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

4. Pinks Honor: Good race on dirt and has some better turf form in the past.

5. Grand Bayou: A dropdown from higher class and a race in last that was good enough to win here.

Off turf selections: 9-4

second race

4. Call Who Dat: Beaten by some of these in last gets better post and switch to Graham.

8. Grande Chica: Went to front on speed favoring track in last and won big.

third race

8. Summer Time Rules: Almost won this type of race two back.

6. La Justice: Should get first run on the top pick if speed falters.

fourth race

7. Goblet of Fire: Horse was bet heavily first out and fresh for second try.

10. View from the Top: Third at level to a next out winner so fits in here.

Off turf selections: 6-10

fifth race

4. Gateway to Gold: Competitive versus very nice next out winner — will improve.

6. Abundant Flurry: Led in last and just missed at the same level — one to beat.

sixth race

4. First Growth: Switch to turf might be just what this one needs to get first win.

1. Inavanti: Ultimate equipment change on this one might be the ticket for a win.

Off turf selections: 4-1

seventh race

1. Cajun Maid: Strong selection in here after nice effort in stakes race in last.

2. My Bonne Margie: Has to beat the top choice but fits nicely on number power.

eighth race

7. Latent Revenge: Gets preferred surface after a couple good runs on dirt.

3. Vici: One turf run going long and now comes back to a sprint distance.

Off turf selections: 3-7

  • inth race

5. Battle Tap: Asmussen scratched out of Lecomte for this — is a nice colt for Winchell and could make noise on road to Louisiana Derby.

1. Start A War: Worth a flyer off the last while beating next out winner — long shot.

TENTH race

9. Handiwork: Willing to forgive the last race to accept a bigger price in this race.

11. Henderson County: Seems to be the speed of this race which makes him one to beat.

Around the Track

Interesting race carded in the ninth today, which features some of the three-year-olds that didn’t make the field for the Lecomte Stakes, including Battle Tap, who was entered, but scratched. I’m of the opinion that this one has some real potential for the Winchell/Asmussen combination and he is one to keep an eye on further down the road.

Best Bet

Our Best Bet today will be in Race 7 — No. 1 Cajun Maid. An Amoss claim who ran next out in a stakes, but drops back to level today is a very strong bet. Good luck and may they all come home safely.