Stay Lucky Guide: Action Heats Up at Jersey Shore, North of Border


Welcome to the 2018 Stay Lucky season! You will notice new prizes and smoother performance for the new season, along with presenting sponsor Equestricon!

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve downloaded the app and are ready to start picking winners. If you have not yet downloaded Stay Lucky, what are you waiting for?

Get the iOS version of the app here.

The Android version of the app on Google Play can be downloaded here.

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’s schedule is headlined by a trio of graded stakes at both Monmouth Park and Woodbine on Saturday.

Saturday, June 30

King Edward Stakes (2:53 p.m. ET): This might look foolish at 3 p.m. on Saturday, but I liked the way well-bred Delta Prince (#8) developed as a 4-year-old and he looked like a budding star once shifted to grass. This is a lot to ask in his first start off a layoff of more than 8 ½ months and his first try on a tricky Woodbine turf course, but I’ve been waiting for this now 5-year-old to make his return.

Dance Smartly Stakes (4:18 p.m. ET): I lean ever so slightly toward Inflexibility (#7) in this race, but there are seven or eight entered with a realistic shot at winning. Pass.

Philip H. Iselin Stakes (4:23 p.m. ET): Page McKenney (#3) is a hard-hitting 8-year-old gelding coming off a nice win on this racetrack. With 12 wins in 22 starts at this distance and in strong form, he feels like a solid play.

Highlander Stakes (4:51 p.m. ET): Other than European shippers, I usually shy away from horses traveling to Woodbine and racing on this turf course for the first time, but so far Imprimis (#2) has done everything right. He’s 4-for-4 and he won every race by open lengths. This is a significant class test, but I give Imprimis the nod in a deep field.

Eatontown Stakes (4:55 p.m. ET): Special Event (#2) is improving and a win candidate here for Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey, and Lift Up (#3) is 5-for-5 on the grass for Michael Dickinson, but trainer Chad Brown’s pair — Elysea’s World (#1) and Dream Awhile (#4) — also look formidable. I think you can toss Elysea’s World’s disappointing most recent start because it came on soft turf. She’s been very consistent on firm ground and she’s consistently fast. A good race but a tough call for Stay Lucky purposes.

Mother Goose Stakes (5:18 p.m. ET): I love Midnight Bisou (#2). She was my pick in the Longines Kentucky Oaks and ran quite well to finish third despite a very wide trip. She’d be my top pick this week if not for the presence of unbeaten Road to Victory (#6), the only filly to date to defeat Kentucky Oaks winner Monomoy Girl. I still like Midnight Bisou, but my enthusiasm is a little tempered by a daunting opponent.

Princess Rooney Stakes (5:30 p.m. ET): Curlin’s Approval (#1) won this race last year and she loves this racetrack (8-for-14) and distance (5-for-11). She looks like the class of the field, but she can be pretty inconsistent and I’ve been burned by her several times before so she rates below my top plays.

Bashford Manor Stakes (5:56 p.m. ET): These 2-year-old races in early summer are tough because most of the horses have raced only once or twice and are stretching out in distance an extra eighth of a mile or more. If you don’t have an active streak, by all means fire away, but I never have much confidence in these races unless there is a clear standout, which there does not appear to be here.

United Nations Stakes (6:01 p.m. ET): I thought One Go All Go (#2) lost any chance in the Grade 1 Woodford Reserve Manhattan Stakes when he did not get the lead, but he still turned in a career-best 121 Equibase Speed Figure and battled to the end to finish only 3 ¼ lengths behind the winner. He’s very tough when he controls the pace and I think he has a good chance to lead every step of the way.

Smile Sprint Handicap (6:02 p.m. ET): X Y Jet (#8) is coming off a second-place finish by a head in the $2 million Dubai Golden Shaheen. He’s the fastest horse in the race and he’s a strong play with a 5-for-11 record at Gulfstream Park plus seven wins in 12 starts at this distance.

Sunday, July 1

Dominion Day Stakes (4:05 p.m. ET): Are You Kidding Me (#5) is the 8-5 morning-line favorite coming off back-to-back wins. In those two wins he defeated familiar rival Melmich (#2), the second choice at 5-2 on the morning line and a horse Are You Kidding Me has seen in each of his last four races. I like Melmich to turn the tables here on Are You Kidding Me because of the 1 1/4 –mile distance. Melmich is 2-for-2 at 1 ¼ miles, including a clear win in this race a year ago, while Are You Kidding Me is winless in three attempts at the distance. They look like the clear top two in this race with two wins each in four head-to-head matchups in the last 12 months, and I lean toward the horse better suited to the distance.

Mike’s Top 3 Stay Lucky Plays

(20 winners from 56 top plays in 2018)

1. X Y Jet (Smile Sprint Handicap)

2. Page McKenney (Philip H. Iselin Stakes)

3. Melmich (Dominion Day Stakes)

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