Editor's note: Michael Beychok, the 2012 National Handicapping Championship and 2012 Eclipse Award winner for best handicapper, brings 35 years of experience to The Advocate. Beychok is also the senior partner of Ourso Beychok Inc., an award winning national political consulting firm based in Louisiana. Follow him on Twitter @beychokracing.
Picks made for fast track and on turf.
5 – Pinch Assault – Takes slight drop but big rider upgrade. Has right style to wins
1 – Judge N Ruler – Definitely the one to beat; showing well at the level 2 back.
9 – Tees Black Irish – Second off a layoff, gets back to dirt. Should show speed.
4 – Red Roux – First for trainer who can win with these types; working well
4 – Avanzare – Got claimed in last and was very impressive winner over next out winner.
5 – Will Call — First time turfing in last produced a strong win and can win right back.
6 — One River Place — Ran into a monster in last; hung on well for second.
2 – Extricate – Showing Asmussen something to not drop – has a work that signaled go.
6 – May Lilly – Ran into some nice ones and held well; layoff a concern but fits.
9 – Swimsuit Issue – Ran well first out here and company has been good as well.
6 – Swamp Ruler – Big rush to get up after a layoff in last; no reason a repeat unlikely.
7 – Valley of the Hide – Gutsy win in last but was disqualified; redemption in order today.
5 – Industrial Policy – Finds a nice group he should be able to handle with his back class.
3 – Harbor Jedi – Throw out last – gets claimed by high percent outfit – much improved at price.
4 – Shamrock Star – A real runner who came back running after short layoff for Calhoun.
2 – Golden Domer – nice win and good efforts against top class runners in Kentucky
4 – Giannas Gift – Beat a nice filly who came back to romp in next out; should handle turf.
2 – Smokin Hot Mama — Nice win in last running them off their feet most of the way.
1A – Campioni – Made nice run to the lead but could not hold off eventual winner.
5 – Little Sarge – Claimed out of first run – laid up – working well for Sharp and Bechizza.
Around the Track
The Pegasus Stakes is Saturday and it is loaded with Fair Grounds connected horses, led of course by Horse of the Year Gun Runner who has spent a lot of his career stabled here at the Fair Grounds and done all of his prep work at the track. Dallas Stewart has Seeking the Soul in the race and he also has done his prep work here. The $16 million race is the richest in the world and if Gun Runner could win it he would certainly stamp himself as one of the greatest. My picks are: Gun Runner/West Coast/Gunnevera
Our Best Bet Friday will be in Race 7 — No. 5 Industrial Policy. The class drop should help this one get to the winner’s circle today.
Good Luck and may they all come home safely.