Vegas firing up for Derby

Apr 26, 2009 7:24 PM
by Mark Mayer |

A down economy? Not when it comes to the Kentucky Derby, where Las Vegas resorts annually gear up for parties, contests and seminars in preparation for this Saturday’s "most exciting two minutes in sports."

Stratosphere will be setting up its showroom with five betting stations, five big screen TV’s and an open bar from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be raffles held to win sports memorabilia. It will cost $59 for an invite to the party, but no charge for those wishing to take advantage of a 2-night stay at the resort for just $129. Additional raffle tickets can be acquired with $20 parlay wagers.

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Palace Station will be the site for a Kentucky Derby Seminar this Thursday from 6-8 p.m. Among the experts assessing the 135th Derby are GamingToday columnist and horse racing analyst Richard Saber, Palace Station racing guru Vic Vivio and radio host of Race Day Las Vegas Ralph Siraco.

Lucky’s Race & Sports Book will be offering a $5,000 Triple Crown Twin Quinella starting May 2. It takes just a $2 ticket to enter with bettors asked to pick the top two finishers (in any order) from the Derby and one other race on the Churchill Downs card. If there is no winner, the prize money will roll over to the Preakness in two weeks an again to the Belmont Stakes if there is another roll over.

Lucky’s will also be hosting a seminar at the downtown Plaza this Friday at 6 p.m. featuring Dan Shapiro (Lucky’s director of marketing), Dave Tuley (Daily Racing Form) and Richard Eng (Las Vegas Review-Journal).

Planet Hollywood will open up its mezzanine ballroom this Saturday at 8 a.m. for an all-day Derby party. Betting stations will be set up in the ballroom along with food, beverages and eight large screen TV’s. A Derby Daze T-shirt will also be given to any bettor making a $50 wager.

Treasure Island will be giving away a complimentary "Mint Julep Glass" with a $25 bet on the Derby. The limit is two glasses per customer while the supply lasts.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Mark Mayer