09/05/2006 11:00PM

Deadlines loom for football contests


The saying is that there's no "last call" in Las Vegas, with its 24-hour liquor laws, but for those wanting to enter a lot of the football contests here in town, this is your last call.

The deadline to enter the $1,500 buy-in SuperContest at the Las Vegas Hilton is 1 p.m. Friday. As of noon Wednesday, there were 355 entrants signed up, which is behind last year's 422 at the same time, on the way to a record 505.

The Challenge at Station Casinos, with a $1,000 entry fee, has a deadline of 6 p.m. Friday.

The Glory of the Gridiron, the $2,000 contest in its first year at nine Harrah's properties, has a deadline of 2 p.m. Saturday. As of noon Wednesday, they had just passed the 50-entrant mark, but with no early-bird incentive it's obvious that a lot of people are holding onto their two grand as long as possible.

The Leroy's College Challenge, with a $250 buy-in, is the biggest college contest, with entries being taken at all participating Leroy's outlets until 4 p.m. Friday.

Contests on the air

The leaders in all of those contests will have their picks posted each week in the respective sports books, but for those wanting to listen to handicappers give the analysis behind their picks, there are three competitions this fall on Las Vegas radio.

Leroy's Money Talks Invitational has 16 handicappers who put up $5,000 of their own money to play in a single-elimination tournament format for the $80,000 first-place prize, with the runner-up getting $20,000 provided by Leroy's. The first matchup - Bryan Leonard vs. Al McMordie - was scheduled to take place from 7-9 p.m. Thursday at the Silverton. The show airs on KSHP AM-1400, and will move to that time slot on Fridays the rest of the season starting next week.

Leroy's is also presenting the "Beat Bogdanovich" promotion on its "Leroy's Sports Hour" show on KENO AM-1460 from 2-3 p.m. from Fitzgerald's in downtown Vegas. Nick Bogdanovich, former race and sports book director at several properties around town, and professional gambler Steve Fezzik put up $25,000 apiece in the head-to-head matchup.

The Meatandpotatoes.com Invita-tional debuts this year on Dave Scandaliato's "SportsLine" program from 1-2 p.m. Pacific on KLAV AM-1230 here in Vegas and from 3-4 p.m. Central on WSLA AM-1560 in New Orleans. It's also a 16-player format with a $5,000 purse. The opening-week matchup pits handicapper Brenden Martin from igotwinners.com vs. Dan Garcia, race and sports book supervisor at the Hard Rock.

Race book notes

The Saratoga and Del Mar meets ended this week, and so did their respective jockey challenges at the New Frontier.

The Del Mar proposition wager that pitted Team A (Patrick Valenzuela, Martin Garcia, Corey Nakatani, and Jon Court) vs. Team B (Victor Espinoza, Alex Solis, Tyler Baze, and Juan Ochoa) was canceled shortly after the meet started when it was learned that P. Val was sidelined. Bettors who took Team B early easily won as Espinoza and Solis combined for more than the rest of Team A.

The Saratoga prop was also a blowout and was taken down three weeks into the meet. In the end, Team A (Edgar Prado, Garrett Gomez, Kent Desormeaux, and Julien Leparoux) finished with 136 wins vs. 105 for Team B (John Velazquez, Eibar Coa, Rafael Bejarano, and Cornelio Velasquez).

* Cheryl Fradkin of Las Vegas won the Beat Al Horse Handicapping Shootout at Paris on Labor Day. Paris held $20 buy-in contests on Mondays from July 31 through Aug. 28, and the qualifiers participated in the finale by picking the last four races at Saratoga and the first four at Del Mar. Fradkin compiled the winning bankroll of $45.30 from those races. She won $500, plus another $500 for defeating Paris handicapper Al Beal (hence the "Beat Al" part of the name).

* The Excalibur, in conjunction with the Edgewater in Laughlin, will resume its free contest next Wednesday and joins the Poker Palace as the only race books running weekly contests during the Fairplex meet.

* The Breeders' Cup Future Book Challenge, an online contest at letitride.com, starts this weekend. Contestants lock in odds on all eight Breeders' Cup races and earn points based on the results of BC Day on Nov. 4. Odds are updated each week, and players build their stables over the next eight weeks before making their final picks in the week leading up to the races. Each BC race is a contest, and the top finishers in each race will win accommodations for two for the 2007 Kentucky Derby VIP Party at the Las Vegas Hilton, a co-sponsor. Full details are available at letitride.com.

* The $500 buy-in Fall Classic at the Orleans is set for Oct. 5-7. Those signing up by the early-bird deadline next Wednesday will get to play in the free $20,000 early-bird contest on Oct. 8

Sports book notes

The Nextel Cup series is down to its final race before the "Chase for the Cup" begins next week, with only the top 10 point earners eligible for the season-long title. This week's race, the Chevy Rock and Roll 400, is at Richmond International Raceway. Station Casinos has Kyle Busch as the 7-1 favorite, with Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. at 8-1 and Jimmie Johnson and Matt Kenseth at 10-1. An interesting race-within-a-race could develop between Kasey Kahne, who is 11th in the standings, and Jeff Burton, who Kahne is chasing for the final guaranteed spot. Kahne is 12-1 to win the race and Burton is 15-1.

* Mike Tyson will be holding public workouts from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays on the mezzanine level of the Aladdin Hotel-Casino, which is being converted into Planet Hollywood Casino. Despite filling arenas, setting pay-per-view records, and earning up to $30 million for a fight and upward of $300 million in his career, the bankrupt Tyson is reduced to putting on sparring sessions to make a buck. He is supposedly training for exhibitions, though none has been announced.