What a Birthday for the Defending BetPTC Handicapper of the Year

John F. and his much better half, wife Cheryl

John F., defending BetPTC Handicapper of the Year (2017), celebrated his birthday in horseracing style. John overcame an almost insurmountable lead from Day One leader Scott C. ($5,875; +2250%) to win the 2018 BetPTC Cash is King X Finals.

Besides retaining his Handicapper of the Year title by finishing first for the second consecutive year, John garnered the coveted $12,000 Pegasus Cup Betting Challenge entry.  That event is held Jan 25-26, 2019 at Gulfstream Park (and Santa Anita).  John also keeps the $9,007 in cash he won plus receives travel reimbursement ($500) and perks at the Pegasus Cup.

Although John was a respectable 2nd after Day One ($2,457; +810.19%), Carson’s +2,250% ROI score was imposing. With a big hit at Gulfstream Park West on Sunday, John concluded his weekend with a 2-day total of $9,007; a +1632.12% ROI that put him narrowly on top.

As a 9 time-NHC qualifier, John is looking forward to not only the exciting and challenging Pegasus contest hosted by the Stronach group in late Jan, but also participating again in the $3M NHC contest in Las Vegas in early February.

For his second-place finish, Scott C. earned the $2,000 cash prize plus kept his $8,555 in winnings for a tremendous weekend of handicapping and betting.  3rd place went to Albert T. ($3,304, +278.47%), good for $1,000 in prize money. 4th place was Peter M. ($1,320, +161.41%) and 5th place was Ellis S. ($1,489, +45.75%).  Both Peter and Ellis won $500 cash.  6th place finisher was Andrew W. ($740, +32.62%), and 7th went to David V. ($1,211, +21.42%).  Each received $250 cash.

Congratulations to all 39 contestants who qualified and competed in this year’s 15-week Cash is King contest and Nov Finals.  To learn more about BetPTC and how you can receive a Custom Rewards Schedule via AGOS, click here.

A bonus contest event is being held this Friday for the 7 participants who finished in the top 3 three or more times during the 15-week contest.  An additional $3,000 in prizes will be awarded in that special event.

 

Real Money contestAbout Premier Turf Club (BetPTC)

Premier Turf Club is a U.S. based pari-mutuel account wagering provider that has been in business over 10 years.  BetPTC is regulated in the state of Oregon by the Oregon Racing Commission.

The company provides legal telephone and online betting services, safely and securely handling over $350 million in wagers.  In the summer of 2017, BetPTC released a mobile-friendly wagering platform at BetPTC.mobi.

Unlike the non-pari-mutuel off-shore bookmakers, BetPTC pays the tracks for the right to accept simulcast wagers on their races and co-mingle those wagers with the on-track pari-mutuel pools. Unlike the off-shore ADWs, a portion of all monies wagered through Premier Turf Club go to the horsemen and the local racetracks. It’s these payments that allow horsemen to run meets at Portland Meadows, country fairs and various racetracks throughout the United States.

The owner of Premier Turf Club started out in the racing industry as a horse owner and bettor. The BetPTC staff includes horse owners, bettors and industry professionals that have been involved in advance deposit wagering and simulcasting since their inceptions. The site is designed by horseplayers for horseplayers.

 

How to Win a Handicapping Tournament

By Rich Nilsen

For the last 10 years or more, the handicapping tournaments in the horse racing world have been all the rage.  The popularity has increased with each passing year, and the overall tournament landscape has changed significantly.  Whereas in the past nearly all contests featured a $2 win/place format using mythical money, the larger real-money tournaments have now taken over.  The good news is that there is still something for everyone.  There are small entry-level contests where the buy-in may be as a low as $9, and there are huge tournaments where you need $10,000 or more to get in the front door.

Handicapping tournaments are a lot of fun, but to win one you have to be more than just a good handicapper.  You have to be prepared and have a plan.  Today we’ll look at the steps I believe you need in order to succeed in horse racing contests.  Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences at the end on what you think it takes to win a handicapping tournament.

REALLY KNOW THE RULES

Yes, that seems pretty obvious.  But understanding the basic rules and really knowing the rules are two different things.  There are many contests out there that have ‘fine details’ and those fine details can be the difference between winning and losing.

I highly recommend reading through the rules of an upcoming contest multiple times.  In doing so, you may just catch something you missed the first time around.  For example, in 2016 I was fortunate to win into the Kentucky Derby Betting Championship, a brand new, real-money contest that featured a $20,000 buy-in.  You had to bet a certain amount of money on a minimum number of Churchill Downs races on both Friday and Saturday of Kentucky Derby weekend.  What could easily be missed in the rules is that you could wager LESS than the required amount on any given race.

This omission was actually significant.  Why?  The reason being that you could take a swing at a race that maybe you didn’t want to go all-in on per the minimum race requirements.  So, instead of wagering the required $400 minimum, for example, you could take a shot with $50-100 in bets.  If you lost, no big deal.  If you hit an exacta or trifecta that paid well, this could help you make a move on the leaderboard.  If you sat out the race entirely, because you failed to understand the rule, and then a horse you were strongly considering won, this could also wreck havoc on your mental game.

There are other contests where if you fail to make a bet or meet the minimum requirements, you’re disqualified.  I’ve seen this happen even to veteran tournament players.  By reading the rules and really understanding the ins and outs of the contest, you’re much less likely to make a critical mistake.

FOLLOW THE CONTEST TRACK(S)

In the week leading up to a contest that features specific tracks, you should definitely follow the action at those tracks in the days prior.   There are several benefits to doing that.  For one you may catch on to a prevailing track bias.  You may notice certain trainers or jockeys that are ice cold, or red-hot for that matter.

You may also notice a horse that was victorious who ran against a horse entered on the upcoming contest date. That happened to me many years ago when I was involved in a handicapping tournament in Kentucky.  The day before the contest, I had wagered on a horse that won impressively at Keeneland and had done so at nice odds.  The following day a runner that had been very competitive with that winning horse was entered to run.  The horse made sense to me, for a variety of reasons, and I knew he was coming out of a sneaky good race.  He crushed the field and scored at 50-1 odds!  I had him in the contest and, although I didn’t win the grand prize, I was among the top finishers at the conclusion of the contest.

BE AGGRESSIVE

It’s very hard to win a contest with a conservative approach.  Playing the favorites, for example, throughout the majority of the card isn’t going to get you into the winner’s circle very often.  You may feel good cashing several races, but it simply won’t ‘cut it.’

I’m not suggesting that you just take stabs at big longshots.  However, it is advisable to find some value plays that make sense and can propel you up the leaderboard if you’re right.  Just a couple of victorious 6-1 shots can oftentimes put you in the hunt to win a tournament.

If you’re playing a tournament with mandatory races, then everyone is required to play the same race(s).  If a big price comes in, unless it’s a very small field of players, someone is going to have the longshot, and you’re toast.

The chances of just picking the logical favorites and being successful in most tournaments is low, as this player found out a few years ago.

How not to play a contest

In this live, online tournament featuring 10 mandatory races, there were 105 players and the top 12 won prizes.  This player had an awesome day, selecting six winners in a row!  The problem was that only one of those winners paid more than 2-1 and that was the 4-1 winning selection at Hawthorne.  Unfortunately for this sharp handicapper, a big price came in late in the tournament and blew him and his great day out of the water.  He plummeted to 15th place, out of the prize spots.  SIX winners in a row in a 10-race contest against only 104 other entries, and he finished completely out of the money.  Incredible.

MAP OUT YOUR CONTEST PLAYS

When you enter a contest, whether it’s on-track or online, you should handicap and make your selections (or structure your wagers) as far in advance of the first race as possible.  Then, check the scratches when they get posted and make appropriate revisions.

If you enter a contest and just plan to ‘wing it’ at the event, or during the online contest, I wish you the best of luck. To me, one of the worst aspects of ‘winging’ a contest and playing it as it goes, is that you are not prepared for the later races.  And, more times than not, the later races will play the biggest part in determining the final results.

My friend Paul Shurman, who is currently leading the NHC Tour (again), explained his thoughts on this in an interview with Eric Wing: “I think you need to have handicapped all the races before you enter the room. You have to know what you like later on in the day to know whether what you’re looking at right now represents good contest value. I also handicap backwards. I’ll start at the end of the card and work my way to the beginning. This way, if I don’t finish, and I wind up having to handicap on the fly, at least I’ll be handicapping on the fly early, knowing what I like later.”

The other benefit of mapping our picks or wagers ahead of time is that you are more likely to stick to your guns.  How many times have you heard a player say, “every time I change a pick, it loses,” or “I should have stuck with my original pick.”  I can attest that when I change my original pick it is usually a mistake.  It’s rare that I have a good reason to go against my original handicapping.

Now, of course, if there is a sudden downpour and the track has become a muddy mess, that is one example where changing your picks is not only a good idea but probably advisable (assuming you didn’t handicap for a wet track).  There are other scenarios and most are common sense.

Where it is not advisable is when you hear the paddock commentator say something negative about your selection, and so now, you’re looking at going a different direction.  Stick to your guns.  If you put a lot of work into your original selections, don’t be easily swayed from them.

SUMMARY

Winning any handicapping tournament is not easy.  Chances are you need to follow the advice presented herein and then proceed to have a really good day on top of that.  In many big contests, you also may need to catch a few breaks, e.g. winning a photo, surviving an inquiry, etc.  Winning is not easy, but if you lay the proper foundation, you enhance your chances greatly.  Best of luck!

 

Rich Nilsen handicapperRich Nilsen is the founder of A Game of Skill.  He is a 15-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) and a winner of 8 major handicapping tournaments.  He is currently ranked 6th on the new NHC Lifetime Player Rankings system.

Rich will be on the panel discussing handicapping tournaments at the Equestricon Conference in Louisville, KY.

 

5 Big Handicapping Contests from Santa Anita During the Autumn Meet

Contests are held both at Santa Anita and on their wagering site.

In addition to world class racing, Santa Anita Park and XpressBet have teamed to offer players a total of five big handicapping contests over the course of Santa Anita’s upcoming 22-day Autumn Meet. The contest series will begin on the second day of the meet, Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” day Saturday, Sept. 29.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 29: The Opening Weekend $500 Challenge

–$500 Buy-in ($300 Bankroll & $200 prizes)

–Play on-track or online with XpressBet

PRIZES (BASED ON 150 ENTRIES)

–One Entry to the 2019 Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship

–Two Entries to the 2019 National Handicapping Championship

–Two Entries to Day One of the DOUBLEHEADER on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Santa Anita

–$10,000 Cash Prize Pool to Top Four Finishers

SATURDAY, OCT. 6: The Doubleheader–Day One

–$3,000 Buy-In ($2,000 Bankroll & $1,000 Prizes)

–Play on-track or online with XpressBet

PRIZES (BASED ON 90 ENTRIES)

–One Entry to the 2019 Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship

–One Entry to the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge

–Two Entries to the 2019 National Horseplayers Championship

–Two Entries to Day Two of the Doubleheader on Oct. 7 at Santa Anita

–$55,000 Cash Prize Pool to Top Five Finishers

SUNDAY, OCT. 7: The Doubleheader–Day Two

–$3,000 Buy-In ($2,000 Bankroll & $1,000 Prizes

–Play on-track or online with XpressBet

PRIZES (BASED ON 90 ENTRIES)

–Two entries to the 2019 Pegasus WCBC

–One Entry to the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge

–Two Entries to the 2019 National Horseplayers Championship

–$50,000 Cash Prize Pool to the Top Five Finishers

SATURDAY, OCT. 20: The $500 Autumn Challenge

–$500 Buy-In ($300 Bankroll & $200 Prizes)

–Play on-track or online with XpressBet

PRIZES (BASED ON 200 ENTRIES)

–One Entry to the 2019 Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship

–Two Entries to the 2019 National Horseplayers Championship

–$20,000 Cash Prize Pool to Top Four Finishers

SUNDAY, NOV. 4: The Closing Day Challenge

–$3,000 Buy-In ($2,000 Bankroll & $1,000 Prizes)

–Play on-track or online with XpressBet

PRIZES (BASED ON 90 ENTRIES)

–Three Entries to the 2019 World Cup Betting Championship

–Two Entries to the 2019 National Horseplayers Championship

–$50,000 Cash Prize Pool to Top Five Finishers

For additional information on Santa Anita’s 2018 Autumn Meet Handicapping Contests, please visit www.santaanita.com/contests, or call, at (626) 574-6384.

NHC Super Qualifiers by the Big Three in Horse Racing

nhc final table vegasThe New York Racing Association, Churchill Downs Inc., and The Stronach Group are set to host three brand-new “NHC Super Qualifiers” in coming months, offering dozens of berths to February’s $3 million (estimated) NTRA National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas. The live-money contests, in which players compete to turn $1,000 of their own cash into the largest nut, are set for Sept. 29 at Belmont Park, Dec. 22 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, and Jan. 5 at Santa Anita Park (or online at Xpressbet.com).

Each on-track Super Qualifier will award one NHC berth per every 15 entries, meaning roughly the top 7 percent of entrants will move on to Treasure Island Las Vegas for the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping contest, Feb. 8-10, 2019.

Registration for each contest costs $1,500, with $1,000 going to the starting bankroll and $200 to a cash prize pool for the Super Qualifier (the remaining $300 goes to the NHC purse and travel). The format will consist of 10 mandatory $50 Win-Place wagers. Players will keep 100 percent of their winnings and the leaders will share in the cash prize pool, with the number of winners and amounts determined (on a sliding scale) by the number of entries. Players are limited to two entries for each on-track Super Qualifier.

“These new Super Qualifiers allow us to offer a much more favorable ratio of berths to entries for players,” said NHC Tournament Director Keith Chamblin. “We’re also excited to offer live-money formats that allow players to keep their winnings and put money through the windows of the host tracks, while maintaining the traditional Win-Place format that rewards consistent excellence.”

Each winning prize package includes NHC entry, four nights at Treasure Island, and airfare reimbursement up to $400.

As added incentive, a $500,000 bonus will be up for grabs in Las Vegas for any of the three on-track Super Qualifier winners who go on to win #NHC19.

For more information on entering any of the four Super Qualifiers, contact Michele Ravencraft of the NTRA at mravencraft@ntra.com. Online and/or phone registration will be available via the host racetracks in coming weeks.

Low-cost “feeder” contests will be available for each Super Qualifier on HorsePlayers.com.

NHC Tour points, which determine year-end Tour prizes, as well as NHC entry for the top 10 percent of finishers, will be awarded in NHC Super Qualifiers. For the Santa Anita/Xpressbet.com contest only, players already double-qualified for #NHC19 can earn a first berth to #NHC20 in February 2020.

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

 

Big Weekend of NHC Handicapping Tournaments – Results from 8/18-19

McFarland Wins Another Real-money Contest

Kevin McFarland, from Solana Beach, CA, vaulted to first place on the strength of two daily double payouts on his way to earning $20,000 in prizes in the Pacific Classic Betting Challenge.

David Snyder from Mission Viejo, CA and Tyler Hoffman from San Gabriel, CA finished second and third to round out the top three. David and Tyler both win entries in the $2.5 million National Horseplayers Championship as well as cash prizes of $7,000 and $3,500 respectively.

McFarland scored with the early double in races one and two to build up the Challenge starting $300 bankroll and vaulted to the lead with a $100 double in races 7 and 8, a $4,700 payout. From there he held on to ride out the fantastic 11 race card which set a one-day handle record at Del Mar. Winnings include $10,000 cash and a $10,000 entry in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge.

Ed Abel of Des Moines, IA and Walt Tendler of San Diego finished 4th and 5th earning entries into the Del Mar $4,500 Fall Challenge November 10 & 11.

FINAL STANDINGS

1 Kevin McFarland (3) $7,511.50
2 David Snyder (3) $5,577.00
3 Tyler Hoffman $5.249.00
4 Ed Abel (1) $5,103.00
5 Walt Tendler (2) $4,440.00
6 Scott Johnson (3) $4,243.70

Harryman Scores at Laurel NHC contest

Jeffrey Harryman of Baltimore finished with a bankroll balance of $2,214.50 to capture the fall session of the Maryland Jockey Club Champions Handicapping Tournament held on Maryland Pride Day, Saturday, Aug. 18 at Laurel Park.

Lam earned $2,790 in prize money and ended with a comfortable margin over runner-up Sean Nolan of Alexandria, Va., who closed the day with a bankroll balance of $1,786.40 and took home $1,860 in prize money.

The tournament was open to players for $300, which covered a $100 entry fee and $200 bankroll. In addition to prize money, the top four finishers qualified for automatic berths to the National Handicapping Championship (NHC), Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) or The BIG ONE.

NTRA NHC logoFor the second straight year, the tournament was held in Laurel’s refurbished second-floor clubhouse sports bar. There were no mandatory races during the contest but players were required to make a $20 minimum wager on races from Laurel, Gulfstream Park, Saratoga Race Course, Monmouth Park and Woodbine.

Given his choice of four tournament berths, Harryman selected the BCBC to be held Nov. 2-3 at Churchill Downs, while Nolan selected a berth in the BIG ONE Sept. 22-23 at Laurel Park.

Third place went to John Kousouris of Towson, Md., who finished with a balance of $1,404 and earned $930 in prize money, while Gary Wright of Staten Island, N.Y. was fourth with a balance of $1,381 and earned $558. Both players also earned berths in the NHC, to be held in February 2019 in Las Vegas.

Rounding out the top 10 finishers were Kevin Sweeny with a tournament balance of $1,253, Anthony Laurino ($1,110), Steve Anderson ($1,105), Pete Manzo ($1,027.50), John Verdin ($703) and Bob Bandzwolek ($700.90). Each player took home $558 in prize money.

The spring session of the MJC Champions Handicapping Tournament held March 3 at Laurel was won by Brian Conley of Columbia, Md., who chose a berth in the BCBC. Other winners from the spring tournament were Coleen Curley (NHC), Carol Johnson (BIG ONE) and Shawn Turner (NHC).

Veteran Player Davis Takes Downs Indiana Grand Event

One horse made all the difference in the outcome of the third annual National Horseplayers Qualifier (NHC) at Indiana Grand Racing & Casino Saturday, Aug. 18. Given Favorite, ridden by Angel Moreno and trained by Tony Granitz, surprised a maiden claiming field in the eighth race of the night to pay $72.60. Several people in mid-pack of the 125 entry contest selected Given Favorite and catapulted into the lead positions. Stephanie Davis of Brooklyn, N.Y. was the biggest winner off that longshot to take the top prize for the night. Steve Arrison of Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. finished second while Dan Weisenburger of Stow, Ohio came in third. Mike Gillum of Indianapolis finished fourth.

Stephanie Davis (center) defeated a field of 125 entries in the third annual NHC Qualifier Saturday, Aug. 18 at Indiana Grand. Steve Arrison (left) finished second while Dan Weisenburger (right) finished third. (Photo by Tammy Knox)

Davis had two entries in the contest. She completed the 12-race required format with total accumulated earnings of $132.00. Arrison completed the event with a tally of $129.60 over Weisenburger, who accumulated earnings of $128.00. Gillum had a total of $113.50.

The NHC Qualifier at Indiana Grand was played over 22 races from three racetracks, which included Saratoga, Del Mar and Indiana Grand. All players had to utilize five of the eight Thoroughbred races from Indiana Grand to meet the requirements. All players began with a mythical bankroll of $48 and placed $2 win and place wagers on one horse in 12 of the races during the five-hour contest.

The NHC Qualifier had a cap of 125 entries and reached capacity. Several of the players had two entries. There were 80 total individuals in the contest from all across the United States. Players came into Indiana Grand from coast to coast, including individuals from Washington State, Florida, New York, Maryland, Texas, Wisconsin and all points in between.

The top four players will advance to the NHC Final slated for Las Vegas February 8 – 10, 2019. The players will receive hotel, airfare and entry fees for their trip to the final, which included over 600 entries last year vying for prize money in excess of $2 million. The top four also received a gift certificate to Stats Race Lens courtesy of Equibase. The computer program, which was on display during the contest with demonstrations provided by Tom Kudla, offers in-depth handicapping assistance with race replays and additional statistics not found in general racing publications. The value of the gift certificate for the quarterly subscription is $299.

Source: Press Releases

Fall Keeneland 2018 Tournament Schedule

Keeneland painter photo by Richard J. Nilsen

copyright AgameofSkill.com

Continuing a long tradition of support for the National Horseplayers Championship and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, Keeneland is proud to announce the dates of two big handicapping tournaments during the 2018 Fall Race Meet.

On Saturday, October 13, we will conduct a live bankroll tournament, the Keeneland $400 Fall Challenge, a $400 buy-in with a live bankroll of $250 and $150 prize fund fee. Players will be able to wager any amount on any race at Keeneland, with no minimum wagers or minimum number of races. This tournament may be played from anywhere on the track; all tickets and admissions must be handled separately by the player. Please see rules here.

Based on an estimated 250 entries, one BCBC and four NHC spots will be awarded.

On Sunday, October 14, the prestigious BCBC-NHC Challenge returns, with a $3,000 buy-in and as many as 6 spots in the BCBC and 10 in the NHC up for grabs. This tournament will be held in the Lexington/Kentucky Room with the best seats in the house. This year we have use of the entire room, so your guest may sit with you, and the dress code has been relaxed to business casual; no more ties required! Please see rules here.

Entries became available online on August 13, 2018, and players registering for the BCBC-NHC Challenge may also enter the Saturday tournament with one process.

We hope that the Saturday tournament will complement the BCBC-NHC Challenge, and that many players will take advantage of the scheduling to compete in both tournaments and have a great Keeneland weekend.

Source: Keeneland

Los Alamitos Racing Association to Offer 3 NHC Seats this Saturday

NTRA NHC logoPress Release

The Los Alamitos Racing Association will offer a cash prize, three seats to the 2018 National Thoroughbred Racing Association National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas and more with a live money handicapping contest Saturday, Sept. 23.

In addition to the berths in the NHC, there will be also be five spots available for the Autumn Handicapping Contest at Santa Anita (Oct. 6-8) as well as three to next year’s NTRA Last Chance Horseplayers Championship Qualifier in Las Vegas.

Cost to enter the Los Alamitos Fall Qualifier is $500. Of that amount, $100 will be placed in the contest prize pool with the remaining funds going towards a live-money wagering card.

Contestants must enter prior to 2 p.m. – post time for the first race – Sept. 16. Players can begin entering the contest once track gates open at 9:30 a.m. that morning and participants can purchase a maximum of two entries.

Tournament races will include the entire card at Los Alamitos with permitted wagers including win, place, show and exactas. Each entry must bet at least $100 on four races, but there is no wagering limit.

The player with the highest bankroll at the end of the day will be declared the winner and the player with the second highest bankroll will be the runner-up.

The winner will receive 50% of the prize pool, which will be capped at $10,000. The remaining payoffs: 20% (2nd place), 15% (3rd place), 10% (4th place) and 5% (5th place).

Players can sign up for the handicapping contest at losalamitos.com as well as review complete contest rules. For any further questions, contact larace@losalamitos.com or by telephone at 714-820-2690.

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).

Record $2 Million Purse for the 2015 National Handicapping Championship (NHC)

NEW YORK CITY (Thursday, June 19, 2014) – The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that the estimated purse for the 16th Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC), presented by Racetrack Television Network, Sovereign Stable and Treasure Island Las Vegas, has been increased 25 percent to a record $2 million. The 2014 NHC purse was $1,590,000.

An additional $200,000 in previously announced prize money will be distributed as part of the 2014 NHC Tour, bringing the estimated NHC and NHC Tour purses to $2.2 million.

The purse increases are fueled by robust participation in NHC qualifying contests by NHC Tour members (Tour membership is a requirement to be eligible to qualify for the NHC).    
“Virtually all of our qualifying tournaments – onsite and online – continue to perform very well,” said Keith Chamblin, Senior Vice President of the NTRA. “We have more than 1,350 new Tour members thus far in 2014. The NHC will only grow as more people are introduced to tournament contests and experience the thrill of competing for a spot in Las Vegas and a chance at the winner’s share of $2 million in prize money. These are life-changing sums being offered to the top finishers.”
The 16th NHC will be held January 23-25, 2015 at Treasure Island Las Vegas. The 2014 NHC Tour schedule and the official rules for the 2015 NHC have been posted online at NHCTour.com. For the second year in a row, the Championship will feature a three-day format with a Final 50 and Final Table of 10.
Three tournaments scheduled for Saturday, June 21, offer NHC berths, including two online contests currently open for registration. DRF Bets (DRFBets.com) hosts the first of two Super Summer Challenge preliminary rounds leading to a July 5 final with four NHC spots up for grabs and HorseTourneys.com presents a “Live Format” NHC Qualifier with three guaranteed NHC entries available. The Belmont Park Handicapping Challenge at Belmont Park is sold out.
About the NHC
In its 16th year, the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, Presented by Racetrack Television Network, Sovereign Stable and Treasure Island Las Vegas is the most important tournament of the year for horseplayers. There are no “buy-in” entries at the NHC. It is the culmination of a yearlong series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino racebooks, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping websites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals. Every year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards. The 15 NHC Champions since the event’s inception, in chronological order, are Steven Walker, Judy Wagner, Herman Miller, Steve Wolfson Jr., Kent Meyer, Jamie Michelson, Ron Rippey, Stanley Bavlish, Richard Goodall, John Conte, Brian Troop, John Doyle, Michael Beychok, Jim Benes and Jose Arias.
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