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

6 Classy Yankee: Made a nice in first start to get in contention.

1 Lookout Mountain: Nice set of works leading up to this first start.

Race 2

1 Jazzy Genius: Off the turf selection has best dirt form of these.

5 Powder Road: Ran second on a sloppy track in last and short odds.

Race 3

7 Set The Bar: Tepid pick in a race that nearly every horse has a case to be made.

6 Rosettas Charm: Will probably go to the front and try to wire this field.

Race 4

6 Pure Reason: Robby Albarado takes the call on this Asmusssen Friday.

2 Bella Ranger: Big drop down to claimers looks suspicious.

Race 5

6 Aaron of Goshen: Proven to fit at this level and distance and gets barn change.

2 Montbrooks Miracle: Ran some really fast races here last meet.

Race 6

16 Masters Degree: Has the speed to control this one with moisture in track.

1 Fist Full: Consistent sort at lower levels steps up Friday but can contend.

Race 7

3 Candip: Back to the dirt sprint and looks to be speed of the speed.

1 The Trunk Monkey: Jones has won with these comebackers all meet — short


Race 8

1 Tunica Girl: Looks to get lead from inside on the dirt and control race.

2 Treaty Oak: Has a few good dirt races and last was big win.

Race 9

3 Redtacular: This is the last time I will pick this horse to win — promise!

1 My Ronnie’s On: Needs to figure out his running style to run best.

Around the Track

The track got a bit of rain on Wednesday, and Friday’s picks are for OFF the turf

racing. Frankly, these off the turf events make handicapping for value very tough, so tread lightly on the picks. On a brighter note, champion filly Untapable had her first work of the year last week in preparation for her 4- year-old season. It is unlikely she will make a start at the Fair Grounds before the end of the meet.

Best Bet

Our Best Bet will be in Race 4 , No. 6 — Pure Reason. It was hard to find a Best Bet on Friday, but let’s go with the Asmussen horse Pure Reason, who has a win from two starts.

Good luck, and may they all come home safely.