50 Seats to 2012 $2 Million-Estimated NHC to be Offered Over Next 120 Days
HENDERSON, KY, August 1, 2011 -- Ellis Park Race Course, Inc., announced today the launch of HorseTourneys.com (www.horsetourneys.com
), an affiliate website of the Henderson, Kentucky based racetrack. The website will operate a year-round, continuous online contest program to handicapping tournament players offering various awards and prizes.
In conjunction with the launch, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has allocated Ellis Park and HorseTourneys.com a total of 50 qualifying spots through November, 2011, to the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC), presented by Sovereign Stable and Treasure Island Casino. The NHC is the largest and most prestigious handicapping tournament program in North America. In addition to the qualifying spots to the NHC finals, all NHC contests at HorseTourneys.com will award NHC Tour points.HorseTourneys.com
will also award qualifying spots to the Horse Player World Series (HPWS), the February handicapping tournament in Las Vegas operated by Coast Casinos/Boyd Gaming Corporation, as well as qualifying spots to other selected contests throughout the year.
The first contest is scheduled for Sunday, August 7th, and will be a free event awarding the winner one qualifying spot to the NHC in addition to complimentary entries into paid contests to top finishers. The first official NHC qualifying event is scheduled for Saturday, August 13th. Players may sign-up now by visiting www.horsetourneys.com
and registering a new account.
“We’re delighted to bring this new program to the handicapping contest community,” said Ron Geary, owner of Ellis Park and an avid handicapping contest player himself. “As a player-focused racetrack, we’re committed to bringing the highest levels of player value and integrity, as well as the broadest selection of offerings, to the loyal contest players. Moreover, we look forward to working with Keith Chamblin at the NTRA, regular tournament horseplayers and others to develop a year-round program that delivers to the players what they desire and deserve.” Geary was the runner-up in last year’s January Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship, only relinquishing the lead in the last contest race.
“We thank Ellis Park for its tremendous commitment to the NHC,” said Keith Chamblin, Senior Vice President of the NTRA. “I’m confident that tournament players will appreciate the additional qualifying chances and variety of features the new program will provide.”
Day-to-day operation of the website will be handled by experienced contest director McKay Smith, who developed the proprietary software that will be used by HorseTourneys.com
. Smith will serve as operator and tournament director. Regular contest players will recognize Smith as the longtime tournament director for NHCQualify.com, where he assumed that role from its inception in March, 2006, until this July, 2011, and where he directed over 120 online contests during that time. Smith worked for the NTRA/Breeders’ Cup Limited in various roles from 1999 through 2006, and later was employed by the account wagering company AmericaTab, Ltd., as director of marketing, and as vice president of marketing for prominent mobile games publisher Magmic Games, based in Ottawa, Canada. During his last two years with the NTRA/Breeders’ Cup, Smith oversaw day-to-day administration of the NHC.