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

7. Booth Road Ozzie: Moving up in class off win with familiar Albarado aboard.

4. Buxton Boy: Drops in class for second race under Sharp who is good with this angle.

second race

4. Datamining: Sharp is just that second off a claim with a horse that showed improvement.

3. Parlay Ponti: Drops in class staying on turf looking for hot pace to close into.

Off turf selections: 2-13.

third race

3. Connor’s Ace: Coming off two-month layoff will pounce late.

6. Orthodox River: Drops in class with highest speed figure in field at the distance.

fourth race

4. Long Lost Friend: Gighest prime power in race loves the turf mile distance.

2. Cort’s Design: Coming off three-month layoff with respectable record at track.

Off turf selections: 3-6.

fifth race

4. Carlita Shake: Ran well in only start at level.

6. Ide Biduadeau: Stewart/Geroux connection dropping in class on a five-month layoff.

sixth race

7. I Call Shotgun: Wide-open race this horse can improve off layoff hit board 9 of 10 races .

5. Blue Grass Road: Sharp last workout with hot jockey at a price .

Off turf selections: 13-7.

seventh race

4. Just Kissing Buck: Hernandez back aboard horse that clearly likes to be in the money.

7. V.I. Dancer: Sharp shipper has shown flashes of speed.

eighth race

9. Inconclusive: Horse will close late off what should be a fast pace.

7. Smittys Cougar: Faucheux good going dirt to turf at decent price.

Off turf selections: 3-7.

  • inth race

12. Z Bonita: Faucheux/Graham connection this grey has best dirt speed in field.

5. Southern Snow: Eramia aboard horse bet well in debut.

Around the Track

Taking a quick look at the trainer and jockey standings shows that the races have tightened and now Florent Geroux has a 1-win lead over early meet leader Colby Hernandez. Geroux leads 46-45 going into today’s action. Over on the trainer side the standings are just as tight with Mike Stidham holding a 4-win lead over Joe Sharp, Brad Cox, and Tom Amoss with 21 wins to 17 each for Sharp, Amoss, and Cox.

Best Bet

Our best bet today will be in Race 3 — No. 3 Connor’s Ace. Ran second in last race coming off layoff should run well for Broberg today. Good luck and may they all come home safely.