LAS VEGAS (Wednesday, January 27, 2016) – Daily Racing Form has been a title sponsor of the National Handicapping Championship (NHC) since its inception in 2000, when the first prize was $100,000. Sixteen years later, the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping contest will offer a record purse, a record number of entries and first-place prize money of $800,000 this weekend at the 17th Daily Racing Form/NTRA NHC Presented by Racetrack Television Network and Treasure Island Las Vegas. The event opens Thursday with a field of more than 600 entries – including two belonging to NHC Tour winner Jonathon Kinchen, who will play for a $2 million bonus – which will be whittled down to a “Final Table” of 10 players by Saturday afternoon.
“The National Handicapping Championship is one of the great success stories in horse racing and a true celebration of the horseplayer and all they mean to our sport and business,” said NTRA President and CEO Alex Waldrop. “The NHC has realized sustained growth for 17 consecutive years and it would not be possible without the support we receive from Daily Racing Form, thousands of horseplayers who participate in NHC qualifiers throughout the year and the more than 40 diverse organizations that host qualifiers in North and South America.”
Daily Racing Form provides complete live NHC coverage on DRF.com’s “NHC 17” event page, including video updates, beginning Wednesday. Visitors to the site will find a real-time stream of posts and pictures, related news, videos and interviews offering an unprecedented level of engagement for players both in Las Vegas and those following along at home. Contest editor Peter Fornatale will be on site contributing updates to DRF Live along with handicappers Matt Bernier and Mike Watchmaker.
The NTRA also will offer comprehensive NHC news coverage on its website, NTRA.com, with a live leaderboard, daily news recaps and notes on all the goings-on in the Treasure Island ballroom. A new #NHC Social Media Team will offer additional updates and exclusive content via the NTRA Twitter account, @NTRA, as well as on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/1NTRA.
Through its NHCQualify.com site, which awarded 169 NHC berths over the past 12 months, the NTRA and Daily Racing Form will present “Play Along with the NHC” contests on Friday and Saturday, offering players at home the chance to win a share of a prize pool guaranteed to be at least $10,000 each day. In the Friday contest, entrants will compete on the same eight mandatory races featured in Day 2 of the NHC. In the Saturday contest, it will be the seven mandatory “Final Table” races. The Saturday contest also will offer a berth to NHC 18 in January 2017.
Registration for the handicapping contests is limited to the first 500 people via NHCQualify.com and costs $50 to enter each contest. To register or to get more details, visit NHCQualify.com.
“On behalf of Daily Racing Form, I wish all the NHC qualifiers good luck this weekend. To have made it this far, you are amongst the top horseplayers in the country,” said John Hartig, CEO of Daily Racing Form. “Moreover, as tournament competition attracts passionate new fans to racing, we are deeply committed to delivering DRF’s exclusive handicapping tools, editorial content and an online tournament experience to delight and fuel their interest in the game.”
Presenting Sponsors and Participating Partners
NHC presenting sponsor Racetrack Television Network (“RTN”) is an 80-channel subscription package that caters to horsemen, bettors and racing fans worldwide by delivering every simulcast from North American and select international tracks to televisions, computers, and mobile devices (including iPhones, iPads, Android phones and Android tablets). The television package is available via satellite provider DISH Network, while the online and mobile packages are available directly from RTN at www.rtn.tv. RTN offers the largest simulcast menu in the pari-mutuel industry-either commercially or residentially.
NHC presenting sponsor Treasure Island is a privately owned hotel and casino on the legendary Las Vegas Strip. At nearly 3,000 rooms, it remains the only major property to claim that unique position. Home to headline entertainment and the original Cirque du Soleil show, Mystere, Treasure Island offers entertainment and dining options for the most discriminating of tastes. For more information about Treasure Island, visit www.treasureisland.com.
NHC participating partners include Cal Cup, racing’s premier event for California bred and sired runners, with five races worth a combined $1 million in purses Saturday at Santa Anita Park, and Monmouth Park, home of the $1 million William Hill Haskell Invitational, presenting live Thoroughbred racing on the Jersey Shore.
NHC players qualified via contests hosted by 41 racetracks, casino race books, handicapping contest websites, Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) outlets, simulcast distribution networks, horse owner associations and other Thoroughbred racing organizations. The NHC 17 qualifier hosts were Arlington Park, BetAmerica, BetPTC, Bettor Racing, Breeders’ Cup Ltd., California Association of Racing Fairs, Canterbury Park, Del Mar Surfside Race Place, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Derby Wars, DRF Bets, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Gulfstream Racing & Casino, Hawthorne Race Course, Hippodrome 3R (Quebec Jockey Club), HorsePlayersQualify.com, HorseTourneys.com, Keeneland, Kentucky Downs, Latin American Racing Channel (LARC), Laurel Park, Lone Star Park, Los Alamitos Race Course, Monmouth Park, Mountaineer Casino Racetrack & Resort, NHCQualify.com, National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), New York Racing Association (NYRA), Prairie Meadows, Public Handicapper, Race Track Warriors, Rocky Mountain Turf Club, Racetrack Television Network (RTN), Santa Anita Park, Tampa Bay Downs, Thoroughbred Owners of California, Treasure Island, TVG, TwinSpires.com, Woodbine Entertainment Group and Wynn Las Vegas.