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

3. Run Right At It: Combacker was good and slight improvement can win.

6. Leroidsessioux: Knocking at the door in most FG races does he come through?.

second race

6. Grey Cape: Dropping down to maiden claiming a strong move for trainer Margolis.

4. Uptown Tempo: Due to show a bit more early zip here on the stretch out on turf.

third race

3. Ganges: La Bred was in Florida now goes for in Louisiana against state breds.

5. Zapper Bill: Has run second twice in three career starts so the turf may be the answer.

fourth race

9. Bwannagoldmine: Run well on turf with closing kick that will help today.

11. Set the Sail: Moving up in class after a steep drop and big win in last for new barn today.

fifth race

1. Ide B E Z To Enjoy: Recent acquisition to Moss stable moves up in class off claim.

8. Valid Pursuit: Big drop in class trying to get a win today for trainer Sharp.

sixth race

7. Bellamy Run: Second off a layoff means horse should be fitter for today’s run.

10. Royal Ascot Zip: A bit overmatched in last but gets back to talent level today.

seventh race

8. King of All Media: This one was flying late and should improve today second out.

3. Creator: Has run into some real nice horses in just four starts in some tough luck losses.

eighth race

6. Jokasa: Big win in last and should absolutely love the turf and distance here.

9. Chiding: The horse to beat off the last but a bad bet at low odds.

  • inth race

8. Lighter Fluid: Consistent at this level and catches a seemingly easier field here.

9. Blue Choice: A claim back for Faucheaux is usually a positive sign for big effort.

Around the Track

The Kentucky Derby is less than three months away and the ranking of the top contenders has already begun. I’m honored to be a panelist for The Ultimate Kentucky Derby poll sponsored by Brisnet which releases the initial standings on Monday. A sneak preview can reveal that one of my top three horses is locally stabled/owned/trained Mo Tom, who I think was uber impressive in his Lecomte win. Stay tuned for the full reveal on Monday, Feb. 15. The full poll can be viewed weekly on the Horse Racing Radio Network — www.horseracingradio.net.

Best Bet

Our best bet today will be in Race 3 — No. 3 Ganges. A peculiar route to get to this race included a trial race in Florida so this horse seems well meant today. Good luck and may they all come home safely.