Night School, the racing industry’s free national online fan education program, will focus on the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks during Tuesday’s ninth of 40 lessons during the 2013 season. The 90-minute live chat, which begins at 8:30 p.m. ET, will include a lively panelist discussion, prep-race and contender-workout videos and a Q&A with the fans.
Hosted by Horse Player NOW’s Jeremy Plonk, who pens the popular “Countdown to the Crown” column for Daily Racing Form and serves as the researcher for NBC’s Triple Crown broadcasts, and Joe Kristufek, Tuesday’s Night School will also feature “on the grounds” insight from ESPN writer and clocker/handicapper Gary West. Monitor the HorsePlayerNOW Twitter feed for additional guest panelist information.
Complimentary, up to the minute, BRIS Oaks and Derby past performances will be provided within Tuesday’s Night School.
In addition, two major Night School Tour summer events will be announced.
As a follow-up to Tuesday’s chat and following Wednesday’s post position draw, the Horse Player NOW team of Kristufek, Caton Bredar, Brian W. Spencer and Brian Nadeau will offer their Kentucky Derby opinions via video. The presentation, which will be posted Thursday morning, can be viewed by signing up for the e-mail list at or visiting the HorsePlayerNOW channel on YouTube.
Night School fans who want to live chat during the Oaks and Derby Day cards can do so at this Friday and Saturday beginning at 10 a.m. ET through the end of both days’ cards.
Night School’s recently completed “Spring Training” pod entertained and educated more than 14,000 viewers, an increase of nearly 40% over last season. Tuesday’s session launches Night School’s “Triple Crown Season”, which is the second of five eight-week “pods of learning”.
April 30 – Kentucky Derby/Oaks Preview (chat)
May 7 – Psychology of the Horseplayer (radio with “At the Races with Steve Byk”)
May 14 – Preakness/Black Eyed Susan Preview (chat)
May 21 – Jockeys and Drivers (long-form video)
May 28 – Workouts (chat)
June 4 – Belmont Preview (chat)
June 11 – Speed Figures (radio)
June 18 – Newbie Handicapping (video)
Presenting title sponsors for Night School are the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, American Quarter Horse Association, Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Inc., and the United States Trotting Association.
The 90-minute classes are offered every Tuesday for 40 consecutive weeks through Dec. 3. Topics change weekly, and fans are eligible for prizes and rewards for registering. Registration is optional and free. There is never a charge for taking part in Night School. The weekly program is offered in three media: live chat via the Cover It Live live blogging/chat forum, audio/radio streaming and full video lesson plans. The media of delivery is based on the subject matter and alternates throughout the season.
This week’s Night School will be followed at 10:00 p.m. ET by the “After Night School Special,” featuring live racing from Mountaineer Park. The segment will cover the evening’s final race in real time with free, live-streaming video. Fans wishing to take part in the Mountaineer action simply need to remain in the Night School chat after class.
Kentucky Derby Experience, courtesy of Churchill Downs:
This week’s study materials, courtesy of Horse Player NOW: