Stay Lucky Guide: Bounty of Options on Belmont Stakes Weekend


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?

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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.

The 150thBelmont Stakes brings with it arguably the best non-Breeders' Cup betting weekend of the year, with nine graded stakes among 10 stakes races highlighting a terrific card on Saturday at Belmont Park. But the action gets started at Belmont on Thursday with a pair of graded stakes and intensifies Friday with four more graded stakes. Then, after a mammoth card on Saturday, we close out the weekend with even more Stay Lucky action on Sunday. Don't miss any of the great racing: we've got a handy guide for where to watch and listen as budding superstar Justify attempts to become only the 13th U.S. Triple Crown winner in history on Saturday at approximately 6:46 p.m. ET in the Belmont Stakes.

Thursday, June 7

Intercontinental Stakes (5:14 p.m. ET): Lady Alexandra (#6) is the 2-1 morning-line favorite off a career-best race, but she hasn’t paired big efforts in the past and the heavy favorite she defeated in her last race, Stormy Victoria (#10), gets a rematch here. Delectation (#7) also looks dangerous coming off a sneaky-good fourth-place finish in a Grade 3 race on the Longines Kentucky Oaks undercard. I’m looking elsewhere.

Wonder Again Stakes (5:48 p.m. ET): I really like Mighty Starlett (#2) at a nice 8-1 price on the morning-line. I think it’s a pretty evenly matched field despite the presence of 8-5 morning-line favorite Significant Form (#5), who is a very nice filly that I’m happy to take a stand against.

Friday, June 8

Bed o’ Roses Invitational Stakes (1:52 p.m. ET): American Gal (#2) flashed her best form in winning the Grade 1 Humana Distaff Stakes on the Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve undercard and looks to be maturing into a very nice female sprinter. She’s got a win on the racetrack and she’s 2-for-3 at this distance. She’s facing some very nice fillies and mares here, however, so she’s just outside my top plays this week.

True North Stakes (4:42 p.m. ET): This is one of the most interesting races of the weekend with Grade 1 winner Joking (#2); returning off 20 months on the sideline, Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner-up Imperial Hint (#3) trying to rebound from his first unplaced finish in eight starts; and three runners coming off of recent stakes victories. Fun betting race, but I’ll avoid this one for Stay Lucky.

New York Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (5:14 p.m. ET): I LOVED Sistercharlie’s (#5) win in the Grade 1 Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes and I expect her to settle in and become one of the best female turf runners in the U.S. this season. She’s my top play for Friday.

Belmont Gold Cup Invitational Stakes (5:46 p.m. ET): Two-mile turf races are rare in the U.S., so when the Europeans invade for a race like this I take notice. It’s hard to imagine Queen Elizabeth would send over Call To Mind (#1) if she and trainer William Haggas didn’t expect him to run big. Not a slam dunk pick for me as I also like U.S.-based Rocketry (#10) stretching out for crafty trainer Jimmy Jerkens.

Saturday, June 9

Ogden Phipps Stakes (12:47 p.m. ET): Saturday’s Belmont Stakes card gets off with a nice race to extend of start a streak as I think Abel Tasman (#6) will be damn-near unbeatable in her second start following a long layoff for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. She finished fourth in a Grade 1 in her first start in six months on the Derby undercard and has worked very well since that race. She is a very strong play for me.

Acorn Stakes (1:24 p.m. ET): Extend your streak in back-to-back races with Longines Kentucky Oaks winner Monomoy Girl (#3). The 4-5 morning-line favorite in her first start since the Oaks looks extremely formidable in this race.

Brooklyn Invitational Stakes (2:03 p.m. ET): At age seven, Hoppertunity (#2) has lost some of the punch he had earlier in his career, but I liked what I saw in his first start at 1 ½ miles back in April and he has a win on this track. He’s not a top play, but I like him to win this race.

Jaipur Invitational Stakes (2:43 p.m. ET): Disco Partner (#5) absolutely freaked in this race a year ago, blitzing three-quarters of a mile in a ludicrous 1:05.67. He faces a tough field, though, including a couple of others who have shown an affinity for the Belmont turf.

Woody Stephens Stakes (3:22 p.m. ET): Stunned to see Strike Power (#12) at 9-2 on the morning line, but the far outside post position doesn’t help his chances. He’s 2-for-2 sprinting and I view his eighth-place finish in the 1 1/8-mile Xpressbet Florida Derby as a toss out when evaluating his chances. He gets the edge here.

Longines Just a Game Stakes (4:02 p.m. ET): A Raving Beauty (#7) looked like a potential monster in her U.S. debut when winning a Grade 3 race at Belmont Park in May. The competition is on a completely different level here, however, as you’d expect with five horses at 5-1 or less in a Grade 1 race. I think she’s the most likely winner, but even the two horses listed at 10-1 have a realistic shot to win. Great race!

Runhappy Metropolitan Handicap (4:45 p.m. ET): I’m taking a shot against 5-2 favorite Mind Your Biscuits (#1), an elite sprinter who is winless in two races at this distance. I like 12-1 One Liner (#6) to pull off an upset cutting back in distance coming off a solid second in a Grade 3 race.

Woodford Reserve Manhattan Stakes (5:40 p.m. ET): Beach Patrol (#10) came up a little short on Kentucky Derby day in a Grade 1 race on yielding turf in his first start in six months. Won’t happen again on Saturday.

Old Forester Mint Julep Handicap (5:58 p.m. ET): At her best, I think Res Ipsa (#1) is the best horse in this race. She gets a bit of class relief here coming out of a Grade 2 race on Kentucky Derby day to this Grade 3. She’s also run well at this distance.

Honeymoon Stakes (6:30 p.m. ET): The 5-2 morning line favorite, Fatale Bere (#5), comes off a nice Grade 3 win at this distance, but I see a few in this race who certainly have the qualifications to beat her. I’m passing on this race.

Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (6:46 p.m. ET): Don’t worry about Justify’s (#1) two Triple Crown race wins coming on a wet track if he gets a dry, fast track for the Belmont Stakes. He’s even faster on a dry track. I admit to a little bit of concern about the 1 ½-mile distance in his fourth race in nine weeks, but I think Justify brings home the Triple Crown sweep.

Sunday, June 10

Hendrie Stakes (4:57 p.m. ET): This race is a rematch between Let It Ride Mom (#7) and Moonlit Promise (#1), who were separated by only a head when the former took the Grade 3 Whimsical Stakes on April 28 on this track. Both have been terrific in synthetic surfaces as has morning-line third choice Scotty’s Model (#8). With three entrants at 3-1 or lower on the morning-line, I’ll look elsewhere for a winner this weekend.

Affirmed Stakes (7 p.m. ET): I expect Kentucky Derby runner and multiple Grade 1-placed Solomini (#5) to be heavily favored in this race, but it’s tough to jump in feet first on a 3-year-old who is pretty clearly trending in the wrong direction and has not officially posted a win in six races since his debut — he lost a victory via disqualification. It’s a pretty thin field though and might be the perfect opportunity to get a confidence-building win.

Mike’s Top 5 Stay Lucky Plays

(Seventeen winners from 51 top plays in 2018)

1. Abel Tasman (Ogden Phipps Stakes)

2. Monomoy Girl (Acorn Stakes)

3. Beach Patrol (Woodford Reserve Manhattan Stakes)

4. Sistercharlie (New York Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets)

5. Justify (Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets)

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