Stay Lucky Weekly Guide: Whitney Weekend


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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.

This weekend the focus is on Saratoga Race Course, which will host the $1.2 million Whitney Stakes, a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” race that will be televised Saturday on NBC from 5-6 p.m. ET.

Friday, Aug. 4

National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (5:40 p.m. ET): When Grade 2 American Turf Stakes Presented by Ram Trucks winner Arklow (#10) is 10-to-1 on the morning line, you know it’s a deep field. Any one of five or six horses can win, so it’s not an ideal Stay Lucky spot.

Saturday, Aug. 5

Fasig-Tipton Waya Stakes (2:10 p.m. ET): I have a hunch Suffused (#4) will go off as the favorite, but she lost her last two starts as the favorite and there are some dangerous opponents here in Apple Betty (#1) and graded stakes winners Summersault (#7) and Guilty Twelve (#8). Tough call but a pass for me.

Longines Test Stakes (5:10 p.m. ET): Four fillies enter the Test with winning streaks of two or more, including unbeaten Your Love (#2) from the barn of 2016 Eclipse Award winner Chad Brown and Hall of Famer Bob Baffert’s Grade 2 Summertime Oaks winner Faypien (#8). I’m on the American Gal (#10) bandwagon here, but I don’t feel especially confident about it.

West Virginia Derby (5:21 p.m. ET): I like horses with a little bit of tactical speed in the West Virginia Derby and B Squared (#4) fits the bill. I expect fan favorite Patch (#3) and Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands runner-up Lookin At Lee to take most of the prerace headlines but B Squared to take home the winner’s share.

Whitney Stakes (5:46 p.m. ET): Gun Runner (#6) is a top play this week. He’s the class of this field and in terrific form. But I am very worried about Tu Brutus (#4). He had a legitimate excuse in his most recent race when he failed as the heavy favorite as trainer Gary Contessa discovered an infection in his nasal passage. I like a Gun Runner-Tu Brutus exacta in that order, but I wouldn’t be shocked it the order was reversed. Just a note of caution.

Sorrento Stakes (7:30 p.m. ET): Races for 2-year-old fillies are difficult for me early in the season as they stretch out in distance because it’s tough to predict how maiden winners will handle their first taste of adversity. That’s why I think Surrender Now (#1) has a big edge here after dueling early in her most recent start in the Landaluce Stakes and pulling away to win by eight. She has two wins under her belt and I think that extra experience gives her a slight edge over Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert’s maiden winner Diamondsandpearls (#6), a $1.7-million purchase at auction in March.

Yellow Ribbon Handicap (8:30 p.m. ET): Last year’s Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf third-place finisher Avenge (#8) makes her second start of the year for Hall of Famer Richard Mandella in this race and she’s the class of the field. She’s a Grade 1 winner and 2-for-2 at Del Mar. My best bet of the weekend.

Sunday, Aug. 6

La Jolla Handicap (8:30 p.m. ET): Sharp Samurai (#7), the 5-to-2 morning-line favorite, looks tough in here with two wins from three tries on turf and enters off a stakes win. But I like Double Touch (#8) at his 8-to-1 price in here, although not nearly as much for Stay Lucky purposes. He was very good in his first start as a gelding and I think he has room to improve.

Top 3 Stay Lucky Plays

(Top plays – 19 winners/38 starters)

1. Avenge (Yellow Ribbon Handicap)

2. Gun Runner (Whitney Stakes)

3. B Squared (West Virginia Derby)

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