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. Luv It Up: Big win in last can step right back to take these runners today.

7. Amazing Arlie: Post not ideal but has the speed to lead gate to wire.

second race

1. Lemon Song: Claimed back by high percentage trainer Cox: positive sign.

4. Spoonfulofsugar: Nice run in last to get second after a modicum of trouble.

third race

6. Fearless Majesty: Tough horses to get true read on form: this one ran third in last.

5. Bin Das: Has good last race but seems to create his own trouble every start.

fourth race

4. Causin Commotion: Showed little in first start but will improve today .

1. Twistyrisky Whiskey: Good luck John Dooley with this name today as he makes a move.

fifth race

6. Grand Farewell: Maybe a private purchase but showed some talent in debut.

5. Chinawood: Decent debut against a tough customer showed interest early.

sixth race

8. Hail to the Nile: Loves this turf course and needed the last: Hernandez rides back.

1. Romeo Lima: Off a bit slower than usual: better start will equal better effort today.

seventh race

1. Cced: Top effort and could be a top filly for Asmussen but short price.

5. Yankee Lass: Firster has been working well for Foley for many months.

eighth race

7. Masquerade: Dropping into an easier spot and gets a good pace setup for speed.

5. Zubi Zubi Zubi: Trainer Stidham seems to have this race covered for a winning picture .

  • inth race

10. Etbauers Hit: Trainer off slowly in 2016 but this one fits like a glove here.

9. Etbauers Sue: Competitive at the level in nearly every start .

Around the Track

The Risen Star stakes is about 10 days away on Feb. 20, but it is not too early to start looking at some of the shippers coming in to take on local hero Mo Tom. Airoforce, who vanquised Mo Tom in the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes, is considering a run in the Risen Star. His presence would make the Risen Star a very competitive affair as Airoforce is ranked by many as among the top three Kentucky Derby hopefuls this year.

Best Bet

Our best bet today will be in Race 6 — No. 8 Hail to the Nile. The distance might be a bit short for his run, but he loves this turf course and will be a nice price to boot. Good luck and may they all come home safely.