07/22/2004 11:00PM

Del Mar focus of promo

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Just when you thought there were enough contests and promotions for horseplayers in Las Vegas, here comes something new.

Station Casinos is offering the "Del Mar Labor Day Giveaway" during the Del Mar meet. To enter, you don't have to do anything out of the ordinary other than play the horses at one of the participating Station Casinos race books.

The ultimate prize is a free trip to Del Mar on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6. Station Casinos will fly a bunch of lucky people to Del Mar in the morning. They will play the ponies all day where the "surf meets the turf," and then fly back to Las Vegas that night.

And where will the Las Vegas horseplayers sit at Del Mar? In one of the track's VIP suites, with free food and beverage service all day long, and their own private betting window.

"We just want to give something back to our regular guests," said Micah Roberts, director of race and sports at the Palace Station. "Take them to the most beautiful racetrack in the country. So many people from Las Vegas go, or want to go, to Del Mar, so this should be a fun trip for everybody."

Here's how local horseplayers can play their way to Del Mar.

For every $20 you wager at a Station Casinos race book, you will receive one ticket for a drawing. You can get up to 10 tickets per visit, and there is no maximum on the number of tickets you can get or enter into the drawing. Drawings will take place on Friday nights during the Del Mar meet after the day's final race.

Said Roberts, "The people that are our regulars have a better chance to win because they play more with us."

After the last Del Mar race on Friday night, one ticket will be drawn. The horseplayer must be present to win, and the first prize is a trip for two to Del Mar. If the horseplayer is not present, then another ticket will be drawn until three winners are named. Second prize is $300 in cash and third place is $200 in cash.

A horseplayer can win the trip for two to Del Mar only once. But he or she can win an unlimited number of second- or third-place prizes. If the name drawn has already won a first prize at any of the participating Station Casinos, then he or she will be awarded a second-place prize.

The participating Station Casinos race books are the Palace, Boulder, Texas, Sunset, Santa Fe, and the Green Valley Ranch.

Richard Eng is the turf editor for the Las Vegas Review-Journal and host of the Race Day Las Vegas Wrap Up radio show.