01/22/2014 2:23PM

Registration open for 2014 Daily Racing Form National Handicapping Championship Tour


Signups for the 2014 Daily Racing Form National Handicapping Championship Tour are now being accepted on the website of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.

The DRF NHC Tour is a yearlong series offering $200,000 in additional prize money and 20 or more qualifying berths to the NHC. This year’s tour starts Monday and continues through Dec. 31. A tentative schedule of tournaments can be found at ntra.com/en/nhc/nhc-tour-schedule.

The notable changes for 2014 include a tiered tour points system based on the number of contestants in each tournament. Contest participants also will receive points from each tournament in which they participate. Contestants will receive 150 tour points for participating in tournaments at brick-and-mortar locations and 50 points for participating in online tournaments.

The top 150 tour points leaders at the end of the year will be guaranteed entry into the 2015 NHC, where the season-ending NHC Tour points leader will win $75,000 and be eligible for a $2 million bonus for winning the 2015 NHC. The 2013 NHC Tour winner was Brent Sumja of San Anselmo, Calif.

The $200,000 in NHC Tour prize money this year includes a total of $50,000 in midyear payouts to the top five players in the standings as of July 31. End-of-year payouts will total $150,000, with points based on a member’s top six scores (including at least one score from a brick-and-mortar tournament location).

Tour membership requires a one-time fee of $50. Membership must be in place prior to the start of any qualifying tournament in order for top finishers to be eligible to compete in the January 2015 NHC, the rich tournament that caps the year’s schedule. The 15th NHC is scheduled for this Friday through Sunday at Treasure Island Las Vegas, where Jim Benes of Countryside, Ill., will defend his Handicapper of the Year title.

The 2015 NHC will offer a $1.5 million-guaranteed purse and at least $750,000 to the winner, along with an Eclipse Award as the Handicapper of the Year.

Benefits of NHC Tour membership include:

◗ Frequent e-newsletters featuring recaps of tournaments, schedules and links to upcoming tournaments, and tips from previous NHC champions and qualifiers

◗ Special offers from DRF , including a 15 percent discount for first-time tour members and a 10 percent discount for renewing members

◗ Free online tournaments offering a total of 20 seats to the 2015 NHC

◗ Membership in the NTRA

Competition rules are posted at ntra.com/en/nhc/official-rules.