08/04/2002 11:00PM

Exotics fail in Bally's tourney

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Some horseplayers say the only way to make money at the track is to bet win-place-show only (and mostly win). Others say you have to hit multi-horse bets such as exactas, trifectas, pick threes, etc. to have a chance to come out ahead.

In light of the results at the Summer Stakes III tournament at Bally's last Friday and Saturday, chalk one up for the straight bettors.

The Summer Stakes has a format in which players make win-place-show wagers of $48 on 15 different races on the first day and then 15 exacta wagers of $24 (one-way, wheeled, boxed, whatever) on the second day.

Allan Rose of Las Vegas and Ben Coppola Jr. of Manahawkin, N.J., went in as partners in the $1,000-buy-in tournament. After the first day, they were on top of the leader board with a score of $2,342.40 (on $720 in contest wagers). In all, 19 of the 63 players in the tournament showed a profit in the win-place-show portion.

With several people just off the pace and everyone playing exactas on the second day, the contest was anyone's for the taking, but only 10 of the contestants were able to show a profit (on $360 in contest wagers) on Saturday and Rose/Coppola held on for the victory with a two-day score of $2,442.60 - their exacta wagers only returned $100.20. But it was enough for first-place money of $23,625. They also earned $3,150 for having the top first-day score, plus they earned a 10 percent bonus because they signed up by the early-bird deadline. In all, Rose and Coppola divvied up $29,452.50.

Donald Wright finished second with a two-day total of $2,150.40 after cashing $1,200 in exactas on Saturday, so he earned $7,875 in second-place money and an additional $3,150 for being the second day's leader.

Dennis "Mickey" Seagle and T. Bart Dennis held on for third and fourth after being third and second after the first day

Tourney set at Suncoast

The Suncoast Invitational is next on the tournament players' circuit this Thursday through Saturday. Early-bird entrants, who registered by July 10, will be arriving Wednesday for a free $20,000 contest.

During the main, $1,000-entry-fee contest, players make 12 mythical $100 win bets each day at designated contest tracks. Players (or partnerships) will be able to pay the $1,000 entry fee until registrations are locked with 12 races left at the contest tracks. Full track odds are paid on the first $20 and then payoffs are capped at 20-1 for the remaining $80.

Based on 300 entries, the prize pool will be $300,000 (with 35 percent going to the winner), plus an additional $30,000 that Coast Casinos kicks in for daily prizes - $5,000 for each day's leader, $2,000 for second and $1,000 each for third through fifth.

Race and sports book notes

A week ago, you could have gotten 2-1 on War Emblem or 4-1 on Medaglia d'Oro in the Travers (Aug. 24) future book at Coast Casinos, but not anymore. After their respective victories in the Haskell and Jim Dandy over the weekend, War Emblem is now 8-5 and Medaglia d'Oro is 2-1. The next lowest odds are 12-1 on Magic Weisner and 18-1 on Like a Hero, Iron Deputy, Quest, or Puzzlement.

Elliott scores again

Bill Elliott backers cashed for the second straight week as Elliott won the Backyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday. Elliott, who won the Pennsylvania 500 a week earlier at 22-1, opened at 12-1 to win the Brickyard 400 by Station Casinos auto-racing oddsmaker Micah Roberts.

Elliott was as high as 15-1 at other books around town.

At Stations, Elliott was bet down to 8-1 and made a lot of bettors happy. But Roberts said Stations fared well because handle was high. In fact, it was the fourth-highest auto racing weekend of the year, he said, trailing only the Daytona 500, the UAW-DaimlerChrysler 400 held here in Las Vegas, and the doubleheader of the Indianapolis 500 and Coca-Cola 600 on Memorial Day weekend.

"This was the last big betting race of the year," Roberts said. "Once football gets started, people who follow both sports start putting all their bankroll toward football."

Speaking of football, the Redskins routed the 49ers 38-7 in coach Steve Spurrier's coaching debut last Saturday night in Osaka, Japan. A lot of bettors were celebrating the easy win, as the Redskins were bet all the way from 2 1/2-point underdogs to 3-point favorites.

Late rally on links falls short

Come-from-behind rallies in golf are usually long, drawn-out processes. A player (often Tiger Woods) might be a few shots behind the leader and then come with a late run. But it usually takes several hours.

When the PGA uses the modified Stableford system (8 points for a double eagle, 5 for an eagle, 2 for birdie, zero for par, minus-1 for bogey and minus-3 for double bogey or worse), leads can disappear much quicker. That almost happened Sunday when it appeared Rich Beem had the title wrapped up after he eagled the 17th hole to grab a nine-point lead. But Steve Lowery, playing behind Beem, double-eagled the 17th a few minutes later. After Beem parred the 18th hole, Lowery had a 10-foot birdie putt to win the tourney but missed wide left.

Bettors at the Palms who were cheering Beem home weren't too concerned, however, as Beem and Lowery were both part of the field at 7-2.

The Palms has Woods as the 3-2 favorite to win this weekend's Buick Open in Grand Blanc, Mich. He is also 3-2 to win the PGA Championship next weekend at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. Phil Mickelson is the 10-1 second choice in both tournaments.