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 Saturday for fast track and on turf
5. On My Toes: Hard to bet against Brad Cox right now — all horses running big.
2. Blasted Boss: Last three turf tries all would contend for the win here today.
3. Timiniseverything: Should be more than fine running on the dirt today.
6. Witts Henny Penny: Throw out last on turf and think of it as a prep — fits today.
8. Yoou Den: Might be this one’s time to turn the tables on previous foes with good trip.
1a. Wildwod Scat: Not the best of trips in last – has run very consistent on turf in past.
7. Uneven Steven: Last was a prep for this and can rebound at a nice price under Chantal.
1. Caleb Hawk: A repeat of last wins this but hard to trust these to repeat a good run.
1. World Peace: Ran second to horse that would be big favorite against these — improving.
3. Longwing Lily: Give this one a long look off the layoff but has shown willingness to win.
7. Good Enough Said: Big rider change might wake this one up in the winner’s circle.
2. He’s All Mine: Nothing clever here – looked like the winner but for trouble in last.
6. Ride a Comet: Returned with a sparkling work after a big win in last — good sign.
8. Shared Value: Nice win in last and is clearly one of the ones to beat here today.
1/1a. Divine Holiday: Either one of the Roussel charges lay over field today — big favorites.
3. Cool Ambition: Trainer looking for first win at meet drops this one off lackluster try.
10. Excessivespending: Likely to get the outside trip needed to win this tough edition of Pan Zareta Stakes.
5. One Last Shot: Bravo up for Stidham — and will be a nice price for consistent closer.
4. Rapid Rhythm: This one is SIX for SIX over this turf course — trying to make it seven wins today.
6. Timeslikethese: These types can run well first of the layoff and at a big price too.
10. Whistling Wind: Certainly the one to beat off two good efforts in last two tries at level.
Around the track
Saturday features the Pan Zareta Stakes honoring a race mare who won more races than any other mare — 76 races out of 151 starts during her career spanning 1912-1917. Pan Zareta was a crack sprinter and set or equaled 11 track records. She was retired in 1918, but when not in foal she went back into training here at the Fair Grounds and tragically contracted pneumonia and died. She is buried in the Fair Grounds infield along with Kentucky Derby winner Black Gold.
Our best bet today will be in Race 9 — a trifecta box of 4-5-6-10. A tough race to choose a winner but these look to be main contenders.
Good luck and may they all come home safely.