Michael Beychok, the 2012 National Handicapping Championship and 2012 Eclipse Award winner for best handicapper, brings 25 yearfs 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, BehcokRacing.com. Follow him on Twitter:@BeychokRacing.

Race 1

5. Grey Day Lover: This one ran well last out and has right to improve.

2. Betterbytheminute: Has competitive races at this level and gets Graham back.

Race 2

1. Buneya: Tough to get past this one off good third-place effort first out.

7. Galileos Moon: Trainer Peitz holding strong hand with top two choices.

Race 3

4. Painted Valley: Fits nicely with the slight drop down in class.

8. Bigin: Will be running on late to get a piece off the layoff.

Race 4

3. Clueless Rusty: Nice closing kick as our choice in last and seeks to repeat.

4. Squall King: Takes the class drop for Roussel and is the one to beat.

Race 5

8. Hottap: Highly thought of after first two starts had a break now back to win.

4. Bad Boy Rocket: Been lighting up the morning workouts — well bred and Stall trained.

Race 6

1. Kitchen Boss: Might be the pace he needs today to close for the win.

12. Fine Assay: Might be the one to catch when the real running starts in stretch.

8. Miss Bellamy Lane: Third off the layoff is the angle for this one.

Race 7

8. Zarking: Has a couple of nice wins in his past performances and is right back for Richards.

2. Foreinfinity: Has tried much better foes in his last few and likes to win.

Race 8

4. Arch Angel: Seems to be the one to get the lead from good post.

1. Penny’s Deputy: Must time the break to get an upfront spot.

3. Upper East Side: Certainly fits with these off last race.

Race 9

4. Miss Lee Lee: Tepid pick in a race filled with open ended questions.

2. Lauras Pick: The one who has faced the best competition in last few.

Around the Track

As soon as we wrote last week about Texas Red coming to New Orleans to contest the Risen Star, the news broke on Tuesday that Texas Red had a foot abscess and would not be able to make the trip nor make a race for at least 2 months. This puts in jeopardy his Kentucky Derby chances, but certainly enhances the chances of local horses still on the Derby path like Tiznow RJ, International Star and Eagle who are all on course to run in the Risen Star at the Fair Grounds on Feb. 21. Had another profitable week with top choices making us profitable for our last 137 picks or 5 weeks. Here are the meet results so far:

437-110-77-58 = 791.80/25 percent

Best Bet

Our best bet today will be in Race 6 — and we will try to hit an exacta box in a race filled with value. Let’s use the 1-8-12 for our exacta box. Good luck and may they all come home safely.