LEXINGTON, Ky. (Thursday, March 3, 2016) – The year’s first Free-to-Play online National Handicapping Championship (NHC) qualifier is set for Sunday on HorseTourneys.com. The contest will offer four berths to the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping tournament and is open exclusively to NHC Tour members. NHC 17 in January 2016 offered a total prize pool of more than $2.75 million including an $800,000 first-place prize won by Paul Matties, whose finish also earned him an Eclipse Award as Horseplayer of the Year.

To register for Sunday’s free contest, visit HorseTourneys.com. To sign up for the NHC Tour, go to www.ntra.com/membership. One must be a current NHC Tour member to play in free online qualifiers.

The top four finishers in Sunday’s contest will each earn an automatic berth to the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, presented by Racetrack Television Network and Treasure Island Las Vegas, to be held January 27-29, 2017, at Treasure Island. Each winning prize package includes NHC entry, four nights at Treasure Island and airfare reimbursement up to $400.

The free qualifier also offers NHC Tour points, with the top 10 percent of finishers earning shares of a points pool estimated at 250,000 points (with 3,750 to the winner), based on an estimated 1,500 players. The final number of points available will be determined on a sliding scale according to the number of participating NHC Tour players.

The contest will be comprised of mythical Win and Place wagers on 12 mandatory races across the country with selections submitted in advance of the first designated contest race per the “Pick and Pray” format.

This marks the first of five free online qualifiers to be presented by the NTRA this year, with the later contests set for May 14, July 30, August 7 and September 3. The last four contests will be hosted on NHCQualify.com.

For more information on the NHC and NHC Tour, visit www.ntra.com/nhc.