LEXINGTON, Ky. (Wednesday, April 9, 2014) – The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) is lending its 15 years of experience producing the National Handicapping Championship to a new initiative aimed at creating more handicapping tournament players and fans. Produced in association with Vision 20/20 and Tito’s Handmade Vodka, the Rockin’ the Races series kicks off Thursday at Lexington sports bar Paulie’s Toasted Barrel, from 7-10 p.m.

Rockin’ the Races will focus on inside tips for succeeding in handicapping tournaments at tracks, casinos or online. The inaugural Rockin’ the Races will be hosted by America’s Best Racing’s Joe Kristufek and Keeneland racing analyst Katie Gensler.

“Tournament handicapping is a little different than a day at the races,” said Gensler. “We will be teaching horseplayers different strategies, how to manage their money and how to qualify for and compete at tournaments held at tracks or online.”

Mindy Lynn Coleman, a Lexington attorney and Vision 20/20 Steering Committee member, said: “I am so excited that Vision 20/20 helped in the creation of Rockin’ the Races. Bringing new fans into racing and educating them is paramount to the future of the sport.”

Katherine Wheeler, consultant to NTRA and also a member of the Vision 20/20 Steering Committee, added: “By making horse racing more accessible to the community, we hope that this initiative will be less intimidating and can strengthen the Thoroughbred industry. The ultimate goal is to introduce and educate horse racing to a younger and more diverse demographic in a fun atmosphere.”

Along with prizes and giveaways, attendees will have a chance to try the newly created Tito’s Trifecta cocktail and sign up to win a free entry in an upcoming National Handicapping Championship online qualifying tournament valued at $165. Registration starts at 6:30 p.m. with an “early bird special” race going off at 7 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome at anytime.

Paulie’s Toasted Barrel is located at 517 W. Main Street in downtown Lexington.

“It’s a great initiative to learn how to handicap the Thoroughbreds without spending a penny,” said Paul Nierzwicki, owner of Paulie’s.

About Vision 20/20

Vision 20/20 is a Kentucky Thoroughbred Association program where future leaders strengthen the Thoroughbred industry through promotion, awareness, solutions, education and innovation. KTA offices are in Lexington, Ky. More information about KTA can be found on Kentuckybred.org, or on Twitter (@KYTbred, #RockinTheRaces) or the Vision 20/20 Facebook Page (www.facebook.com/pages/Vision-2020/138653802886240).   

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 NTRA.com, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (facebook.com/1NTRA).