Churchill Downs Inc. and HorseplayerPRO.com have joined forces to provide interactive online discussions between horse racing fans and a panel of experts each race day throughout Churchill Downs’ 21-day fall meet Nov. 1-28.
According to the announcement, the race-day chats utilizing Horseplayer PRO’s technology can be accessed at www.ChurchillDowns.com or www.HorseplayerPRO.com and will begin 30 minutes before the 12:40 p.m. ET first race and continue throughout the race program. The Horseplayer PRO chats will also be available for CDI’s Fair Grounds beginning Nov. 8. The New Orleans racetrack begins its season Nov. 6.
Participating in the chats and providing handicapping information and advice will be Horseplayer PROs Jeremy Plonk, Joe Kristufek, Tim Turrell and Brian Spencer. Additional analysis will be provided by on-site guests such as Churchill Downs’ John Asher, Jill Byrne and Mark Johnson.
"In order to grow horse racing’s fan base and bring back lapsed customers, we need to continue to utilize modern technologies and find ways to become more fun than the other forms of entertainment with which we compete," said Tom Jenkins, CDI vice president, in statement. "These progressive on-line chats present an appealing and entertaining platform for customers to connect with one another and receive insightful commentary and useful handicapping information. Simultaneously, it also allows us the opportunity to showcase our product offerings and communicate to an enthusiastic and captive audience. Unquestionably, Horseplayer PRO will help broaden the scope of interaction with fans of our sport."
"The marriage of a new-brand venture like Horseplayer PRO with some of the sport’s most renowned racing institutions makes a strong statement about the importance of horseplayers," said Plonk, managing partner of Horseplayer PRO, in a statement. "We look at the live chat experience as equal parts camaraderie and consultation, where horseplayers live and learn in real time."
"The chats give online fans a community feel," Kristufek said. "The experience appeals to all levels of horseplayers, from the beginner to the expert. We’re all playing the races together – analyzing past performances, discussing pace scenarios, watching the odds, examining the horses in the post parade and seeking out potential track trends. The insider contributions provided on-site from the track announcer and analysts are invaluable."