NEW YORK CITY (Thursday, June 4, 2015) – The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and the Latin American Racing Channel (LARC) are teaming to bring National Handicapping Championship (NHC) qualifiers to Central and South America beginning this year. The deal giving LARC exclusive rights to award NHC berths throughout Latin America was announced today by NTRA President and Chief Executive Officer Alex Waldrop during his opening address at the Pan American Conference in New York City.

Spots to the 2016 NHC in Las Vegas will be awarded from contests held in Latin America during the second half of 2015. Previously, on-site NHC qualifiers have been limited to the United States and Canada.

“We are delighted to partner with LARC to expand the reach of the NHC into Latin America,” said Waldrop. “LARC is a highly regarded and well-respected industry leader at the forefront of international simulcasting between the Americas. Expansion of the NHC to Latin America will undoubtedly lead to greater international trade and cooperation between these two important regions of the world.”

“LARC is delighted to become a part of the richest and most prestigious handicapping tournament in the world,” said LARC President Horacio Esposito. “We look forward to using NHC qualifying tournaments as a way to promote the growth and expansion of simulcasting between the Americas.”

Entering its 17th year, the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, presented by Racetrack Television Network and Treasure Island Las Vegas, is the richest and most important handicapping tournament in the world. The 2015 NHC featured record participation and record prize money and awards totaling $2.683 million (U.S.). 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 race books, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping websites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals.

Each year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards. The 16 NHC Champions since the event’s inception, in chronological order, are Steven Walker, Judy Wagner, Herman Miller, Steve Wolfson Jr., Kent Meyer, Jamie Michelson, Ron Rippey, Stanley Bavlish, Richard Goodall, John Conte, Brian Troop, John Doyle, Michael Beychok, Jim Benes, Jose Arias and John O’Neil.

About LARC

Latin American Racing Channel, the leading distribution company of Latin America, works together with Maryland Jockey Club and Gulfstream Park (Stronach Entertainment Group), Calder (a CDI company), France Galop, GBI Racing and SIS (Satellite information System) for consolidation of horse racing simulcasting between the United States, Europe and Latin America. Due to the vision and leadership over the past years and its commitment in developing the horse industry, Australia and other territories will start receiving the best horse races from Latin America soon.

About the NTRA

The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests and thousands of individual stakeholders consisting of horseplayers, racetrack operators, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity, welfare and integrity of Thoroughbred racing through consensus-based leadership, legislative advocacy, safety and integrity initiatives, fan engagement and corporate partner development. The NTRA owns and manages the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance;; the NTRA Top Thoroughbred and NTRA Top 3-Year-Old weekly media polls; the Eclipse Awards; the National Handicapping Championship; NTRA Advantage, a corporate partner sales and sponsorship program; and HORSE PAC, a federal political action committee. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (