Trumpeting 14 races for Breeders' Cup at Santa Anita Park

Oct 29, 2013 3:07 AM

In horse racing the only thing bigger than the Breeders’ Cup is the Kentucky Derby. But, there are those who would argue the BC – being held at the beautiful Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, this Friday and Saturday – has taken over the top spot. Being traditionalists we still heavily favor the Derby, but the arguments for the other side are not without merit.

First of all, there’s the money. The $27 million about to be paid out this weekend in purses and awards makes the Breeders’ Cup the richest two days in sports. That’s all sports, not just horse racing.

And, while the Kentucky Derby offers the cream of the crop when it comes to 3 year olds, the Breeders’ Cup offers 14 races over two days for 2 year olds, 3 year olds, and older horses who have gained entry by earning points in races throughout the year. In fact, you will probably see some of next year’s Derby contenders in the BC’s $2,000,000 Juvenile.

It is certainly an exciting weekend and, as traditionalists, we think the best place to watch the races is at the track. But if that is not possible then you must be in Las Vegas.

South Point is definitely a great choice. They have a large race book, completely separate from the sports book, with great lighting so you can read the Racing Form. And, since SP’s top gun Michael Gaughan is also a traditionalist, the book still hangs wallboards for all the major tracks. This Saturday the book is offering a $10,000 Twin Quinella. To collect all you have to do is correctly pick the Q in both the Breeders’ Cup Mile and the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Complete details are available in the race book.

Another place to test your handicapping is at any of the nine Station Casinos – Green Valley, Red Rock, Texas, Santa Fe, Palace, Sunset, Boulder, and both Fiestas. No matter which part of town you live in, there’s one near you. They are also offering Twin Quinellas – one for $10,000 on Friday and another for $20,000 on Saturday.

Cannery and Eastside Cannery are giving away official Breeders’ Cup t-shirts with a $25 BC wager, while supplies last. Both of these race books are a bit smaller, which makes them cozier, and they have some of the friendliest staff in town. Plus, Eastside still has those great wallboards that are so easy to read.

In North Las Vegas Jerry’s Nugget is having a BC handicapping contest. For a $10 entry fee you could win $1,000. The race book has all the details. They also have some nice giveaways. A $10 wager will get you a souvenir glass and a $25 wager on their Parlay Matchup Card will get you a JN Loaded Cooler Tote.

We can hardly wait for the weekend. It’s going to be a lot of fun.

OSCAR MAYOR: If you’ve always wanted to see former Mayor Oscar Goodman up close and personal, but never got the chance, today (Oct. 29) is your lucky day. He will be at Gamblers Book Club (5473 S. Eastern Ave.) this afternoon from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. along with Howard Schwartz, probably the world’s greatest authority on books about gambling.

During that time the two of them will sit down for about an hour to record a podcast memorializing their discussion of all things Oscar, including hizzoner’s book “Being Oscar.” Before and after the podcast we’re sure the affable politician will make time for flesh pressing, book signing and storytelling.

Howard has been doing podcasts with authors of gambling books since 2007. If you are interested in past interviews you can see them at http://gamblersbookclub.libsyn.com/. Contact the Book Club for details about upcoming interviews, there will be two in November.

LUCILLE’S: If you like barbecue, you will love Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que at Red Rock Resort. We stopped by for lunch last week and were not disappointed.

The menu boasts of Baby Back Ribs, St. Louis Spare Ribs, Beef Ribs or Half Chicken, all slow smoked, grilled and basted with special sauce. There is also Southern Fried Chicken, New Orleans Gumbo and Louisiana Pasta with Andouille sausage, blackened chicken breast, tasso ham, shrimp, sweet peppers, onions and mushrooms tossed in Cajun cream sauce.

You can get your Catfish blackened or fried, and the Jambalaya, served over Creole rice, is sure to register on your spicy hot meter.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Nevada. Although the official holiday was celebrated this past Friday – the last Friday of the month – Thursday marks the actual day 149 years ago that Nevada became the 36th state in the Union.

See you around town.

Eileen DiRocco is the owner and publisher of GamingToday, the bible for gaming news “you can bet on.” Contact Eileen at [email protected].

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