Registration Now Open on


LEXINGTON, Ky. (Wednesday, January 25, 2017) The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) today announced that the first online tournament leading to the 2018 National Handicapping Championship will be held this Saturday on Registration is now open for the one-day contest—the NHC Kickoff Challenge, presented by Racetrack Television Network (RTN)—which will offer five guaranteed spots to the 2018 NHC.

The entry fee is $50 and a 2017 NHC Tour membership (also $50) is required in order to participate. Individuals may purchase up to two entries. Contestants must make mythical $2 win and place wagers on eight designated races that will be the same as those chosen for mandatory play on Day 2 at the $2.5 million-estimated NHC to be held this weekend at the Treasure Island Las Vegas.

The Kickoff Challenge also will be the first tournament of the year to offer NHC Tour points. The NHC Tour is a yearlong bonus series offering additional prize money and qualifying berths to the NHC. Tour members receive NHC Tour points for top finishes in NHC qualifying events held during the year.

About the National Handicapping Championship

Now in its 19th 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. Each year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards.

For more information on the NHC Tour, visit

About Racetrack Television Network

NHC presenting sponsor Racetrack Television Network (“RTN”) is an 80-channel subscription package that caters to horsemen, bettors and racing fans worldwide by  delivering every simulcast from North American and select international tracks to  televisions, computers, and mobile devices (including  iPhones, iPads, Android phones and Android tablets). The television package is available via satellite provider DISH Network, while the online and mobile packages are available directly from RTN at RTN offers the largest simulcast menu in the pari-mutuel industry-either commercially or residentially.

About the NTRA

The NTRA, based in Lexington, Ky., 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 Eclipse Awards; the National Handicapping Championship; NTRA Advantage, a corporate partner sales and sponsorship program; and Horse PAC®, a federal political action committee. NTRA press releases appear on, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (