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.

Race 1

10. Even Street: Good account of himself first out — lesson learned — win today.

6. My Pal Torres: Likey favorite and pace setter but can he hold on.

Race 2

1. Bold Jazz: Dropping in class is a move that pays off for Amoss.

6. Vick the Viking: Willing to give this one another shot if Eramia sticks.

Race 3

4. Infinite Magic: Will go with Talamo on the turf with second out for Stidham.

6. Ultimo Tango: Amoss and Graham so how could you go wrong ending up here.

Race 4

8. Pacific Pink: Willing to give this one another shot off the sloppy track.

9. Sibling War: No knocks at all on this one except short odds expected.

Race 5

2. Grande Basin: Needs to improve but going in the right direction for a win.

9. Cajun Spirit: Will be bet down a bit but still likely in the exoctics.

8. Mobile Bay: Big win stepping up and stretching out.

Race 6

6. Coles Magic Vow: Always around the wire and will be a nice price.

9. Hetai: No knocks on this one just runs fast and wins and wins.

Race 7

4. One Kings Man: Not picking against the most likely winner on the card.

2. Hopeful Notion: Aptly named for a horse trying to beat the top choice.

Race 8

7. Coalport: The distance is perfect for him and not for others.

4. Divine Oath: Have to respect Todd Pletcher horses at the Fair Grounds.

Race 9

1. Forever Unbridled: OK so I’ve picked against potential champ Chatterbox so why stop now.

6. I’m a Chatterbox: Clearly best — odds prohibit a bet however.

Race 10

7. Indycott: Horse could not be doing better — huge confidence move by Moss/Amoss to put him here — in it to win it for the home team.

4. Afford: Believe the trip will fit this one in here.

Note: One Kings Man may run in this spot — if he does — he is our top choice in this race.

Race 11

7. Keen Ice: Thought his race in Risen Star was perfect setup for this — will love the extra distance today — Graham stays on — working well — all positive signs.

6. War Story: If I could make co-first choices I would — love his development — got a tough trip in last — is fast and will get faster and ridden by top jock Joe Talamo.

9. International Star: No need to change the order of picks — same as Risen Star and they will run in the money again.

Race 12

7. Peej: Sneaky good race in last and will be a big price in here.

6. Nolangrantskitten: The other Sharp runner looks best to me.

Race 13

3. Grand Isle: Should get perfect trip here up near the front and will be tough to run down.

11. Clueless Rusty: Likely horse to run in the money needs a fast pace to setup race 14.

Race 14

7. Expecting Cash: Trying to turn the tables on second choice and needs some NOLA voodoo to do that.

1. Voodoo Spell: Trying to cast a spell on opponents for a fourth win at the meet.

Around the Track

Another great edition of the Louisiana Derby on tap Saturday. I think we will see a repeat of the Risen Star order of finish in some form or fashion and if I could pick co-top choices they would be War Story and Keen Ice. I think these two have to be at their best Saturday to take the next step, while International Star really just needs an in the money finish to assure his spot in the Kentucky Derby. They are all very good 3-year-old colts but I think Keen Ice will prevail in the stretch drive.

Best Bet

Our best bet Saturday will be in Race 8 — No. 7 Coalport. While the others may look good on paper the distances may not fit but it hits this one right between the eyes and he comes in fresh and ready for a win. Let’s also try a Pick 4 starting in Race 8 — 4-7 with 1-6 with 4-7-8 with 6-7-9 = $18 (note that if One Kings Man is scratched total will be $12). Good luck and may they all come home safely.