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2016 clement l. hirsch stakes preview entries and odds


The Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes is on tap for this Saturday, July 30 from Del Mar Race Track in the great state of California. A purse of $300,000 will be on the line for fillies and mares three years old and upward willing to go 1 1/16 miles on Del Mar's dirt track.

A short field of just five will take to the track in the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes - race 8 on Del Mar's Saturday card. Post time is 5:40 PM. Let's take a peek into the past performances of all five combatants for this Grade 1 stakes - a "Win and You're In" Breeders' Cup Challenge race for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff on November 3 at Santa Anita.

2016 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes Race Preview at Del Mar Race Track

Beholder - superstar defending champion and three time Eclipse Award winner - 2015 Champion Older Mare, 2013 Champion 3 Year Old Filly and 2012 Champion 2 Year Old Filly - 10 time Grade 1 victor has 22 career starts with an incredible 17 wins and three second place finishes - the only times she hasn't finished first or second came in her debut and a fourth place finish in the Grade 1 Ogden Phipps Stakes over two years ago. She enters on a terrific eight race win streak - the Grade 1 Vanity Mile June 4, the Grade 3 Adoration Stakes May 8 after 7 1/2 months away, the Grade 1 Zenyatta Stakes (for the third straight year) September 26, the Grade 1 Pacific Classic against the boys by 8 1/4 lengths August 22, the 2015 Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes by an incredible seven lengths August 1, the 2015 Adoration Stakes, the minor Santa Lucia Stakes in April and the 2015 Zenyatta Stakes in September. She won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies in 2012 and the Breeders' Cup Distaff in 2013 but has just 10 starts since - nine wins. Beholder is a three-time Eclipse Award winner for a reason - she is mighty impressive and is the obvious one to catch Saturday. Gary Stevens will once again be in the saddle again from the rail.

Stellar Wind - John Sadler Eclipse Award winner as 2015 Champion 3 Year Old Filly was last seen running second behind Beholder after a seven month layoff in the Grade 1 Vanity Mile June 4. That result followed a good second in the Breeders' Cup Distaff and a tidy two race win streak- the Grade 3 Torrey Pines Stakes at Del Mar August 30 and the Grade 2 Summertime Oaks at Santa Anita June 20. She also had a troubled fourth at 3-1 odds in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks May 1, 2015, a terrific win in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks April 4 of last year and an upset 2 3/4 length victory in the Grade 3 Santa Ysabel Stakes at 7-1 odds February 28m 2015. She now has five wins, two seconds and a third place finish in nine career starts - as competitive as they come when healthy. Victor Espinoza has been tabbed to ride as Stellar Wind tries to flip the script on Beholder from gate 2.

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The Dream - Chilean bred Jerry Hollendorfer trained filly placed in seven of eight starts at home - five wins and two runner-up finishes and makes her North American debut Saturday. Last time out was a career worst effort - an eleventh in the Group 1 El Derby back in February after a Group 2 score in December and consecutive runner-up finishes in Group races at home. She also posted consecutive Group 1 wins last summer in her native land. The Dream was a force before her dud last time out and will be out to rebound while making a name for herself on North American soil. Martin Garcia rides from post 3.

Divina Comedia - French bred Simon Callaghan trained mare has four wins, four seconds and three third place finishes in 18 career starts. She made her stakes/group debut in June and finished fifth in the Grade 1 Vanity Mile and followed that with a nice win last time out in the minor Southern Truce Stakes July 3 - both at Santa Anita. She's also had an Allowance Optional Claiming score at Los Alamitos April 24, a fourth, a second and three straight off-the-board finishes in Allowance Optional Claiming races. Divina Comedia has been just OK against lesser competition and chases her first graded stakes victory from post 5. Joe Talamo gets the call.

Off the Road - Brazilian bred Richard Mandella trained mare posted three wins and three second place finishes in seven starts at home including a Group 1 race two years ago. She hasn't been all that great in five North American starts - an eighth last time out in an Allowance Optional Claiming June 19, a fourth in the minor Mizdirection Stakes May 21, an OK second in the Grade 3 Las Ceinegas Stakes in April and a fourth in an Allowance in March. Off the Road has placed in just one of her last six starts overall and looks to be in over her head in this one. Martin Pedroza has the mount from gate 4.

Atp australian open day 12 nadal a value favourite to set up veterans final




Federer into the final after epic Swiss battle


Thursday's ATP preview recorded another winner for us as the Roger Federer ousted Stan Wawrinka in five sets to reach the Australian final, although Federer made it as difficult for himself as possible, throwing away a two-set lead following Wawrinka's medical timeout on his knee.


Following this, Federer has shortened into [1.98] favourite in the Australian Open Mens Winner market, with the two remaining semi-finalists, Rafa Nadal [2.64] and Grigor Dimitrov [8.2] still needing to win two matches to take the title.


Based on these odds, I would expect Nadal to be a slight favourite over Federer in the markets for the final, while if Dimitrov gets through, Federer would be a solid favourite to gain an 18th Grand Slam title. However, the nature of victory for either player would have some bearing on this, particularly given Federer will have an extra rest day to recover from his exertions against his countryman.


Nadal a value favourite to get past Dimitrov


Federer will know his opponent at around mid-day UK time on Friday, with the second semi-final between Nadal and Dimitrov scheduled for an 08:30 UK time start tomorrow, and Nadal, at the time of writing, is available as a [1.43] favourite, with Dimitrov the underdog at [3.25].


My model actually established that the Spaniard is value even at these relatively short prices, pricing Nadal at [1.35], and there were several elements which formed this model price.


The first area was pretty straightforward - Nadal is still the better hard court player, despite Dimitrov's 10-0 record this season.


On hard courts in the last 12 months, Nadal has held serve 83.5% of the time, a touch lower than Dimitrov's 84.0%, but on return, there is little comparison, with Nadal breaking opponents a world-class 31.9% of the time. Dimitrov's 24.4% is barely above the ATP mean.


Even when we look at the superb record of Dimitrov this season, it is eclipsed by Nadal. Assessing 2017 in isolation, Nadal has faced 0.26 break points per game on serve, to Dimitrov's 0.47, whilst Nadal has created 0.71 break point opportunities per return game, compared to Dimitrov's 0.62.


Key point mean-reversion likely for Dimitrov


The area where Dimitrov has thrived this year so far is on key points. He is currently 9.7% above expectation for saving break points on his serve (based on service points won expectation) and 3.4% above expectation for converting break points on return (based on return points won expectation). It is absolutely impossible to run at these rates in the long-term, and it is as good as certain that he will mean-revert in the not too distant future.


The second area which had an impact on model pricing was the dominant 7-1 head-to-head lead that Nadal enjoys over Dimitrov. While Dimitrov won the last outing, at Beijing in October, it is fair to say that the Spaniard wasn't in the best physical condition at the time, and this match-up is likely to be very different from that perspective.


Career trends favour a comfortable Nadal victory


Nadal, when priced from [1.30] to [1.65] on hard court in Grand Slams, has won eight of 11 career matches, and all his wins have been by dominant margins, with every victory coming via a minimum of six games.


This gives us options on the game handicap, with Nadal -3.5 games being available at [1.68] on the Exchange. For those a little more ambitious, Nadal -5.5 games is available at 11/8 with the Sportsbook (Alternative Game Handicap 2) and this can also be considered.


Recommended Bets

Back Rafa Nadal -3.5 games to beat Grigor Dimitrov at [1.68]


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