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.
4. Fist Full: In a very good spot to get a back-to-back win.
5. Deelightful Angel: Will try to stretch speed to finish line.
3. Lakeleigh Longlegs: Trainer Johnson quietly having a terrific first month.
8. Sammies Touch: Some class relief, which will help chances.
5. All Flash: First-time starter has shown life in mornings.
4. Betterwithbourbon: Got a good education first out and showed signs of speed.
Off-turf selections: 5-4
7. Aniar: Freshened for new trainer for this first start for connections.
5. Five One Three: Not a bad last race; looks to improve start for better results
1. Fiery Dream: Should get a dream trip from the inside sitting off the speed.
5. Intheblinkofaneye: No reason can’t rebound with his speed.
Off-turf selections: 16-14
1. Waging War: Always highly thought of; now must prove it.
5. A M Milky Way: Professional win in last race as my choice; faces tougher challengers today.
7. Best Interest: Class test today but last was needed and was impressive win.
9. Aves Halo: Turf sprint specialist will be tough to beat.
Off-turf selections: 11-4
2. Tough Spark: Gets slight nod with better post position.
11. Getcha Mind Rite: Must overcome tough post but is fastest.
10. Uneven Steven: Trainer races them into shape, and this is third off layoff.
5. Beaus Braham: Expect jockey to put this one on the lead.
8. Awesome Aubrey: Almost got the win in her last; should be right there.
Around the track
As we enter the new year, a quick glance at the trainer and jockey standings shows little change from a few weeks ago. Trainer Tom Amoss and jockey James Graham continue their domination, and I don’t expect that to change much in the next few weeks. The race for second in the trainer standings is crowded with nearly a dozen trainers having seven to nine wins compared with Amoss’ leading total of 23.
It will be in Race 4: No. 7, Aniar. This one ran very good in his last and goes for red-hot trainer Joe Sharp after posting a nice workout in last. Odds won’t be much but, as they say around the track after an odds-on favorite wins, “You can’t find that on the street!” Good luck, and may they all come home safely.