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Night School Coming to FairGroundsRaceCourse.com


The racing industry’s first national, interactive online fan education forum will commence Monday, February 21 with the debut of Night School. Pioneered and developed by Horse Player NOW, Night School will be syndicated and implemented into racetrack and organization websites throughout the industry, including FairGroundsRaceCourse.com, providing a professional, consistent and unified outlet for fan education.

 To access Night School through the Fair Grounds portal, click here.

Co-hosted by Horseplayernow.com owners Jeremy Plonk and Joe Kristufek, the weekly Night School lessons are offered FREE to any racing fan who wants to learn more about the game and will include both novice and advance-level fan education. The 40-week season runs through Dec. 19 with 90-minute sessions taking place from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Central time each week. Other regular panelists will include Fair Grounds analyst Katie Mikolay, Horse Player NOW’s Caton Bredar and Churchill Downs analyst Jill Byrne. Topical experts will be brought in weekly to share their expertise.

The classes will include a 60-minute topical discussion, complete with an introduction video and downloadable lesson overview, and a 30-minute open forum where racing fans can ask the panel of experts anything and everything racing. Each of the 40 weeks’ lessons will be archived, creating an educational library of sorts, through the wildly popular Cover It Live live-blogging technology used by many of the world’s leading news agencies.

The easiest way to access Night School from FairGroundsRaceCourse.com is to visit the homepage Mondays at 7:30 p.m. Central time and click on the Night School ad in the Top Stories.

Topics for all 40 Night School sessions have been established and will be released as the season unfolds with the first five topics including: 21st century handicapping; handicapping for class; pace handicapping; trip handicapping; and track bias. While many of the subjects are aimed directly at horseplayers, other scheduled topics include ownership, racehorse retirement, behind-the-scenes looks at various racetrack jobs and more.    

“Jeremy and I are both extremely passionate about education, and we relish the opportunity to interact with, and teach, horse racing fans at all levels,” said Kristufek, Night School host and co-owner of Horseplayernow.com. “With knowledge comes interest. Horse racing is a fascinating game, and the more you know about it from every angle, the more captivating it becomes. A successful future for horse racing is predicated upon growing the fan base, and that’s what Night School is all about.”

Fair Grounds is one of four Churchill Downs Incorporated racetracks participating in the Night School venture. 

“The Churchill Downs Incorporated race tracks are excited to work with Joe and Jeremy as they bring their innovative concept to horse racing fans,” said Tom Jenkins, vice president of Churchill Downs Incorporated. “We understand and share the passion for the sport and the importance that educating both old and new fans has on growth possibilities. We look forward to having our customers leverage their Night School education at the track.”


Monday, Feb. 21:         21st Century Handicapping

Monday, Feb. 28:         Class Handicapping

Monday, Mar. 7:          Pace Handicapping

Monday, Mar. 14:        Trip Handicapping

Monday, Mar. 21:        Track Bias