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.

Race 1

5. Silks Diamond: Calhoun firster attracts Mena to ride — well meant.

7. Discreetly Grand: Another first timer from Nicks barn with Graham on board.

Race 2

2. Chief Dante: Gets same class level where she ran second in November.

9. Shes Not Guilty: Drops from last — shows good early foot to get in position.

Race 3

4. Redtacular: Nice middle move in last — gets Lasix and blinkers on today.

7. Idealites: Should show good speed coming off sprint and can go all the way.

Race 4

9. Nicks Vision: Fastest of these but must work out trip from outside.

7. Fiaker: Two second-place finishes in last two make this one the one to beat.

Race 5

3. Shanikos Secret: First out was bust – but has three good works since for the drop.

1. Cha’rube: Graham sticks with this one in a tough to call race.

Race 6

2. Blake Beauties: Won for fun in last, and this race looks perfect for the step up.

7. Little Norweigan: A couple of sneaky good turf races back in her form — fits.

Race 7

4. Dream Glider: Gets back with friends on the cutback in distance.

6. Graynola: Should trip out with nice stalking trip today.

Race 8

7. Scat Means Go: Should love the green stuff and ran well on dirt — solid.

3. Seeking Paradise: First out for new trainer Calhoun — loves turf.

6. Save Our Oceans: By hot sire Super Saver and good turf breeding.

Race 9

9. Slew Of Halos: Good last race over the track — a repeat wins.

1. Ex Marq: Faucheux runner well spotted off the maiden win.

Race 10

7. This One’s For Tony: Has run second 5 out of 13 — gets win today — maybe?

3. Legal Wager: Showed good speed first out tries to go longer today.

Around the Track

Don’t forget there is Monday racing at the Fair Grounds. Hoping that even with a spot of rain the turf races should go as written with firm turf Saturday. The turf course has been a bit tricky for us oldtimers to figure out as it does not resemble the old turf course that produced many more off the pace winners than front runners, but I believe we have a good handle on how it plays moving forward.

Best Bet

Our best bet today will be in Race 8 — No. 7 Scat Means Go. This horse was entered for turf in last but got rained off, but Scat ran a very good race and if turf improves his performance he should be good to go in a tough heat of three year old maidens. Good luck and may they all come home safely.