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

10. Friends With Money: The 5.5 furlong distance is perfect for this one.

2. Jasons Arrowhead: On the freshening and the drop this one is live.

Race 2

1. My Dream is Wild: Gets Graham and got an education first time out.

5. Grayson?s Yankee: First two weren’t too bad and could be good enough today.

Race 3

12. Taylors Grand: Love the outside post here with some speed to pressure.

3. Hylands Will: Second try for new barn and fits nicely in this heat.

Race 4

5. Ithirtyconnection: Two good ones on turf point to a win today if on the weeds.

2. Top Figure: Does indeed have one of the top figures in here — positive rider change.

If no dirt — 5-10.

Race 5

11. Quick Indian: Has put some nice ones together — needs a good trip.

10. Caliparis Kitten: Last three very solid and goes for new barn today.

Race 6

1. Starship Duchess: Choice on turf or dirt — very quick and speedy.

3. Stoupinator: Not had the best of trips in last few — clean trip makes dangerous.

If on dirt — 1-5

Race 7

4. Noon Sky: Takes a pretty big drop and finds much softer competition today.

1a. Mr. Jerry: Not a bad first out — needs to improve but can win at long odds.

Race 8

7. First Whipporwill: Has had clear leads in last two — needs to find a bit more.

3. Tickle Again: Will be trying to close ground under Robby Alborado late.

Race 9

2. Brink of War: First for Sharp and this good class horse should prevail.

7. Proven Warrior: Right level and distance for this one .

Race 10

9. Livin for Love: Firster has steady fast works in her pattern for this.

10. Dating Lady Luck: Wasn’t disgraced against Shook Up — deserves another shot.

If on dirt — 10-5

Race 11

4. Harnersbach: Just needs to relax a bit early and Graham sticks which is positive.

5. Fleeting Image: Should be the one to catch today for Sharp and Mena.

Around the Track

Trainer Dallas Stewart has run second in the last two runnings of the Kentucky Derby and may have an entrant again this year as West Point Stable’s Defondo is being considered for the Louisiana Derby. A brilliant winner of his maiden race, Defondo ran well enough in his two turn debut that Stewart is at least considering the Louisiana Derby as the next start for his runner. When looking for live long shots in the Louisiana Derby or Kentucky Derby, never look further than the Dallas Stewart runner.

Best Bet

Our best bet today will be in Race 9 the No. 2 horse Brink of War. A recent claim by Joe Sharp, this runner has some back class and any improvement puts him in the winner’s circle today. Good luck and may they all come home safely.