Wager on Your Favorite Horseplayer at NHC 2017

nhc final table vegas LAS VEGAS, NV — Horseplayers and their fans have until Friday morning to place their bets on who will win the 18th Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) Presented by Racetrack Television Network and Treasure Island Las Vegas. The NHC Future Wager, available in the Treasure Island Race & Sports Book, offers odds on 363 individual players and a “Field” encompassing about 190 other players that qualified for the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping contest after Oct. 31.

Not surprisingly, the Field opened as a heavy 7-2 favorite. Handicapping contest veteran Dave Gutfreund – the NHC’s all-time leading money earner still known to many by his old nickname “The Maven” – is the current favorite among individual horseplayers at 40-1.

Defending NHC winner Paul Matties and 2015 NHC Tour winner Jonathon Kinchen were the opening co-favorites at 50-1.

Matties closed at 50-1 last year, returning $102 on a $2 wager. Incredibly, Matties cashed a $100 wager on himself, earning $5,000 on top of his $800,000 first-place prize.

Several veteran players with the maximum two entries, such as past champion Judy Wagner, opened at 75-1. Others with two entries opened at 150-1, while the remaining individual interests with one entry, including AGameofSkill.com founder Rich Nilsen, opened at 200-1.

“The NHC Future Wager is believed to be the only legal betting on horseplayers offered anywhere in the world,” said NTRA Chief Operating Officer Keith Chamblin. “We salute Treasure Island for once again making this wager available to its customers and for helping us place a spotlight on the horseplayers whose wagering dollars fuel every aspect of our sport and business.”

The NHC Future Wager will close Friday, Jan. 27, the opening day of NHC 18, at 9 a.m. PST. NHC 18 will be contested over three days, Jan. 27-29, at Treasure Island.

In its 18th year, the NHC is the most important tournament of the year for horseplayers and is the culmination of a year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino race books, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping websites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals. There are no bye-ins to the NHC. Each year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards. In addition to the founding title sponsor, Daily Racing Form, the NHC is presented by Racetrack Television Network and Treasure Island Las Vegas.

Qualifying Begins for $300,000 Kentucky Derby Betting Championship

The best handicappers will join the best three-year-olds for the 2nd annual TwinSpires.com Kentucky Derby Betting Championship on May 5-6 at Churchill Downs.

Featuring a $12,000 buy-in and the ability to play anywhere through TwinSpiresTournaments.com, the KDBC is a live-money handicapping tournament with $4,000 of the entry fee going to an estimated prize pool of $300,000 and a top prize of $150,000. Last year’s winner, Ron Myeress, won $152,752 in cash and prizes.

Churchill winner's circle“After the success of our inaugural Kentucky Derby Betting Championship, we’re looking forward to growing and improving it this year thanks to our players and Churchill Downs Race Track,” TwinSpires.com President Ted Gay said. “The addition of ‘play-from-anywhere’ through TwinSpires.com should add to the player and prize pool, truly making this one of the top live-money tournaments on the circuit.”

 TwinSpires.com partnered with Breeders’ Cup to offer online play of the Breeders’ Cup Betting Championship, an option that helped grow that contest to record levels this year. In conjunction with that partnership, TwinSpires.com and Churchill Downs Race Track will offer a $1-million bonus if the KDBC winner also wins the 2017 BCBC.

“It was a thrill to welcome the best contest players to the most exciting two minutes in sports at last year’s Kentucky Derby,” said Churchill Downs Racetrack President Kevin Flanery. “The Kentucky Derby is all about the best of Thoroughbred racing, and adding a big-money live tournament to the mix enhances the race’s brand as the premier week in the Sport of Kings.”

Registration for this year’s Kentucky Derby Betting Championship is now available with a $500 deposit at KentuckyDerbyBettingChampionship.com. The website is also updated with rules, prize structure, and information on how to qualify via satellites on TwinSpires.com.

2016 NHC Tour Comes Down to 5 Tournaments this Weekend

NHC TOUR LEADERBOARD ON THE LINE

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Thursday, December 29, 2016) – The 2016 NHC Tour’s cash prize pool of $315,000 as well as eligibility for additional bonuses at the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping tournament – the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC), Jan. 27-29 at Treasure Island Las Vegas – will come down to five final events this weekend. A Saturday contest on NHCQualify.com, three days of qualifiers at Del Mar’s Surfside Race Place, and a New Year’s Day grand finale at Monmouth Park represent the only remaining chances for players to accrue NHC Tour points and increase their potential prize money.

The top 20 finishers on the NHC Tour will share in $175,000 of prize money, with the 2016 NHC Tour champion taking home $75,000, a trophy, and an automatic berth to the NHC 19 in January 2018. Second place will take home $20,000 and a trophy. The remainder of the cash prize pool is scaled from $15,000 for third down to $1,000 for 20th.

nhc final table vegasNHC Tour veteran Cheryl McIntyre enters the final weekend of play in first place with 19,898 points, more than 1,000 ahead of Tony Zhou in second with 18,698.

A separate “Second Half” prize pool will pay $10,000 to each of the top five finishers based only on results posted after August 1. Sam Alipio holds the edge in that race, though any top-five finish returns the same prize amount.

The top 150 NHC Tour point leaders receive an automatic berth to NHC 18 in four weeks (those that have already qualified do not receive an additional berth). The top 40 NHC Tour finishers will compete for the $25,000 Tour Bonus, which goes to the individual within that group with the highest finish at NHC 18.

Two lucrative bonuses restricted to specific players will also be decided this weekend. Friday’s NHCQualify.com tournament, the year’s final online qualifier, will determine shares of a $25,000 “Cyber Stars” bonus pool for the top five players based on NHC Tour points earned on NHCQualify.com, with $10,000 to the winner plus eligibility for a $1 million bonus should that player go on to win NHC 18. A $15,000 “Rookie” bonus pool will go to the top five player that signed up for the NHC Tour for the first time in 2016, with $5,000 to first.

George Chute, 15th in the overall NHC Tour standings, leads the “Cyber Stars” standings, while Peter Dresens, 47th overall, is the “Rookie” leader.

Full standings for the 2016 NHC Tour and the bonus divisions can be accessed online via the NTRA website at https://www.ntra.com/nhc/leaders.

Online registration for the 2017 NHC Tour opens Sunday, Jan. 1, at nhctour.com.

 In its 18th year, the NHC is the most important tournament of the year for horseplayers and is the culmination of a year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino race books, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping websites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals. There are no bye-ins to the NHC. Each year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards. In addition to the founding title sponsor, Daily Racing Form, the NHC is presented by Racetrack Television Network and Treasure Island Las Vegas.

For more information on the NHC Tour and a complete contest schedule, visit NTRA.com/nhc.

About the NTRA

The NTRA, based in Lexington, Ky., is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests and thousands of individual stakeholders consisting of horseplayers, racetrack operators, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity, welfare and integrity of Thoroughbred racing through consensus-based leadership, legislative advocacy, safety and integrity initiatives, fan engagement and corporate partner development. The NTRA owns and manages the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, NTRA.com, the Eclipse Awards, the National Handicapping Championship, NTRA Advantage, a corporate partner sales and sponsorship program, and Horse PAC, a federal political action committee. NTRA press releases appear on NTRA.com, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (facebook.com/1NTRA).

Major Handicapping Tournaments to Now Feature $3M Rolling Bonus

A New Twist: NHC, BCBC $3 Million Bonus To Become ‘Rolling Double’

NTRA:
The $3 million NHC Tour Bonus – the largest prize ever offered in the handicapping contest world – added a new twist when the National Thoroughbred Racing Association today announced that the winner of January’s Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) in Las Vegas will be eligible for a $3 million bonus if he or she goes on to win the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge at Del Mar.

This year’s BCBC winner, Joe Appelbaum, is already eligible for the bonus should he win NHC 17. Today’s announcement makes the NHC Tour Bonus a “rolling” double, as every BCBC and NHC winner will be eligible as long as they win each major contest successively, but in either order.

nhc final table vegas NHC 18 is set for January 27-29 at Treasure Island Las Vegas. The 2017 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge will be held Nov. 3-4 and based at the Breeders’ Cup host site, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club near San Diego.

Appelbaum earned $364,000 at this year’s BCBC and first prize at the NHC is $800,000, meaning that successful completion of the NHC Tour Double would be worth more than $4.164 million. Players must be current members of the NHC Tour ($50) to be eligible to win the lucrative bonus.

Qualifying for the NHC continues through January in scores of contests held on-site and exclusively online at NHCqualify.com. In its 18th year, the NHC is the most important tournament of the year for horseplayers and is the culmination of a year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino race books, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping websites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals. There are no bye-ins to the NHC. Each year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards. In addition to the founding title sponsor, Daily Racing Form, the NHC is presented by Racetrack Television Network and Treasure Island Las Vegas.

For more information on the NHC Tour and a complete contest schedule, visit NTRA.com/nhc.

Now entering its ninth year, the $1 million-estimated BCBC has become one of the most sought after prizes on the tournament calendar. The BCBC, which offers 15 seats to the NHC in addition to cash prizes, is a highly lucrative and exclusive live bankroll handicapping contest with a $10,000 buy-in required to participate. Players enjoy first class access to the two best days of racing in the world with VIP seats that include buffet lunch each day and other amenities. Online and on-site qualifying tournaments, offering $10,000 berths into the BCBC as prizes, continue throughout the summer and fall leading to the November Breeders’ Cup. For more on the BCBC, visit www.breederscup.com/bcbc.

Texas Gastroenterologist Wins 1st Half of NHC Tour

JOE JOHNSON WINS NHC TOUR FIRST HALF,

TOP FIVE PLAYERS EARN $10,000 BREEDERS’ CUP BETTING CHALLENGE ENTRIES

 LEXINGTON, Ky.  – Joe Johnson, of San Antonio, Texas, rode the lone speed of Laoban all the way to a $10,000 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entry as the winner of the National Handicapping Championship (NHC) Tour’s “First Half,” which concluded Sunday, July 31st.

By pegging that 27-1 winner of the Jim Dandy (G2) at Saratoga Race Course, Johnson vaulted himself to an 11th-place finish in a Free-to-Play online qualifier presented by the NTRA on NHCQualify.com, good for 2,851 points on the day and a final tally of 13,578 points on the “First Half” leaderboard. The “First Half” top five – each of whom received either a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entry worth $10,000 or the equivalent in cash – was rounded out by Gary McMaster (12,969 points), Cheryl McIntyre (12,617), Rick Broth (12,555), and Kevin Engelhard (12,199).

“First Half” totals are comprised of points earned in a player’s top four finishes, at least one of which must have come in an on-site contest, through July 31. Results became official Wednesday at the conclusion of a three-day audit period.

NHC generic logoJohnson, 59, a gastroenterologist, amassed his score with a March 13 win on HorseTourneys.com (in a field of 290 entries) worth 3,688 points; a March 20 win on BetAmerica (281 entries) worth 3,631 points; a third-place finish in the July 23 live contest at Woodbine (86 entries) worth 1,908 points; and the 11th-place finish on Saturday against a field of 1,810 other entries in the final major contest of the First Half.

His effort north of the border was Johnson’s first and only attempt of the year in an on-site tournament.

“I played at Woodbine just so I could get that in-person score,” he said. “I’ve been pushing for this for some months now and it feels good to have it happen.”

Johnson also backed Laoban on multiple entries in another contest Saturday, on DRF Tournaments, finishing first and second while earning his second BCBC entry of the year as a result. With the maximum of two BCBC entries in his own name already secured, Johnson will receive $10,000 cash for his NHC Tour “First Half” exploits.

“I hate to say I had some luck because we like to think it’s all skill but things broke just right for me,” Johnson said. “It really worked out well. I was only aiming for the top five but to win feels great.”

Now Johnson will turn his attention to the overall, year-long NHC Tour leaderboard, where he sits in second with 16,616 points, just behind Engelhard, the current leader with 16,783. The overall NHC Tour leaderboard incorporates a player’s top six scores. First prize for the NHC Tour is $75,000 and comes with a trophy and the chance to play for a $2 million bonus should the NHC Tour winner go on to win NHC 18 in January. There is also a new “$3,000,000 NHC Tour Double” bonus for anyone that can complete a sweep of the BCBC and the NHC.

“Of course I’ve got to go for all of that,” Johnson said. “That’s what we do this for.”

The top 150 NHC Tour finishers earn automatic berths to the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping contest, the NHC, set for Jan. 27-29, 2017, at Treasure Island Las Vegas, provided that each individual has not already won an NHC entry. The top 20 share in a $175,000 prize pool, from $75,000 (plus a trophy and an automatic berth to NHC 19) for the NHC Tour champion to $1,000 for 20th, and the top 40 get to play for a $25,000 bonus that goes to the qualifier with the highest finish at NHC 18.

Here’s more of what we know about the rest of the top five “First Half” finishers after Johnson and whether they’re accepting a BCBC entry or taking $10,000 cash:

McMaster, of Etobicoke, Ontario, won live contests at Woodbine and Arlington Park this summer. He already holds a BCBC spot and has elected to take $10,000 cash.

McIntyre, of Massillon, Ohio, is an eight-time NHC qualifier. She has already earned four BCBC entries in 2016 (although only two can be played in her name) and will, therefore, receive $10,000 cash.

Broth, of Dunwoody, Ga., is a sales manager for an acoustical tile manufacturer. The 58-year-old made his NHC debut in January at NHC 17. He has co-owned several quality horses with trainer Ronny Werner, including Lady of Shamrock, a multiple Grade 1 winner after they sold her as a 2-year-old. Broth already held a BCBC berth he earned by winning Keeneland’s Grade One Gamble in April and will take $10,000 cash.

Engelhard, of Franklin Park, N.J., is a seven-time NHC qualifier. The 63-year-old is the current NHC Tour leader. He has accepted a BCBC entry.

On the compact “First Half” leaderboard, eight players – including elite names like Joe Pettit, Bill Shurman, Garett Skiba, Eric Moomey and Sally Goodall – finished within 1,000 points of making the top five.

The complete final “First Half” standings with scores for all 2,633 NHC Tour members that earned points so far this year can be viewed online.

The NHC Tour’s “Second Half” starts this weekend with a clean slate separate from the overall standings. The top five on the NHC Tour leaderboard from Aug. 1 toJan. 1 will each be awarded a $10,000 cash prize. This weekend’s plethora of contest offerings include the two-day (Friday and Saturday) $200,000-guaranteed Wynn Las Vegas Handicapping Challenge (2 NHC spots); Saturday’s “All-Optional” contest on HorseTourneys.com (3 spots minimum); Saturday’s “Second Chance” contest (a qualifier for the 2-spot championship Oct. 1) at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas; Sunday’s Free-to-Play online contest (4 spots) presented by the NTRA at NHCQualify.com; and another Sunday contest (2 spots guaranteed) at NHCQualify.com.

For more information on the NHC and NHC Tour, visit www.ntra.com/nhc. 

About the NHC

In its 18th year, the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship is the most important tournament of the year for horseplayers and is the culmination of a year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino race books, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping Web sites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals. Each year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards. In addition to the founding title sponsor, the NHC is presented by host casino Treasure Island Las Vegas.

About the BCBC

Now entering its eighth year, the $1 million-estimated BCBC has become one of the most sought after prizes on the tournament calendar. The BCBC, which offers 15 seats to the NHC in addition to cash prizes, is a highly lucrative and exclusive live bankroll handicapping contest with a $10,000 buy-in required to participate. Players enjoy first class access to the two best days of racing in the world with VIP seats that include buffet lunch each day and other amenities. Online and on-site qualifying tournaments, offering $10,000 berths into the BCBC as prizes, continue throughout the summer and fall leading to the November Breeders’ Cup. For more on the BCBC, visit www.breederscup.com/bcbc.

About the NTRA

THE NTRA is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests and thousands of individual stakeholders consisting of horseplayers, racetrack operators, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity, welfare and integrity of Thoroughbred racing through consensus-based leadership, legislative advocacy, safety and integrity initiatives, fan engagement and corporate partner development. The NTRA, Based in Lexington, Ky., owns and manages the NTRA Safety & Integrity Alliance; NTRA.com; the NTRA Top Thoroughbred and NTRA Top 3-Year-Old weekly media polls; the Eclipse Awards; the National Handicapping Championship; NTRA Advantage, a corporate partner sales and sponsorship program; and Horse PAC, a federal political action committee. NTRA press releases appear on NTRA.com, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (facebook.com/1NTRA).

$3M Bonus Tied to BCBC and NHC Tournament Wins

The Breeders' Cup at Keeneland NHC TOUR INTRODUCES $3 MILLION BONUS FOR BREEDERS’ CUP BETTING CHALLENGE-NATIONAL HANDICAPPING CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLE

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sunday, July 31, 2016) – – A $3 million National Handicapping Championship (NHC) Tour bonus – the largest prize ever offered in the handicapping contest world – will be awarded to any horseplayer who wins the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) November 4-5 and the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) next January 27-29, the NTRA and Breeders’ Cup announced today. The “NHC Tour $3,000,000 Double” starts with the $1 million-estimated BCBC, a lucrative live bankroll contest with a $10,000 buy-in, and continues with NHC 18, the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping contest, worth an estimated $2.8 million in cash and prizes.

The bonus was first announced during today’s NBC broadcast of the $1 million Betfair.com Haskell Invitational from Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.

Last year’s BCBC winner earned more than $300,000 and first prize at the NHC is $800,000, meaning that successful completion of the NHC Tour Double would be worth more than $4.1 million. Participating individuals must be a member of the NHC Tour ($50) to be eligible to win the lucrative bonus.

“This bonus ties together and strengthens the two most prestigious handicapping contests in the world,” said NTRA Chief Operating Officer Keith Chamblin. “Winning the BCBC in November and the NHC in January would be unprecedented and a feat worthy of the richest pay day in handicapping contest history.”

Las Vegas sportsbook contest Now entering its eighth year, the $1 million-estimated BCBC has become one of the most sought after prizes on the tournament calendar. The BCBC, which offers 15 seats to the NHC in addition to cash prizes, is a highly lucrative and exclusive live bankroll handicapping contest with a $10,000 buy-in required to participate. Players enjoy first class access to the two best days of racing in the world with VIP seats that include buffet lunch each day and other amenities. Online and on-site qualifying tournaments, offering $10,000 berths into the BCBC as prizes, continue throughout the summer and fall leading to the November Breeders’ Cup. For more on the BCBC, visit breederscup.com/bcbc.

Qualifying for NHC 18 continues through January in scores of contests held on-site and online. Next weekend’s contest menu includes a Free-to-Play NHC online contest at NHCqualify.com offering four spots to the NHC. For more information on the NHC Tour and a complete contest schedule, visit NTRA.com/nhc.

In its 18th year, the NHC is the most important tournament of the year for horseplayers and is the culmination of a year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino race books, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping websites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals. There are no bye-ins to the NHC. Each year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards. In addition to the founding title sponsor, the NHC is presented by Racetrack Television Network and Treasure Island Las Vegas.

About the NTRA
The NTRA, based in Lexington, Ky., is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests and thousands of individual stakeholders consisting of horseplayers, racetrack operators, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity, welfare and integrity of Thoroughbred racing through consensus-based leadership, legislative advocacy, safety and integrity initiatives, fan engagement and corporate partner development. The NTRA owns and manages the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, NTRA.com, the Eclipse Awards, the National Handicapping Championship, NTRA Advantage, a corporate partner sales and sponsorship program, and Horse PAC, a federal political action committee. NTRA press releases appear on NTRA.com, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (facebook.com/1NTRA).

About Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 grade I races and purses and awards totaling $28 million, will be held November 4-5 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup Web site, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube

2017 NHC Dates Set. Changes for NHC Tour

The 2017 National Handicapping Championship (NHC) dates have been set for Friday, January 27 – Sunday, January 29 in Las Vegas.  There several noteworthy changes to this year’s NHC Tour.

For Tour Points scoring purposes there will be three NHC Tour Leader Boards:

1) NHC Tour First-Half Year Leader Board (January 31-July 31)

2) NHC Tour Second-Half Year Leader Board (August 1- January 1, 2017)

3)  NHC Tour Overall Leader Board (January 31, 2016 – January 1, 2017)

All individuals (not entries) participating in each qualifying tournament will receive 50 points for participating in an online Tournament and 150 points for participating in an on-track Tournament.  Participation points will be capped at 1,500 points for the 2016 Tour regardless of the way they are accumulated.  Players are responsible for ensuring the accuracy of their participation points.

NHC generic logo In the case of free NHC qualifiers, Tour points will be awarded based on the total number of Tour members competing in the tournament.   For example, if a free tournament has 1,000 overall entries, but only 500 NHC Tour entries, points will be awarded for the top 50 scores.

Tour Bonus:  The top 40 Tour point leaders, based on the 2016 Overall Tour Leader Board standings as of January 1, 2017, each are eligible to win a $25,000 bonus at the NHC that will awarded to the individual that finishes highest among those 40 individuals at the NHC (not the Consolation Tournament).  The bonus is in addition to any other prize money won at the NHC.

NHCQualify.com Cyber Awards:  A $1 million bonus and additional prize money will be available to individuals accumulating NHC Tour points via NHCQualify.com.  The NHC Tour member accumulating the highest number of NHC Tour points in 2016 via NHCQualify.com will receive $10,000 and be eligible to receive $1 million bonus if she or he also wins the NHC 18 in January 2017.  In addition, any first-time NHC Tour member will be eligible for a $10,000 bonus awarded to the “NHC Cyber Rookie of the Year”.  The NHC Cyber Rookie of the Year will be a first-time Tour member who accumulates the highest number of NHC Tour points via NHCQualify.com.  Individuals must join the 2016 NHC Tour at www.ntra.com/membership/ to be eligible for the bonus and awards tied to play on NHCQualify.com.

The 2016 NHC Tour Free-to-Play Online Tournament Dates have been set (subject to change)

Sunday, March 6 – Horsetourneys.com

Saturday, May 14 – NHCQualify.com

Saturday, July 30 – NHCQualify.com

Sunday, August 7 – NHCQualify.com

Saturday, September 3 – NHCQualify.com

The 2016 NHC Tour rules have been posted on NTRA.com.

NHC Rookie & Cyber Rookie Awards coming to NHCQualify.com

$1 million dollar bonus offered up!

LAS VEGAS (Thursday, January 28, 2016) The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced thatNHCqualify.com, the official online qualifying site of the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC), will offer a new awards pool and a $1 million dollar bonus tied to tournament play on NHCqualify.com in 2016.

The NHC Tour member accumulating the highest number of NHC Tour Points in 2016 via NHCqualify.com will receive $10,000 and be eligible to receive a $1 million bonus if she or he also wins NHC 18 in January 2017. In addition, any first time NHC Tour member will be eligible for a $10,000 bonus awarded to the “NHC Cyber Rookie of the Year.” The NHC Cyber Rookie of the Year will be the first-time Tour member who accumulates the highest number of NHC Tour points via NHCqualify.com.

NHCqualify.com today also released its 2016 schedule of NHC qualifiers consisting of 42 events to be held from February through December. Approximately one-third of NHC participants qualify through contest play on NHCqualify.com in a typical year. A total of 169 individuals competing at NHC 17 qualified through sanctioned tournaments on NHCqualify.com in 2015.

“As the NHC’s official online qualifying site, NHCqualify.com is uniquely positioned to offer a points system and bonus that is a subset of the overall NHC Tour standings, but with a focus on the Tour points accumulated only on NHCqualify.com,” saidNHCqualify.com Tournament Director Ken Kirchner.  “A key component for continued growth of the NHC is involvement of new players so we’re excited to offer a Rookie of the Year program.”

2016 NHC Final Standings

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Longtime player Paul Matties takes down the National Handicapping Championship.  His brother Duke, a professional horseplayer, finished fourth.   Here are the standings from the Final 10 Table:

2016 NHC Recap from Day One

Las Vegas sportsbook contest LAS VEGAS (Thursday, January 28, 2016) First-time qualifier Phil Bongiovanni, a 43-year-old Thoroughbred racehorse owner from Yorba Linda, Calif., leads the 17th Daily Racing Form/NTRA NHC Presented by Racetrack Television Network and Treasure Island Las Vegas with a $200 bankroll after Day 1 of the three-day tournament at Treasure Island.

Bongiovanni hit two “cap” horses worth the maximum $42 to win and $22 to place to help establish a clear lead over next-closest competitors Dan Camoro ($166.60) and Joe Perry ($156.80). As Day 1 leader, Bongiovanni earned a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge berth worth $10,000.

The Top 10 was rounded out by Jim O’Nail ($149.70), Cheryl McIntyre ($147.60), Robert Felty ($144.80), Charlie Davis ($140.20), Roger Cettina ($139.20), Gaylord Grundy ($138.80) and Charles Hogan ($132.50).

Full standings can be viewed online at NTRA.com, where the homepage features a scrolling live leaderboard of the Top 63 players (representing the top 10 percent in line to make the cut and continue to the Semifinals after Day 2 play Friday) and sortable/searchable standings of the entire field.

The 629 NHC entrants were required to place 18 mythical $2 Win and Place wagers – eight on mandatory races that everyone played and 10 on any of about 45 other races from six designated racetracks across the country.

Bongiovanni, who plays in partnership with Southern California handicapper Bob Ike, connected with two bombs early in the contest – Point Made, the longest shot in a short field of seven, paid $99.60 and $35.60 in Gulfstream Park’s fourth race, and Tipsy Suspect, who went gate-to-wire at 50-1 against 11 other Arkansas-breds, returning $102 and $26 in Oaklawn Park’s third.

“We shot out and hit those two cap horses early” Bongiovanni said, comparing the effort to a speed horse posting a :21 2/5 opening quarter-mile. “There are a lot of good handicappers here and I’m realistic; I have no delusions of grandeur. Today was a lucky day. If I can keep the luck rolling that’s great but no one can take away the fact that, for one day at least, I finished first.”

Bongiovanni retired comfortably a few years ago after selling a business. Now he follows his passion as an owner with 14 horses in training, primarily in Southern California with trainer Ted H. West. His best horse to date has been 7-year-old California-bred gelding Motown Men, who earned $259,214 in 11 starts last year and is approaching a half-million in career earnings.

The 2015 NHC Tour winner Jonathon Kinchen, who is eligible for a $2 million bonus if he wins NHC 17, led the field early in the day and finished with both of his entries within striking distance, 27th ($113.10) and 45th ($102.60).

Said Kinchen: “If you’d have told me this morning when I woke up, ‘Hey, you’re going to have two in the top 50 after day one,’ I’d be like, ‘Where do I sign?’”

The three-day NHC continues Friday at Treasure Island. Day 1 bankrolls will carry over to Day 2, which will have eight mandatory races and 10 optionals. The top 10 percent of the field – 63 entries – after Day 2 will continue on to the Semifinal round Saturday and the top 10 will play at the “Final Table” to determine the final rankings, including the $800,000 grand prize and Eclipse Award winner. Players outside the final cut will play in a separate $50,000 Consolation Tournament on Saturday with reset mythical bankrolls.