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.
7 Golden Road: Like the layoff here and the slight drop in class.
1 Luce Mia: Takes a bigger drop then top choice but has caught slop last two races.
5 Tickle Again: Just won and can easily repeat against these on turf.
7 Cherised Obsession: Always around the wire and gets preferred turf.
2 Joyces Rebel: A total flop in last but is much better than that race.
3 Quimet: Lowest level of career and has been working well for return.
2 Flying Like Magic: Big effort to win into a slow pace — turf should suit.
3 Kondo Queen: Stone cold closer needs pace but gets Graham.
4 Merveuilluse: Looks to get a perfect stalking trip off the inside speed.
8 Bissectrisa: Hard to gauge this trainer’s charges but this one likes dirt.
9 Raging Atlantic: Will try to take them wire-to-wire for Amoss.
1 Personalized: Will be closing and has an inside post to save ground.
5 Dion: Trainer excels with this type, and horse hasn’t missed a beat since first start.
8 Ray Knows: Another Jones fast worker for Da Guvner — Brereton Jones.
2 Aqtaar: Will go to front with Graham and try to take them all the way.
1 Nolangrantskitten: Recent claim by Sharp and seems to fit with these on best.
9 Sithechristmas Elf: A dropper from straight maidens and a stab here.
1 Shezflippensexy: Circuitous route to get here but can win from the rail.
Around the Track
Although the race is still three weeks away, the Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 21 is shaping up as the best prep for the Kentucky Derby of the year by far. Texas Red, winner of the Breeders Cup Juvenile and recently second place as two-year-old of the year in Eclipse voting, is pointing for the race. Waiting for him will probably be the first four finishers of the Lecompe, led by International Star and War Story. Texas Red is owned in part and trained by local conditioner Keith Desormeaux, who has indicated Red will make his first start of the year on Feb. 4 at Santa Anita.
Our Best Bet will be in Race 4, No. 2, Flying Like Magic. Big move into a slow pace and won off by open lengths. Good enough for a repeat today.
Good luck, and may they all come home safely.