“Night School,” the racing industry’s first national, interactive online fan education forum, makes its debut tonight, Monday, February 21, from 8:30-10:00 p.m. ET. The 40 weekly Night School classes are offered free to anyone who wants to learn more about racing and will include both novice and advance-level fan education.

Each class will include a 60-minute topical discussion, complete with videos and overviews for download, followed by a 30-minute open forum, where viewers can ask a panel of experts questions about the sport. Seasoned handicappers Joe Kristufek, Jeremy Plonk and Caton Bredar, as well as Jill Byrne of Churchill Downs will host the forums, and all 40 segments will be archived, creating an educational library through Cover It Live (coveritlive.com).

“Night School is going to fill a big void in the racing industry,” said Plonk. “Never before have so many new and existing racing fans been able to interact personally with those who understand and can teach the game. From newbies to hardcore handicappers, there will be a lot to learn and share.”

Tonight’s lesson is titled 21st Century Handicapping. Lessons 2 through 5, presented on consecutive Monday evenings, include Handicapping for Class; Pace Handicapping; Trip Handicapping; and Track Bias, respectively.

Presented by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA); the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA); Daily Racing Form; and Keeneland Thoroughbred Racing and Sales, Night School can be viewed on their websites, as well as those of participating tracks and the University of Arizona.

Participating Web sites include: Arlington Park; AQHA Racing; Cal Racing; Calder Racecourse; Canterbury Park; Churchill Downs; Del Mar; Emerald Downs; Fairgrounds Racecourse; Hastings Park; Hawthorne Racecourse; Hollywood Park; Keeneland; Los Alamitos; Monmouth Park; Mountaineer Park; NYRA; Remington Park; Santa Anita; Sunland-Park; Turfway Park; Woodbine Entertainment, as well as Horseplayer NOW, HRTV and XpressBet.

2011 Night School classes will be held each Monday through December 19, with the exception of Labor Day, Independence Day, Memorial Day and Halloween.