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.

Picks made today for fast track and on turf.

First race

8. Masters Degree: Horse has been actively claimed but gets familiar Murrill.

7. Gustav Bay: Geroux looks to get animal back to winner circle.

second race

7. View from the Top: Sharp works leading up to this and gets hot jock.

6. Seagrass: Albarado will have horse coming late.

third race

5. Very Understated: Roussel adds blinkers drops down two class levels with this Grey.

6. Big Hearted Gal: Grey has improved in last two looking for winner circle today.

fourth race

7. Shutter Speed: Sharp trained Grey looking to break maiden with Graham aboard.

6. Warrior: Ramsey/Maker hard not to like no matter the circumstances.

fifth race

6. Carlientita: Dropping in class will run out front should end up in winner’s circle today.

2. Ide Better Move: Mena on 1st time starter with strong breeding for distance.

sixth race

6. Gee Whiz Lil: Won debut looking to stay perfect with Geroux in reigns.

8. Reality is Great: Grey at a price moving up in class after strong last out.

seventh race

8. Star Street: Ran well last out against similar.

6. Bare Your Heart: Fitting name for today’s race will be closing late.

eighth race

9. Argot: Drops in class trying lasix and blinkers out of the Sugar Bowl and Bourbon.

2. D. Shifflett: Breeding hints will like grass coming off sharp workout.

  • inth race

2. Could Be Anything: Failed as favorite in last switches to Hernandez.

9. Tiger Circle: Gets hot jockey in Torres looking to repeat effort 3 back.

Around the Track

Happy Valentines Day! Bare Your Heart in Race 7 might be the hunch play of the day. Early meet leading jockey Colby Hernandez may have been the first to 50 wins at the meet, but Florent Geroux leads the standings after Friday’s action with a meet leading 55 wins. Geroux also leads in earnings with nearly 1.6 million in purse money earned for his mounts so far in the meet. Mitchell Murrill has moved into third place as the meet heads into the final two months of the stand.

Best Bet

Our best bet today will be in Race 2 — No. 7 View From the Top. Horse coming off sharp workout running against similar today with familiar Murrill leading the way. Good luck and may they all come home safely.