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New Website for Handicapping Contest Players launched by Ellis Park Race Course.

Ellis Park Race Course, Inc., has launched, an affiliate website of the Henderson, Ky.-based racetrack that will operate a year-round, continuous online contest program to handicapping tournament players offering awards and prizes.

In conjunction with the launch, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association has allocated Ellis Park and a total of 50 qualifying spots through November, 2011, to the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, presented by Sovereign Stable and Treasure Island CasinoIn addition to the qualifying spots to the NHC finals, all NHC contests at will award NHC Tour points. will also award qualifying spots to the Horse Player World Series, the February handicapping tournament in Las Vegas operated by Coast Casinos/Boyd Gaming Corporation, as well as qualifying spots to other selected contests throughout the year.

The first contest is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 7, and will be a free event awarding the winner one qualifying spot to the NHC in addition to complimentary entries into paid contests to top finishers. The first official NHC qualifying event is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 13. Players may sign-up now by visiting and registering a new account.

“As a player-focused racetrack, we’re committed to bringing the highest levels of player value and integrity, as well as the broadest selection of offerings, to the loyal contest players,” said Ron Geary, the Ellis Park owner of Ellis who was runner-up in last year’s January Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship.

Day-to-day operation of the website will be handled by McKay Smith, who developed the proprietary software that will be used by Smith will serve as operator and tournament director. Smith worked for the NTRA/Breeders’ Cup Limited in various roles from 1999 through 2006. During his last two years with the NTRA/Breeders’ Cup, Smith oversaw day-to-day administration of the NHC. He later worked in the account wagering company AmericaTab, Ltd., as director of marketing, and as vice president of marketing for mobile games publisher Magmic Games, based in Ottawa, Canada.