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Not-so-true to Form!

Apr 13, 2004 5:26 AM

Move over, Daily Racing Form, horse players in Las Vegas will soon have an alternative newspaper from which to pick their winning horses.

And the cost will be far less.

"Beginning Friday, April 16, race books in Las Vegas will be offering the Vegas Racing Advance for $3 per copy," announced Keith Glantz, former race and sports book director at Palace Station and current Las Vegas representative for Sports Eye Inc., the New York firm that publishes the new newspaper.

"Each day’s edition will have past performances for every track whose signal is offered here in Las Vegas," Glantz continued. "That’s a lot different from the competition. On most days, if a player wants to review the races around the country, he is forced to buy three different copies of the Daily Racing Form."

He added that most horseplayers are aware that if they are big bettors they can demand the Form from the race book free of charge.

"But the paper doesn’t come free for the casino," he explained. "The average cost to a race book is about $3.15 per Form. So if a good player comes in and demands three different papers for that day’s races, the property is stuck for about $9.50."

Glantz said that after payroll expenses, race book operators’ biggest outlay is for the Daily Racing Form.

That should change with the Vegas Racing Advance. "We will offer the paper to the books for $2 each with returns or $1.75 without returns," he said. "And, they will only have to deal with one paper since all the tracks will be included."

The current practice is for most race books to charge players $1 or $2 per copy, then refund the amount at the end of the day.

Glantz said the Advance gets its past performance information from Equibase, the same source as the Racing Form, so there will be no discrepancies between the two.

"Actually, players will find there is even more information in the Advance," Glantz said. "For instance, charts show the individual quarterly times for each horse, a feature not found in the competition."

This is not the first time the Daily Racing Form has been challenged by Sports Eye, Inc. Several years ago, Sports Eye attempted to offer an alternative newspaper but failed, largely because of the requirement of placing its own personnel at each track to chart the races. That problem does not exist today since all races are charted by Equibase.

Glantz noted that Las Vegas will not be the only city to offer the new past performance publication. He said that the paper will be on sale at 130 newsstands, 100 liquor outlets and a few Off-Track Betting shops in California beginning on April 16.