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 off track and off turf
7. Basboosa: Has serious early speed and will be tough to catch.
4. Beentospain: Dropping down from tougher races for Amoss and Moss.
7. Lady Digger: Has been freakishly fast in the mornings prepping for this.
1. Honest Dandy: First try was ok, but second was much better.
5. Joe Bailey: Will be in a better position to stalk and pounce then second choice.
7. Elusive Neko: Seems to be able to find a way to lose but looks best again here.
8. La Majestique: Barn change might be what this 15-time loser needs to win.
5. Sawsan: Has been very close to breaking through and today might be the day.
5. Slew of Halos: Not the best of trips in last: has more to give versus these.
10. Three Padres: Consistent sort has to work out a trip from the outside post.
8. Tiznoble: Has turfed in two starts, but trained well on dirt. 4. Spikes Shirl: Dirt winner trying to get Stewart first win of the meet.
2. Purims Danawa: Draws Calvin Borel for the mount so must be well meant.
8. Bootsys Girl: Shipped down from OP for this so must not be a prep.
12. Qunita Tata: Horse isn’t much, but field isn’t too stout either.
11. Jello Shot Jody: Showed some life in first start for connections,
- inth race
2. Torrontes: Big race first out for Gorder and gets better post than second choice.
12. Creator: Ran huge in a sloppy affair in last but post is not ideal for this run.
8. Combatlann: Didn’t fire last out and moves to the Sharp barn for this attempt.
4. Yonaguska Storm: Awful run in last means draw a line through it for this.
10. Graysons Yankee: Ran well last out — faces lesser competition today.
11. Open Up: Fits in with these for owner/trainer Arceneaux who is sneaky good.
Around the Track
A couple of new faces to the Fair Grounds entry box appear today starting with well known jockey Calvin Borel. A three-time Kentucky Derby winner, Borel rides mainly in Kentucky, but might be preparing for the upcoming Oaklawn meet in Arkansas. Another new face is trainer Kellyn Gorder, who trains mostly on the Kentucky circuit, but has his string of horses based in Arkansas as well. Gorder is a name savvy handicappers should pay attention to as he won a nice share of races recently. Borel and Gorder face off in Race 7 and Gorder has an additional entry in the ninth.
Our best bet today will be in Race 9 — No. 2 Torrontes. Shipping down from Arkansas for aforementioned trainer Gorder signals a go to the window move. Well spotted and fast. Good luck and may they all come home safely.