(Edited press release)
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Daily Racing Form announced Dec. 4 that signups for the 2009 NHC Tour are now being accepted at www.ntra.com/nhctour.
The registration fee is $125. The NHC Tour is a year-long bonus series offering additional prize money and qualifying berths to the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship. The NHC Tour is open only to officially registered contestants and will be based on performances at NHC qualifying events throughout the year.
NHC Tour members receive NHC Tour points for finishing in the top 10% of the field in NHC qualifying events held during the year. Final, end-of-year standings will be based only on a participant’s five best scores. At the end of the year’s qualifying events, the overall NHC Tour point leader will receive a bonus of $100,000. Should the overall NHC Tour winner go on to capture first place in the January 2010 NHC finals, he or she will receive a $2 million bonus.
In addition, the top five 2009 NHC Tour point scorers will receive automatic entry into NHC XII, which will be held in January 2011 in Las Vegas.
The official kick-off of the 2009 NHC Tour will be the inaugural Red Rock Shootout scheduled for Jan. 25, 2009 at Red Rock Resort, Casino, and Spa in Las Vegas. The Red Rock Shootout will take place immediately following the 2009 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, which will be held January 23-24 at Red Rock.
All NHC Tour members will receive automatic membership in the NTRA Horseplayers Coalition, which supports federal lobbying on issues that affect the nation’s 30 million horseplayers and racing fans. All Tour members will also become eligible for the NTRA Advantage programs, featuring discounts on products from John Deere, Sherwin Williams, OfficeDepot, UPS, Toshiba, Equine Travel Advantage and Moxie Equestrian. In addition, those who register for the 2009 NHC Tour during the month of December 2008 will receive a free NHC Tour t-shirt.
“The 2008 NHC Tour year attracted more than 900 participants, one of whom will be playing for $2.5 million at the NHC in January,” said Keith Chamblin, senior vice president for the NTRA. “We anticipate a bigger and better year for the NHC Tour in 2009, and we believe the Tour’s new format for awarding NHC berths will do an even better job of rewarding our top finishers.”