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 today for fast track and on turf

Race 1

3: Bow Knot Billy: Giving this one another shot after failing as favorite in last.

1/1A: Either of the entries look to be the likely challenger to top choice.

Race 2

3: Brandy Station: One turf try was good enough to win today and draws Flo Geaux

4: Ty C: This one has a longshot possibility off dirt form and turf pedigree.

2: Pure Bingo: Might be overlooked but is certainly fast. Watch the board.

Race 3

5: Steel Shot: Looks like the real deal here for powerful connections at short price.

4: Bourne in Nixa: Nothing fancy here as this one looks to be best of rest in Sugar Bowl.

Race 4

1: Joyous Thunder: Has perfect running style here for this course and saves ground.

7: Prados Sweet Ride: Might be better price than morning line here but will be tough.

Race 5

6: Ciaran: The price play over our second choice; big win first out improving sort.

3: Principe Guilherme: Don’t be surprised to see this one in La. Derby. No knocks.

Race 6

8: Saham: Has a race over the course and should improve off that effort.

1: Tizarunner: Draws Jersey Joe for sharp trainer Maker and has right style here.

Race 7

6: Upset Brewing: Proven in stakes company and comes back off a bit of a layoff.

1: Stellar Moon: Very impressive win in last and powerful combo of Bravo/Stidham

Race 8

2: Field of Courage: Love the cutback here with a race loaded with early speed.

5: Sir Navigator: Big run in last for new connections has form to win here at price.

Race 9

5: Mercertown: Trainer doesn’t ask too much first out. This is the showtime start

2: Alternative Route: First-timer and big-ticket purchase has been working well

1: San Elijo: Another working well for first start for Stidham and Bravo.

Race 10

6: Money Flows: In form horse has few questions to answer about ability and speed

1: Fear the Cowboy: A bit of a break in weight today will help chances to win.

Race 11

5: MG Warrior: Ran second to likely Sugar Bowl winner so that is good enough for me.

11: Vallier: Think this one can run some judging by workouts a few months ago.

Race 12

12: Lady Into Mischief: Those Into Mischief horses love this track and this one working well.

5: Lighting Twice: Was well bet first out but showed nothing: another shot today.

Race 13

6: Jane Ran a Double: Gets to dirt and should show some speed here for Robby.

4: Pinky Promise: Has good race over this track and a repeat makes tough to beat.

Around the Track

Race 6 is the Buddy Diliberto Stakes, honoring one of the greatest sports reporters of the past 50 years as Buddy D loved the ponies and reporting about the Saints. Unfortunately Buddy died in 2005, a few years before the Saints won the Super Bowl but he vowed to walk down Bourbon Street wearing a dress if the boys ever won. Bobby Hebert, who took Buddy’s radio show over, kept the promise for Buddy D after the Super Bowl win.

Best Bet

Our Best Bet today will be in Race 1- # 1 Joyous Thunder. Has to find a bit more speed to day but will be a good price to take a shot. Good Luck and may they all come home safely.