Updated on 09/18/2011 2:13AM

Breeders' Cup futures heating up


Baseball has eight teams vying for one championship. Horse racing has more than 100 horses aiming for eight championship races.

Breeders' Cup Fever: Catch It.

Wynn Las Vegas race and sports book director John Avello says that bettors have caught the fever with his future books on all eight BC races, and he expects it to reach epidemic proportions with the prep races the next two weeks and over the next four weeks leading up to Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs.

"Wagering has been picking up with more interest in the Juvenile and Juvenile Fillies races and as owners have made their intentions more known as to what races they're pointing their horses to," Avello said. "This is pretty much the last time to lock in nice big prices before the final fields are set. We're seeing a lot of people come in betting horses that they feel will run a big race this weekend because they know the odds will drop."

But Avello said it's not only longshots that have been getting bet on speculation. Bernardini has been bet down to 8-5 to win the Classic and is still drawing action.

"It's been a steady flow of money on him ever since his Preakness win," said Avello, adding that he put him on the Classic list at that time at 25-1. "We've got a hazard [his word for 'liability'] on him no matter what he does in the Jockey Club Gold Cup. There's no doubt he looks the best right now and people are still betting him, so if he wins this weekend I'll have no choice but to lower him more."

As of noon Wednesday, Invasor was the second choice in the Classic at 4-1, with Lava Man at 5-1, David Junior at 8-1, and a bunch of horses at 12-1, including Dylan Thomas, Perfect Drift, Shirocco, Strong Contender, and Sun King.

The top contenders in the other seven races:

* Juvenile: Circular Quay 4-1, C P West 5-1, Nobiz Like Shobiz 6-1, Principle Secret 8-1.

* Juvenile Fillies: Cash Included and Dreaming of Anna both at 5-1, Octave 7-1, Awesome Ashley and Point Ashley 8-1.

* Sprint: Henny Hughes 2-1, Discreet Cat 6-1, Siren Lure 7-1, Too Much Bling and Bordonaro 8-1.

* Distaff: Fleet Indian 6-5, Happy Ticket 9-2, Pine Island 5-1, Healthy Addiction 6-1.

* Filly and Mare Turf: Wait a While 2-1, Ouija Board 3-1, Gorella 5-1, Film Maker 8-1.

* Mile: George Washington 2-1, Aragorn 7-2, Ashkal Way and Iffraaj 8-1.

* Turf: Hurricane Run 5-2, Cacique 4-1, Shirocco 5-1.

Of course, a lot of those odds will be close to what the horse's odds will be on BC Day. As Avello alluded to, the true future bet at this point would be to find horses that might be set to put in impressive performances this weekend or next, and locking them in at current prices. It's advisable not to look to horses that need to win to get in the BC fields as you're more likely to have a worthless ticket if they don't do well in their final prep race and don't make the field. Instead, look for horses that are definitely BC-bound. Then, if you lock in a nice price and they do run well and become a top contender, you've got a great price. If they don't finish well but are still well-intended on BC day, you can bet them again at a juicier price.

Green Valley debuts new book

If it ain't broke, don't fix it. But no one said you can't build a newer, better model.

That's what Station Casinos decided to do at the Green Valley Ranch with a new race and sports book as part of a $110 million expansion at the Henderson Resort.

The old book wasn't too shabby, but the new book has a 110-foot-wide video wall with five big screens of 22x11 each. The screens are high-definition and can be one huge picture each or broken into six frames for multiple games or race tracks and also contain all the betting odds.

The comfortable book has 240 seats, including 32 in a VIP area and six IPT (individual player terminals for wagering at your seat) and a full-service Turf Grill right next door.

* The Texas Station doesn't have a new race and sports book, but it does have a new draw for customers on its side of town with the Stamp Card Race Book Promotion. It started this past Sunday and runs through Oct. 31. The card has 50 spaces and a stamp is earned for each $10 bet on pari-mutuel races. When the card is filled, the customer receives a Station Casinos 30th Anniversary fleece pullover.

Two big fights this weekend

On Saturday night at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Diego Corrales is set to put his WBC lightlight title belt on the line vs. Joel Casamayor. The two have met twice before in the super featherweight division with Casamayor winning the first bout when Corrales had a cut in his mouth, and then Corrales winning the rematch on a close split decision. Hopefully this trilogy doesn't end like Corrales' vs. Joel Luis Castillo when Castillo didn't make weight and the fight was canceled. Corrales is a -195 favorite (risk $1.95 for every $1 you want to profit) in this bout and the over/under is set at 11 1/2 rounds.

* Elsewhere on Saturday night, at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill., Nikolai Valuev is a -550 favorite as he puts his WBA heavyweight title on the line vs. Monte Barrett.

Nextel Cup moves to Ford Country?

It's funny that this Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Talladega is called the UAW-Ford 500 since Chevys have dominated restrictor-plate racing at the superspeedway. Jimmie Johnson is the favorite at Station Casinos this week at 4-1, with Jeff Gordon at 5-1, and Tony Stewart and Dale Earnhardt Jr. at 8-1.

In the Chase for the Cup, Matt Kenseth is still the favorite at 5-2, with Gordon and Jeff Burton at 7-2, and Kevin Harvick and Johnson at 9-2.

* If the BC isn't far enough in the future for you, Avello has also posted odds on the 2007 Kentucky Derby. Circular Quay opened as the 30-1 favorite and has already been bet down to 20-1. Nobiz Like Shobiz and C P West have also seen significant action as both opened at 75-1 and the former has been bet down to 25-1 while the latter is now 40-1. Principle Secret is 50-1 and Holy Roman Emperor, Horse Greeley, and Street Sense all opened at 100-1 or higher and are now 60-1 along with Eternal Star.