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Las Vegas casinos offer free Kentucky Derby handicapping tips

With the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, numerous Las Vegas Valley racebooks are offering free handicapping seminars to offer expert observations and opinions on the field for the 145th Run for the Roses.

You can also get some insights online by watching the Review-Journal’s live video streamed handicapping special at 2 p.m. Thursday.

Hosted by Review-Journal horse racing columnist Mike Brunker, the panel will feature Bob Ike, a public handicapper for many years in Southern California and the purveyor of BobIkePicks.com; Joe Mainardi, creator of the Horse$ense handicapping program and a contributor to the Phillips Racing Newsletter; and Ramparts Casino Race &Sports Manager Duane Colucci. You can watch live at Facebook.com/reviewjournalsports, and the video will be available on demand on reviewjournal.com within a few hours after the live event concludes.

You’re also welcome to drop by the casino’s sportsbook if you want to watch live.

Here’s a roundup of some of the other free handicapping seminars around town on Thursday and Friday:


1 p.m.: Fiesta Henderson features a free Derby seminar at 1 p.m. with Jerry Jacovitz, creator of Jerry J’s Power Page.

6 p.m.: Boulder Station hosts its free Derby seminar with “Professor” Gordon Jones, Dave Valento, aka the Track Phantom, and the casino’s Tony Vega breaking down the race.


6 p.m.: Rampart Casino at the Resort at Summerlin features Bob Ike and Race &Sports Manager Duane Colucci breaking down the race. Attendees will be entered into a raffle drawing for free slot machine play that will be held during the seminar.

6 p.m.: Sunset Station in Henderson will feature a foursome: Brian Blessing, host of Sportsbook Radio on KSHP-AM, Hank “Hammer” Goldberg, longtime ESPN broadcaster and now a Sportsline.com handicapper; Richard Eng, longtime Review-Journal horse racing columnist and author of “Betting on Horse Racing for Dummies”; and Track Phantom Dave Valento.

6 p.m.: South Point features free insights from Ralph Siraco, longtime host of the “Race Day Las Vegas” radio show, along with house handicapper Patrick McQuiggan, Southern California clocker Toby Turrell and Jon Hardoon of the Ragozin Sheets.

6 p.m.: Texas Station has Jerry Jacovitz, creator of Jerry J’s Power Page, offering his free Derby analysis.

Many Las Vegas race and sports books also will offer T-shirt giveaways or other special promotions on Saturday, including a raffle at Rampart where 20 lucky fans will be eligible to win free slot machine play if the horse they are matched with lands in the money. Check with your preferred book for details.

If you’re looking to enjoy the races with a large crowd, the South Point will open its Grand Ballroom for fans Saturday and host a hat contest at 1 p.m.

If you’re more about the betting, Stations casinos are offering special twin quinella wagers on both Kentucky Oaks day on Friday and on Derby day on Saturday, with $10,000 and $20,000 guaranteed payouts, respectively.

Las Vegas Review-Journal

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