Bally’s handicapping contest back

May 8, 2001 9:34 AM

For horse handicappers, there’s another big contest that’s available.

Bally’s Las Vegas race book will hold its Summer Stakes II Horse Handicapping Contest August 3-4.

There is a $1,000 entry fee for the second annual race. Based on 200 entries, there will be $200,000 in the pot.

"We’re trying to do everything first-class," said Bally’s race and sports book director John Avello. "It’s during August. Things are slow, and there are not a lot of contests going on."

The contest will take place on the 26th floor in the Skyview Room.

"It’s a wonderful place to have [the contest]," Avello said. "There’s a great view. It’s quiet. There will be 31-inch-screen monitors. We’ll have a smoking section and a non-smoking section."

The contest is divided into two days.

On the first day (August 3), each contestant will get 15 contest vouchers each worth $48 in wagering. Each contestant must wager one voucher per race on 15 different contest races using win, place or show. A contestant can wager on more than one horse, but the amount cannot go over $48.

On the second day (August 4), there is an exacta format. Each contestant receives 15 contest vouchers worth $24 each. A contestant has to wager one voucher per race on 15 different contest races. The 24 wagering dollars can be used in any exacta wagering using two or more horses, but cannot exceed the maximum 24 contest wagering dollars per race.

"We’re trying to please everyone [by using two formats]," Avello said. "A lot of contests have only one format."

Six tracks will be designated each day for the contest.

Based on 200 entries, the first- and second-day payouts each are as follows: first place, $10,000; second, $4,000; third, $2,500; fourth, $2,000; fifth, $1,500; and $1,000 for sixth through 10th place.

There will be prizes for overall accumulated winnings for the first and second day: first place, $75,000; second, $25,000; third, $10,000; fourth, $2,000; fifth, $1,500; $2,500 for sixth through 10th and $1,000 for 11th through 25th.

Money payouts will be adjusted for the number of contestants.

Pari-mutuel tellers will be provided in the Skyview Room for the contestants’ convenience.

Also, there is an early incentive signup. If a contestant signs up by July 15, they are eligible to win a 10 percent bonus for all money earned (Out of the Gate Special). This is paid by Bally’s.

"That 10 percent - that’s really impressive," Avello said. "Ten percent of $200,000 means we’re giving away another $20,000."

Last year, 75 contestants entered Summer Stakes I. But Avello raised the bar higher for more contestants.

"Two hundred is tough," he said. "But I see The Orleans’ contest and they grabbed 750 last year, so there’s no reason we shouldn’t. With any contest, you have to get [horse players’] feet wet. After last year, they saw how we did. You learn as you go on."

Laptop computers are allowed and electrical outlets will be provided.

There also will be a continental breakfast, a lunch buffet and cocktails will be served during the two days.

All contestants (and one partner each) are eligible for the Summer Stakes II room rate of $60 per night at Bally’s.

Entries will be taken up to the first day of the contest.

Scratches are worth zero points and must be re-bet.

Construction at Caesars

Caesars Palace sports book area is open again, but the counter will not reopen.

Over the weekend, the sports book area, near the keno parlor, was open, with televisions operating.

The opening and closing of that area is due to the construction of The Colosseum, a showroom to be near the sports book area.

Park Place public relations spokesperson Debbie Munch said construction would affect that area, but did not give a date when the construction would close the area again.

Currently, all bets are being taken along the original race book counter. Sports bets are being taken on the left side of the counter. Sports lines are on a board just above where sports bets are handled.

Fiesta complete

The new televisions are all in at the Fiesta race and sports book. The televisions are along the wall above the ticket windows. The televisions have clearer pictures than the previous ones, which were there for seven years.