Laurel Park among 8 NHC-eligible tracks

by | Jan 19, 2018 | Breaking, Business, Maryland, MD Business

From a National Thoroughbred Racing Association release

Tournament officials today announced the eight racetracks eligible for play at the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping contest – the NTRA National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) Presented by Racetrack Television Network, STATS Race Lens™ and Treasure Island Las Vegas – set for Feb. 9-11 at Treasure Island. The official racetracks are Aqueduct, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, Laurel Park, Oaklawn Park, Santa Anita Park, and Tampa Bay Downs.

Qualifying for #NHC2018 continues online at, the official online qualifying platform of the NHC.

The first round of the three-day NHC requires players to make mythical $2 win and place wagers on eight mandatory races and 10 optional races on each of the first two days (18 races per day, 36 races total), Friday and Saturday. The mandatory races are selected in advance by a committee comprised of four tournament officials, including representatives of Equibase, NTRA and Treasure Island. The optional races can be any of the player’s choosing, not including those already designated as mandatory races, from the menu of eight eligible tracks.

“This year’s menu again represents the best possible mix of quality racing and geographical diversity among the tracks available to us on the contest days,” said NTRA Chief Operating Officer and NHC Tournament Director Keith Chamblin. “Our twin goals in respect to the menu of tracks are to make the NHC as challenging and as fair as we can.”

The NHC semifinal round, for the top 10% of players entering Day 3, Sunday, is comprised of 10 optional races from the same menu with approximate post times between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. PT. The Final Table, for the top 10 players, comes Sunday afternoon and is settled based on seven mandatory races with post times after approximately 1:30 p.m. PT.

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. There are no bye-ins to the NHC. 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 and a complete contest schedule, visit the website.