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 today for fast track and on turf

Race 1

1. Saved at Sea: Didn’t run at all in the slop in last after a bump — Mena sticks.

7. Sun and Sand: Fits nicely versus these and gets outside stalking trip.

Race 2

1. Whiskey Bravo: Better than looked last race draws inside for added advantage.

3. Wyeth: Picking against trainer Brad Cox is not wise but this one short priced.

Race 3

3. Lil Blinkey: Showed enough run against better to warrant a longer look here.

6. Personal Conflict: Big rider upgrade here could be all the difference maker.

Race 4

4. General Tone: Ran behind next out winner of stakes — rider upgrade evident.

5. Bitsey’s Afleet: Closed into a good pace and likely to get same setup today.

Race 5

7. Proud Talike: Once raced filly ran well enough in debut to consider here for win spot.

4. Tapany: Ran well in a couple New York races over the summer has some run.

Race 6

3. Flatexcel: Has been around two turns already and will offer good odds today.

2. Sterling Warrior: No knocks — stretching out — last company line was meh.

Race 7

5. Billy Big: Trip compromised his chances to show his best in last — better today.

2. Alaskan Son: Drops down for Amoss which is a solid winning move for the trainer.

Race 8

4. Nucla: Bet down to short favorite in last – may want the added distance offered today.

7. Crackling Bread: Lost to nice on in last and any improvement can contend today.

Race 9

10. Mighty T: Hasn’t had as many chances to lose as others — comes back better than last.

8. Run To Fame: May be the speed of the speed here but has others to contend with.

Around the track

There is a terrific card of racing on tap for Saturday’s Road to the Derby Kickoff event. Typically fans are treated to first glimpses of newly minted three-year-old colts and fillies and this year the backstretch is full of possible heroes and heroines of the equine variety. More on who will show up to compete in Friday’s edition but this is one of the deepest and quality filled racing cards ever presented this early in the year by the Fair Grounds. Here are the up to date season totals for Chok’s Choices:

269-49-64-44=18 percent Win/58 percent In the Money/.74 Return or ROI

For Chok’s Second Choices or “the unders”

259–58-46-33=22 percent Win/53 percent In the Money/1.04 Return or ROI

Best bet

Our best bet Thursday will be Race 8 No. 4 Nucla. Second time out for a trainer who is winning in bunches right now — Brad Cox.

Good luck and may they all come home safely.