04/13/2006 12:00AM

Online contest offers challenge


People who think they can outpick public handicappers now have an online chance to prove it.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association will launch a free eight-week contest next Saturday called Beat the Handicapper, which will run through Belmont Day, June 10.

The contest, to be held at www.ntra.com, will consist of one designated race each week in which a guest handicapper will use a $50 mythical bankroll to make win, place, show, exacta, or trifecta wagers. Contestants will do the same, and if their wagers return more than the guest handicapper, a $50 bonus will be added to their weekly contest score. Prizes will be awarded each week, from $250 for first place to $50 for fourth. The handicapper with the best cumulative score over eight weeks will receive a berth in the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship in January at Bally's Las Vegas.

Randy Moss will be the first guest handicapper for the April 22 contest, which will be on Keeneland's Grade 2 Lexington Stakes.