NHC25: Seth Morris Leads After Day Two 

March 17, 2024

Seth Morris from Long Island, NY leading the pack of 765 entries with a bankroll of $269.38. (NHC Photo)

Jamie Haydon wins 10th Annual NHC Charity Challenge

The National Horseplayers Championship 

Semi-final round starts Sunday with 10 percent of the field, New Silver Sunday Contest starts tomorrow

NTRA/NHC Press Release

LAS VEGAS, Nev.—Day two of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), presented by Caesars Entertainment, Horseshoe Las Vegas, and Racetrack Television Network (RTN), finished Saturday with Seth Morris from Long Island, NY leading the pack of 765 entries with a bankroll of $269.38. He enters Sunday’s Semi-final round with a lead of $25.48.

Morris, a fulltime bloodstock agent, was jubilant after the last race. “I’m exhausted but I’m so excited.” Making his fourth trip to the NHC, Morris grew up 15 minutes from Roosevelt Raceway and used to use his paper route money to go there after school with his friends. He’s spent much of his adult life as an avid fan, in addition to being a part of several ownership groups. He started Long Lake Stables, LLC which has had several stakes winners such as “Stan the Man” and “Tammy the Torpedo”. 

When asked what finishing at the top of the field after day two means to him, Morris said, “This is a dream to be in the front of the NHC. Last week was a dream too when I bought the most expensive horse I’ve ever purchased and got someone to believe in my bloodstock capabilities. This is all a dream.” 

The NHC field was reduced to the top 10 percent of players after Friday. The highest 10 cumulative scores after the Semi-finals round on Sunday morning will fill out the Final Table. Bankrolls amassed during Day 1, Day 2, and the Semi-finals round will roll over to the Final Table, with the 10 finalists settling the NHC score in seven “mandatory” assigned races.

The Semi-final field of 77 participants includes four women (Christy Moore, Alexa Zepp, Linda Rodriguez, and Jeannie King), with Christy and Alexa being double qualified and having both their entries move into the semifinals. Three semifinal-entries (two for Tony Zhou and one for Michael Mulvihill) will be playing for a $1-million bonus opportunity courtesy of Hawthorne Race Course. Former champion Chris Littlemore (2018) is still in the field as is the newly inducted NHC Hall of Famer Brett Weiner. 

As the leading scorer of day two, Morris took home a Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) seat. Finishing second on day two was Karl Broberg who won $5,000 cash and Dan Horvat finished third and won $2,500 cash. The day two leaderboard can be found here.

The 2024 NHC winner, who will be named on Sunday at the conclusion of the Final Table, will take home a whopping $800,000 and will be named Horseplayer of the Year at the 2025 Eclipse Awards. Total cash prizes to be offered over the three days are $3,013,550, The top 77 finishers are guaranteed cash prizes with the 77th finisher receiving $10,150. The full prize structure can be found online

Jamie Haydon Wins 10th Annual NTRA Charity Challenge 

Jamie Haydon, president of the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation, topped a field of 57 players to win the 10th annual $10,000 NHC Charity Challenge presented by NTRA Charities. Haydon accumulated a point total of $68.50 on the eight mythical $2 Win-Place wagers he made in the eight contest races from racetracks that were also part of the 25th National Horseplayers Championship. Haydon named Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation as his charity of choice to receive $5,000. Also, as part of the winner’s prize, both the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA) and Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF) will receive $2,500 in Haydon’s name.

“I could not be more thrilled to win this event on behalf of Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and all horses. I was professionally involved with operating the first five NHC events, so this is really special for me. Horses, owners and gamblers make the game go. On behalf of all three great charities, thanks to all of them!!!”

The top ten finishers of the Charity Challenge were: 

1.    Jamie Haydon – $68.50

2.    Edwin Rahfield – $67.70

3.    Judy Wagner – $62

4.    Frank Carulli – $55.40

5.    Christina Blacker – $54

6.    Spa Infield Goose – $51.30

7.    Dan Ilman – $51

8.    Brian Spencer – $51

9.    Jimmy McNerney – $49.30

10.  G.D. Hieronymus – $43

The full leaderboard for the event can be found here

Down to the wire … 

A Final Table livestream, co-hosted by Steve Byk and Rick Hammerle, will be streamed on NTRA’s Website for the final seven races of the Championship on Sunday March 17. 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. 

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 via direct e-mail to players and publicly on Twitter (@NTRA) and NTRA.com. 

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.

Also 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.

All information on the 25th NHC can be found at www.ntra.com/nhc including the 2024 full schedule of events, the 2024 Official Rules, and more. To sign up for the 2024 NHC Tour and win your way to next year’s NHC visit to www.ntra.com/membership.

I admit I’m a history nerd, love learning stories of the past. Thank you for a great and insightful read twitter.com/PastTheWire/st…

Jon Parr (@JonParr21) View testimonials

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