By Noel Michaels

Who likes bonus money?  I know a lot of tournament players who do, and that’s why I’m happy to share the news about the start of the Racetrack Television Network [RTN] $10,000 Summer Challenge that began Memorial Day weekend.

The RTN Summer Challenge at is a new summer-long series consisting of National Horseplayers Championship [NHC] qualifying contests which, let’s face it, most NHC Tour members would be playing anyway. The points series started on Monday, May 27. The Series offers players a chance at earning bonus prize money just for playing in select online NHC qualifying handicapping contests that you already know and love at

There is no need to sign up for the RTN Challenge Series separately – just play in any or all of the Series contests that started with the May 27 Memorial Day Featured $125 Pick & Pray event at that had 258 entries and awarded 3 NHC seats, and you will automatically be entered. A separate leaderboard will be posted on the NHC Tour Leaderboard page that will show the accumulation of points and participation points from applicable contests (see full schedule below). Essentially, the RTN Challenge Series plays like a mini second chance at a First Half Leaderboard, but with points that can only be earned on

The format of the Challenge is simple. Players will earn points equal to the amount of NHC Tour points they earn in any of the designated Challenge Series contests in which they participate. Each player’s Tour points from these contests will be tracked on the Leaderboard page, and the three players who accumulate the most NHC Tour points in the selected Series contests over a three-month period will take home their share of the bonus purse money.

In addition to the NHC qualifying berths that all of these online contests in the Series will offer, players will have the opportunity to compete for the $10,000 in bonus money offered by the RTN Summer Challenge. The $10,000 will be awarded to the three top finishers in the Series, with $5,000 for first, $3,000 for second, and $1,000 for third.  Remember, this is all bonus money that goes to the winners. There is no cost to enter the Challenge Series.

The RTN Summer Challenge will consist of 24 individual online contests from May 27 until the final contest on August 31. Generally, there will be one or two Challenge contests offered each weekend, including contests at all entry-fee levels from free, to $75, to $125, to $165, to $210.  Players do not need to play in every contest, and if you missed the first Series contest on May 27, you will automatically be entered whenever you play in any Challenge Series contest at

The only requirement is that you must be a NHC Tour member to compete for NHC Tour prizes and to be eligible for the RTN Summer Challenge.

RTN is also offering new subscribers five free days of video live streaming and unlimited race replays. To register for your five free days, go to and enter promo code TRYRTN. There will be an additional $1,000 bonus awarded to the highest finisher who is a current RTN subscriber, or a new subscriber who registers for the five free day promotion. This brings the bonus offering of the RTN Summer Challenge to $11,000 in total.

For those of you not “in the know,” RTN is an 80-channel subscription package that caters to horsemen, bettors, and racing fans worldwide by delivering every simulcast from North America (and select international tracks) to you on your television, computer, or mobile devices. The television package is available via satellite provider DISH Network, while the online and mobile packages are available directly from RTN at RTN offers the largest simulcast menu in the pari-mutuel industry-either commercially or residentially.

If you are not yet a member of the NHC Tour, you can still join for the year starting at just $50, by going to  In addition to the RTN $10,000 Summer Challenge prize, this year’s NHC Tour prize pool will award $325,000 in cash prizes to the overall NHC Tour Leader Board finishers and $15,000 to first-time NHC Tour members. The winner of the 2019 NHC Tour will be eligible for a $5 million bonus if he or she were to win the 2020 NHC.

And let’s not forget why we are all here (yes, if you are reading this, then this means you!). Now in its 21st year, the National Horseplayers Championship is the most important tournament of the year for horseplayers and is the culmination of a year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino race books, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping websites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals. The 2020 NHC will be held on February 6-9 at Bally’s – Las Vegas. The total purse will be in the neighborhood of $3 million. For more information on the NHC, visit

Question and Answers:

Do I need to sign up to be included in the Summer Challenge Contests?

No, whenever you sign up for any of the contests that are in the Summer Challenge schedule, you will automatically be entered into the Challenge.

Are Points capped?

No, for this Challenge, all points earned in any of the 24 contests will be added for a total points, whether it’s points from 1 contest or all 24.

What if I have already met my participation points cap for the year?

Participation points are all set back to zero for this challenge. You can earn participation points in all of the 24 contests and they are not capped.

Where do I see the standings and how often are they updated.

A separate Leaderboard will be posted here. The leaderboard will be updated weekly, just like Tour points.

What contests are included?

See schedule below.

Are any Tracks participating?

No, this contest is held exclusively on

I’m already a RTN Subscriber, am I eligible for the $1,000 bonus?

Yes, any current RTN Subscriber or anyone who signs up for the 5 day free trial, will automatically be eligible for the $1,000 bonus.

RTN $10,000 Summer Challenge Series Schedule at

May 27 – $125 NHC Qualifier
June 1 – FREE NHC One Day contest
June 2 – $165 NHC Qualifier
June 7 – $75 NHC Qualifier
June 9 – $165 NHC Qualifier
June 15 – $165 NHC Qualifier
June 21 – $75 NHC Qualifier
June 22 – $165 NHC Qualifier
June 30 – $210 NHC Qualifier
July 4 – $125 NHC Qualifier
July 6 – $210 NHC Qualifier
July 12 – $75 NHC Qualifier
July 14 – $165 NHC Qualifier
July 20 – $165 NHC Qualifier
July 26 – $75 NHC Qualifier
July 28 – $165 NHC Qualifier
Aug 3-4 – FREE NHC Two Day contest
Aug 4 – $165 NHC Qualifier
Aug 9 – $75 NHC Qualifier
Aug 10 – $165 NHC Qualifier
Aug 17 – $210 NHC Qualifier
Aug 23 – $75 NHC Qualifier
Aug 25 – $165 NHC Qualifier
Aug 31 – $430 NHC Super Qualifier

* Schedule subject to change
** all contests hosted by