Tourney Talk: Will someone please pay attention?

File this post under “Constructive Criticism”, and feel free to dismiss it as just another chance for a horseplayer to gripe if you wish.

Tampa Bay Downs is hosting the High Rollers Handicapping Contest on January 11th. Up for grabs, based on 100 entries, are two seats to the National Horseplayers Championship plus cash prizes to the top five finishers. The entry fee is $1,000, with $500 going towards the prizes and $500 to be used as the live money bankroll. Seems like an event that I’m going to want to enter. And I am glad that Tampa Bay Downs is offering this contest.

Now it’s time for the rant.

The only way I was able to find the rules and other specifics for this contest was because I happened to see a tweet from that referred to the event as the “High Rollers Contest”. When I went to, I was unable to find any information about the contest whatsoever. And trust me, I spent time looking. So I went to the NHC section of, scrolled through the calendar of the events, and clicked on the contest link for January 11th at Tampa. Essentially no meaningful info or link to the rules appeared.

So then I did a Google search for “Tampa Bay Downs High Roller Contest”, and I was directed to what appears to be a the official contest page for the “High Roller Handicapping Contest”. I read the rules, and they seem a little quirky but not unreasonable. When I got to the prizes section, this is what I found:

And this is when I decided I had had enough and needed to complain.

The “2020 or 2021 NTRA Handicapping World Series”? Are you kidding me? And then the name gets changed just a few lines later to the “2019 or 2020 NTRA/DRF Handicapping Contest”? WTF?

I am not sure with whom my complaint is. But it feels like people at some combination of Tampa Bay Downs and the NTRA should be paying closer attention. There is no meaningful info on the NTRA NHC page. You can only find info on the Tampa Bay Downs website if you stumble across it while clicking on “Premier Day Tickets” on the homepage. And the name of the contest for which seats are being offered as prizes is misstated two different times, with “2020 or 2021” shifting to “2019 or 2020” within the same section of the rules. Also, how long has it been since DRF was involved in this event?

Get it together, Horse Racing.

1 Comment

  1. Ronald Dew Bradrick on December 8, 2019 at 8:14 pm

    Ha, good luck at Tampa Bay. Very old place and hard to find in the woods. Many of the local business people in the area don’t even know where it is. The staff people there seemed to me to be out of touch with horse racing in general. The first time I went happened to be on the once a year big money races from Dubai. The lady at the information desk had never heard of them and did not know if they would be shown the next day at Tampa. They did show some, but missed the early races. I think the average age of the crowd in well into the 80’s. Watch out for the live gators!

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