Bossier City, LA – There are still a few spots remaining for Saturday’s National Horseplayers Championship at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs.

The entry fee for the handicapping contest is $300 ($150 entry fee, $150 live bankroll). It will be  limited to 100 entries, maximum two entries per person.  This will be a live format, with $5.00 win, place and show wagers on five Louisiana Downs races and an additional five races from either the Belmont Park or Gulfstream Park’s Saturday afternoon cards.  The contest rules are posted on the Louisiana Downs website.

Saturday’s contest has attracted some of the most elite tournament players, including Judy Wagner, the first woman to win the NHC and her husband, Bryan Wagner, winner of the 2009 NHC Tour. Michael Beychok, is also entered. He holds the distinction of being the first horseplayer to capture a $1 million grand prize in a handicapping contest.

Trey Stiles, who resides in Houston, Texas, is another experienced player registered for Saturday’sevent at Louisiana Downs. Through both live and online contests, Stiles has qualified for the final an impressive 15 years in a row.  He was pleased that Louisiana Downs set a date this year.

“I find live contests to be more fun,” said Stiles. “It’s an easy commute from Houston and an opportunity to catch up with some buddies.”

Stiles uses the past performances from the Daily Racing Form and begins by charting his likely plays for the contest as well as some longshots for consideration.

“My strategy is to map out a baseline dollar amount that I will need to hit to win the contest,” added Stiles. “If someone has a big lead heading into the final few races, then I’ll have to alter my selections and look for a bomb.”

The top two finishers will win a berth to the $2.5 million-est. National Horseplayers Championship, the world’s richest and most prestigious handicapping tournament, in Las Vegas, February 9-11, 2018. Both winners will receive a $400 travel voucher and hotel accommodations for four nights in Las Vegas. In addition, cash prizes of $500 will be awarded to both the third and fourth-place participants and players finishing fifth through eighth will receive $150.

The Louisiana Downs 2017 Thoroughbred racing season began on May 6 and is off to a great start with notable increases in handle.  This week, racing officials were able to add an addition race to the Monday and Tuesday cards.  Trent McIntosh, Louisiana Downs assistant general manager, is pleased with that development and looks forward to welcoming NHC contest players on June 17​.

“Hosting this regional qualifying tournament for the National Horseplayers Championship at Louisiana Downs was an important priority this year,” said McIntosh. “We look forward to showcasing our main track and turf course on Saturday and providing excellent hospitality to each of the horseplayers in the contest.”

Registration for the Louisiana Downs contest is still open, but will be capped at 100, so register as soon as possible!  Players wishing to enter should contact Tracey Blevins ( or Michele Ravencraft (

​Louisiana Downs ​Trainer and Jockey Standings

Through June 12, last year’s leading trainer Joey Foster holds a commanding lead over his fellow conditioners with 18 wins. Ronnie P. Ward and Denise Schmidt are tied for second with six wins and Jorge Gomez. H. B. Johnson and Thomas Nixon have each saddled five winners.

The battle for leading rider is heating up with Richard Eramia taking over the top spot on the leader board with 20 wins.  Gerardo Mora, who finished third in the jockey standings last year, is currently in second place with 18 trips to the winner’s circle. Jose Andres Guerrero has 17 wins and Hector Del-Cid and apprentice Aubrie Green are tied with ten wins each.

Jorge Gomez and Red Rose Racing share the lead in the owner standings with five wins each. Patti Turner and Beverly Burress follow closely with four victories.

Post Times and Stakes Schedule

Live racing will be conducted Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and Saturday with a 3:15 p.m.(Central) post time through September 27.

The 84-day meet will include 14 stakes highlighted by two major events, Louisiana Cup Day on Saturday, August 5 and Super Derby Day on Saturday, September 9.  To see a complete list of the 2017 Thoroughbred stakes schedule, click here.

About Harrah’s Louisiana Downs

Located near Shreveport in Bossier City, Louisiana, Louisiana Downs opened in 1974 and was purchased by Caesars Entertainment in December, 2002. With annual Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing seasons, the track is committed to presenting the highest quality racing programs paired with its 150,000 square foot entertainment complex offering casino gambling, dining and plasma screen televisions for sports and simulcast racing.

For further information, please contact:

Trent McIntosh  |  Assistant General Manager
8000 East Texas Street | Bossier City, LA 71111
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