Draft party and Derby seminars are a must go

April 28, 2015 3:07 AM


Football is back!  Not really, but the next best thing – the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft – begins Thursday at 4 p.m., and lovers of gridiron action can’t wait.Football is back!

Not really, but the next best thing – the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft – begins Thursday at 4 p.m., and lovers of gridiron action can’t wait.

To set the stage for this year’s event Brian Blessing is broadcasting his Sports Radio 920 The Game show from the Sunset Station sportsbook, noon to 1 p.m.

Some of the brightest handicapping minds in Las Vegas, including Chuck Esposito, Sunset Station sportsbook director; Tony Miller, Golden Nugget sportsbook director; Bruce Marshall, The Goldsheet; Mike Lewis, Suncoast sportsbook director; Jimmy Vaccaro, South Point Casino and Vinny Magliulo, LVDC vice president of corporate relations, will be there to give you their thoughts and opinions.

The group will even conduct a mock draft and you will find out where they think the talents of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston or USC defensive tackle Leonard Williams can best be used. Who does Tampa Bay need most to help improve last year’s dismal 2-14 record? These sportsbook gurus are sure to know.

And, if you head to the book to watch the broadcast you might get a chance to ask what they think about your own favorite player.

When the show is over, stick around because you will want to be there at 3:30 p.m. when the doors open for the second annual Get Drafted at Sunset Station Pro Football Draft Day Party at Club Madrid, Sunset’s 500-seat concert venue.

“If you are a football fan, the draft is the best reality show on TV,” Esposito, who created the Draft Party last year, told us. “And watching it at Club Madrid on the three HD big screens is a great experience.”

Esposito, who said he’s always been a big fan of the draft, came up with the idea for the Draft Party last year after being “asked by so many guests and friends if we were going to show the draft in the book. There was just so much interest I thought, let’s throw a party.”

The talented Brian Blessing, along with Esposito, will host the event, which will offer draft beer and shot specials, stadium food starting at $2, official pro football draft cap giveaways and more.

Sure sounds like a great time to us!

DERBY PICK: Like most of you, we’ve been looking for a horse to bet on in Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. Of course, we all know American Pharoah will be the favorite, but as great as he is, based on history, his chances of winning are pretty dismal – the betting favorite has only won 6 times in the past 35 years.

Of course, there will be those who say favorites Orb, the 2013 winner, and last year’s California Chrome are the start of a trend. We’re not so sure.

They were both also the top point getters in the new point system initiated two years ago. Maybe that had more to do with their victories, and that would mean we need to take a close look at International Star, this year’s leader with 171 points. According to Mike Battaglia, who makes Churchill Downs’ morning line, Star will go off at around 15-1. What a nice price he would pay should he win.

It is confusing. To increase our chances of cashing a ticket, we need the advice of some true horse handicapping experts. And, one of the best places to get that kind of help will be the various Kentucky Derby seminars taking place this week.

Two we will definitely check out are the Thursday seminar at Palace Station and Friday’s offering at Sunset Station.

Thursday at 6 p.m., at Palace’s race book, GT’s very own Richard Saber, one of the best horse handicappers we know, will join Ralph Siraco, host of “Race Day Las Vegas,” and Professor Gordon Jones, who gave out the trifecta for last year’s Derby, to analyze the race. While getting educated on this year’s entries you will also be able to enjoy free food, drinks and cocktail service.

Friday at 6 p.m., Chuck Esposito and Brian Blessing will host a panel at Sunset’s race book that includes GT columnist Steve Davidowitz, who is also an author and expert handicapper, Ralph Siraco and Dave Valento, publisher of the race handicapping sheet Track Phantom.

Both are bound to be very enlightening. Hope to see you there.

Otherwise, 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 EileenDiRocco@GamingToday.com.