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

6. Garrison Commander: Broke maiden last out looks to come right back off claim.

5. Conquest Caliente: Goes back to dirt after chasing too wide last out.

Second race

4. Candy Pop: Drops in class for potent Maggi Moss/Tom Amoss combo.

3. Benny’s Bombshell: Ran into some trouble in last two looks to bounce back off drop.

Third race

1. Dingdingdingding: Coming off nice last out effort gets rail post here dropping in class.

8. Cha Mono: Ran second in last two just missing seems to like breaking from outside.

Off turf selections: 9-4.

Fourth race

5. Defondo: Drops in class goes back to dirt looking for better effort .

2. Malachite: Has shown consistency needs to put a full race together.

Fifth race

11. Jicote: Just missed in last being out-finished goes back to Murrill.

4. What a Shiner: Asmussen sends right back with top choice after last race.

Off turf selections: 6-9.

Sixth race

2. Star Street: Just missed in last two looks to get it done today after being run down.

8. Blue Grass Road: Drops in class looking to get back to form from three back.

Seventh race

5. Mish Mosh: Won 3 of last 4 just missing in last out coming off claim.

9. Value Voucher: Should improve third off layoff and gave valid effort in last.

Off turf selections: 3-6.

Eighth race

9. Samantha’s Prize: Ran second last out willingly. Should sit midpack here and finish strong.

8. Grand Fais Do Do: Has shown life in last few but needs better effort here.

Ninth race

10. Grand Isle: Just missed in last two will get it done today.

12. Just too Smart: Has run some very consistent efforts could strike at price here.

Around the Track

The jockey colony at the Fair Grounds is as strong as I’ve seen in recent years and there are some new names enjoying success. Based on his recent performances Florent Geroux is riding as well as anyone in the country right now and has widened his lead over early meet leader Colby Hernandez, Jr. Geroux leads 72 wins to 59 wins. Jockey Mitchell Murrill is having his best Fair Grounds meet after leading Arlington Park over the summer and Murrill is third in the standing with 49 wins heading into the weekend.

Best Bet

Our best bet today will be in Race 1 — No. 6 Garrison Commander. This horse is in from and coming off two solid efforts. He is the speed in the race and will wire this field. Good luck and may they all come home safely.