It has taken a little time to banish my disappointment from the Feb. 28 contest. I felt like a NFL offense that had 1st-and-goal on the 5 yard line but couldn't punch it in after 5 attempts (we'll say I had one extra attempt on a defensive holding call). But I am now moving on, at least as far as mapping out what might be next on the NHC Tour.
A revised contest schedule is now up on the NTRA site. It seems the biggest change is the addition of four "super" qualifiers, offering a combined 21 spots out to the Red Rock next January. For this New Jersey-based NHC Tour member, the good news is that the August 29 super event will be held at Monmouth Park. The bad news is that these "super" qualifiers apparently call for "super" antes -- the Monmouth contest is a $600 affair, quite a bit more than than the usual contest price tags of $100-$400.
Six Benjies is definitely high in absolute terms, but it does send six to Vegas, so it actually sounds pretty decent in terms of qualifying bang-for-the-buck. Depending on how my finances shape up heading into the day, I may well give it a try.
For now, I'll focus on much-cheaper ($100) NHCQualify.com contest next month, and then the next free NHC Tour online event on Kentucky Derby day.
9 months ago
NHCQualify is convenient and low entry--true. However, it returns one contest entry for every 100 participants (provided its sold out), making it BY FAR the worst value contest I've seen out there.
Even providing for a very generous price of $750 for 3 nights lodging at the Red Rock, that prices each NHC entry at $9250! They don't even cover your airfare to Vegas.
The value of an entry into the NHC, calculated by prize money/entrants is around $3200. That's consistent with the $3333 they charge the contest host tracks for each entry.
The NHCQualify website says that 65% of the funds go to the NHC purse, which I suppose is nice for the NHC and nice for whoever is collecting 35% takeout on the contest. But it's not so nice for those looking for the best bang for their buck in a contest.