10/15/2008 11:00PM

Vegas making week of BC


This is the second straight year that the Breeders' Cup takes up two days - Friday and Saturday, Oct. 24-25, at Santa Anita - but the race books one state away in Nevada have gone above and beyond by making it a full-week event

Monday: The Orleans will host a meet-and-greet with trainer John Sadler and jockey Rafael Bejarano at 9 a.m. in the race book. They will sign autographs and have a Q&A session with "Raceday Las Vegas" radio host Ralph Siraco, who is sure to ask them about the Santa Anita racing surfaces and their Breeders' Cup entries/mounts. In addition, the Orleans will have a free handicapping contest on the first five races at Philadelphia Park (post time 9:20 a.m.), with the winner receiving a $1,000 entry in the Horseplayer World Series in February.

Tuesday: There haven't been any festivities announced for this day, which is probably a good as the post positions will be drawn and everyone can finalize their own handicapping.

Wednesday: The Pick the Ponies Invitational starts and runs through Friday. This tournament usually sells out its field of 200 by its early-bird deadline and well in advance of BC Week, but another sign of the struggling economy is that as of noon Thursday, there were only 155 entries. Entries are $500 each. One other event is scheduled with Jerry Jacovitz, proprietor of "Jerry's J Power Page" sheets, who will host a seminar covering Friday's card at Arizona Charlie's East on Boulder Highway at 6 p.m.

Thursday: In the past, Friday night was prime time for Breeders' Cup seminars here in town, but with the advent of the Friday card, Thursday is now the night, with no fewer than three seminars scheduled to run concurrently starting at 6 p.m. At the Palace Station on Sahara Avenue, Siraco will be joined by race book manager Vic Vivio and Richard Saber of GamingToday to go over the weekend's races. At the Lucky's race book at the Plaza in downtown Las Vegas, Richard Eng of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Brian Blessing of Las Vegas Sports Consultants, and Dan Shapiro, Lucky's director of marketing, will host the festivities. In addition, Jacovitz moves his tack to Arizona Charlie's West on Decatur at 6 p.m. to go over Saturday's BC races.

Friday: This is Ladies' Day at the Breeders' Cup. Afterward, the guys from the "Track Talk" radio show - Gordon Jones, Patrick McQuiggan, and John Kelly - will handicap Saturday's card at Sam's Town on Boulder Highway at 6 p.m.

Saturday: This is still considered the main day for the Breeders' Cup and the day where all books will have some sort of giveway, whether it be T-shirts or glasses or other BC merchandise. I'll point out any special promotions that take place that day in next Saturday's editions of Daily Racing Form, but I do want to point out two early events for Nevada locals or those coming into town to play the races. There is one final seminar for those up north in Reno at the Lucky's race book in the Grand Sierra Resort. Shapiro will be joined at 7:30 a.m. by Steve Fierro of Today's Racing Digest. Back down south, Jerry's Nugget in North Las Vegas is hosting a special Breeders' Cup handicapping contest, with a $10 entry fee and a limit of three entries per person. The contest, which has a prize pool of $500, starts with the first BC race at 10:10 a.m. Pacific. Early arrivals will receive a free Daily Racing Form and donuts. A special Breeders' Cup parlay card with head-to-head matchups also will be available, and those wagering a minimum of $25 will receive a free JN polo shirt.

Another .500 week for football wagers

I went 2-2 again last week in this space (I went 3-2 in the Hilton SuperContest, where I have an 18-11-1 record and am in the top 40 out of 350 contestants, but I didn't settle on my last winning play until after my DRF deadline). With the Breeders' Cup starting to take precedence, we'll keep these short and (hopefully) sweet this week:

Chiefs +8.5 vs. Titans: Tennessee is the only undefeated team, both straight up and against the spread, but I think this is where the oddsmakers catch up with them. The Chiefs upset the Broncos at home earlier and even if they don't do that here, they should stay within a touhchdown. Play: Chiefs for 2 units.

Bengals +9.5 vs. Steelers: Another inflated line, with Carson Palmer expected to be out again. Cincy nearly covered vs. the Jets last week and should get up for a division rival. Play: Bengals for 1 unit.

Rams +7 vs. Cowboys: The soap opera continues in Dallas. Will Tony Romo play or won't he? I kind of hope he does as we'll get a lot more points by gametime. Play: Rams for 1 unit.

49ers +10.5 vs. Giants: The Browns showed the Giants aren't invincible on Monday night. Double-digit underdogs are now 9-0 against the spread so far this year. Play: 49ers for 1 unit.

Lions +8.5 vs. Texans: Granted, the Lions are awful. However, they played the Vikings tough last week and the Texans shouldn't be laying more than a TD to anyone. Play: Lions for 1 unit.

Last week: 2-2, including 0-1 on a 2-unit wager, for a net loss of 1.3 units (based on risking 1.1 units to win 1). Season DRF record: 4-4-1 for a net loss of 1.5 units.