Michael Beychok, the 2012 National Handicapping Championship and 2012 Eclipse Award winner for best handicapper, brings 35 years of experience to The Advocate. Beychok is also the senior partner of Ourso Beychok Inc., an award winning national political consulting firm based in Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @beychokracing.

Picks made Thursday for fast track and on turf.

Race 1

2. Maho Bay: First time starter out of a win early dam sire for Sharp/Biscuit team.

4. Ravish: Top two trainers look to do battle here with this Cox layoff horse.

Race 2

2. Aktabany: Second off layoff and should be sent to the lead here for Bechizza.

3. Voodoo Spell: Didn’t get the pace needed to run best race in last — faster today?

Race 3

4. Set Hut: In a seemingly pace less race this one looks to have the most early zip.

6. Fire Blaster: Should get the stalking trip on the outside to be able to pounce for win.

Race 4

6. Zero Gravity: The Orb offspring have been doing damage on turf first time out — fits.

2. You Split Tens: This one continues to work well in the AM and could upset at price.

Race 5

2. Candy Rail: Moves outside to inside for this run and has a win at distance over track.

3. Open Interest: Should show some early zip stretching out from sprint to mile distance.

Race 6

9. King of All Media: Another shot for this one dropping back into a lower level race.

7. Broken Key: Seems to fire over this turf course — has Lanerie who will likely send.

Race 7

1. Play Unified: Seems to be almost a lone speed type in race pattern favors speed.

2. Efforting: Runs today for new owners Horseplayers Racing — see below comments.

Race 8

4. Valiantly: By sire Orb — drops down to easier level — showed some interest in last.

13. Boru: From Pletcher for Donegal stable — ran in spots in first race – drops to easier.

Race 9

9. Aw Shucks: Ran two big races on dirt in past three — clearly the one to beat today.

8. Born Again George: Has been very fast in the morning for quite awhile — first timer.

Around the track

Efforting, who has raced for the Fair Grounds Racing Club through the generous support of Mr. B Wayne Hughes, has been sold to a new group. The group includes 19 members of the FG Racing Club so the previous owners will be able to continue to see her run and hopefully run well. Thanks to Gary Palmisano who managed our crew through the races, answered the questions, and helped put together the deal to keep Efforting running. Best of luck to the new owners and to Efforting on Thursday.

Best bet

Our best bet Thursday will be in Race 3 No. 4 Set Hut. Owned by former Saints and Carolina Panthers quarterback Jake Delhomme, this one should go right to the lead and go all the way.

Good luck and may they all come home safely.