Official Rules

1. Description of the Contest

Horse Racing contests, also known as Handicapping Contests, have a long history in horse racing and have existed for decades at racetracks and in online formats.  Each contest (collectively the “Contests”) is a skill-based competition in which players (“Players”) can demonstrate their knowledge of horse racing information and rules in several Contest formats. Prizes will be awarded to Players who are most successful in selecting winning horses in actual horse races at actual licensed tracks, under the Tournament Structures described more fully below. Players will choose to participate in one or more Contests from a menu of Contests available. Each Contest will have a fixed entry fee, a fixed prize pool and a maximum number of entries. Some contests may also have a minimum of number of entries which will be published in advance on the Website.

2. Eligibility

The Contests are open only to legal residents of the United States who are at least 18-year-old. Residents of Alaska, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Maine, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, New York, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Utah and Washington are not eligible to participate. The Contests are void where restricted or prohibited.  In addition, the following persons are not eligible: Employees of Horse Racing Labs, LLC (“Sponsor”), its subsidiaries and members of their immediate families, regardless of where they reside, and persons living in the same household of each.

Horse Racing Labs, LLC (“Sponsor”) customer service employees that have access to player picks are prohibited from playing online contests on other sites.  Shareholders and other employees of Horse Racing Labs, LLC (“Sponsor”) who do not have access to player picks do not participate in cash games on other online horse racing contest sites, but are eligible to play in qualifier contests on other sites.

3. How to Register

Go to (the “Contest Site”) to register and establish an account by following the onscreen instructions.

4. Entry Fees

Each DerbyWars contest has an entry fee listed in US dollars. Entrants will make deposit(s) into their account via credit card, bank transfer or other deposit methods offered by Sponsor.

In the event of a dispute regarding the identity of the person submitting an entry, the entry will be deemed submitted by the person in whose Username the entry was submitted, or if possession of the Username itself is contested, the name in which the email address on file was registered with the email service provider. Sponsor reserves the right to cancel Player’s account, if it believes, it its sole discretion, that Player is acting contrary to these rules or are attempting to gain an unfair competitive advantage. Some Contests may allow Players to purchase a second or third entry for the same Contest.

DerbyWars offers contests of varying entry fees, including $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $25, $50, $100 and other amounts.

Based on the rules of each specific tournament, players will have the opportunity to purchase one, two, three or more entries for the tournament.

5. Tournament Formats

Bullets  ($2 Win-Place or $2 Win-Place-Show mythical format) – Sponsor will identify contest races at various tracks. All Players will select one (1) horse from each of the designated races of the tournament. In each race, the horse each player selects will compete in a virtual Contest bet according to the Sponsor’s stated type of Contest bet for the tournament (e.g., $5 to win; $2 to win and place, etc.). After the race, Sponsor will compute the combined pay-off for Player’s virtual Contest bets, which will be added to the Player’s score. Players will use their skill to make selections as well as gauge their place on the leaderboard and how far they need to move up to win.

  • Unless otherwise specified by the tournament rules, $2 win payouts will be capped at $32, with $2 place payouts capped at $18 and $2 Show payouts capped at $10.  (The maximum score for any race is $50 in the $2 Win-Place format and $60 in the $2 Win-Place-Show format.)
  • At the conclusion of the competition, the total score for each player for all races will be aggregated. The player who accrues the most virtual dollars over the course of the entire competition will be deemed the Tournament winner. The leaderboard will show the complete order of finish from first to last. Different prize amounts will be offered based on the order of finish, with the top prize reserved for the winner.
  • In the event of a tie for cash or points payouts: the entries will split the cash or points. In the event of a tie for a token or qualifying spot, the tied entries will split the cash value of the token or qualifying spot.
  • Players may pick an Alternate selection in each race in case their Primary selection scratches.

Open format 

This is the most common format.  Players can change their pick for each race up until the race closes, usually around 1 minute before the start of the race.

Lockdown format 

In the Lockdown format, players must make all selections for the entire contest before the start of the first race.

In the event of a tie where the prize is an NHC seat, tied participants shall participate in a playoff handicapping tournament consisting of eight races in order to break the tie. This tiebreaker will persist until the tie is broken.

Playoff Tournament Dates

  • Playoff handicapping tournaments to decide the winner of an NHC seat will be held the following Saturday, or on a racing date that is agreeable to all playoff participants.
  • Playoff handicapping tournaments to decide token entry into a DerbyWars NHC qualifying tournament will be held the day prior to the next scheduled DerbyWars NHC qualifying tournament, or on a racing date that is agreeable to all playoff participants.

Playoff Prize Distribution

  • In playoff handicapping tournaments to decide the winner of an NHC seat, the winner of the playoff shall receive the denoted prize package which includes entry into the NHC, accommodations at Treasure Island, and a travel stipend.
  • In playoff handicapping tournaments to decide token entry into a DerbyWars NHC qualifying tournament, the winner of the playoff will receive a token valid for entry into the next scheduled DerbyWars NHC qualifying tournament.
  • If applicable, remaining player/s in playoff tournaments will be awarded cash prizes not paid out from original tournament for finishing positions affected by the tie. In the event that more than one player is not the playoff tournament winner, non-winners will split the remaining cash prizes equally.


Survivor is a single elimination tournament. Sponsor will display the identity of a number of races at the Contest site. Players may select two horses (Primary and Alternate) in each designated race, either separately or all at one time.

To advance, a Player’s number selection must finish 1st, 2nd or 3rd (includes ties for third).  Also, in the case of coupled entries (such as the 1 & 1a), both horses count as the same selection (only one has to finish 1-2-3).

If Player fails to select a horse that finishes 1-2-3 in any race, Player will be eliminated from further competition, unless all remaining players miss that race (see Pass Option below).

Pass Option (if all remaining players miss) – If all remaining players miss a race, that race will be considered a “Pass” and all remaining players will advance to the next race.  If a player fails to make a primary selection, they are eliminated from the contest and not eligible for the pass option.

Timing of races & elimination – In all cases, the order of races in the contest will be the order of races considered for elimination of tickets.  For example, if the 5th race of the contest runs before the 4th race in the contest, the picks for the 5th race will not be considered until the 4th race is complete and official.

The Player who progresses farthest, i.e., the Player who holds off elimination the longest will be declared the winner. The competition will continue for the number of races posted or until one Player remains. In the event of ties in the last race that cause an elimination, those Players will split the winnings accordingly. In the case of ties for tokens, the dollar value of the winning token will be split among the winners that are tied.


If a game is designated as a Qualifier or “Round 1” game, players attempt to “Qualify” and win an entry into a future game.  Qualifying players will be automatically entered in the larger tournament that the game is a qualifier for.  Should the larger “Round 2” or Qualifying game be canceled, players will receive the cash value of the entry they won to that tournament.  DerbyWars can not guarantee that if a player wins a Qualifier that the future qualifying game will not be canceled.

Leaderboard & Scoring Issues

In all cases, each player’s picks represent their final points and score.  If the leaderboard does not score correctly in a contest, then each player’s score will be added manually to determine the final score.  In the case of a leaderboard malfunction, a tournament will continue forward and official scoring will be done by DerbyWars at the completion of the contest.  A leaderboard miscalculation or malfunction is not a reason to cancel a tournament in progress, cancel races or refund entries.

6. Conditions Of Contests

The final order of finish and mutuel prices according to the tote system presented by the host track will determine the final payoffs.
The Leaderboard will be updated on the Contest Site after each contest race. It is the responsibility of the Player to bring any alleged error, issue or complaint to the attention of the Sponsor within 48 hours of the end the contest by sending an email to and describing the alleged error, issue or complaint in detail. If the Sponsor is not contacted within 48 hours of the end of the contest, the Sponsor is not responsible for making adjustments to the official order of finish or granting entry fee credit.
The system logs the time and date each Player enters his or her selections.
All monetary values are stated in United States Dollars.
All rules are subject to change without notice.

7. Scratches

In all cases, players may select both a Primary horse selection and an Alternate horse selection. The alternate selection is optional, and to be used if their Primary horse is scratched.
Players may change their Primary and Alternate selections for a race up until the time that the Derby Wars timer counts down to zero for that race.
In the event that a player’s Primary horse is scratched, the player’s selection will be moved to the Alternate. In the case that there is no Alternate selected, or if the Primary and Alternate are both scratched, then the player will receive the Post Time Favorite of the race as a selection.
If a player does not make a selection in a race, the player will not receive the Post Time favorite as a selection. It is the player’s responsibility to select a horse for each race.

8. Selection Deadlines

Race selections will be closed prior to the start of every race. It is strongly urged that Players submit all selections prior to the first race and then edit as needed with time remaining. Players should be aware that post times can change throughout the day to delays or other circumstances to avoid being shut out of race.

9. Audit Period

There is a a 24-hour audit period after the completion of each contest, for the purposes of allowing for changes in the unlikely event of scoring errors or other circumstances. While the leaderboard will display the final payout results immediately, these results will not be official until the audit period has concluded. Player that have earned prizes or points will be notified once the contest has been declared official.

10. Race Cancellations

60% of the race events that comprise a contest must be completed to constitute an official contest. If at least 60% of the individual race events in a particular contest have been completed, the contest will constitute a complete and official contest and will be scored according to the remaining events. If less than 60% of the contest events have been completed, the entire contest will be cancelled and rescheduled for a later date.

This does not apply to Points contests. Points games (games in which points are used as the sole source of entry fee) will not be cancelled as long as a minimum of three races are contested.

Survivor races will be cancelled as soon as the order of races progresses to a cancelled race. At that point, the prize pool will be paid out, divided by the number of correct entries. (The minimum payout on a correct entry is the original entry stake.)

For Lockdown contests, since all picks are required to be submitted in advance of the first race, if a contest is interrupted in progress by technical issues this will not cause any races to be cancelled since players do not need to access to the site or to change picks during a Lockdown contest.

11. Conditions Of Participation

Contests may not be used for any form of gambling. By participating, Player agrees:
1. To abide by these Official Rules and decisions of Sponsor, which shall be final and binding in all respects relating to the Contests;

2. To release, discharge and hold harmless Sponsor, and its respective parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising and promotion agencies, and the respective officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents and representatives of the forgoing (collectively, “Released Parties”) from any and all injuries, liability, losses and damages of any kind to persons, including death, or property resulting, in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from Player’s participation in the Contest or any Contest-related activity or the acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any awarded prize; and

3. To the use of Player’s name for programming, advertising, publicity and promotional purposes in any and all media, now or hereafter known, worldwide and on the Internet, and in perpetuity by Sponsor and its designees, without compensation (unless prohibited by law) or additional consents from Player or any third party and without prior notice, approval or inspection, and to execute specific consent to such use if asked to do so. Player agrees not to release any publicity or other materials on their own or through someone else regarding Player’s participation in the Contest without the prior consent of the Sponsor, which it may withhold in its sole discretion. All entries become the sole property of the Sponsor and will not be returned.

4. Player agrees not to use the name of Horse Racing Labs, LLC or Derby Wars or its affiliates, or any logo, trademark, slogan or other mark associated with them without express written permission from said companies.

12. Disqualification

Sponsor, in its sole discretion, may disqualify a Player from a Contest, refuse to award points or prizes and require the return of any prizes, if Player engages in conduct Sponsor deems to be improper, unfair or otherwise adverse to the operation of the Contest or in any way detrimental to any other Player. Improper conduct includes but is not limited to:
Falsifying personal information required to enter the Contest or claim a prize;

Engaging in any type of fiscal fraud or unauthorized use of credit instruments to enter the Contests or claim a prize;

Any violation of the Contest rules or Terms of Service;

Obtaining points or prizes through unauthorized methods such as automated scripts or other

Tampering with the administration of the Contest or trying to in any way tamper with the computer programs associated with the Contest;

Obtaining other players information and spamming other players; or

Abusing the Contest website in any way.

Player also acknowledges that the forfeiture and/or return of any prize shall in no way prevent or limit Sponsor from criminal or civil proceedings in connection with such conduct. By Player entering, Player agrees that Player’s entry conforms to these Official Rules and that Sponsor, in its sole discretion, may disqualify Player’s entry for any reason at any time, including if it determines, in its sole discretion, that Player’s entry fails to conform to these Official Rules in any way or otherwise contains unacceptable content as determined by Sponsor, in its sole discretion.

13. Winner Notification

Sponsor’s decisions are final and binding on all matters relating to this Contest. Winners are posted at the Contest website. Prizes are usually awarded to winners’ accounts within one hour, and no later than 1pm ET on the following day . In the event that the awarding of any prize to a winner of the Contest is challenged by any legal authority, Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to determine whether or not to award such prizes.

Prizes are awarded “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied by Sponsor. Winners are responsible for all applicable federal, state and local taxes, if any, as well as any other costs and expenses associated with prize acceptance and use not specified herein. All prize details are at Sponsor’s sole discretion.

Winners may be required to complete an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability and Publicity Release (unless prohibited by law) and any other documents required by Sponsor including a W-9 or 1099, if applicable, which must be returned within 14 days of date appearing on prize notification. Return of prize or prize notification as undeliverable, failure to sign and return requested documentation within the specified time period, the inability of Sponsor to contact a winner within a reasonable time period or noncompliance with these Official Rules by any potential winner will result in disqualification at Sponsor’s sole discretion.

14. Taxation

It is the policy of the Sponsor, and in compliance with United States Internal Revenue Service regulations, the Sponsor may send an IRS Form 1099 or other appropriate form to any person who wins in excess of $600 (USD) on the site in any given year. Depending on the jurisdiction in which you reside, the Contest Site may also send you additional tax forms. In the case of contests where Players win $600 or more, we withhold payment of funds until a W-9 form can be returned to the Sponsor. We do not withhold any taxes and you remain solely responsible for paying all federal and other taxes in accordance with the laws that apply in your local, state, province, and/or country of residence.

15. Miscellaneous

Released Parties are not responsible for lost, late, incomplete, damaged, inaccurate, stolen, delayed, misdirected, undelivered, or garbled entries. Released Parties are not responsible for lost, interrupted or unavailable network, server, Internet Service Provider (ISP), website, or other connections, availability or accessibility or miscommunications or failed computer, satellite, telephone or cable transmissions, lines, or technical failure or jumbled, scrambled, delayed, or computer hardware or software damage or malfunctions, difficulties of any kind whether human, mechanical, typographical, printing or otherwise related to the Contest. Released Parties are also not responsible for any tampering, hacking of the Contest site. Persons who tamper with or abuse any aspect of the Contest or website, who act in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner or who are in violation of these Official Rules, will be disqualified. Should any portion of the Contest be compromised by virus, worms, bugs, non-authorized human intervention or other causes which corrupt or impair the administration, security, fairness or proper play, Sponsor reserves the right to suspend, modify or terminate the Contest. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE THE WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CONTEST MAY BE IN VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES AND OTHER REMEDIES (INCLUDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES) FROM ANY SUCH INDIVIDUAL TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW, INCLUDING CRIMINAL PROSECUTION.

Except where prohibited, by participating, Player agrees that: (1) any and all disputes, claims and causes of action arising out of or connected with this Contest or any prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the United States District Court of Western Kentucky; (2) any and all claims, judgments and awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred, including costs associated with entering this Contest, but in no event attorneys’ fees; and (3) under no circumstances will Player be permitted to obtain awards for, and Player hereby waives all rights to claim, indirect, punitive, incidental and consequential damages and any other damages, other than for actual out- of-pocket expenses, and any and all rights to have damages multiplied or otherwise increased. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the Player and Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the Commonwealth of Kentucky without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the Commonwealth of Kentucky or any other jurisdiction), which would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Horse Racing Labs, LLC
714 W. Main Street
Louisville, KY 40202