Stay Lucky Guide: Penultimate Weekend of Inaugural Season


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Stay Lucky offers participants the opportunity to win great prizes by stringing together winners in Thoroughbred races. Unbroken streaks of five, seven, nine, 14, 17 and 20 reward the players with a prize or choice of prizes. Terms and conditions apply.

The object is simple: pick winners from North American graded stakes races that draw at least six entrants. Races will be scored in real time but streaks will be updated only once daily to make sure they are scored in the correct order.

Pick as many races each weekend as you like, but be sure to play at least one race every weekend or your streak will be reset.

With only two weekends left in the 2017 Stay Lucky season, time is running out to build your streak and try to win some great prizes. Get started this weekend with a schedule headline by three graded stakes on Saturday at Belmont Park.

Saturday, Oct. 28

Athenia Stakes (3:43 p.m. ET): My first instinct is to push in hard on Elysea’s World (#1) off a runner-up finish to Quidura in the Grade 2 Canadian Stakes on Sept. 16 for Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown, and she will be my pick here, but there are a couple of reasons to hedge. Six opponents enter off of stakes wins and another runner, Penjade (#10), has won three straight for Brown. In fact, Brown has three entered in the race and Off Limits (#7) also looks to be peaking with three wins in her last four starts, including a win in the Grade 3 Noble Damsel Stakes in her most recent race. I just don’t feel confident enough to make Elysea’s World a top play, especially given her stablemates look formidable.

Turnback the Alarm Handicap (4:16 p.m. ET): I guess I lean toward Miss Sky Warrior (#3) here, but this is a 3-year-old filly making her first start in 5 ½ months and tackling older females for the first time. She had won five straight before a dud in the mud in the Kentucky Oaks and she is training exceptionally well, but this is a challenging spot off the long layoff.

Ontario Fashion Stakes (4:37 p.m. ET): Moonlit Promise (#6) and River Maid (#8), the top two finishers, respectively, separated by three-quarters of a length in the Sweet Briar Too Stakes are set for a rematch in the Ontario Fashion Stakes. This is a pretty evenly matched field that also includes Stormy Victoria (#3), who has raced exclusively on grass in the U.S., but won on a synthetic track in Europe and is the fastest horse in the race. I give a slight nod to Stormy Victoria.

Bold Ruler Stakes (4:49 p.m. ET): This race drew a field of 11 nice sprinters who are just a cut below those headed to the TwinSpires Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Awesome Banner (#2) comes in to the race off a runner-up finish by a nose to Whitmore in the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes on Oct. 6 at Keeneland. He’ll probably vie for favoritism with Grade 1 Vosburgh Stakes third-place finisher Stallwalkin’ Dude (#7), who is a force at Belmont Park, Seymourdini (#9), who has won three straight by a combined margin of 36 ¼ lengths, and Grade 2 Kelso Handicap runner-up Divining Rod (#11). I also expect Mr. Crow (#10), who faded late at 2.90-1 in the Vosburgh, to get some play. Tough race.

Hagyard Fayette Stakes (5:30 p.m. ET): I’m going to make my top pick this week Neolithic (#2) despite the fact that he’s winless in four stakes attempts. Three of his last four races have come in the Grade 1 Woodward Stakes, $10-million Dubai World Cup, and $12-million Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes, and he ran third in all three so he’s got some serious class. He also looks like the controlling speed in this race. I’m hoping he goes right to the front and plays catch me if you can.

Twilight Derby (7:30 p.m. ET): I like Just Howard (#4) riding a four-race winning streak and coming off an impressive Grade 3 win on Sept. 30 at Laurel Park. But this is a very tough, deep field, as Equibase handicapper Ellis Starr discussed in detail in this week's race analysis with at least six horses capable of winning. It's a pass for me for Stay Lucky.

Sunday, Oct. 29

Autumn Miss Stakes (TBA p.m. ET): Lull (#11) has been racing consistently in stakes against strong competition and posted an impressive win in September in the $300,000 Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint Stakes. She probably will be the favorite based on class, but I see at least five others capable of winning and perhaps even more. Beautiful Becca (#3) and Domestic Vintage (#7) both enter off impressive rallies from off the pace to win on this turf course at this one-mile distance. I also think Meadowsweet (#9), a half-sister to Grade 1-winning turf specialists After Market and Courageous Cat, could be sitting on a breakthrough race. Tread lightly if you have a nice streak but otherwise fire away.

Top 2 Stay Lucky Plays

(Top plays – 34 winners/77 picks)

1. Neolithic (Hagyard Fayette Stakes)

2. Miss Sky Warrior (Turnback the Alarm Handicap)

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