Night School, the racing industry’s national online fan education program since 2011, introduces a personalized social media feature tonight when its Week 20 session breaks from the starting gate at 8:30 p.m. ET. For the first time, students in the class will have the option of logging in via their Facebook or Twitter accounts, displaying themselves with their own avatars and existing social media screen names. Those wishing to remain anonymous will continue to have that privacy as has been the case throughout Night School’s welcoming history.

The 90-minute lesson this evening features “Handicapping Angles,” those situational strike points a horseplayer utilizes in honing in on a selection. Popular handicapping angles include “second start after a layoff,” “first time routing,” and the like. The expert panel of instructors will explain popular angles, provide their most effective usage of other angles and field questions from the students attending. The interactive chat will include free BRIS past performances and streaming video for live racing action conducted at Mountaineer Park during the timeframe to teach “Handicapping Angles” in real time.

The live racing aspect of Night School is new to this season’s “Summer Semester,” which continues a 12-week run through the end of August. Night School’s radio simulcasts will return after Labor Day for the 14-week Fall Semester.

The lesson’s hosts will be Night School founder Jeremy Plonk, along with Brian W. Spencer, racing analyst for Fair Grounds and Horse Player NOW.

The free Night School program is offered online each Tuesday, beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET and runs 40 consecutive weeks through Dec. 2. More than 40 websites in the Thoroughbred, American Quarter Horse and Standardbred industries simultaneously offer the Night School lessons. Title sponsors for 2014 include charter members National Thoroughbred Racing Association and American Quarter Horse Association, as well as Keeneland Select, The Stronach Group, Twinspires, BRIS, Bet America, Mountaineer Park and Woobine Entertainment.

The 2014 Night School season is broken into three semesters. The Spring Semester ran 14 weeks, from March 4 until Belmont Stakes Week on June 3. A corresponding Fall Semester will be offered Sept. 2 through Dec. 2. Both the Spring and Fall semesters will feature a minimum of 11 SiriusXM simulcasts, in addition to select, major racing event live handicapping chats between the fans and experts. Night School is free and voluntary with no registration necessary. Simply visit any of the Night School syndicate websites weekly at 8:30 pm ET to take in the live lesson, or access the archives at any of those same sites at your leisure. The program does offer a voluntary registration both live or in the archives. Attendees who register in at least half (20) of the season’s lessons are eligible to win prizes that include merchandise, NHC Tour memberships, handicapping contests, free handicapping products, etc.

Night School Woodbine Wednesdays live chats return this week and offer fans a second chance to paly the races weekly with Night School experts. The entire 8-race card will be offered, beginning at 6:15 pm ET with free BRIS past performances and streaming video. Brian Nadeau and Brian Spencer co-host this week and will include a recap of the Night School Tour onsite teaching experience at Woodbine’s signature race, the Queen’s Plate.

Night School Links

Horse Player NOW info page:

Week 20 BRIS past performances for live teaching lessons:

Summer Semester Topics & Program Info:

Video overview of the 2014 season with Caton Bredar and Jeremy Plonk: