The New York Racing Association, Churchill Downs Inc., and The Stronach Group are set to host three brand–new “NHC Super Qualifiers” in coming months, offering dozens of berths to February’s $3 million (estimated) NTRA National Horseplayers Championship in Las Vegas. The live-money contests, in which players compete to turn $1,000 of their own cash into the largest nut, are set for Sept. 29 at Belmont Park, Dec. 22 at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, and Jan. 5 at Santa Anita Park (or online at Xpressbet.com).
Each on-track Super Qualifier will award one NHC berth per every 15 entries, meaning roughly the top 7 percent of entrants will move on to Treasure Island Las Vegas for the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping contest, Feb. 8-10, 2019.
Registration for each contest costs $1,500, with $1,000 going to the starting bankroll and $200 to a cash prize pool for the Super Qualifier (the remaining $300 goes to the NHC purse and travel). The format will consist of 10 mandatory $50 Win-Place wagers. Players will keep 100 percent of their winnings and the leaders will share in the cash prize pool, with the number of winners and amounts determined (on a sliding scale) by the number of entries. Players are limited to two entries for each on-track Super Qualifier.
“These new Super Qualifiers allow us to offer a much more favorable ratio of berths to entries for players,” said NHC Tournament Director Keith Chamblin. “We’re also excited to offer live-money formats that allow players to keep their winnings and put money through the windows of the host tracks, while maintaining the traditional Win-Place format that rewards consistent excellence.”
Each winning prize package includes NHC entry, four nights at Treasure Island, and airfare reimbursement up to $400.
As added incentive, a $500,000 bonus will be up for grabs in Las Vegas for any of the three on-track Super Qualifier winners who go on to win #NHC19.
For more information on entering any of the four Super Qualifiers, contact Michele Ravencraft of the NTRA at firstname.lastname@example.org. Online and/or phone registration will be available via the host racetracks in coming weeks.
Low-cost “feeder” contests will be available for each Super Qualifier on HorsePlayers.com.
NHC Tour points, which determine year-end Tour prizes, as well as NHC entry for the top 10 percent of finishers, will be awarded in NHC Super Qualifiers. For the Santa Anita/Xpressbet.com contest only, players already double-qualified for #NHC19 can earn a first berth to #NHC20 in February 2020.
For more information on the NHC and NHC Tour, visit www.ntra.com/nhc.
About the National Horseplayers Championship
In its 20th year, the NTRA National Horseplayers Championship is the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping 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. The most recent NHC offered record prize money and awards totaling more than $2.9 million. #NHC19 will be held February 8-10, 2019, at Treasure Island Las Vegas.