06/24/2004 11:00PM

Pick six fan? Join the club


There is so much going on in Las Vegas that, to break through the clutter, sometimes you have to go way out to get noticed.

How about a free Pick 6 club? Is that unique enough?

John Avello, who has a full plate as Bally's director of operations for race, sports, keno, and now poker, just announced the formation of the "Bally's Pick 6 Club."

The rules of the Pick 6 Club are pretty easy. Anyone can become a Pick 6 Club member at Bally's. The free membership sign-up is going on now. The members will meet at Bally's whenever there is a pick six carryover of $100,000 or more during the Del Mar and Saratoga meets.

Del Mar will run from July 21 through Sept. 8, and Saratoga runs from July 28 until Sept. 6.

On a carryover day, the members must register at a handicapping seminar that will be held about one-hour before the start of the pick six. Ralph Siraco, of Race Day Las Vegas, will map out the pick six and pick four tickets using input from members who attended the handicapping seminar.

Bally's will pay for two Pick 6 Club parimutuel bets to cover a $864 pick six and a $144 pick four. Only the members who registered that day will share in any proceeds won from that day's wagers.

Pick 6 Club members can tune in to the Race Day Las Vegas radio show in the morning and the Race Day Wrap Up show at night for daily updates.

One caveat is if the pick six carryover at Del Mar and Saratoga exceeds $100,000 on the same day, management will decide the track on which to play the pick six and pick four.

"This gives people a good reason to come by and try out our book," Avello said. "It gives people a shot at two free bets. Hopefully they'll enjoy our amenities and place a few horse bets right here."

At Sam's Town on Boulder Highway, Gordon Jones and Patrick McQuiggan recruit horseplayers to invest in a pick six syndicate, but the players buy in for a share of the ticket. This is the first time, however, that I have heard of a free pick six club.

"If this doesn't work, I'll mail $100 bills to horseplayers to come play with here," Avello said, jokingly.

I doubt he will need to go that far. If just one pick six hits at Del Mar or Saratoga, Bally's Pick 6 Club members will have a profitable summer.

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