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

3. Sorcerer’s Appeal: Looks to have caught a weaker field than last time.

6. Star Shopper: Recent claim by Richards get Eramia in the irons.

Race 2

6. Northampton Kid: No reason this one can’t run on dirt as well as turf.

4. What an Image: Takes the big drop from MSW to MCLM for Asmussen.

Race 3

3. Fleeting Image: Claimed by Sharp and that is reason enough for selection.

4. Ten With a Two: Not without a punchers chance in here to upset at long odds.

Race 4

1. Cali Star: If on dirt looks very reliable as a top choice on the rail.

10. Tiz Lately: Throw out last moving up in class and on turf.

Race 5

4. Lloyd: This one has gotten good for Asmussen and can turn tables on rival.

7. Dark Brahams: Looks to be very solid on dirt and beat some of these two back.

Race 6

4. Officer Griffin: Ran against some toughies in last after reeling off four in a row.

1. M Dictation: The one to beat on the dirt with FloGo on board today.

Race 7

7. Vici: Threw a dud of sorts up at Oaklawn, but expect big rebound today.

4. Indict: Big win albeit against must softer in last but has gotten better.

Race 8

9. St. Landry Cat: Nice last couple races — might like longer distance.

1. Whoz Talkin Now: Gets rail and new jock and drops in class.

Race 9

1. Jumelaka: Trainer¹s horses are running right now and this one fits like glove here.

9. Persuade Me Lady: Good efforts on turf and dirt and gets Graham.

Around the Track

Looking back on the Risen Star Stakes fans may have seen the real deal in winner International Star. This Ken and Sarah Ramsey 3-year-old again showed a great deal of maturity and a real keen turn of foot in winning the Risen Star, and any farther distance does not look like a problem. He is now guaranteed a spot in the Kentucky Derby with his next start being the Louisiana Derby. In the Rachel Alexandra I¹m a Chatterbox left no doubts as to her future — she is a star worthy of following in the hoofsteps of previous winners of the 3-year filly races at the Fair Grounds and she is my favorite for the Kentucky Oaks. She showed a different aspect to her game by coming from off the pace and decisively running away from her foes.

Best Bet

Our best bet Thursday will be in Race 4 — No. 1 Cali Star. Expect this race to be on the dirt with all the rain we received yesterday and also expect this one to win at a bit shorter odds than we would normally accept ­— but this one is a stand out. Good luck and may they all come home safely.