Eight prominent tracks from across the United States will make up a menu from which all mandatory and optional races will be selected when the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping tournament – the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) – is contested Jan. 27-29 at Treasure Island Las Vegas. The official NHC 18 racetracks are Aqueduct, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park Casino & Racing, Laurel Park, Oaklawn Park, Santa Anita Park, and Tampa Bay Downs.
Qualifying for NHC 18 continues at tracks around the country and online at NHCqualify.com, the official online platform of the NHC.
The first round of the three-day NHC requires players to make mythical $2 win and place wagers on eight mandatory races and 10 optional races on each of the first two days (18 races per day, 36 races total), Friday and Saturday. The mandatory races are selected in advance by a committee comprised of representatives from Daily Racing Form, NTRA, and Treasure Island. The optional races can be any of the player’s choosing, not including those already designated as mandatory races, from the menu of eight eligible tracks.
“This year’s menu represents the best possible mix of quality racing and geographical diversity among the tracks available to us on the contest days,” said NTRA Chief Operating Officer and NHC Tournament Director Keith Chamblin. “Our twin goals in respect to the menu of tracks are to make the NHC as challenging and as fair as we can.”
The NHC semifinal round, for the top 10% of players entering Day 3, Sunday, is comprised of 10 optional races from the same menu with approximate post times between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. PT. The Final Table, for the top 10 players, comes Sunday afternoon and is settled based on seven mandatory races with post times after approximately 1:30 p.m. PT.
In its 18th year, the NHC 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. There are no bye-ins to the NHC. Each year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards. In addition to the founding title sponsor, Daily Racing Form, the NHC is presented by Racetrack Television Network and Treasure Island Las Vegas.
For more information on the NHC Tour and a complete contest schedule, visit NTRA.com/nhc.