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 — is a partner in ttegames.net an online horse racing contest site. Follow him on Twitter: @BeychokRacing.

Race 1

5. Lucky Band: Second start for this one gets Broussard who likely goes to lead.

4. Racy: First timer whose momma was ok and is bred a bit for off track.

Race 2

6. Mending Fences: Gelded since last start and is better on dirt than turf for sure.

8. Treasury Bill: Entered for MTO (main track only) so hoping for an off track.

If on turf: 3-2

Race 3

3. Charm the Lute: This one’s sire loved the slop —– attracts leading rider today.

10. She’s Got the Mojo: Nice second place finish in last and nice off track breeding.

Race 4

2. Heavenly Gem: Bore out badly first turn but still recovered to run fourth – shot.

8. Dutchman: Obviously horse to beat off last few and connections – short odds.

Race 5

6. Pink Bubble: Big win in last race when encountered sloppy track.

7. Best Guess: Love the claimback angle here for top connections Moss/Amoss.

Oon turf selections: 4-6 (If on turf the No. 4 Break Away is a best bet).

Race 6

12. Northwoods Cat: Has shown competitiveness in last few — wouldn’t surprise.

9. Too Dim: The one to beat off of a huge dropdown to lowest level ever.

Race 7

8. Dark Arden: Gelded since last and is working well — a sneaky chance at a price.

12. Running Back: If off turf this one is entered for MTO so is well meant today.

On turf selections: 10-5

Race 8

3. Mr Green Girl: A few positives here — wet track form and Albarado stays on.

7. Duenay: Been a Chok’s Choice a few times this meet needs to find winner’s circle.

Race 9

3. Watch Your Six: Broke maiden in first start — has a super work in the slop.

7. Taleoftheprincess: Stakes race in last was against much better — contender.

On turf selections: 4-5

Race 10

4. Chandlers Tribute: First time starter’s momma had a win on sloppy track.

11. Cypress Cat: Has run three ok races and only needs a short step up to win here.

Around the track

Today is the first day of the last week of racing at the Fair Grounds and the selection process is a bit tricky because the forecast looks a bit dicey in terms of rain. The timing of the rain means some of the races could be off the turf and/or the main track being called “sloppy”. My advice today is pay attention to the weather and track condition and the picks today were made in advance and in anticipation that the track would be sloppy and the turf off. The good news is that the weather clears out for the weekend and the track on Saturday for the Louisiana Derby should be fast and the turf should be firm.

Best bet

Our best bet Thursday will be in Race 3 — No. 3 Charm the Lute. The sire of this horse loved the slop and we are hopeful this trait passed down to this one. Goof luck and may they all come home safely.