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February 27, 2012


Season two of Night School, the racing industry’s national online fan education program, leaves the starting gate Tuesday at 7:30 pm Central as the expert panel and fans worldwide discuss the “Countdown to the Crown.” The 90-minute interactive session will feature live chat, video analysis and downloadable study materials pertaining to the Triple Crown prep season.

Night School, founded and co-hosted by Horse Player NOW’s Joe Kristufek and Jeremy Plonk, is presented weekly by title sponsors the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, the American Quarter Horse Association, Keeneland, Daily Racing Form and new 2012 sponsor Churchill Downs, Inc. Each of the 40-plus sessions in 2012 are free to the public with no registration required, but encouraged to be eligible for weekly and season-ending prizes.

Night School 2012 will take place each Tuesday night through November with additional, special “Big Event” handicapping seminars on select Thursdays and Fridays throughout the year. Nearly 40 websites throughout the horse racing industry will offer the Night School program on their web pages this year, including most of the leading racetracks and industry brands. Fans who cannot attend the live sessions are welcome to view each session's free archives throughout the year, simply by clicking on the "completed events" tab at the bottom of the Night School module on any of the websites that offer the program.

"Night School is an outlet for those who want to learn more about horse racing at every level," said Horse Player NOW's Joe Kristufek. "We love putting on the show, and have tweaked and expanded the program to make it even more beneficial to the end-user. With knowledge comes horsepower."

Tuesday’s season debut session will include live in-chat appearances from guest instructors Caton Bredar and Jill Byrne, and feature a special look at this past weekend’s Risen Star Stakes and Fountain of Youth Stakes. The experts will provide specific things they look for in prep races that the students can use in finding their own Triple Crown favorites. Bredar and Byrne will be regular contributors in Night School throughout the year, anchoring a guest panel that last year included the likes of Hall of Fame jockeys Gary Stevens and Jerry Bailey, trainers Graham Motion, Ken McPeek and Kiaran McLaughlin, and well-known handicappers like Steven Crist of Daily Racing Form, DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship winner John Doyle and legendary west coast professional horseplayer Jimmy “The Hat” Allard.

For those newer to following horse racing, Night School has added special “Newbie Tuesdays” sessions to the menu this year. The first Tuesday of each month (beginning next week March 6) will feature instruction specifically geared toward the entry-level fan and horseplayer.

To get a head start on Session 1, the downloadable study materials are available at

The Session 1 video analysis from Plonk and Horse Player NOW east coast handicapper Brian Nadeau is available on the Horse Player NOW Night School Youtube Page at

For a general Night School overview, check out Kristufek's introductory video to the program at

For a complete, easy-to-print list of Night School topics throughout 2012, visit

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