Proving to have both “class” and stamina, the horse racing industry’s national online fan education and player development program “Night School” debuts Season 5 tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET. The multi-media presentation debuted in 2011 and its materials have been viewed more than 1.2 million times via weekly classes live and archived, downloadable study materials, videos and radio podcasts. More than 250 different guest instructors have taken part in the series to date, lending their expertise to each unique weekly topic. Access to the lessons and materials always is free to anyone and available at 40-plus websites throughout the industry, originating via

Week 1 of the 2015 season will feature “The First Things To Look At” as the Night School experts and guest instructors will take horseplayers through the sequence of handicapping a race. What elements in the past performances stand out and demand first attention? How do you move from point A to B in the process? Those will be the subjects expounded upon by Brad Free of Daily Racing Form and author of “Handicapping 101,” as well as Rich Eng of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and author of “Betting on Horse Racing for Dummies.”

At this time, title sponsors for the 2015 season include the American Quarter Horse Association, an original title sponsor in all five seasons; Keeneland Select, a second-year title sponsor and part of the Keeneland banner that has been with the program since its outset; Mountaineer Park, a four-year Night School sponsor; Woodbine Entertainment, a second-year title sponsor and lead sponsor of the Night School archives; as well as BRISNET and Twin Spires, each in their third season of Night School. Other supporters include the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, a Founding Sponsor of the program and communications partner; West Point Thoroughbreds, a weekly sponsor of every session in Night School history; Trakus, back for a third season in the program; and first-year sponsor Monmouth Park, which will join the lineup during its live racing season. Also welcomed back is Remington Park, whose Friday Night School Live chats return to the weekly menu to help teach the game in real-time.

Night School’s traditional 40-week season remains intact each Tuesday through Dec. 1 with a unique, 90-minute lesson offered at each gathering. The season format allows fans who follow racing at various times of year to jump into the learning process, and those who study the game year-round to advance their level of play, confidence and interest. With 40 classes offered each season, the 2015 menu will conclude with the program’s milestone 200th lesson.

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 third season along with audio engineer Casey Ghee. Live chat sessions are under the moderation of the “Night School Dean,” Jerry Shottenkirk, who has been with the program since its inception.

The 40-week menu is divided into three semesters, a 14-week Spring Semester that features 11 SiriusXM satellite radio simulcasts and 3 live handicapping chats during 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 14-week Fall Semester that will blend the elements of radio, video and live chat formats. Radio format lessons are streamed free right into the live chat module during the shows and available for podcast archives. Those radio lessons also are simulcast on Sirius 220, XM 206 and Online SportsZone 964 (satellite radio simulcasts subject to channel availability based on live sports programming).

Free archives of 2015 season lessons are available immediately after each lesson, as well as past archives of Seasons 1-4 that are catalogued easily at’s Night School page. Archive viewers/listeners are treated to the same multi-media functionality as presented in each of those past weeks, including links to various learning materials. Students who voluntarily register information in any live or archive lesson are eligible for prizes and extras at the end of each semester and year-end if they register for at least half of the sessions presented.

In addition to the Tuesday weekly lessons, the Night School program offers Wednesday night live chats from Mountaineer Park and Woodbine during the season. Fans can play along with the experts in real time, as well as during the Night School Friday Night Live chats for Remington Park all season.


Horse Player NOW Night School Page:

Week 1 Study Materials:

Night School Spring Semester 2015 Topics

(Summer, Fall Announced Later in Season)

Date Topic (all begin 8:30p ET)
3-Mar Radio: The First Things to Look At
10-Mar Radio: Jockey Angles
17-Mar Radio: Trainer Intent/Form Cycles
24-Mar Radio: Trainer Stats Pros-Cons
31-Mar Radio: Mapping Out the Pace
7-Apr Radio: Psychology of the Horseplayer
14-Apr Radio: Small Bankroll Betting
21-Apr Radio: Large Bankroll Betting
28-Apr Chat: Kentucky Derby Week
5-May Radio: When to Bet More…Bet Less?
12-May Chat: Preakness Week
19-May Radio: Identifying Track Bias
26-May Radio: Racing from the Outside
2-Jun Chat: Belmont Stakes Week