Chok’s choices

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, Follow him on Twitter: @BeychokRacing.

Picks made today for fast track and on turf

First race

2. Saint Dominic: Moves from outside post to inside could be enough for the win.

7. Ft. Davis: Another drop: surface switch and is outside: tough to take at low odds.

second race

1. Cactus Sun: Much respect for trainer off layoffs and this one clearly fits

3. D’cajun Cat: Winless in 2015 so the drop to easier makes a bunch of sense.

Off turf selections: 1a-8

third race

1. Lil Becky: Has run two good races and gets the rail for this outing.

2. Amazing Arlie: Went to the front in last and while employ same tactics today.

fourth race

5. Cash Back: One of the best looking debuts so far this meet and looks very nice in this spot.

3. Bellatori: Showed speed in last and has turf breeding to support at the windows.

Off turf selections: 3–7

fifth race

1. Sweet Miss Lou: Big run in last and looks to have a pace advantage on these

8. Go Blue: Fits with these if fit off recent works for trainer Forster.

sixth race

1. Thank U Jared Usmc: Taking a shot with a second time starter who attracts Graham.

9. Mimosa Morning: Beat top choice by 5 in last and goes for sale first time today.

Off turf selections: 2-1

seventh race

2. Latent Princess: Big run to just miss in last and should be perfectly positioned.

4. Sandy’s Song: Had the lead in last after nearly year layoff — more fit today.

eighth race

7. Spartanburg: Usually runs his race on turf and will be long odds today.

8. Legal Technicality: Five-time winner on turf — goes for Pish barn now.

Off turf selections: 15-14

  • inth race

3. Queezes’s Rally: Couple of OK outings and gets rider upgrade today.

12. Mrs. Deborah: Not sure how this one lost the last with big lead.

Around the Track

Big weekend of racing coming up at the Fair Grounds this weekend as fans get first glimpse of newly turned three-year-olds as the road to the Louisiana Derby opens up. In addition to the $200,000 Lecomte Stakes on Saturday the three-year-old fillies will share the spotlight with the $ 150,000 Silverbulletday Stakes. Horses to keep an eye on for the Lecomte are Dolphus, Tiznoble, Destin and Mo Tom. Victor Espinoza — the regular rider of American Pharoah will be on hand to ride Zayat Stables Z Royal before jetting off to attend the Eclipse Awards in South Florida that same night. Other riders coming in for the stakes slate are Julien Leperoux, and Corey Lanerie.

Best Bet

Our best bet today will be in Race 3 No. 1 — Lil Becky. Gets almost a perfect setup on paper today after showing to good recent efforts over the track so although short odds a solid bet to start out the week. Good luck and may they all come home safely.