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

4. It’s Delectable: Tepid choice in a heat filled with non-winning efforts.

5. Oh Nurse Blues: Has shown some interest early in races which will help.

Race 2

6. Gumdrop: Drops in looking for a winner after running into some good ones.

3. Tontos Sister: Big win must in last must be respected.

Race 3

2. Gracious Ray Flynn: Should get a fast track for the first time in last two.

1a. Storm Cap: Part of an entry gets the preferred rider for the stable.

Race 4

7. Etta J: Hard to fault efforts in last two and a repeat wins here.

5. Nannys Peach: Big effort first out last two were bad but can rebound.

Race 5

6. Brilliant Interest: Should get the lead which is favorable in these sprints.

7. Knockitdownhard: Should get a very good trip behind early speed.

Race 6

7. Fast Cast: Respect the speed this one showed in last.

6. Surf Classic: Looks to get a good trip for stalk and pounce mode.

Race 7

7. Ithirtyconnection: Respect these horses by Lydgate on turf.

6. Discreetly Grand: Good first run and trainer is having career meet.

Race 8

4. Echo Forty Four: Ships in from Delta Downs for this and gets good setup.

7. Eighth at City Park: Drops to lowest level in long time after good effort.

Race 9

1. Indygo Star: Dropper for Amoss with synthetic sire star Indygo Shiner.

3. Annoy: Big run in last bodes well for top effort today.

Around the Track

Card today looks a bit chalky to me so just pick your spots on the Lundi Gras card. I prefer the later part of the card and we will try a pick four in our best bets section.

Best Bet

Our best bet today will be in Race 8 — No. 4 Echo Forty Four. Amoss loses favorite in race Populist Politics, but has a runner to challenge in his charge. Good luck and may they all come home safely.