Horseplayer Heaven at the Horseshoe: $4.5 Million Up for Grabs

More than 600 horseplayers will compete for $4.5 million in cash and prizes at the 25th National Horseplayers Championship (NHC) at the Horseshoe Las Vegas from March 15-17.

Inside the NTRA Handicapping Contest: Winning Big and Gaining Recognition

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), which runs the handicapping contest, says $800,000 goes to the winner of the event with an estimated 750 horseplayers, including about 150 with two entries. The winner also receives an Eclipse Award as Horseplayer of the Year.

David Harrison (center) won the 2022 NHC Championship and first prize of $725,000. Photo courtesy of NTRA

All participants qualified via contests hosted by 33 racetracks, casino race books, handicapping contest websites, Advance Deposit Wagering (ADW) platforms, simulcast distribution networks, horse owner associations, media outlets, and other thoroughbred racing organizations.

The tournament format: Players try 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.

Exclusive Horseplay: Top 10% Advance to Final Table

The field will be reduced to the top 10% after the first two days. The highest 10 cumulative scores after the semifinals on March 17, will fill out the final table. Bankrolls during the first and second days, and the semifinals will roll over to the final table, with the 10 finalists settling the score in seven “mandatory” assigned races.

No less than 13 horseplayers are returning for a chance to become the first repeat winner. They are Steve Wolfson, Jr. (2003), James Michelson, Jr. (2005), Stanley Bavlish (2007), Michael Beychok (2012), Jim Benes (2013), John O’Neil (2015), Paul Matties, Jr (2016), Ray Arsenault (2017), Chris Littlemore (2018), Scott Coles (2019), Justin Mustari (2021), David Harrison (2022), and Paul Calia (2023).

At least 100 horseplayers are in the field for the first time.


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