Super Bowls, Kentucky Derbys, Final Fours each bring out the best in Las Vegas every year.
When this year’s version of the "greatest two minutes in sports" takes place Saturday at Louisville’s Churchill Downs, the betting in Vegas books will be heavy and the Mint Juleps plentiful.
Station Casinos is offering up to $20,000 in winnings for Derby Day, along with a free Derby glass and drink with a minimum $20 wager on the race. There’s also $20,000 on the board for the Twin Q with a $2 wager. Bettors have to correctly pick the quinella in the Derby and another in a selected Churchill Downs race.
A third way to win cash involve a $1,000 pot for the Daily Jumbo Race. Entrants just need to make a race bet and show a Boarding Pass or Amigo Card for a chance to win up to $1,000 instantly. All three contests are available at Station outlets across Vegas (Palace, Boulder, Texas, Sunset, Santa Fe, Red Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Fiesta Rancho and Fiesta Henderson).
Planet Hollywood was quick to book a seminar this Friday night at 7:30 p.m. featuring top trainer in Nick Hines and handicappers Jon Lindo and Ralph Siraco. The former Aladdin resort then will host a Derby part Saturday open to the public with a free gift available for wagers on the race. Saturday’s party will begin at 7 a.m. and all events will be held on the Mezzanine Level.
Siraco will also host a radio show Saturday in the Mardi Gras ballroom of The Orleans from 7-8 a.m. Saturday. Refreshments will be served at 1 p.m. Derby T-shirts are available while supplies last with a Derby wager. The Orleans will also have drawings for Betting Bucks prior to the race.
Sam’s Town will be serving mint juleps on race day, preceded on Friday by a seminar in the race book at 6 p.m. The session will include guest handicappers Prof. Gordon Jones and Patrick McQuiggan, along with special guest Mike Willman, an analyst/reporter for ESPN Radio 710 in Los Angeles. McQuiggan is also a breeder of California thoroughbreds.
Jerry’s Nugget is conducting a May 5 twinbill involving the Kentucky Derby along with the Floyd Mayweather-Oscar de la Hoya title fight that evening. Any $10 wager on the Derby will earn bettors a free souvenir glass. A $20 wager will award bettors an exclusive Derby matchup card and a free golf shirt.
The limit is two glass and one shirt per customer, while supplies last.
The Palms plans a cash and prize giveaway for the Derby. There will be 10 drawings, opportunities at cash winnings, official Derby logo apparel available, free mint juleps and drawing tickets on all 10th race wagers.
Suncoast in Summerlin is planning a Kentucky Derby party with general admission available from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets into the Grand Ballroom are good for one beer or soft drink, two pastries or two hot dogs, along with a race souvenir T-shirt. The souvenirs will be distributed at 1 p.m. and are available while supplies last.
The Gold Coast plans to open its Arizona ballroom at 8 a.m. Saturday. T-shirts are available with Derby wagers.
The Las Vegas Hilton will be conducting its Pick The Ponies contest from Wednesday through Friday. Pick The Ponies is held three times a year and this first edition is sold out. There will also be a Derby party for invited guests in one of the convention center ballrooms.
The Golden Nugget we will be setting up a betting room called Shoal Creek in the convention area for the Derby.
The Cannery will be hosting a private Derby party at Addisons.
El Cortez and Arizona Charlies (East and West) will be giving away Derby glasses for every $20 bet. Mugs available at AC locales.