Night School Returns

Online handicapping education returns March 15.

Press Release

Night School returns March 15.

Following more than 22 million user engagement minutes online last year teaching the sport of horse racing and the pursuit of handicapping, Horse Player NOW welcomes its signature “Night School” program back for a sixth season on March 15. The 40-week interactive, multi-media initiative spans through December 13 and premieres a new lesson each Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET.

For those who can’t make it to the live premiere each week, every Night School will be available on-demand free thereafter, and in 2016 will be repurposed in several new formats after the live show ends.

The 2016 Night School season will be brought to racing fans free each week by title sponsors American Quarter Horse Association, Keeneland Select, Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort, Woodbine Entertainment, BRISNET and Twinspires.

Night School debuted in 2011 and eclipsed the 200-lesson milestone with its Season 5 finale. The topical teaching materials have been viewed more than 1.5 million times by horseplayers around the world of all levels of skill. More than 300 different guest instructors have shared their expertise with the public, including last year’s lineup that remarkably included the eventual first, second and fourth-place finishers in the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship – Paul Matties, Roger Cettina and Duke Matties.

The online presentation of Night School will change in 2016 to utilize the Spreaker podcasting interface and its interactive live chat. This will allow for a complete season of podcasts to be available for all 40 weeks for the first time. Students who wish to take part in the free lessons and chat can do so by visiting any Night School website or at Social media logins for Facebook or Twitter can be used in the live chat, or fans can create their own Spreaker handle to use – or simply listen in and watch anonymously. Those who log in and register are eligible for personalized Night School diplomas and season-ending prizes, which included American Pharoah memorabilia and more in 2015.

Select Night School lessons will be simulcast live on SiriusXM in conjunction with “At the Races With Steve Byk” and the program is expected to be available later this spring on IHeartRadio for the first time. Archives of each lesson are available for listen/download free at the newly redesigned home of Additional archive access this season will be available through iTunes for the first time.

Weekly hosts are Night School founder Jeremy Plonk, owner of Horse Player NOW; original cast member and TVG/Horse Player NOW contributor Caton Bredar; and radio emcee Steve Byk of SiriusXM’s “At the Races With Steve Byk,” who is back for his fourth season along with audio engineer Casey Ghee. Live chat sessions will be under the moderation of the “Night School Dean,” Jerry Shottenkirk, who has been with the program since its inception.

Subject matter for Night School also will see its biggest changeup in its six-year run. While traditional
handicapping topics like pace, speed figures and trip handicapping will continue to have a place in the
40-week menu, many of the lessons will now include Biographies, Upcoming Card Handicapping
Seminars, and Track-Specific Handicapping Archives. Biographies will include in-depth looks at important movers and shakers in the industry, including a Week 2 feature on Hall of Fame turf writer Jennie Rees to open the new series as well as an inside look at NBC Sports’ Laffit Pincay III among others. Upcoming Card Handicapping Seminars will feature expert handicappers looking at an upcoming Wednesday or Thursday racing card with fans in real-time with a chance to pose questions and study the same information. Track-Specific Handicapping Archives will take you inside every nook and cranny to playing a specific circuit with full attention to the details that make many of the nation’s major racetracks a unique task.

Other Night School promotional partners include the National Thoroughbred Racing Association,
University of Arizona Racetrack Industry Program and Remington Park, which returns March 19 with its annual Night School Friday Night Live online program. Fans can listen to the Night School team with its weekly live podcast/ chat during the full card.

The 40-week menu is divided into three semesters, a 13-week Spring Semester through the Triple
Crown; a 12-week Summer Semester that focuses on live racing and live chat in real-time as races are offered; and a 15-week Fall Semester with topics to be announced.

Horse Player NOW Night School Page:
Night School Archives:
Best of Night School Videos:

Night School Spring Semester 2016 Topics (Summer, Fall Announced Later in Season)

March 15 The Personal Process
March 22 Biography: Hall of Fame turf writer Jennie Rees
March 29 Live Seminar: Gulfstream Wednesday card
April 5 Track Profile: Keeneland Handicapping
April 12 Pace Handicapping
April 19 Biography: NBC Sports’ Laffit Pincay III
April 26 Money Management Approaches
May 3 Live Seminar: Kentucky Oaks Day card + Derby
May 10 Best of Night School: Speed Figs & Biases
May 17 Live Seminar: Black-Eyed Susan Day card + Preakness
May 24 Biography: to be announced
May 31 Turf & Trip Handicapping
June 7 Track Profile: NYRA Handicapping

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