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

4. Cartographer: A horse who was bet in first two starts gets a bit of relief here.

1. Blues Museum: Nice runs in last two and gets inside post in the mile race.

second race

4. Sweet Hall: Legit early speed and the inside post makes this one live.

3. Jeanines Pride: Just missed in last at the level and might get good setup.

third race

1. Aniar: Gets the rail and moved up in class for new stable.

2. Hayqs Fable: Big win and run in the last in an off the turf affair.

fourth race

2. Rue Bellamy: Will have the necessary speed to get position in the mile rade.

4. Mr Green Girl: Has won his last two dirt mile races at the Fair Grounds.

On turf selections: 7-10.

fifth race

2. Its Geaux Time: Two races at 6f are a bit slower than others but right running style.

3. If I Ever: New barn sometimes means all the difference for a big race.

sixth race

3. Sun and Sand: Has shown good dirt form and was better than looked.

1. Street Rhythm: Horst to beat after a couple of good efforts .

On turf selections: 3-1.

seventh race

8. Catfeinated: First off the claim for nation’s leading trainer is good angle.

4. Zambito: Clearly will be the one to run down but a lot of company up front.

eighth race

8. Majestic Angel: Might have been best in last but got an education out of the loss.

10. Exclusively Emma: Tough heats at Churchill and gave good account of talent.

On turf selections: 8-1.

  • inth race

1-1a. — Whichever of the entry trainer Bruggerman runs is my top choice.

3. Divas Delight: Will show improvement on the drop down in class for Margoiis.

Around the Track

Today is the first day of the 3-day National Handicapping Championship held in Las Vegas. The total prize pool to crown the best handicapper in the country will be over $2.5 million. Along with several other Louisiana handicappers, including my brother Ben Beychok, John Kaiser, Wayne Collier, Charlie Ricks, Tim Averill and Doug Draper, will be trying to win the $800,000 top prize and the coveted Eclipse Award that goes along with the title of National Handicapper of the Year.

Best Bet

Our best bet today will be in Race 4 — No. 2 Rue Bellamy. Should have the necessary early zip to gain a good stalking position. Good luck and may they all come home safely.