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2016 san diego handicap preview entries and odds

Del Mar Race Track in Del Mar, California will play host to the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap on Saturday, July 23. A purse of $200,000 will be on the line for horses three years old and upward willing to race 1 1/16 miles on Del Mar's dirt track.

A field of seven including the fabulous California Chrome will line up in the San Diego Handicap - race 9 on Del Mar's Saturday schedule. Post time is 6:10 PM. Here is a look into the past performances of all seven combatants in this Grade 2 stakes - six of which will likely be chasing Chrome.

2016 San Diego Handicap Race Preview at Del Mar Race Track

California Chrome - two-time Eclipse Award winning Art Sherman trained 2014 Horse of the Year had a terrific six race win streak early that year and looked absolutely untouchable - the Preakness Stakes, a four length win in the Kentucky Derby, the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby, the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes by 7 1/4 lengths and two minor stakes scores. But he stumbled his next two starts - a sixth in the 2014 Grade 2 Pennsylvania Derby September 20 followed a fourth in the Belmont Stakes - a race that could have made him the first Triple Crown winner in decades. He had just one start in 2015 - a runner-up finish in last year's Group 1 Dubai World Cup at Meydan. He has been untouchable in 2016 however - a dominant win by 3 3/4 lengths in the $10 million Group 1 Dubai World Cup in March followed a Handicap score also at Meydan February 25 and an impressive win in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes at Santa Anita January 9. California Chrome now has 21 career starts with 12 wins, three seconds and a third place finish and has won three straight ahead of this week. He looks as though he's back in stellar form, has evidently looked terrific in works leading up to Saturday (a bullet move July 16 on this track included) and will have regular rider Victor Espinoza aboard looking to make some more noise from gate 6. California Chrome is the 126 pound highweight and obvious favorite here.

Dortmund - was last seen winning the Grade 3 Native Diver Stakes by 4 1/2 lengths on this track November 28 for trainer Bob Baffert. Before that was another win in the minor Big Bear Stakes at Santa Anita in October, an OK fourth in the 2015 Preakness Stakes and a respectable third in the Kentucky Derby. He won his first six career starts before that including the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby April 4, 2015, by 1 1/4 lengths in gate-to-wire fashion in the Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes March 7, the Grade 3 Robert B. Lewis Stakes February 7, the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity, an Allowance Optional Claiming score by 7 3/4 lengths at Churchill Downs November 29 and a 4 3/4 length maiden score in his debut - at Santa Anita November 2, 2014. He now has eight wins and a third place finish in 10 career starts - incredible. Gary Stevens has been tabbed with knocking off the rust after eight months away and getting California Chrome's biggest challenger his third straight win from gate 2.

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Hard Aces - John Sadler trainee won the 2015 Gold Cup at Santa Anita in upset fashion but hasn't posted victory in nine starts since. He has been OK lately - a third last time out in the 2016 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 25 followed a respectable second behind Melatonin in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes here May 22, a disappointing seventh in the Grade 2 Charles Town Classic April 23, a decent second with an impressive 101 Beyer Speed Figure in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Handicap March 12, a fifth in the Grade 2 San Antonio Stakes February 6, a fourth in the Grade 2 San Pasqual Stakes January 9, a sixth in the Breeders' Cup Classic, a sixth in the Grade 1 Awesome Again Stakes September 26 and another disappointing sixth in the Grade 1 Pacific Classic at Del Mar August 22. Hard Aces now has six wins, five seconds and eight third place finishes in 32 career starts and has placed in just three of his last nine starts overall but three of four ahead of this week. Santiago Gonzales will be in the reins hoping for Hard Aces first win in over a year from the rail.

Win the Space - has three wins, a second and two third place finishes in 11 career starts for trainer George Papaprodromou. He enters off a very nice second at 24-1 odds in the Grade 1 Gold Cup at Santa Anita June 25, an Allowance Optional Claiming score May 15, a fourteenth place finish in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby, another Allowance Optional Claiming win October 25 and a seventh in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby September 6. He has been good in his last two starts and hopes to keep the upward trend going from the outside post 7 Saturday. Mike Smith rides.

Soi Phet - seventh place finisher in this race from 2014 won a couple of minor stakes races in 2014 and has been decent since. Last time out was a win in the minor McCann's Mojave Handicap at Santa Anita June 26 which followed three straight runner-up finishes including the minor Tiznow Stakes in May and the minor Bertrando Stakes at Los Alamitos in April. He has yet to place in three graded stakes tries but has certainly been competitive lately. He now has nine wins, six seconds and four third place finishes in 45 career starts and has been trending upward ahead of this week. Kent Desormeaux has been tabbed to ride from post 3.

Follow Me Crev - Vladimir Cerin trained gelding has five wins, three seconds and three third place finishes in 17 career starts and enters off a non threatening fifth in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes at Santa Anita May 22. Before that he looked very good and in fact was one of the favorites for the Santa Anita Handicap before an injury forced him out. He won four straight races before his most recent fifth - all Allowance races with the last one coming by 2 1/2 lengths here February 14. His only other graded stakes action results in a fourth place finish in the Grade 2 Los Alamitos Derby last July. Follow Me Crev has placed in six of his last seven starts overall and will be looking to bounce back after an uncharacteristic effort last time out. He tries for his first stakes win Saturday with Alonso Quinonez in the saddle from post 5.

Crittenden - Eoin Harty trained gelding won the minor P D J F Stakes at Indiana Grand last May and went on to a good second in the Grade 3 American Derby at Arlington in July. He struggled a bit after that - a fifth in the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes August 8 was followed by a fourth in the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby September 6 and a good bounce back win in the minor Let It Ride Stakes at Del Mar October 31. He didn't look good in his next three starts - a sixth in an Allowance at Golden Gate April 9 followed an eighth in the Grade 2 Mathis Brothers Mile in December and a twelfth in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby here November 28. Last time out was an OK second in the minor Oak Tree Handicap June 25. Crittenden has 15 career starts with four wins, two seconds and a third place finish and looks for his first graded stakes score in typically inconsistent form - from gate 4 with Martin Garcia in the irons.

European rugby champions cup northampton could struggle against in form leinster

Northampton v Leinster

Friday, 19:45

Live on BT Sport 2

Northampton's season has certainly not gone to plan so far with the Saints languishing down in ninth place in the Premiership. Six defeats from their opening ten games is not the form expected from the 2014 champions. But Jim Mallinder's side, who won their opening Champions Cup game at home to Montpellier, have disappointed on too many occasions including their 41-7 hammering at Castres in this competition.

Leinster should travel to England with plenty of confidence after an impressive run which has taken them up to second in the Pro 12 with only points difference keeping them off top spot. The three-time European champions have opened this season's tournament with a comfortable win over Castres and a 22-16 defeat in Montpellier.

Pool Four is shaping up to be one of the tightest groups in the competition and both Leinster and Northampton know the significance of a win this weekend. The Saints have come out on the wrong end of too many narrow defeats during this campaign - five coming by no more than 11 points - whereas Leinster have won nine of their 12 matches in all competitions this season. Five of those victories have been by up to 12 points and the visitors have the quality and experience to claim another at Franklin's Gardens.

Recommended Bet

Back Leinster to win by 1-12 points (Sportsbook) @ 7/5

Munster v Leicester

Saturday, 15:15

Live on BT Sport 2

Munster are looking strong both on the domestic and European front with the two-time champions bidding for a return to their former glories. The Irish side are top of the Pro 12 after winning eight of their first ten league games. Munster have only played one pool game so far but made a promising start after a confident 38-17 win over Glasgow Warriors.

Leicester reached the semi-finals of this competition last season and Richard Cockerill's side will be bidding for another run to the knockout stages. The Tigers were hammered 42-13 in Glasgow in their opener but responded strongly with a 27-17 win over last year's finalists Racing 92 in their home match to keep in the frame for qualification.

Last season Leicester claimed a memorable 31-19 win in Munster but the Premiership side may struggle to repeat this outcome. Munster have undoubtedly stepped up a level this season, as shown by their dominant win over Glasgow in this competition. All five of their games at Thomond Park have resulted in wins by at least 13 points and the hosts are backed to cover an eight-point handicap against the Tigers.

Recommended Bet

Back Munster -8.5 to win (Sportsbook) @ Evens

Saracens v Sale

Saturday, 17:30

Live on Sky Sports 2

Defending champions Saracens are the clear favourites to retain the trophy after a very impressive start in the pool stage. The Men in Black made a huge statement in their opener by claiming a 31-23 win in Toulon to end their immense home record. Sarries backed this up with a 44-26 win over the Scarlets and the Premiership leaders are well on course for more silverware this season.

It is not going anywhere near as well for Sale with Steve Diamond's side struggling to match their encouraging campaign from last season. The Sharks look short on confidence after a run of four consecutive defeats. Sale were beaten 28-11 at the Scarlets before a 15-5 home defeat against Toulon all but ended their European hopes.

This match looks like a nailed on Saracens win and no logical case can be made for rank outsiders Sale. Sarries have already won 28-13 at the Sharks in the league last month and should be able to win comfortably enough this weekend. But the handicap mark is set at a challenging 24 points and a better value bet could be backing the hosts to win by 11 to 20 points at Allianz Park.

Recommended Bet

Back Saracens to win by 11-20 points (Sportsbook) @ 11/5

Wasps v Connacht

Sunday, 13:00

Live on Sky Sports 2

Wasps have built a strong squad capable of competing in England and Europe with Dai Young's side firmly in the running for a quarter-final place. Sitting second in the Premiership, Wasps have taken this form into the Champions Cup after scoring 82 points at home to Zebre before a precious draw in Toulouse kept them unbeaten in the competition.

But Connacht have also made an impressive start and are the surprise contenders to top the pool. Their form in the Pro12 is nothing to get excited about where they are currently eighth in the table. But Connacht have been a transformed side in Europe where they edged out Toulouse 23-21 at the Sportsground before easing to victory over Zebre.

Wasps have an exceptional home record at the Ricoh Arena where they have not lost since last December. Connacht will face their toughest test yet in the tournament and if they get off to a slow start could be punished by their opponents. Wasps have so much attacking talent, with big wins already posted at home to Worcester, Newcastle and Harlequins among others. The handicap mark is set at 15 but Wasps are more than capable of covering this and establishing control of the group.

Recommended Bet

Back Wasps -15 to win (Sportsbook) @ 10/11

Exeter v Bordeaux

Sunday, 17:30

Live on BT Sport 2

Exeter made an indifferent start to the season but Rob Baxter's side are approaching peak form now after stringing four successive wins together. The Chiefs have rattled off 119 points in their last two home games against Worcester and Cardiff. But their European hopes are a long shot after defeats to Clermont and Ulster.

Bordeaux have given themselves a chance of progressing from the pool after winning one of their first two games. The French side pulled off an impressive 28-13 home win over Ulster before losing 49-33 in Clermont. Bordeaux sit seventh in the Top 14 and have struggled on the road winning just twice this season.

Although Exeter's chances of reaching the knockout stages are slim, the Chiefs will be determined to make an impact and get off the mark in the competition. The side are oozing confidence and scoring tries for fun which bodes well for this clash. Bordeaux are not the best travellers and Exeter can overcome a nine-point handicap in front of their supporters at Sandy Park.

Recommended Bet

Back Exeter -9 to win (Sportsbook) @ 10/11


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