01/17/2015 1:53PM

Fornatale: Bet on who will win NHC

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There will be a new wager on offer at the 16th Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, the richest horse-racing tournament of the year. For the first time, horseplayers will be able to bet on who will be the 2015 NHC champion thanks to a new bet offered at the Treasure Island Race & Sports Book, which is hosting the NHC for the fourth consecutive year.

As of now, 365 players are listed, with most NHC participants available at odds of 100-1. The market is open now, and players are encouraged to bet on themselves. Bets must be made in person at Treasure Island in Las Vegas. The maximum payout on the wager is $5,000.

The early favorites at 25-1 include Dennis Decauwer, who has finished second twice (along with his betting partner, Don Beardsworth) in the NHC, as well as 2008 champ Richard Goodall and 2013 champ Jim Benes. Reigning NHC champion Jose Arias is 50-1 on the opening line as he seeks to become the first repeat winner of the NHC.

There is also a bet on the field available for all players not listed individually. The field is currently 8-1 and is made up of qualifiers from late in the season after the wager was submitted for approval.

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“The future wager is a great addition to the NHC,” said NTRA senior vice president Keith Chamblin. “There is tremendous value on a number of accomplished tournament players who could take down the NHC crown.”

The NHC future wager will close Thursday, the eve of the NHC, at 11 p.m. Pacific.

For a list of the opening odds, visit: http://unbearablebetting.com/2015/01/17/current-nhc-betting-odds/.