07/26/2005 11:00PM

Odds shopping for Cup begins


LAS VEGAS - The more betting options, the better for the bettor.

Sports bettors know the value of having a variety of sports books and different lines to choose from, whether they're looking to bet games on a day-to-day basis or taking a shot in the future books. It pays to shop around.

Horseplayers usually don't have that luxury with all racebooks offering the same parimutuel odds from the host tracks. And when it comes to futures, while most books now have odds on the Breeders' Cup Classic, it's much harder to find anyone with odds on the other BC races.

John Avello used to put up odds on all the races each year at Bally's, Paris and the rest of the Caesars Entertainment family, and now he does the same at Wynn Las Vegas, but the choices for bettors have generally been slim and none elsewhere.

So, with Breeders' Cup Day three months away, it was nice this week to see the Aladdin add odds on the Distaff and Sprint in addition to the Classic. The Aladdin is right next door to the Paris, making it even more convenient for price shoppers.

It's dicey to cite specific examples of odds differences, as they are subject to change by the time you read this, but the Aladdin offered value on Ashado to win the Distaff at 7-2 while Bally's and Wynn had her at 5-2. For the record, the Aladdin has Afleet Alex as the 3-1 favorite in the Classic (he's 4-1 at Bally's and 5-1 at Wynn) and Lost in the Fog is favored at 2-1 in the Sprint (he's 5-2 at Bally's and Wynn).

In general, the Aladdin has lower odds on the top contenders in all three races while offering higher odds on a smattering of potential longshots. One such overlay could be Perfect Drift, who earlier this week was 30-1 in the Classic at the Aladdin while only 20-1 at Bally's and Wynn. His odds will likely plummet everywhere if he runs well Saturday in the Washington Park Handicap at Arlington after being sidelined with an eye injury.

Another nice option the Aladdin offers is a field bet in each race if you think a non-listed horse will move up the ranks here in this country or perhaps is flying under the international radar. The field in the Classic (where 32 individual interests are listed) is 4-1, the field in the Distaff (22 horses listed) is 10-1, and the field in the Sprint (with 21 listed) is 5-1.

One last note on the Aladdin: renovations continue and it will become the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in early 2006.

Coming soon: Knights who say 'Ni!'

Las Vegas has long been known as the entertainment capital of the world, and usually what comes to mind are topless revues, magicians, and singing acts, not Broadway-type musicals. But that's been changing with "Mamma Mia" having a successful run at Mandalay Bay, "Avenue Q" starting next month at Wynn Las Vegas, "Hairspray" opening at the Luxor later this year, and "Phantom of the Opera" coming to the Venetian next year.

This week's big announcement was that "Monty Python's Spamalot," the skewering of the legend of Camelot and King Arthur, will have a seven- to 10-year exclusive West Coast-run at Wynn Las Vegas in its own $50 million theater complex that includes with a restaurant and gift shop.

Tie-ins with Hollywood have long been the holy grail for local casino operators, and that continues next Saturday when the Palms hosts the world premiere of "Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo." Movies premiering here have become more and more common as several recent releases - "Hustle & Flow," "The Devil's Rejects," and "Land of the Dead" - debuted at the CineVegas Film Festival held here last month (also at the Palms).

Another one hits the screens Friday in New York and Los Angeles. It is called "The Aristocrats," and it's basically 100 of the world's top comedians telling the same dirty joke over and over.

If that sounds boring, it's not. The movie - produced by Penn Jillette, the talking half of "Penn & Teller," and fellow comedian Paul Provenza - is close to being a documentary about the art of telling a joke. The setup and the punchline are always the same, but it's the improvisation in describing the vaudeville act in the middle of the joke that lets each comedian make it his own. This is a joke that began circulating backstage when comedians weren't allowed to work "blue," and this gave them an outlet to be their raunchiest.

It's not for the prudish at heart. For the rest of us, it's pretty funny. AMC theaters has banned the film and more are sure to follow. Seriously, it might be too over-the-top for HBO.

Check thearistocrats.com for theaters showing the film.

Boxing news and notes

Saturday's night's "Million Dollar Lady" boxing match at Mandalay Bay between Lucia Rijker and Christy Martin has been postponed because of a tendon injury suffered by Rijker last week.

Bookmakers here in town were breathing a sigh of relief over the news as Rijker had opened as low as a -150 favorite at the host hotel and had been pounded down to a -360 favorite.

Trying to capitalize on the popularity of the Oscar-winning movie "Million Dollar Baby," it was set to be the first $1 million purse in women's boxing history with $750,000 going to the winner and $250,000 to the loser.

No makeup date has been announced.

* Most of the upcoming major (or semi-major) boxing matches are taking place outside Nevada. On Aug. 6, Jeff Lacy is a -450 favorite over Robin Reid in a super middleweight title bout in St. Petersburg, Fla., and on Aug. 13, former heavyweight champ Hasim Rahman is a -270 favorite over Monte Barrett in Chicago.