NHC Tourney Set For March 1

Top three finishers earn a berth in the championship in Las Vegas next year.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced today that the NHC Tour “Online Kick-Off” tournament will take place March 1, 2008, and that the top three finishers will earn an automatic berth to the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas, to be held Jan. 23-24, 2009 at Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa. In addition, NHC Tour points will be distributed.

Registration for the NHC “Online Kick-Off” contest opens Feb. 29. The NHC Tour “Online Kick-Off” will consist of 10 races from Gulfstream Park and Santa Anita Park with mythical $2 win and place wagers. The contest race schedule will be announced during contest week. However, before players can be eligible they must be signed up as an NHC Tour member, and receive an NHC Tour PIN number. For further information, go to www.ntra.com/nhctour.

To become eligible for the NHC Tour, participants must pay an annual $125 registration fee. Tour members then receive NHC Tour points for top finishes in NHC qualifying events held during the year. Only a player’s five best scores during the year will be counted in the tabulation. At the end of the year’s qualifying events, the overall point leader will receive a bonus of $100,000. The second-place finishers earn $50,000, while third place is worth $25,000.

There will be cash awards to the top 50 players on the Tour. Should the overall NHC Tour winner go on to capture first place in the NHC finals, he or she will receive a $2 million bonus.

Additional benefits for NHC Tour members include automatic enrollment in the Horseplayers’ Coalition. Now in the formative stages, the Coalition will focus on seeking legislative and regulatory solutions to tax and business issues that impact pari-mutuel racetracks and their customers, and provide grass roots support for the NTRA’s lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill.

Tour members also are automatically eligible to participate in NTRA Advantage, offering preferred pricing on products and services from leading suppliers, including Dodge, John Deere, Sherwin Williams, Office Depot, UPS, Toshiba and Equine Travel Advantage.

“The NHC Tour is the latest step in the explosive growth of the National Handicapping Championship over its first nine years,” said Keith Chamblin, senior vice president for the NTRA. “The Tour is designed to reward our sport’s most avid tournament players and also provide an avenue for drawing casual fans further into our game.”