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It seems like forever, but we get our first taste of the NFL this Sunday as the Arizona Cardinals meet the Saints in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.

Being from Steubenville, I had the chance of visiting Canton on many occasions, most to see the Big Red playing high school football at Fawcett Stadium. I did get to one Hall of Fame game and it was loads of fun.

Canton has several nice spots to get some real food and if you wanted to make a bet, in my days there was no problem getting down.

I doubt we will see much “Brees” in the game, but even with the loss of head coach Sean Payton and others (suspensions) plus seeing Pro Bowl G Carl Nicks go to Tampa Bay, the Saints will still have one of the best quarterbacks  of all time taking the snaps.

The opening line is sitting at Saints -3 with the total 35. If betting I would probably take the UNDER with each team not wanting any injuries. The Saints must come back in just four days and play on Thursday, Aug. 9, at New England.

Arizona will come back in five days as they also stay on the road, heading to Kansas City on Friday, Aug. 10 at 5 p.m. This will be the only game on Sunday except for the Cubs playing the Dodgers at 5:05 p.m. on ESPN.

The Hall of Fame game will be televised on the NFL Network.

Thinking more about it the Cubs and Dodgers may be the more exciting game, but we will have the option of the old back and forth between breaks.

I tried to watch the Olympics, but all I could find were numerous ads, especially the political ones. Were the Games on? I did see some results.

With Saratoga and Del Mar running we horse players have contests all over town to take some shots. This past week Robert Walker and Carol Boyd over at the Gold Coast put on another great contest in their Ballroom and the place was jammed with 342 contestants vying for some big bucks. In fact, that number, despite the slow economy, was up 40 from last year.

The top five winners in the Summer Classic at the Gold Coast were:

• First: Tim Downs of San Diego winning a whopping $47,880. I am sure he will be going to Del Mar very soon.

• Second: Dave Snyder from Mission Viejo, Calif. He took down $16,416.

• Third: Rogers Soule of Reno winning $6,840.

• Fourth: Todd Faro from Covina, Calif., taking home $5,472.

• Fifth: Mike Ferrozzo banking $4,104.

It was another great job done by Carol Boyd. The top five finishers all qualify for the Horse World Series at the Orleans in February 2013.

This Friday and Saturday John Avello will be hosting his big $2,000 buy-in Del Mar and Saratoga horse contest. If you happen to have a spare 2k you still have time to get in and take a shot.

I am sure Tim Downs has 2k as he may try and take all of the Vegas money home.

Mark Dufty has his contest every Saturday at Jerry’s Nugget and for just a “double saw buck” you can get three entries. This contest fits my BR perfectly. Plus, the carving station will be open and great donuts are served for early arrivals.

Interesting note about the Del Mar meet: the handle was up in the first week; on-track handle was up 8 percent and the simulcast handle was up 2.4 percent. The on-track average attendance fell 8.4 percent, which the track president, Joe Harper, attributed to lack of giveaways.

Do these guys have any idea what the heck is wrong? Do they live in a vacuum? Giveaways, are they nuts? Why don’t they make it a little cheaper to get in to park your car, sell beer for less than $8 or offer a decent sandwich like Jerry’s Nugget gives you for $2, not $1! Giveaways, please, get real!

Anyway, I love betting preseason football and will have a full slate of plays I have been working on starting next Thursday.





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