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

1. Aspen Sky: Looks well spotted to get the week off to a chalky start.

6. Dr. Smooth: Always around the wire looking for elusive first win.

Race 2

7. Heavenly Pal: Showed some grit on rail after tardy start gets easier.

2. Misty Rail: Not a bad outing first out in a Stakes race vs very good one.

Race 3

10. Lady Grantham: Might get a perfect trip from outside with speed.

4. Natalia Soliel: Has speed in a race that you need early speed to win.

Race 4

11. Feedmetothelion: First off claim for Amoss and is one of fastest going into race.

6. Ashleys London: Looks to get good position early and can win this at good price.

Race 5

10. Joyable: Must work out a trip under leading jockey James Graham.

3. Into Running: Looks like turf is where this one belongs.

Race 6

4. Sweet Mimi: Showed good speed in debut and should improve off that effort.

2. Four Point Zero: Trainer spots them well in these type of races.

Race 7

5. Seeking Luck: Improving sort will be live at a price near or on the lead.

9. Tontos Sister: Has made big runs in last three from back in the pack.

Race 8

7. Dark Brahams: New claim for Sharp and is fast going into this.

1. Mars Curiousity: Trainer getting going late in the meet so this one is tough.

Race 9

5. Revolt: Rounding back into very good form here on the turf.

4. Klisz: Always been a bridesmaid, but is very fast and fits with these.

Around the Track

We are going to keep a close eye on the battle for leading trainer because it has narrowed from last week as Bret Calhoun has closed to within four wins of Tom Amoss. Expect Calhoun to bring out and saddle up a lot of runners over the next eight days to make an all out dash to get his first Fair Grounds training title. Amoss has four entering Thursdy to Calhoun’s two. And, never count out Joe Sharp who trails by five wins as he has three on Thursday’s card.

Best Bet

Our best for Thursday will be in Race 4 the No. 11 Feedmetothelion. This one is first time for Amoss who is going for another training title with a few days left in the meet so should be well meant for a win. Good luck and may they all come home safely.