10/24/2007 11:00PM

Race books plan variety of BC wagers

EmailHere in Las Vegas casinos, the race and sports books sit side by side, though in some there's no distinction between the two.

During big sporting events, and especially every Saturday and Sunday during football season, the crowds from the sports books spill over into the race side and inconvenience horseplayers.

But on Breeders' Cup Day, the tables are turned as the race books overflow onto the sports side and send college football fans scurrying off to watch the games. That will be the case Saturday with the eight Breeders' Cup races from Monmouth Park, starting at 9:30 a.m. Vegas time and lasting until just after 2:30 p.m., taking up most of the college schedule but returning the facilities to sports bettors for the Ohio State-Penn State and Arizona State-California battles as well as Game 3 of the World Series.

There used to be more public parties hosted by casinos on Breeders' Cup Day, but most hotels now just have separate VIP events. The South Point, which has recently added Sunday NFL viewing parties, will be opening its ballroom for a Breeders' Cup viewing party. Admission is free, and there's no minimum bet for a free BC T-shirt.

The Coast Casinos have led the way for years in marketing to the masses, and that continues with a free party in the Mardi Gras Ballroom at the Orleans. The festivities start at 7 a.m. Saturday with a seminar by host Ralph Siraco of the "Raceday Las Vegas" radio show and Rob Henie of the "West Coast Handicapping Report." The Orleans will also have drawings to give lucky winners a bankroll to start the day. Siraco will then do his radio show from the ballroom from 8-9 a.m. on KSHP AM-1400 (kshp.com for those outside Vegas).

Speaking of seminars, for those who read this online Thursday or pick up the Saturday edition on Friday, there was to be a seminar with host John Kelly and handicappers Gordon Jones and Patrick McQuiggan in the new, improved Sam's Town race book at 5 p.m. Friday. On Saturday morning, those three will do their "Track Talk" radio show at 7:30 a.m. on KLAV-AM 1230, and Jones and McQuiggan will also be organizing group tickets on the pick fours and the Ultra Pick 6 in the race book.

McQuiggan likes to call the pick six a "one-day handicapping tournament," and that's certainly true. But a more conventional handicapping tournament is being held at Jerry's Nugget in North Las Vegas on five races on Breeders' Cup Day. And while the people entering the "pick six tournament" might put up hundreds or even thousands as their entry fee to try and take down the guaranteed $3 million jackpot, the entry fee at Jerry's Nugget is a more modest $5, with a first-place prize of $400 and $100 for second.

Jerry's Nugget is also the only place horseplayers can parlay head-to-head matchups by playing the Marion Card. The Nugget will also have matchups to bet off the board, as will be the case at most race books, though most hadn't been posted by press time.

The Wynn Las Vegas did put up their matchups earlier in the week with three in each race (though the scratches of Cry and Catch Me in the Juvenile Fillies, Dixie Chatter in the Juvenile, and Attilla's Storm in the Sprint reduced those races to two). In the Classic, Wynn has Lawyer Ron -130 (risk $1.30 for every $1 you want to profit) versus Street Sense at even money (win $1 for every $1 wagered), Any Given Saturday -150 versus Hard Spun +120, and Tiago -115 versus Diamond Stripes -115. In the Turf, Dylan Thomas is a big enough favorite that he's not in a matchup, but English Channel is -140 versus Red Rocks at +110.

Proposition wagers, such as the highest-paying mutuel and number of races won by different jockeys or trainers, also weren't available at press time, but they're sure to pop up as race books look to garner more handle from the gathered crowds.

One special bet that has been announced is the twin quinella, in which bettors try to pick the quinella in two different races, at Station Casinos, which will have a $20,000 jackpot Saturday. (Friday's pool for the first day of the two-day BC was $10,000, which is twice what Stations offers on regular race days at $5,000.)

Breeders' Cup Day wouldn't be complete without souvenirs to commemorate the occasion. Most race books will give out licensed BC merchandise with a wager of $20 or $25, including baseball caps (Station Casinos), BC glasses (Planet Hollywood and Jerry's Nugget among others), polo shirts (Jerry's Nugget), and T-shirts (Imperial Palace). The Imperial Palace will also be giving out more BC logo items as well as its own Imperial Palace items in losing-ticket drawings throughout the day.

Leroy's adds phone betting for races

Just in time for the Breeders' Cup, the Leroy's chain of books (which has more than 60 sports books throughout the state and nine that offer race wagering) have launched parimutuel phone betting to go along with its sports betting lines.

Calls to the system must be made within Nevada, and plans call for cell phones with GPS technology to be used, eliminating the need for the cumbersome beeper system. However, with changes in Nevada gaming regulations, out-of-state wagers will be accepted in the near future.

There's also an online component to the system as bettors can go to BetLeroys.com and get track conditions, scratches, and live odds from tracks, including things like exacta and daily-double payoffs.

"It has always been Leroy's philosophy to work hard at making it easy for our customers," said Vic Salerno, CEO of American Wagering Inc., Leroy's parent company. "BetLeroys is the evolution of that philosophy and also a return to our roots as a race book. Today, we have the most locations in Nevada, including your own telephone, and the most ways to wager."

The most innovative part of the program is that Leroy's will install a satellite dish in the homes of players who bet a minimum of $1,000 a month, so they can see all the races on RTN, the Race Track Television Network.

Check out BetLeroys.com or call 1-877-LEROYS7 (1-877-537-6977) for further details.