Prize Money, NHC, BCBC & BIG One Berths Up for Grabs
Registration Deadlines March 22 by Mail, March 24 in Person/Phone
LAUREL, MD – The Maryland Jockey Club will host the spring session of its bi-annual Champions Handicapping Tournament Saturday, March 25 in the second-floor clubhouse sports bar at Laurel Park.
Berths to the NTRA National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and The BIG One are on the line, as well as more than $66,000 in guaranteed prize money (based on 150 entries) among the top 10 finishers.
A maximum of two entries per person will be accepted at a cost of $300 each, payable by cash, credit card, money order or cashier’s check. Players must be at least 21 to participate. The tournament will be limited to 300 entries.
The tournament winner will earn a minimum of $12,000 and have their choice of one of two berths to the 2024 NHC or a berth in the 2023 BCBC or The BIG One at Horsetourneys.com. The second-place finisher will get a minimum of $8,000 and the choice of one of the remaining three berths.
A minimum of $4,000 and the choice of the final two berths will go to the third-place finisher, and the fourth-place finisher will receive a minimum of $2,400 and the remaining berth. Players that finish fifth through 10th will earn a minimum of $2,400.
To be eligible for NHC seats, players must be an NHC tour member prior to the start of the Champions Tournament. If a player is ineligible, the NHC berth will be awarded to the entrant with the next highest tournament bankroll.
Tracks available for the tournament are Laurel Park, Gulfstream Park, Santa Anita, Aqueduct and Tampa Bay Downs. From their $200 bankroll, players must make a minimum of 10 wagers at $20 per wager. Only win, place and show wagers will be considered valid.
The deadline for mail-in registration is Wednesday, March 22. Registration can be made by phone or in person until noon Friday, March 24.
James Staub of Ellicott City, Md. won the MJC’s spring Champions Tournament in 2022 with a final bankroll of $3,672 to top of field of 176 players. It marked the first in-person Champions Tournament since 2019 after the 2020 and 2021 events were canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic.
John Scheinman of Baltimore, a two-time Eclipse Award-winning writer and author of the novella Bal Harbour Blues, finished with a balance of $1,691.10 to top of field of 131 entrants in the MJC’s fall 2022 Champions Tournament.
The 2024 NHC will take place in March in Las Vegas. The BCBC is Nov. 3-4 at Santa Anita, and The BIG One will be held in the fall.