Night School: ‘Class Handicapping’
Matt Carothers—an original on-air analyst at TVG where he is still going strong—makes his Night School debut this Tuesday in the racing industry's national online fan education program. Tuesday's 90-minute online lesson focuses on “Class Handicapping” and will help handicappers decipher the various levels of competition in the racing game, as well as help define what it means to be a “classy” racehorse.
Night School's weekly Tuesday online course continues from 8:30 to 10:00 p.m. ET and will be co-hosted by Joe Kristufek and Jeremy Plonk, co-founders of the program. Also among the panel of experts will be Meadowlands director of racing and racing secretary Peter Koch, whose use of the “ABC” system of writing race conditions has revitalized the way a harness program is assembled and resulted in measurable parimutuel gains.
The lesson also features a video montage of the best of Night School from previous seasons on the topic of “Class Handicapping.” The “Mixtape” video concept was introduced last week in Night School to popular reviews from fans and will be utilized throughout the season as topics fit. The downloadable study materials this week will be a walk through the class ladder with Joe Kristufek, a listing of the national Thoroughbred tracks with a handicapper's ranking of their respective strengths, as well as a look at an actual “condition book” index from Fair Grounds.
Carothers not only followed his father Gibson's footsteps in terms of becoming a horseplayer, but he also follows Gibson as a Night School guest. The Carothers family patriarch was a guest last week in the Night School live chat. The younger Carothers hosts TVG's “:58 Flat” program and has been a racing analyst at TVG, Canterbury Park, Monmouth, Meadowlands Racetrack and New York City OTB.
Koch is a graduate of the University of Arizona Racetrack Industry Program and racing office veteran at tracks such as Meadowlands, Freehold, Buffalo Raceway and the Delaware County Fair, home of harness racing's prestigious Little Brown Jug.
Presenting title sponsors for Night School are the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, American Quarter Horse Association, Keeneland, Churchill Downs, Inc., and the United States Trotting Association.
The 90-minute classes are offered every Tuesday for 40 consecutive weeks through Dec. 3. Topics change weekly, and fans are eligible for prizes and rewards for registering. Registration is optional and free. There is never a charge for taking part in Night School. The weekly program is offered in three media: live chat via the Cover It Live live blogging/chat forum, audio/radio streaming and full video lesson plans. The media of delivery is based on the subject matter and alternates throughout the season.
This week's Night School will be followed at 10:00 p.m. ET by the “After Night School Special,” featuring live racing from Mountaineer Park. The segment will cover the evening's final race in real time with free, live-streaming video. Fans wishing to take part in the Mountaineer action simply need to remain in the Night School chat after class.
The Night School lessons continue each week with the “Night School Friday Night Live” from Remington Park, featuring expert analysis and live chat for an entire card of action with complimentary live streaming video. The Friday live chats—co-hosted by track announcer Dale Day, morning line maker Jerry Shottenkirk and Horse Player NOW's Jeremy Plonk—begin at 6:30 p.m. ET and extend through the evening's final race.
This week's Night School preview video by Jeremy Plonk:
This week's study materials, courtesy of Horse Player NOW: