ESPN Airs Handicapping Contest Sunday

Trying to piggyback on the phenomenal success of televised poker, the racing industry has high hopes for ESPN's one-hour program covering the National Handicapping Championship, which will air Sunday, Feb. 20, at 5 p.m. ET.

The handicapping tournament, which took place in January at Bally's Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, carried a $200,000 first prize. ESPN will offer the same general game plan it utilizes in its coverage of the World Series of Poker. A battery of crews and cameras followed various participants as they battled through the competition, and through editing, the action has been boiled down to a 60-minute presentation.

In this year's tournament, sponsored by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the Daily Racing
, 215 contestants slugged it out over two days, making 30 mythical $2 win and place bets on races at seven U.S. tracks.