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

6. Tent of Livingston: Slight edge over second choice due to conditioning.

5. Boudreaux: Off a layoff, but showed some talent in first outing last year.

Race 2

1. Voodoo Spell: Gelding trying to win his fourth at the meet.

6. Mr. Fuzzybottom: Horse is in career form for this one.

Race 3

8. Smittys Razorhawk: Has a few races in performances that tower over these.

7. Pops Cajun Gold: Last race stacks up fairly well with foes today.

Race 4

4. Misia Sekiguichi: Horse ran winning race last out with trouble.

1. Dreaming of Kitten: Beat top choice but has had plenty of chances.

Race 5

1. Deja L’Etoile: Nice initial win — tried turf — back to dirt and gets inside.

4. Ride N Reel: Logical choice in this dropping in class for easier competition.

Race 6

6. Sources and Methods: Nice maiden win at Churchill coming in off a short rest.

4. Look at Me: Has two nice wins at meet but tries turf today.

Race 7

3. Locas Hermano: Good run two back — tried turf — back to favored dirt today

7. Wild Thought: No knocks here and ran into a runaway winner last out

Race 8

5. English Pound: Has some nice races against good competition on turf — price.

3. Steep Paladin: Gets positive rider change and fits with this type on turf.

Race 9

6. River of Choice: Trainer has done well with this type of horse off layoff.

8. Mrs. Gertrude: Willing to give this one another chance after the maiden win.

Around the Track

The two major stakes races on the Louisiana Derby Preview Day this Saturday are absolutely loaded with Kentucky Derby prospects and Kentucky Oaks hopefuls. The races will go a long way to separating the contenders from the pretenders on the road to the Louisiana and Kentucky Derbys.

Best Bet

Our best bet today will be in Race 8 — No. 5 English Pound. This one is going to be a good price and has a great shot to kick off the week for us with a win. Good luck and may they all come home safely.