REGISTRATION FOR 2010 NHC TOUR NOW OPEN
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and Daily Racing Form (DRF) announced today that signups for the 2010 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship Tour (NHC) are now being accepted at http://www.ntra.com/nhctour
. The NHC Tour is a yearlong bonus series offering additional prize money and qualifying berths to the 2011 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) at the Red Rock Resort, Casino and Spa in Las Vegas. The NHC Tour is open only to officially registered contestants and will be based on performances at NHC qualifying events held throughout the year.
New to the 2010 NHC Tour is a two-tiered competition structure that make more NHC qualifying berths available to Tour members than in the past. The registration fee is $100 for Level 1 membership and $500 (total) for Level 2 membership.
NHC Tour members receive NHC Tour points for finishing in the top 10 percent of the field in NHC qualifying events held during the year. Final, end-of-year standings will be based only on a participant’s five best scores.
Level 1 members pay $100 (a reduction from last year’s single-tiered price structure of $125) and compete for NHC qualifying berths only. In addition to the estimated 120 tournaments open to the public, Level 1 members can compete in five free online tournaments that are restricted to NHC Tour members only. Each of these five tournaments will offer berths in the January 2011 NHC to the top three finishers. One of these five free tournaments will award qualifying berths to the top three finishing Level 1 members and award qualifying berths to the top three finishing Level 2 members.
In total, Level 1 members will compete for 25 spots to the 2011 NHC: 15 spots available in the free online tournaments restricted to NHC Tour members, and 10 spots available to the highest Tour point earners of either Level who haven’t already qualified for the NHC.
Level 2 members pay $500 to join and compete for 25 2011 NHC qualifying berths plus added prize money guaranteed to be at least $75,000. In addition to a guaranteed first prize of $75,000, Level 2 members will compete for 25 spots to the 2011 NHC: 15 spots available in the free online tournaments restricted to NHC Tour members, and 10 spots available to the highest Tour point earners of either Level who haven’t already qualified for the NHC. In addition, the top six Level 2 point scorers will receive automatic entry into the 2012 NHC in Las Vegas.
“The changes to the 2010 NHC Tour, including the two tiers of membership, were made based on surveys completed by more than 3,000 horseplayers,” said Keith Chamblin, senior vice president for the NTRA. “A great many respondents said they’d like to pay a little less and only compete for NHC berths. Others said they would be happy to pay more in order to play for lucrative cash prizes in addition to the berths. We think we’ve landed on a ‘best of both worlds’ solution to give a diverse group of horseplayers the options they desire. In addition to two levels of membership, there will be a significant increase in both the number of on-site and online tournaments in 2010. These changes should result in the richest NHC in history in January 2011 at the Red Rock,” Chamblin said.
The official kick-off of the 2010 NHC Tour will be the inaugural Red Rock Shootout scheduled for Sunday, January 31, 2010 at Red Rock. The Red Rock Shootout will take place immediately following the 2009 DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, which will be held January 29-30 at Red Rock.
All NHC Tour members will receive automatic membership in the NTRA Horseplayers Coalition, which supports federal lobbying on issues that affect the nation’s 30 million horseplayers and racing fans. All Tour members will also become eligible for the NTRA Advantage programs, featuring discounts on products from John Deere, Sherwin Williams, OfficeDepot, UPS, Toshiba, Equine Travel Advantage and Moxie Equestrian.
In just its 11th year, the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship 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 Web sites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals.