Columbus, OH --- Season three of Night School, the racing industry's official online fan education program, breaks from the starting gate Tuesday (March 5) for the first of 40 lesson plans aimed at building the sport's customer base that will continue weekly though Dec. 3.
Hoof Beats editor and 2012 Harness Night School host T.J. Burkett will be a guest in tonight’s inaugural lesson, Intro to 2013 Night School, at 8:30 p.m. (EST) at www.ustrotting.com.
The USTA website is among the list of more than 40 Night School partner websites simulcasting the weekly lessons, comprised primarily of top racing tracks and brands, media partners and industry organizations (a full list will be released later this week).
For the first time, the Tuesday night Night School sessions will include harness racing experts and topics.
In the debut season last year, Harness Night School was a separate entity with 13 Thursday night lessons, three special-event chats (Hambletonian, Little Brown Jug, Breeders Crown) and a field trip to the Meadowlands for the Hambo that were available on only three websites.
With the more than 400,000 viewers who have accessed the first two seasons of Night School, which debuted in February 2011, and the significant increase in the number of websites hosting the chats this year, harness racing will be exposed to a much greater audience in 2013.
Night School offers handicapping and racing-related lesson plans and topics in an interactive format online each Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. (EST) and is always free with optional registration.
What is new for Night School in 2013 is a multi-media delivery of the lessons that will feature new audio streaming podcasts in addition to select, complete video presentations.
Full-length video presentations will be featured once per month throughout the season. In addition, streaming audio/podcasts will be co-produced and simultaneously broadcast by Sirius/XM Satellite Radio's "At The Races with Steve Byk” show.
Night School co-creators Joe Kristufek and Jeremy Plonk of www.Horseplayernow.com host and produce the lessons and downloadable study materials each week.
In 2013, the USTA will be a title sponsor along with the Keeneland Association, National Thoroughbred Racing Association, American Quarter Horse Association and Churchill Downs, Inc.
Night School Syllabus
Tuesdays, March 5–Dec. 3, 2013 from 8:30-10 p.m. (EST)
Free with archives always available for those who miss the live classes.
40-Week Lesson Plan In 2013
Lessons 1-8: "Spring Training"
March 5-April 23
Lessons 9-16: "Triple Crown Season"
April 30-June 18
Lessons 17-24: "Summer Handicapping"
June 25-August 13
Lessons 25-32: "Celebration of the Breeds"
August 20-October 8
Lessons 33-40: "Championship Season & The Stars"
October 15-December 3