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 Friday for fast track and on turf

First race

1. Hard Promises: Comes off winner circle performance could wire field.

4. It’s Geaux Time: Hawley owned/trained goes to familiar Mena at same class level.

Second race

6. Bayago: Leading trainer Stidham switches to leading jockey Geroux.

7. Madamoiselle Bond: Murrill aboard drops in class in this one.

Off turf selections: 9-4

Third race

1. Two Bad Attitudes: Grey drops in class gets rail post barely missed in first two trips.

8. Doin a Happy Dance: Trainer seems to like drop angle to maiden claim level.

Fourth race

6. Bel Air Bullet: Going back to Murrill, who ran well two back.

2. Cruachan: Ran second at level last race will be closing late here.

Off turf selections: 2-1

Fifth race

1. Youve Got a Friend: Roussel owned/trained grey that drops in class after last out win.

7. My Shout: Drops in class off nine-month layoff with Albarado.

Sixth race

6. Aroney: Roussel trained/owned bred by Ramsey drops in class on grass.

9. Vindication Now: Maker/Geroux looking to improve third off layoff.

Off turf selections: 2-7

Seventh race

9. Otter Cove: Ran second in last two and will be closing late.

5. King Gettigan: Won last out and moves up in class with Pedroza.

Eighth race

9. Dewey Lake: Stidham/Geroux connection drops this grey down two classes.

3. Cavu: Grey ran second in last with Pedroza drops in class today.

Off turf selections: 11-4

Ninth race

1. Curzon Street: Torres comes back and gets rail post.

9. Aniar: Horse has hit board in 11 of 19 career races gets familiar Hernandez.

Around the Track

Saturday the spotlight will be on the 3-year-old colts and fillies as they aim for the Louisiana Derby and the Fair Grounds Oaks. As usual, trainer Steve Asmussen has potential winners in both the Risen Star and the Twinspires.com Rachel Alexandra stakes. Gun Runner is the Asmussen charge in the Risen Star, and he is coming off a key race fourth-place finish in his last start. Stageplay is the favorite for the Rachel Alexandra, and I believe this filly is developing into a very nice three year for her connections.

Best Bet

Our best bet today will be in Race 3 — No. 1 Two Bad Attitudes. Horse came close just missing in first two career starts. The drop Friday should help chances of graduating today. Good luck and may they all come home safely.