LEXINGTON, KY (Jan. 24, 2014) – Successful handicappers representing Keeneland are among the 489 entrants who are at Treasure Island Las Vegas today through Sunday to vie for the title of “Handicapper of the Year” and the first-place prize of $750,000 in the $1.5 million-guaranteed Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) Presented by Racetrack Television Network, Sovereign Stable and Treasure Island Las Vegas.
The NHC is the culmination of a season-long series of NTRA-sanctioned handicapping tournaments conducted by race tracks, including Keeneland, as well as casino race books, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping websites with the top finishers from each tournament advancing to the national finals. More than 3,200 people participated in the tournaments.
In 2013, Keeneland played host to four qualifying tournaments, with these participants heading to Las Vegas:
- Kentucky residents Jim Keller of Florence; Mike Cooper, Jason Duncan and Julie Loboyko, Lexington; Mark Deaton, Paris; and Harry Fry and David Updike, Versailles.
- Out-of-state residents Don Allen of Bradley, Ark.; Christian Hellmers, Del Mar, Ca.; Paul Parker, Woodstock, Ga.; Paul Gianforte, Cary, Ill.; George Chute, Dedham, Mass.; Joe Whitacre, Springfield, Ohio; Joe Pettit, Charlestown, S.C.; Robert Gookin, Allandale, Va.; and Gordon D’Angelo, Virginia Beach, Va.
A total of 24 Kentucky residents advanced to the NHC through the variety of qualifying tournaments. Keeneland Director of Mutuels and Simulcasting Jim Goodman, who coordinates the NHC qualifying tournaments at Keeneland, also will participate in the NHC. He qualified through a competition on Horsetourneys.com.
The NHC contestants will be able to wager on these tracks: Aqueduct, Fair Grounds, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, Oaklawn Park, Santa Anita and Tampa Bay Downs. The top 50 players after the first two days of the competition will advance to a Final 50 Contest on third day and will try to secure one of 10 spots at the Final Table. Players who do not make the Final 50 Contest will compete on the third day in a separate consolation tournament.
Regular Championship updates throughout the contest will be posted at www.drf.com.
Signups for the 2014 Daily Racing Form National Handicapping Championship Tour are being accepted at ntra.com/en/nhc/become-a-member.