News - Videos - Blogs

September to Remember, for Handicappers

Arlington Park Communications | 03/24/2014 #

Two Chances to Win a Coveted Trip to the DRF/NTRA NHC

September is here, racing fans, and Arlington has a special month of handicapping seminars and contests planned.  This September’s contests are different than what we have offered during this summer’s live meet, so take note.  Your attention, please. 

We are switching gears, and Las Vegas destinations, if you will. 

First, while our September contests still point to Las Vegas, they point to a different time and to a different national handicapping tournament.  We want to send you to the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC). 

The NHC will be held in Las Vegas on January 24-26, 2014.  The only way to compete in the NHC is by winning your way in through a sanctioned, qualifying, handicapping contest, such as we are offering. 

It’s worth the effort.  The grand prize for the 2013 NHC was $750,000, and it was won by a Chicagoan, I hasten to add.  Even if you don’t win the grand prize, take note that the NHC paid cash prizes down through the 40th finisher.

The NTRA (National Thoroughbred Racing Association) has already posted information about next year’s championship tournament, including the rules.  Click here to go to the NTRA website and learn more.

What must you do to earn your chance at the big money, enough money to potentially change your life?  Simple.  Win one of Arlington’s two qualifiers.

Our first NTRA qualifier will be held at Arlington Park on September 14-15.  Our second NTRA qualifier will be held on the following weekend, September 21-22, at Arlington’s Villa Park OTB, Tavern on North. 

While these are separate contests, they are equal.

There is no entry fee to play in either, or both, contests.  One must register on Day One and establish a $600 bankroll for the individual weekend contest.  The bankroll balance always remains yours.  One can walk away and take his/her bankroll balance at any time.

The contests are live money and are designed to mimic a day (or two) at the races as much as possible.  The basic requirements are to bet a minimum of $300 each day, and a minimum of one bet each day.  All pools are eligible.  We’ve made it like a day at the races with the same goal in mind:  run up your bankroll as high as you can.  Isn’t that what you try to do each day at the races?

Please note one important change from the handicapping contests we have been running this year:  Our September contests require the contestant to wager on Arlington races only.

Both contests will be preceded, each day, by a handicapping analysis of the afternoon’s Arlington races presented by this correspondent.  As is true with the contests, the seminar is free to attend.  My goal is to tell you how I see each race playing out, and to look for races, horses, and wagering strategies that could be of help in contest play.  My seminar will begin, each contest day, between noon and 12:15.

At Arlington, the seminars and contest registration will be held on the second floor, near the Grand Staircase.  At Villa Park, contest registration and the seminar will take place in the banquet room.  Registration begins at 11:00 AM and is open until 3:00 PM.  Each contest begins with Arlington’s first post at 1:00 PM and concludes with the final race on the Arlington card.

For the complete rules for both of Arlington’s September NHC qualifiers, click here

Would you like to play in the September 21-22 NHC qualifier, courtesy of Arlington?  We have the contest for you. 

On September 7 we will be holding a “qualifier for the qualifier,” so to speak.  On that date, we will have a handicapping contest at our Waukegan OTB where the top three finishers will receive a paid entry (remember, worth $600) into the September 21-22 Villa Park NHC qualifier.  For the rules for the September 7 contest, click here.

One final requirement.  To participate in NHC qualifiers, one must be a member of the NHC Tour.  Membership is $50 and we can process your membership at all three September handicapping contests.     

Looking ahead, once the live meet is over, we will be taking our show on the road with two handicapping contests offering a trip (each) to the Boyd Gaming Horseplayer World Series to be held in Las Vegas in March, 2014.  Check back on my blog for more information, after the live meet closes.

Questions?  Email me at  I’ll get back to you right away.


M. Scott McMannis

  • Handicapping Seminar and Contest Host, Arlington Park
  • Midwest Correspondent, The HorsePlayer Magazine
  • Owner and Publisher, The McMannis Speed Figure & Trip Note Service Newsletter,
  •      Arlington Trainer Patterns, and
  •          Hawthorne Trainer Patterns