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 UL-Lafayette. Follow him on Twitter @beychokracing.

Picks made Friday for on track and on turf

Race 1

5 – Lady Loretta – Knocking at the door in last few and should get the win today.

3 – Blue Chicory – Taking a big drop for Glyshaw, who is looking for a few more wins,

Race 2

2 – Aktabany – Throw out the last and the ones over turf with some give are very good.

6 – Whiskey Bravo – 8-year-old is in top form and has won 12 races on turf — 7 at FG.

Race 3

2 – Cumber – passed a few horses in first start and gets meet leading rider Bridgmohan.

1 – Qarth – Bet down in a tough race in last now drops but retains Lanerie as pilot.

Race 4

9 – Shook – Was much best over an okay group in last – might improve a few lengths today.

3 – Ashy Taty – Just missed in same condition but off the turf affair so fits like a glove here.

Race 5

6 – Shanikos Secret – Improved all three starts here now comes back on short rest ready.

3 – Bobby the Brain – Takes another drop trying to find the right level for a wining run.

Race 6

2 – Uncle Mo Money – Gets a rider switch to Flo Geaux – rider of Horse of Year Gun Runner.

8 – Star Cross – Has races in past performances that would crush these but what will we get.

Race 7

1 – King Bandit – Like the prep race and like the fact that Mena sticks and horse has track wins

4 – My Friend Flavin – stakes winner finds an easier group than faced in last

Race 8

6– Consultation – Strictly a pace play in what appears to be a paceless race – Mena rides

1 – Crescent Drive – No knocks but must work out perfect trip from the rail.

Race 9

6 – Pound of Hundreds – big win in last and towers over this field if able to repeat last run

4 – Moment of Grace – always tries and is in the mix in last few races – can spring the upset

Around the Track

Our weekly look at the jockey and trainers standings finds little change at the top. In the trainer’s race to the title Brad Cox has opened up a 4-win lead over Joe Sharp leading 28 to 20. Cox will be tough to run down as he has plenty of horses on the grounds to keep entering races. The jockey’s race is a barnburner with Miguel Mena taking over the lead last wee from Shaun Bridgmohan. These two have been swapping the lead the last few weeks with Mitchell Murrill right in the mix. Mena currently leads 38-37-34 respectively.

Best Bet

Our Best Bet today will be in Race 9 — No. 6 Pound of Hundreds. Huge dominant win in last and comes right back after that win to hopefully romp again.

Good Luck and may they all come home safely.