts which could lead to some good prices in the coming weeks. I will also provide my Horses to Watch from the prior week’s live action to give you a slight edge when the pari-mutuel races get underway each Thursday to Saturday. Finally, I'll post a weekly update of the construction of the new Meadowlands grandstand.

The horses took to the track Thursday morning in brisk 28-degree temperatures for qualifying action. Winds were mostly calm and judges were allowing a one second time allowance.

APOLLO BLUE CHIP made his second qualifying appearance since last May and will appear to have turned in a “no rally” type mile on paper, but was pretty much on his own and seemed to be capable of slightly more. If his breaking problems are behind him (and he looked okay today), he could be worth a look.

MYSTICAL ESCAPADE was trying to time the gate and had her nose a length or so off the wings. Driver Ron Pierce waited with her until the final turn and never really asked the daughter of Valley Victor while she trotted home under her own power with plenty in reserve.

CONNERY BLUE CHIP made a quarter move to the front and opened up on the field under a mild drive. It looked like they were clearly getting this one ready to win when he returns.

TIGER IN THE TANK saved ground and was on his own for most of the stretch while appearing to have some sneaky pace.

SHOW ME UP went to the front and posted a sharp mile in 1:52 1/5. He looked quite lively and seemed to have more for next time.

ARTHUR & VETO HANOVER finished one-two in a solid 1:52 3/5 mile. Both seemed ready for action and could be interesting in the right class.

Horses to Watch

Friday, December 28

R SAM (B2) – Was shuffled to last and lost any chance.

DON’T KNOW CHIP (A2) – Took a ton of air and hung in there gamely despite the uncovered trip.

SLEAZY DOES IT (B1) – Saved ground and finished up evenly. She could be interesting at the B2 or C1 level.

UPFRONT COSMO (C2) – Was stuck in traffic in the bulky field. He found some room a bit more than halfway down the lane and finished up mildly.

Saturday, December 29

TOM PAINE (B1) – Sat at the back, had to wait more than half the stretch to find room to the outside and finished willingly enough. He could be interesting with some class relief.