Night School Returns March 5 With New Twists

Racing News
Posted 02.26.13 at 12:55

Season three of Night School, the racing industry’s official online fan education program, breaks from the starting gate Tuesday, March 5 for the first of 40 lesson plans aimed at building the sport’s customer base. Night School runs weekly though December 3.

More than 400,000 viewers have accessed the first two seasons of Night School, which debuted in February 2011 and is set for a multi-media makeover this year.

The Night School list of partner websites simulcasting the weekly lessons once again will number more than 40 unique urls, comprised primarily of top racing tracks and brands, media partners and industry organizations. Viewers can access all of the program’s features from the comforts of their favorite Night School partner sites. Night School offers handicapping and racing-related lesson plans and topics in an interactive format online each Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. eastern, a timeslot and date chosen so that it can best supplement the racing week and schedules of fans across the country and worldwide. Night School is always free with optional registration.

What’s new in 2013 is a multi-media delivery of the lessons, which once again will utilize the Cover It Live live-blogging/chat technology for many sessions, but also will feature new audio streaming podcasts in addition to select, complete video presentations. Night School ventured into its first, full-length video offering last year with its exclusive feature and interview with speed figure guru Andrew Beyer, produced by Horse Player NOW. Full-length video presentations will be featured once per month throughout the season, March through December. Meanwhile, streaming audio/podcasts will be offered for select lessons throughout the season, and those will be co-produced by Horse Player NOW and Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s “At The Races with Steve Byk.” All sessions, regardless of media, will be presented through the Night School console to each of the sites in the same manner.

Night School co-creators Joe Kristufek and Jeremy Plonk of Horseplayernow.com host and produce the lessons and downloadable study materials each week. They are joined by regular appearances from Caton Bredar of Horse Player NOW and HRTV and Jill Byrne of Churchill Downs. A litany of the industry’s top horsemen, handicappers and executives comprise the season’s Who’s Who of guests. More than 150 guests have come “back to school” so far.

Said 2012 Big Sport of Turfdom recipient and Eclipse Award-winning trainer Dale Romans, “I’ve always firmly believed the future of horse racing depends on growing and educating the fans — giving them a chance to ask questions and learn why we love this game. Night School is a great way for those of us who have a passion for racing to teach other people about why we love it. When I was a guest on Night School, I was impressed with the questions people had about the sport and the way the program allowed me to answer and to interact with people from all over. The more we can bring fans closer to the horses; the more people learn about the history and tradition; the more they learn about the sport and what we do; the better the game will be for everyone.”

Title sponsors include third-year members Keeneland Association, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the American Quarter Horse Association, as well as second-year sponsors Churchill Downs, Inc. and the United States Trotting Association. The 2013 Night School season will include harness racing experts/topics for the first time in select Tuesday sessions. Friends of Night School weekly sponsors include West Point Thoroughbreds, Trakus, University of Arizona Racetrack Industry Program, Larry Rivelli Thoroughbred Ventures, Midwest Thoroughbreds, Meadowlands, Breeders’ Cup, BRIS, Mountaineer Park Remington Park, the Maryland Jockey Club and Gulfstream Park.

NIGHT SCHOOL SYLLABUS

March 5 through December 3, 2013 – Tuesdays, 8:30 p.m. until 10 p.m. eastern. Always free, and archives always available for those who miss the live classes!

40-WEEK LESSON PLAN IN 2013

Lessons are broken into five, eight-week “pods” for development & to fit more fans’ schedules.

Lessons 1-8: “Spring Training” March 5-April 23

Lessons 9-16: “Triple Crown Season” April 30-June 18

Lessons 17-24: “Summer Handicapping” June 25-August 13

Lessons 25-32: “Celebration of the Breeds” August 20-October 8

Lessons 33-40: “Championship Season & The Stars” October 15-December 3

PRIZES

Prizes will be drawn among registered Night Schoolers who attend 6 of 8 lessons in each pod, those earning “Honor Roll” status for attending either live or via the archives. Also, those who register live or in the archives for 20 or more lessons will receive a Night School diploma and prizes at season’s end.

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