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.
3 FLYING LIKE MAGIC: Two sprint races at FG are good enough to take this.
4 OLE BLACK MAGIC: Willing to toss last to complete the early magic exacta.
4 HOT TUB SIXTY FIVE: Will try to take them gate-to-wire here.
10 ROYAL PUNTER: Not a bad duo of races but has had trouble in both.
3 CLASSIC BLAZE: Claimed by Amoss, and on the rise here in first attempt.
8 OLE DOC: Nice win off the layoff and new barn at Delta Downs.
12 BABY BRYNN ALYSSA: Second time out and gets blinkers for more focus Saturday.
2 FESTYS FORTY WON: No knocks on favorite — just might not want to win.
6 RADIANT ENERGY: A reclaim by Maggi Moss is a positive sign for this one.
5 FUZZY LOGIC: Claim by Sharp performed well in first start, now gets turf.
3 UNBRIDLED VENTURE: Solid form in sprints is second off a short layoff.
5 JOYCES REBEL: May have lost a step but is still very fast for the level.
2 I DAZZLE: Gets Graham back on board after a run at Sam Houston.
3 TENSAS HARBOUR: Big win on dirt in stakes at Delta in last.
11 HARVEY: Heavily bet in debut got slammed at break.
10 ARCTIC VORTEX: Well bred for first out and sprinting from the Stall barn.
8 GIAGIAJOE: Expect this one to try to gun for lead from outside.
4 LOVELY PROSPECTOR: Firster out of Calhoun barn is working well in the morning.
5 TRIBALISTA: Appears that this is the right level as this one has been right there in last few.
1 FIERY PINK: Will save ground for late running try to get the money.
5 PERMISSION SLIP: First out for Broberg just needs a bit of improvement here.
8 SEEING SILVER: Good efforts in last few and is always in contention for money places.
Around the Track
Picks made for Saturday are for a fast track and on turf. With the Louisiana Derby just one week away, the contenders are putting in their final works in preparation for a start next Saturday. The top three finishers in the Risen Star are all returning for a rematch in the Derby, which is an eighth of a mile longer than the Risen Star. In jockey news, New Orleans native Joe Talamo has been named to ride War Story for Looch Racing and Tom Amoss.
Our best bet Saturday will be in Race 7, No. 2, I Dazzle. This one has not had the best of pace setups in the last few, and gets turf and fast pace to complement closing kick.
Good luck, and may they all come home safely.