Championship Prize Pool Totals $1,585,000

NEW YORK CITY (Thursday, January 23, 2014) – Six players earned the final spots in this weekend’s Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) Presented by Racetrack Television Network, Sovereign Stable and Treasure Island Las Vegas by outfinishing 155 other entrants in Thursday’s Last Chance Qualifier at Treasure Island.

Dick Mueller of White Bear Lake, Minn., one of the oldest NHC finalists at 77, won the Last Chance Qualifier with a final bankroll of $197.10 after 13 mythical $2 Win and Place wagers. First prize was $12,150 along with an NHC berth. The entry fee was $500 dollars, with 70% going to the NHC prize pool and 30% to the Last Chance winners.

Paul Shurman finished second with one entry ($180.60 final bankroll; $8,100 prize) and fourth with another ($166.10) but already held one NHC berth entering today and therefore was only eligible to earn one more. John Curran ($171.30; $4,050), Michael Markham ($151.20), Stephanie Davis ($150.40) and Paul Parker ($146.80) rounded out the top seven and all earned NHC entries.

The additional berths bring the final NHC field to a record 500 entries.


At the conclusion of Thursday’s Last Chance Qualifier, NHC officials announced the final prize structure for this weekend’s championship. A total $1,585,000 in cash prizes will be given out over the three days, topped by the previously announced grand prize of $750,000.

The “Final 50” players after Day 1 and Day 2 will take home the bulk of the moola, with $1,470,000 to be distributed on a tiered scale from $4,000 for 50th to the three-quarters-of-a-million for first.

An additional $75,000 will go to the top 20 finishers in Sunday’s Consolation Tournament for those that don’t make the Final 50. The Day 1 and Day 2 leaders will earn $20,000 regardless of their overall placing.

Click here for the full prize money rundown in PDF format.

Including $247,000 in NHC Tour prize money and bonuses, as well as $30,000 worth of Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge entry fees and bankrolls to be awarded this weekend, total NHC prize money for the year comes to a record $1,862,000.


Earlier Thursday, NHC officials released the list of eight mandatory contest races for Saturday. To view the list, visit

In its 15th year, the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) Presented by Racetrack Television Network, Sovereign Stable and Treasure Island Las Vegas is the most important tournament of the year for horseplayers. There are no “buy-in” entries at the NHC. It is the culmination of a year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino racebooks, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping Web sites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals. Every year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards.

About the NTRA

The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of more than 80 horse racing interests consisting of leading Thoroughbred racetracks, owners, breeders, trainers, horseplayers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity of horse racing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (