LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sunday, December 6, 2015) – Horseplayers and their fans can now bet on who will win the 17th Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) Presented by Racetrack Television Network and Treasure Island Las Vegas. The NHC Future Wager, available in the Treasure Island Race & Sports Book, opened this weekend with odds posted for 353 individual players and a “Field” encompassing about 200 players qualifying for the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping contest after Oct. 31.
Not surprisingly, the Field opened as a heavy 4-1 favorite. Last year’s NHC winner, John O’Neil, was part of the Field after earning an automatic berth to NHC 16 as one of the NHC Tour’s top 150 finishers. The Field paid off at 5-2. The top three finishers at NHC 16, and four of the top five, came from the Field.
This season’s shortest-priced individual horseplayers – Roger Cettina, Richard Goodall, Duke Matties, Sean Nolan and Joe Pettit – opened at 40-1. The five early individual favorites each hold the maximum two entries to NHC 17, as do 54 other players who opened in double digits.
Cettina, of Rumson, N.J, was runner-up at NHC 14 in 2013 and is an eight-time qualifier. Las Vegas resident Goodall won NHC IX in 2008 and is one of the NHC’s most well-known regulars. Professional gambler Matties is a 13-time NHC qualifier. Nolan, of Alexandria, Va., is a 10-time qualifier and one of only two people with multiple Top 10 finishes. Pettit, of Charleston, S.C., is a three-time qualifier who has been especially hot in 2015 with high finishes in several major contests.
Other past NHC winners listed in the Future Wager include Jim Benes (2013, 60-1), Jose Arias (2014, 75-1) and O’Neil (175-1). There has never been a two-time NHC winner.
Current NHC Tour points leader Jonathon Kinchen, who finished the Final 50 round with two entries in the Top 10 last year, is 60-1. NHC Tour “First Half” leader Eric Moomey, currently second on the points list, also opened at 60-1. The 2015 NHC Tour winner will be eligible for a $2 million bonus on top of the $800,000-estimated first prize should they also take down NHC 17.
The nearly 300 remaining individual qualifiers opened in triple digits, many as high as 175-1.
“The Future Wager proved to be a very popular addition the first time it was offered last January at NHC 16,” said NTRA Chief Operating Officer Keith Chamblin. “Customers can get 175-1 on some of the sharpest horseplayers in the world. We thank the Treasure Island for once again making this wager available to its customers and for helping us place a spotlight on the horseplayers whose wagering dollars fuel every aspect of our sport and business.”
The NHC Future Wager will close Thursday, Jan. 28, the opening day of NHC 17, at 9 a.m. PST. NHC 17 will be contested over three days, Jan. 28-30, at Treasure Island.
Complete odds in downloadable PDF files, alphabetical order by last name: