Handicapping Championship: More Money, TV

Edited NTRA release

The 2005 Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship will return to Bally's Las Vegas with more prize money and a follow-up television special on ESPN.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association said the contest, now in its sixth year overall, is slated for Jan. 21-22. Bally's will host it for the third straight year.

Total prizes at the event will be an estimated $400,000, with the top prize to the winner set at $200,000--up from $240,000 and $100,000, respectively, a year ago.

Additionally, a one-hour special on the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship will air in February 2005 on ESPN.

The DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship features a series of handicapping tournaments for horseracing fans in local markets. The participants from each local market who qualify for the National Handicapping Championship form the team representing their racetrack or off-track betting parlor in Las Vegas.

Forty-nine NTRA member organizations will send about 200 competitors to championship. A continuously updated list of locations for the tournaments appears on the NTRA Web site, ntra.com, and on the Daily Racing Form Web site, drf.com. The list of participating sites is also published weekly in Daily Racing Form.

Among the participants will be the defending champion, Kent Meyer, a 38-year-old landlord from Sioux City, Iowa. Meyer won the top prize of $100,000 last year and special recognition as "Handicapper of the Year" at the Eclipse Awards ceremony held in Miami.

"Bally's is proud to host the National Handicapping Championship once again," said John Avello, director of operations for race and sports at Bally's Las Vegas. "In a remarkably short time, berths in this event have become extremely coveted among horseplayers from coast to coast. We look forward to yet another memorable competition."