10/25/2005 11:00PM

Seminars galore for Cup bettors


Just like there are many ways to skin a cat, there are many ways to handicap a horse race.

Since this is a family newspaper, I won't go into the fine art of skinning a cat, but I will run down the options for horseplayers looking for help with breaking down the Breeders' Cup races.

The biggest collection of handicappers will assemble from 7-9 p.m. Friday in the Concorde Ballroom at Paris Las Vegas with the annual Breeders' Cup seminar, hosted by Ralph Siraco of the "Raceday Las Vegas" radio show. The first hour will include call-in interviews from Daily Racing Form publisher Steven Crist, DRF handicappers Brad Free and Steve Klein, and former DRF employee Jon White, now of HRTV. The second hour will lead with Caesars Palace race and sports book director Chuck Esposito discussing proposition wagers and will close with a round-table discussion of the eight races with Siraco, Las Vegas Review-Journal turf editor Richard Eng, DRF pedigree handicapper Lauren Stich, and myself. The program will be aired live on KSHP AM-1400 locally and webcast live at racedaylasvegas.com and warpradio.com, and can also be accessed through drf.com.

While that is arguably the most comprehensive seminar in town, it might not be for everyone. There is another seminar Friday, at the Stratosphere from 6-8 p.m. with Jerry Jacovitz of "Jerry J's Power Page," which is distributed free at many race books here in town and available at jerryjpowerpage.com.

Jacovitz will be going over all eight races and will unveil a new product of his called "Keys & More." As the name implies, the sheet, which he said will be an online product only, will offer key horses he likes to win a race along with underneath plays in multi-horse exotics.

"This is more of a selection sheet where the Power Page and its ratings has always been more informational to help people make their own choices," Jacovitz said.

While I would love to see a full house at Paris and meet everyone afterward, if I were a tourist I would go to the Stratosphere and listen to the Paris seminar on a portable radio with headphones.

Speaking of radio, there will be plenty of horse racing talk on the airwaves this weekend as well. Friday, the "Stardust Line" on KDWN AM-720 will feature horse racing at 8:30 a.m., followed by "Raceday Las Vegas" at 9:05 a.m. on KSHP AM-1400. I will be on "You Can Bet on It" with Larry Grossman during the 2 o'clock hour on KENO AM-1460.

Saturday morning, "Track Talk" with Gordon Jones, Patrick McQuiggan, and John Kelly will air at 7:30 a.m. on KLAV AM-1230 and "Raceday Las Vegas" will air from 8-9 a.m. again on KSHP.

Katz's idea has legs

In this week's issue of GamingToday, well-known boxing writer Michael Katz states that what boxing needs is its own Breeders' Cup Day to truly crown its champions, especially since there are so many sanctioning bodies that not even the most knowledgeable followers of the sport know who the reigning world champions are in all the weight classes. Having a Breeders' Cup-type day would result in more undisputed champions and make it an easier sport for fans to follow.

Of course, Katz admits that this idea isn't likely to come to fruition because it would take unprecedented cooperation between promoters and TV networks and their exclusive contracts.

But, wait, if the horse racing industry, with its long reputation of tracks not cooperating with each other, was able to sign off on creating the Breeders' Cup 22 years ago, maybe there is hope yet.

Sports book notes

In addition to horse racing shows, Friday is also the night of the Las Vegas-based football contests at the Riviera and Stardust. Hopefully, the horse experts do better than the football handicappers have done lately.

Last week in the Leroy's Money Talks Invitational, which takes place at 8 p.m. at the Riv and airs live on KDWN AM-720 and kdwn.com, handicapper Bryan Leonard advanced by showing a profit of $490 from his record of 3-4, beating out professional bettor Jeff Whitelaw, who lost $560 from his record of 3-4. Each contestant makes seven plays on a graded scale going from $110 for the first selection up to $770 on the best bet. This week, professional bettor Tony Salinas takes on sports gaming writer Buzz Daly.

In the Stardust Invitational, handicapper Marc Lawrence survived with a 3-4 record against Toronto-based broadcaster Randall "The Handle" Murray, who went 1-6. This Friday at 9 p.m. in the Stardust sports book, and also aired on KDWN, handicapper Tim Trushel of sportsmemo.com faces Ken "The Shrink" Weitzner, founder and former owner of therx.com and now running eog.com.

* For those looking for something else to do on Friday night (or want to go somewhere else while listening to some of these radio shows on a Walkman), the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings play an NBA exhibition game at the Thomas & Mack Center at 7 p.m. There is no wagering on the game in Vegas.

* Also this weekend is Sunday's Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 Nextel Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Las Vegas Sports Consultants has defending champion Jimmie Johnson as the 7-1 favorite, with series points leader Tony Stewart and Mark Martin at 7-1, Ryan Newman at 8-1, and Jeff Gordon and Kurt Busch at 10-1.

* Final tourism note: I'm not a big hunting or fishing guy, but there is a pretty cool Bass Pro Shop at the Silverton Hotel & Casino on Las Vegas Boulevard, south of the main Strip corridor.