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

7 Mad World: Think this one will get a good pace to close into for the win.

5 I Just Wanna Have Fun: Off a layoff has the speed to lead them a long way.

Race 2

6 Cotton Club Cutie: Favorite fits like a glove here in this heat.

7 Lizzy in DC: Will have the early speed to contend and could be one to catch.

Race 3

1 Perfect Tap: Moves inside for better position inside for this trip.

7 Sugar Street: Likely favorite and clearly fits with these for Roussel.

Race 4

4 Broadway Show: Horse could be the real deal with powerful first out win.

6 Miss Ruby’s Legacy: Big back-to-back wins for Amoss but gets test Saturday.

Race 5

10 Irish Magic: Has good turf races and drops down a bit for easier.

6 Five One Three: Big price on a horse that ran against some good ones on turf.

Race 6

1 Indycott: Sharp claim needs to improve just a bit to have big shot to upset.

5 Hazards of Love: Twenty-two time winner likes to win and is in good spot Saturday.

Race 7

6 Kingston Terrace: Should be able to get nice stalk position behind other speed.

8 Fly to the Sky: Proven closer needs some pace up front for his kick.

Race 8

5 Echo Warrior: Fits Asmussen profile of second time starters and ran behind star in last.

6 Cashlin: Amoss charge should complete a rather chalky exacta.

Race 9

8 Trifecta: Should relish the turf with the breeding and ran a good third in last.

3 Dry Affair: Ran into a sloppy track first out but gets chance on turf in here.

Race 10

8 Executive Call: Dropping down for the win Saturday for Calhoun and connections.

5 Pummil: Honest last couple of efforts can get the job done Saturday.

Race 11

11Trad Jazz: Shipper from Steffee barn tries dirt and Louisiana breds for first time Saturday.

5 Lil Becky: Has the early speed that is needed in these type of races.

Around the Track

Happy Valentines Day to all! Let’s see if we can get a few extra chocolates in the basket with our picks today. We are racing on Lundi Gras and Mardi Gras at the Fair Grounds with a regular post time of 1:25 on Monday and early post of noon on Mardi Gras Day. There is a big weekend of racing awaiting post Mardi Gras when Louisiana Derby Preview Day features six stakes races on Saturday Feb. 21. The six stakes include the graded stakes Risen Star, Rachel Alexandra, Mineshaft and Fair Grounds Handicap.

Best Bet

Our Best Bet will be in Race 6, No. 1 Indycott. New claim by red hot trainer Joe Sharp needs to beat hard knocker Hazards of Love but can do it at a price.

Good luck, and may they all come home safely.