Michael Beychok, the 2012 National Handicapping Championship and 2012 Eclipse Award winner for best handicapper, brings 35 years of experience to The Advocate. Beychok — also the senior partner of Ourso Beychok Inc., a national political consulting firm based in Louisiana — runs his own handicapping website, BeychokRacing.com. Follow him on Twitter: @BeychokRacing.

Race 1

3. Alexis Charm: You know the reason by now — Johnston-layoff.

1. Mrs. Gertrude: Second 7 times out of 22 — do you sense a pattern?

Race 2

8. Kite: Knocking on the door and maybe addition of Lasix helps him get win today.

6. Ride the Times: Competitive against much tougher in Kentucky.

Off Turf — 4-2

Race 3

1. Gifted Gabber: Only horse in field who has shown she can pass another horse.

6. Port Brice: Will be sitting off the speed and have every chance.

Race 4

6. Cents of Legion: Well bred for turf and nice first out race — will improve.

5. Jockamo’s Song: First timer from hot Stidham barn.

8. Mystery Gate: Homebred by Lydgate by good first out trainer Hawley.

Off Turf — 2-6-5

Race 5

5. Lexham: Got the win last out and cane pop right back in this spot.

2. Me Commanche: Drop down for Asmussen will be tough to beat.

Race 6

3. Outspoken: Blinkers off for Catalano is powerful angle for this one.

6. Sugar Sweet: Has the speed to get position and could go all the way.

9. Chorus: Working well for return after short break.

Off Turf — 4-1-5

Race 7

6. John and Jerry: Looks to get the lead and go on with it.

8. Lunarstrike: Will show more speed today and is a contender.

Race 8

8. Timeslikethese: First timer has interesting work pattern — could be live one.

2. Could Be Anything: Nice move while wide should like the grass.

10. Birnamwoodroad: Like to see this one sprint on dirt.

Off Turf — 10-8-2

Race 9

1. Blake Beauties: Flo Go has to put this horse in the race early to have a chance.

2. Youtookmyboysmoney: Will be trying to rally up for the win from way back.

Around the Track

Looking at the first two weeks of trainer standings there is one constant and one big surprise. Tom Amoss had a terrific start to the meet winning with 8 of his first 16 starters. Trainers Sharp and Stidham have four wins each from limited starters and those two should be tabbed in every race they have an entry. The one surprise is perennial leading trainer Steve Asmussen who did not have a win among his 12 charges. Look for that to change and when it does Asmussen will win races in bunches. Tom Amoss is on a track to win his first title since sharing the 1213 meet lead with Asmussen.

Best Bet

Did not really find anything to meet the standards of the BEST BET so let’s try a LONG SHOT today. If the race stays on the TURF, let’s play the No. 6 in Race 4 to win-place and hope that Cents of Legion goes off at odds of 4-1 or better. Good Luck and May they all come home safely.