750 Vie for $4.5M at the 25th NHC

March 12, 2024

Las Vegas 2023. (NHC Photo)

Nearly $4.5 Million in Cash and Prizes Awarded at 25th National Horseplayers Championship

$800,000 grand prize and Eclipse Award as Horseplayer of the Year to be awarded 

NTRA Release

LAS VEGAS, Nev.—The 25th National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) presented by Caesars Entertainment, Horseshoe Las Vegas, and Racetrack Television Network (RTN) kicks off Friday, March 15, running through Sunday, March 17, at the Horseshoe Las Vegas. The field of an estimated 750 entries will yield one ultimate winner, who will go home with $800,000 and an Eclipse Award as the Horseplayer of the Year. 

What is the NHC

The NHC, the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping contest, features more than 600 top horseplayers (including approximately 150 individuals with two entries) will be awarded nearly $4.5 million in cash and prizes at the conclusion of the contest. Over the past 24 years, nearly 4,000 people have filled more than 10,000 NHC entries and have been awarded nearly $50,000,000 in prizes. All qualifiers will receive a complimentary four-night stay at the Horseshoe Las Vegas and travel reimbursements which total more than $1 million.

How the NHC Works

The tournament format for the NHC is meant to be the best possible test of picking winners. Players attempt to earn the highest possible bankroll based on mythical $2 Win/Place wagers. Assigned “mandatory” races – six per day on Day 1, eight per day on Day 2, and seven at the Final Table – are announced at least 24 hours prior to each contest day. The NHC field will be reduced to the top 10 percent of players after the first two days. The highest 10 cumulative scores after the Semifinal round on Sunday morning will fill out the Final Table. Bankrolls amassed during Day 1, Day 2 and the Semifinals round will roll over to the Final Table, with the 10 finalists settling the NHC score in seven “mandatory” assigned races.

New to the 25TH NHC 

New to the 25th NHC program will be the Silver Sunday Contest, available to all individuals competing in the tournament with no entry fee. Every individual will receive a maximum of one entry and will have to place mythical Win/Place bets throughout Sunday, March 17 on ten optional and seven mandatory races (the seven mandatory races will coincide with the NHC Final Table). The top 25 highest bankrolls, including ties, will receive a share of $100,000 in prize money. The top five highest finishers will win an entry into the 2025 NHC and the top 10 percent will receive on track 2024 NHC Tour points. A “First Five” free-to-play online contest will be available to non-NHC participants and will offer five berths to the 2025 NHC. Full contest rules can be found on ntra.com.

About the 2024 NHC Field

  • Katelynn Andaur (League City, TX, Horseplayers.com) is the youngest qualifier at 22 years old.
  • Dave Basler (Grove City, OH, Xpressbet) is the Executive Director of the Ohio Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA).
  • Michael Beychok (Baton Rouge, LA, HorsePlayers.com) and Christian Helmers (Del Mar, CA, Xpressbet) were co-stars in the 2014 Esquire reality TV show, Horseplayers.
  • Karl Broberg (Arlington, TX, Hawthorne, Lone Star Park) is annually one of the nation’s leading trainers by races won.
  • Dale Day (Yukon, OK, Horseplayers.com) is the Track Announcer at Remington Park in Oklahoma City.
  • Ed DeRosa (Goshen, KY, Hawthorne Race Course) is a writer for Horse Racing Nation.
  • Basil DeVito (Akron, OH, HorsePlayers.com, HorseTourneys.com) has worked for Indiana basketball coach Bob Knight, WWE co-founder Vince McMahon, and was the first Commissioner of the XFL.
  • Chris Fallica (Farmington, CT, HorsePlayers.com) was a longtime regular on ESPN College GameDay who now works for FOX.
  • Gary Fenton (Sherman Oaks, CA, NTRA) is the Chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) and a Managing Partner of Little Red Feather Racing Stable.
  • Marshall Gramm (Memphis, TN, Keeneland) is an economics professor at Rhodes College who teaches a course on handicapping and is a founder and Managing Partner of Ten Strike Racing stable.
  • Bob Hansan (McLean, VA, Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge) owns Bobby McKeys Dueling Piano Bar in National Harbor, MD.
  • Dick Jerardi (Yardley, PA, Xpressbet, Keeneland) is one of the most respected and decorated sports writers in America and won an Eclipse Award 2006 for his coverage of Barbaro.
  • Jay Johns (Meridian, ID, HorseTourneys.com), winner of the 2022 NHC Tour, is the President of IHOP (formerly International House of Pancakes).
  • Three generations of the Matties family are represented at the 2024 NHC: patriarch Chick, NHC Hall of Fame brothers Paul and Duke, and Duke’s son, Carson.
  • Eddie Olczyk (Long Grove, IL, Hawthorne) played 16 seasons and in more than 1,000 games during an illustrious career in the National Hockey League (NHC) that included a Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers in 1994.
  • Tom Quinones (La Grange, IL, HorsePlayers.com) is a first-time qualifier and the director of digital marketing at the Daily Racing Form.
  • Eric Roth (Malibu, CA, Horseplayers.com) is an Academy Award-winning screenwriter (Forrest Gump, 1995) who co-wrote the screenplay for Killers of the Flower Moon with Martin Scorsese. 
  • John Sheeran (Jersey City, NJ, Horseplayers.com) is the senior commercial director at Fan Duel. 
  • Ellis Starr (Lexington, KY, HorsePlayers.com) is the National Racing Analyst for Equibase. 
  • Dave Tuley (Las Vegas, NV, NTRA) is a longtime writer for Daily Racing Form.

More about who’s who at the NHC can be found here

Schedule Of Events 

All events at Horseshoe Las Vegas Event Center in PT

Thursday, March 14, 2024

  • 9:00 am – 3:30 pm PT NHC Last Chance/First Chance Qualifier 
  • 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm PT 2024 Tournament Rules Overview 
  • 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm PST Welcome Cocktail Reception – Skyroom 5 & 6

Friday, March 15, 2024

  • 9:00 am – 6:00 pm PT NHC Day 1 

Saturday, March 16, 2024

  • 9:00 am – 6:00 pm PT NHC Day 2 

Sunday, March 17, 2024

  • 9:00 am – 12:00 pm PT NHC Day 3, Semi Final Round
  • 9:00 am – 5:00 pm PT Silver Sunday Contest 
  • 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm PT NHC Final Table 
  • 6:00pm – 8:00pm PT Champions Dinner – Gold and Silver Ballroom 

Also new to the 25th NHC will be a Final Table livestream, co-hosted by Steve Byk and Rick Hammerle, that will be streamed on NTRA’s X (formerly Twitter), YouTube, and Website for the final seven races of the Championship. Interested spectators will have the ability to watch and listen to the action unfurling all weekend long at the NHC. Rachel McLaughlin, Racing Analyst at Horseshoe Indianapolis, will be providing coverage throughout the weekend on all NTRA social media platforms. 

Additionally, At the Races with Steve Byk will broadcast live on SiriusXM satellite radio (Sirius 219; XM 201) from the Horseshoe Las Vegas and online at www.stevebyk.com daily, from 9-12 p.m. ET/6-9 a .m. PT on Friday and Monday, with bonus NHC coverage at www.SteveByk.com/listen-live-SiriusXM slated for 2-8 p.m. ET/11 a.m.-5 p.m. PT) next Friday-Sunday. America’s Best Racing and Hawthorne Race Course will also be streaming live from the event. 

All you folks that didn't get in on the @jonathanstettin webinar are missing out. Amazing stuff here. Time to get hot tomorrow!!

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