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 — is a partner in ttegames.net an online horse racing contest site. Follow him on Twitter: @BeychokRacing.

Picks made today for fast track and on turf.

Race 1

4. Roman Bird: His list was against better and he has shot to get the lead here.

5. Shy Ruston: Drops way down here so has a class edge on the rest of ‘em.

Race 2

7. Clever Girl: Last was not on preferred surface and this was the target.

2. Polar Vortex: Barn has been going great as of late and this one can surprise.

Race 3

6. Phil Up Da Bank: Owned and trained by Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen – ‘nuff said

5. He’s All Mine: Off a layoff and getting a bit of class relief for this start

Race 4

7. Saham: Will fit this course like a glove with deep closing style.

6. Cooptado: Impressed with win behind next out winner Shining Copper in last.

Race 5

1. Candy Rail: Thinking this one goes to the front and plays catch me if you can.

7. Afterimage: Goes turf to dirt and takes a drop while getting new jock — positives.

Race 6

3. Saffron Spirit: Has a race and ran well — meant for turf and gets it Saturday.

5. Skipped: Think this one is a runner — working steadily and bred well for turf.

Race 7

7. Warned: New barn: Good works — has ability to actually pass horses in races.

8. Judge and Ruler: This is the second off a layoff and fits nicely with these.

Race 8

5. Belgian: Tough race here but this one has flashed a bit of ability in turf tries.

1. Wicked Stride: Turf races at Arlington show well across country where this one raced last.

Race 9

7. Mitole: Might get overlooked here at a nice price — fast gate prep for this.

4. Bobby’s Wicked One: Good gate work shows Stall means business first out.

Around the track

Trainer Mark Casse is back this year with a nice string of horses for owner John Oxley among others. Casse has become one of the top trainers in the country over the past few years training champion Tepin and Classic Empire, while winning multiple Breeder’s Cup races including one this year with World Approval. His horses are well meant every time they enter the starting gate and his turf runners are always a threat to win at any level. Casse is a welcome addition to the backside for the 2017-18 racing meet.

Best bet

Our best bet Saturday will be in Race 4 No. 7 Saham. Should really appreciate the Fair Grounds turf course after a bit of a layoff for trainer who can get them ready to roll after a rest. Good luck and may they all come home safely.