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.

Picks made today for fast track and off turf.

First race

7. Southern Snow: Hit board in only two races likes to sit back and pounce late.

6. Swamped: Drops to where she can win will improve going back to dirt.

Second race

1. Classy Grey Lassy: Grey gets rail and lasix in debut and takes on the boys.

5. M B Puck: Goes shorter looking for an improvement.

Third race

3. Annoy: Drops down just missed in last adds blinkers and will push early pace .

5. Classy Corinthian: Another with early speed signed up that failed as favorite in last two.

Fourth race

8. Holiday Touch: Stidham sends out one with highest last race speed figure in field.

5. Self Starter: Gelding early speed will help here only start at distance was a win .

Fifth race

7. Little Ariel: Drops down looks to improve going to dirt as early speed signed up.

4. Marcy: Trainer good off layoff horse has good dirt speed has shot in here.

Sixth race

5. Fusaichi Flame: Stakes placed horse drops in class goes dirt to turf.

2. Full Metal: Just missed in last two will be coming late well bred for turf.

Off turf selections: 5-4.

Seventh race

7. King of Honour: Drops to his lowest level but will be a threat late shipping in.

6. Saint Dominic: Came close in last three will look for an improved effort.

Eighth race

7. Sashay: Has run well on turf and can fire against these under new trainer.

1. Clairenation: Went third in debut off a solid effort and nice turf pedigree lines.

Off turf selections: 7-6.

Ninth race

1. Officer Griffin: Drops in class gets rail of sharp workout for Sharp but in for tag.

4. Doc Almon: Has won three career races at the course runs best off the pace.

tEnth race

9. Major Ashworth: Coming off five solid efforts will be coming late in here today.

1. Lookout Mountain: Goes back to a turf route adds blinkers at a big price.

Off turf selections: 2-1.


8. Eighth At Citypark: Drops in class coming off a slew of consistent efforts.

7. Little Dollar: Ran well in last two can get job done today sitting right off the pace.

Around the Track

The rain on Friday could put turf racing in jeopardy Sunday but the main track will be fast. The biggest day of racing of the Fair Grounds season is March 26. Eight stakes races capped off by The Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby, the Twinspires.com Fair Grounds Oaks. Some sad news to report in the passing of Vicars In Trouble. The Louisiana Derby and Super Derby winner of 2014 succumbed to complications from laminitis, which set in after an injury during the running of the Breeders Cup Mile last year. Our condolences to his connections.

Best Bet

Our best bet today will be in Race 9 — No. 1 Officer Griffin. Is the morning line favorite in here and gave a game effort last month in the Kenner Stakes. Good luck and may they all come home safely.