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

2. Bellatori: Stall wastes no time in dropping this in to win.

3. Jerry N Bo: Showed some interest at higher level; now drops in to claimers.

second race

10. Totally Ours: Should appreciate the drop and the change in surface.

8. Love Alley: Firster is well bred and has been working quite well in the morning.

third race

1. Artist Cry: Big move to the lead in last and just missed. Comes right back.

5. Francesa Del Port: Always right around the wire, and finds some easier foes.

fourth race

9. Cash Back: Very well bred and well meant on the turf first out.

11. Miss Ann Can: Just missed in two attempts on turf going short.

fifth race

5. Know You Know: Clearly the horse to beat if you can forgive the last outing.

6. Kulik River: Winner in last steps up a bit in class but is in form.

sixth race

6. Leadem in Ken: Might be better on turf and is really good now for Lovell.

8. Trend: Hot trainer and jockey, and fits with this like a glove.

seventh race

3. Money Flows: Two starts and two wins looking to make it 3-for-3 today.

2. Praetereo: Clearly the horse to beat for leading trainer Sharp and company.

eighth race

9. Latent Princess: Big win in last and has shown ability on turf in the past.

5. Go Go Goose: Longshot possibility won last closing fast on the grass.

  • inth race

2. Too Much Sauce: Expect this one to come flying late for the win.

4. Little Dollar: Another closer who has a chance with a good trip.

Around the Track

The races Thursday feature some really competitive turf races, and to this handicapper, the turf course is the best place to find some value and longshots. The turf course may be reverting back to previous form when the course favored those horses that come from behind. We will keep a close eye on the trips this week before we pronounce a definite return to closerville on the turf.

Best Bet

Our Best Bet on Thursday will be in Race 3: No. 1 Artist Cry. This one just missed in his last, and the Fair Grounds favors horses that have a race over track. Good luck, and may they all come home safely.