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Pols, ponies and reality TV

Gambling on reality show

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  Move over, Edwin Edwards. Louisiana-based Democratic political consultant Michael Beychok, along with a small cast, has landed a reality show with Esquire Network, a new cable channel from NBCUniversal. It has the working title Horseplayers.

  Beychok, a Baton Rouge native, grabbed national headlines last year by showing he was as good at handicapping thoroughbreds as he is at politics by winning the $1 million first-place prize from the National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas.

  So far, he and a cast of others have sold 10 episodes of the show, which begins airing in January. "The whole crux of the show is a bunch of guys traveling around to different tracks gambling and trying to win a lot of money," he said.

  The crew will shoot on opening night next month at the New Orleans Fairgrounds, among other locales, said Beychok, who has been producing direct mail for clients for more than 20 years.

  For Beychok, who does a good deal of work on congressional campaigns outside Louisiana, it has already become an overwhelming experience. "My whole background with TV has been 30-second commercials," he said. "Now I'm showing up and seeing two trucks, five cameras and a large crew and I've got very little control." — JEREMY ALFORD | LA POLITICS NEWS SERVICE

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