Raiders, horse contests OK from ‘Spa’

Aug 1, 2006 2:45 AM

There seems to be just an onslaught of horse race contests in Las Vegas, which is great for me and the business.

Most notable are Big Al’s Saratoga and Del Mar contest, which started on Monday July 31, and the Summer Stakes at Ballys. Not to be outdome, John Avello will have his big 2k buy-in horse contest at Wynn Resorts, which I will enter when I return from two weeks at Saratoga.

Ah, "The Spa." That grand old track in upstate New York sends chills up and down my spine, having not been there since 1990, I hope nothing has changed and the same restaurants are still there and Lake George still has water in it. Time goes by so fast you just never know. Look for some horses to watch from Saratoga in my weekly HTW column.

Rampart/Cannery Casinos have also jumped into the horse race contest business, holding a free $5,000 event. I really like the setup, especially the free part. Most of you know cheap I am! You can enter at either property with a Players Club ID. The contest will be held the second Sunday of each month beginning Sunday, Aug. 13.

The format features the first eight races at the current So Cal track. Selections must be put in one at a time before the race begins so plan on spending the day at either Rampart or Cannery for a shot at all this free money. I can think of a lot worse ways to spend a day. There are two pools — Championship and Show.

Championship awards the first five places ($2,000, $750, $350, $250 and $150 for fifth). Show will have one winner, who will receive $1,500. For more information, contact Kevin at the Cannery.

Feeling is pari-mutuel

Getting back to Mr. Avello, who’s always up to something. Well, he has brought on Pari-Mutuel telephone horse betting within the State of Nevada. You will be able to go over to Wynn and set up a telephone betting account for the small sum of $500. After that, customers can make deposits of $200 or more. The minimum total wager per phone call will be $10.

Just hitting the buffet at Wynn is reason enough to open an account and build up some points to use in qualifying for a wonderful comp. Accounts can be opened by visiting the Race Book, getting the rules and filling out an application. Those interested can also apply by mail or fax all the required paperwork to Wynn Las Vegas Race Book. If you have any questions, call 770-3074 or 770-3075.

Preseason NFL

Such a nice sound, isn’t it? The preseason starts with the annual Hall of Fame matchup in Canton, Ohio. This year’s game is Oakland against Philadelphia this coming Sunday on NBC.

Here’s my view from Saratoga.

Raiders +3 vs Eagles (36): The Raiders are one of many teams with a new head coach, though Art Shell is a return to the past. Shell, the first black head coach in the NFL’s modern era, led the Raiders in the late 80s and early 90s. He will try to set a tone in preseason. In Shell’s his first tenure, the Raiders did very well as a dog in preseason. Of course, that was a few years ago.

Terrell Owens-less Eagles still have Andy Reid, beginning his eighth season in Philly. Reid has so-so in exhibition play, but his teams score. The ”˜over’ is 7-1 in the Eagles’ last eight preseason games. We won’t see much of Donovan McNabb, but we still may see enough points on the board to continue the trend. RAIDERS, OVER.