About McKay

President and Founder of HorseTourneys

Q&A with “The BIG One at Laurel” Winner Dan Flanigan


From NTRA Press Release

NHC Q&A: Dan Flanigan

Dan Flanigan of Medina, Minn., bested a field of 51 players to win The BIG One last month at Laurel Park, taking home first-place money of $35,200 on top of his $5,850 bankroll. He also earned spots in the $2.8 million (estimated) Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) presented by Racetrack Television Network and Treasure Island Las Vegas, and the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC).

Continue reading

Change in Policy for New York Residents


Last week, the governor of New York signed into law new legislation covering Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in the state. As part of the provisions, the new legislation prohibits fantasy-style games on horse racing.

While the exact legal status of horse racing tournaments is still open to question, after conferring with our legal counsel, we have made the determination that we must restrict play from New York residents at this time.

Effective immediately and until further notice, the following policies will be in place regarding play from New York residents at HorseTourneys:

(1) Players from New York may no longer withdraw funds from player accounts; any credit must be played only in contests at HorseTourneys. In other words, players from New York are prohibited from winning real money, including travel reimbursements that may be part of qualifying packages (travel funds will be credited to accounts and may be played in other tournaments).

(2) Players from New York may continue to play in any events toward the pursuit of on-track/on-site qualifiers supported by the industry, such as the National Handicapping Championship (NHC) and other on-site events. Again, please be aware that New York residents may not withdraw travel allowances that may be included as part of any qualifying packages.

New York players with current account balances may make a one-time withdrawal up to the amount currently held in the player balance. There is no deadline for this request.

To make a withdrawal, players must email support@horsetourneys.com or fill out a Customer Support request form. Please include:

(1) The amount of the withdrawal requested
(2) Preference for either Check or PayPal (include Paypal email address); please note that bank transfers will not be available

We regret that changes in New York law have affected your participation at HorseTourneys. Please know that we are actively working on a long term solution to allow full online tournament playing privileges and will notify you as soon as any change to our policy in New York has been made.

Thank you for your understanding and for your patronage at HorseTourneys. Please let us know if you have questions.


McKay Smith



LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sunday, July 31, 2016) – – A $3 million National Handicapping Championship (NHC) Tour bonus – the largest prize ever offered in the handicapping contest world – will be awarded to any horseplayer who wins the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) November 4-5 and the Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC) next January 27-29, the NTRA and Breeders’ Cup announced today. The “NHC Tour $3,000,000 Double” starts with the $1 million-estimated BCBC, a lucrative live bankroll contest with a $10,000 buy-in, and continues with NHC 18, the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping contest, worth an estimated $2.8 million in cash and prizes.

The bonus was first announced during today’s NBC broadcast of the $1 million Betfair.com Haskell Invitational from Monmouth Park in Oceanport, N.J.

Last year’s BCBC winner earned more than $300,000 and first prize at the NHC is $800,000, meaning that successful completion of the NHC Tour Double would be worth more than $4.1 million. Participating individuals must be a member of the NHC Tour ($50) to be eligible to win the lucrative bonus.

“This bonus ties together and strengthens the two most prestigious handicapping contests in the world,” said NTRA Chief Operating Officer Keith Chamblin. “Winning the BCBC in November and the NHC in January would be unprecedented and a feat worthy of the richest pay day in handicapping contest history.”

Now entering its eighth year, the $1 million-estimated BCBC has become one of the most sought after prizes on the tournament calendar. The BCBC, which offers 15 seats to the NHC in addition to cash prizes, is a highly lucrative and exclusive live bankroll handicapping contest with a $10,000 buy-in required to participate. Players enjoy first class access to the two best days of racing in the world with VIP seats that include buffet lunch each day and other amenities. Online and on-site qualifying tournaments, offering $10,000 berths into the BCBC as prizes, continue throughout the summer and fall leading to the November Breeders’ Cup. For more on the BCBC, visit breederscup.com/bcbc.

Qualifying for NHC 18 continues through January in scores of contests held on-site and online. Next weekend’s contest menu includes a Free-to-Play NHC online contest atNHCqualify.com offering four spots to the NHC. For more information on the NHC Tour and a complete contest schedule, visit NTRA.com/nhc.

In its 18th year, the NHC is the most important tournament of the year for horseplayers and is the culmination of a year-long series of NTRA-sanctioned local tournaments conducted by racetracks, casino race books, off-track betting facilities and horse racing and handicapping websites, each of which sends its top qualifiers to the national finals.There are no bye-ins to the NHC. Each year, the NHC winner joins other human and equine champions as an honoree at the Eclipse Awards. In addition to the founding title sponsor, the NHC is presented by Racetrack Television Network and Treasure Island Las Vegas.

About the NTRA

The NTRA, based in Lexington, Ky., is a broad-based coalition of more than 100 horse racing interests and thousands of individual stakeholders consisting of horseplayers, racetrack operators, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity, welfare and integrity of Thoroughbred racing through consensus-based leadership, legislative advocacy, safety and integrity initiatives, fan engagement and corporate partner development. The NTRA owns and manages the NTRA Safety and Integrity Alliance, NTRA.com, the Eclipse Awards, the National Handicapping Championship, NTRA Advantage, a corporate partner sales and sponsorship program, and Horse PAC, a federal political action committee. NTRA press releases appear on NTRA.com, Twitter (@ntra) and Facebook (facebook.com/1NTRA).

About Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 13 grade I races and purses and awards totaling $28 million, will be held November 4-5 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup Web site, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube

Regarding Depositing at HorseTourneys

HorseTourneys uses an international processor to process credit and debit cards directly.  Please note that the business operations of HorseTourneys absolutely remain in the United States; only that the company that we are using to process credit card transactions is based outside of the country.

Because of this, players that deposit with either VISA or MASTERCARD credit or debit cards may incur international transaction fees on those deposits from their card issuer.  These fees typically range between 1% and 3% of the transaction amount (or $1 to $3 on every $100 deposited).  We encourage players to contact their card issuer if they are unsure of the international fee policy for their cards.  Not all credit card issuers charge international transaction fees.  Those fees will appear as a separate line item on your card statement.

Some issuers may automatically block foreign transactions, and players will experience declines when using VISA or Mastercard.  If that is the reason for decline, players will need to contact their issuer to inquire about lifting this restriction, which most issuers will accommodate.

There are currently three ways that players can avoid international transaction fees depositing at HorseTourneys:

  1. Use PayPal.  Using PayPal (either your cards or direct from your bank account) will avoid any international processing, even if using your Visa or MasteCard through PayPal.
  2. Use American Express: all American Express cards are processed in the U.S.
  3. Use ACH Bank Transfer:  Transfer funds directly from your bank account. Bank Transfer is a separate option in the Deposit section

Please note that pre-paid debit cards may NOT be used directly, but most pre-paid debit cards will work if used through PayPal.  Make sure that the card is registered online before trying through PayPal.

Any questions should be directed toward HorseTourneys Support at support@horsetourneys.com.


Looking Back on an Exciting Fourth of July Weekend at HorseTourneys

horse tourneys green logo

It was a busy — and even unprecedented — holiday weekend at HorseTourneys.

Bill Wilbur was responsible for the unprecedented part. He, along with Anthony Mattera and Anthony Trezza, won seats to the 2017 NHC on Saturday. But not only did Bill win a coveted NHC seat, he placed his two entries in 2nd and 3rd positions. No one has ever placed multiple entries in qualifying position at a HorseTourneys NHC qualifier before. And while NHC rules specifically prohibit a player from winning more than one NHC seat within a single qualifying competition, it takes nothing away from what was a remarkable contest performance by Bill.

NHC2 at 7.02.13 PM

Thanks to Bill — and also to Eric Moomey — we had to drill down pretty far to come up with our three NHC package winners on Saturday. For not only did Bill grab the 2nd and 3rd slots, but the already-dual-qualified Eric finished 4th. So that third available NHC seat went to 5th-place finisher Anthony Trezza. This pleased Trezza…and even made him feel a bit vindicated!

Trezza at 11.19.37 AM

Sunday action was equally robust with players winning packages to The Big One, Del Mar, plus last-chance berths at Arlington and Surfside. It’s also worth pointing out that HorseTourneys players had the opportunity to play in a positive-expectation competition, with our Guaranteed $7,500 tournament operating at a 4% overlay to players. Ed Peters and Howard Welsh were the chief beneficiaries, winning $3,750 and $1,500, respectively.

7500 at 6.33.46 PM

Holiday Monday featured entry-only tourneys awarding seats to Wynn, Monmouth and Gold Coast plus a Guaranteed $5,000 contest. Mike Sylvester and Tom Bolek (Wynn); Jay Parker and Jason Phillips (Gold Coast); Susan Romeo and Adam Lewis (Monmouth) and Charles Browing ($5,000 tourney) were our major winners. But also exciting was the news that HorseTourneys would be qualifying players starting THIS WEEK to the August 10-11 Battle of Saratoga, which will now be run as two separate, one-day tournaments. Low-cost $28 feeders start today (Tuesday).

Btl of Sar at 2.16.41 PM

Good luck and hope to see you at the Spa!


Saratoga Contest Entries Now Available at HorseTourneys

Btl of Sar at 2.16.41 PM

Contact: Eric Wing             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



July 5, 2016 – HorseTourneys.com will now be offering online qualifiers to both days of the “Battle of Saratoga” handicapping contests, to be held Wednesday and Thursday, August 10 and 11, 2016, at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, NY. It is the first time that the popular Battle of Saratoga will consist of two separate tournaments on back-to-back days – rather than a single two-day tourney.

The “Battle of Saratoga” competitions are high-end, live-bankroll contests that will award cash and qualifying seats to the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC) and Daily Racing Form/NTRA National Handicapping Championship (NHC).

The first online qualifier at HorseTourneys will be held Sunday, July 10. It will carry an entry fee of $128, and will award a $1,000 entry to both the Wednesday and Thursday contests at Saratoga, plus an additional $750 in travel expense per each 25 entries participating in the qualifier. The first qualifier should sell quickly and is expected to award multiple packages to the event. Starting today, low-cost, $28 feeder tournaments will run throughout the week, leading up to July 10.

Qualifiers to the Battle of Saratoga contests are expected to continue each weekend at HorseTourneys through the weekend of August 6-7.

Questions should be directed to HorseTourneys Customer Support at support@horsetourneys.com.

HorseTourneys.com is a leading operator of online-based handicapping tournaments in horse racing. HorseTourneys works in cooperation with the racing industry, with a focus on offering handicappers the opportunity to qualify to major handicapping tournament events at racetracks and casinos across North America. In operation since 2009, HorseTourneys is a trusted partner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), Boyd Gaming, Keeneland, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Arlington Racecourse, Monmouth Park, Hawthorne Race Course, Laurel Park, Wynn Las Vegas and other racetracks and gaming properties. The HorseTourneys website may be accessed at http://www.horsetourneys.com.

# # #

Up to Four NHC Seats on Tap this Saturday (7/2)

NHC 7-2-16 at 4.54.44 PM

Your next chance to get NHC-qualified at HorseTourneys comes this Saturday, July 2, with a live-format contest available at a player-friendly cost of $160. Three NHC seats are guaranteed and, depending on the number of participants, a fourth could be added. Winners’ packages include hotel and $1,000 for travel. And as an NHC qualfier, this July 2 tournament (Live format) will also offer coveted NHC Tour points. Also, up to 10 runners up will receive a paid entry to the next scheduled NHC qualifier on HorseTourneys.

Want an even more player-friendly deal? Daily feeders to the July 2 qualifier — in both Live and Pick & Pray formats — are running this week for just $18, and these feeders also offer a 10% entry rebate, meaning that these feeders carry NO takeout. Zippo. Nada. Bubkus.

The onus is still on you to pick some winners, of course, but you won’t find a more cost-effective way to compete for an NHC seat anywhere on the planet.

$25,000 Guaranteed Tourney with All-Optional Format set for July 10

25K Cash All Optional

Make plans now to play in HorseTourneys’ big $25,000 guaranteed tournament on Sunday, July 10. You can buy-in on the big day for $260…or you can play in our daily feeders and earn your way in for as little as $29.

First place will be good for $12,500 with winners paid down to 8th place. And as you can always expect at HorseTourneys, takeout is an industry-low 10%. You won’t find a better deal anywhere.

This tourney will utilize the popular “All-Optional” live format whereby players select their 10 contest plays from among 20 eligible races.

Hate races that you think will come back chalky? Detest those occasional skullbusters where the more you study them, the more confused you become? No problem. Just skip ’em and move on to races you like better. Or you can simply opt to save your “bullets” for the tail end of the competition when you might have a better idea of what score it will take to win.

See you on July 10!