Stay Lucky Guide: Jersey Shore to Southern California


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.

This week the action heats up at the Jersey Shore, where Monmouth Park plays host to multiple graded stakes, and in Southern California at Santa Anita Park, which boasts a pair of Grade 1 races on Saturday.

Saturday, May 26

Eclipse Stakes (4:57 p.m. ET): Melmich (#1) and Are You Kidding Me (#4) are familiar rivals, with the former winning two matchups in the second half of 2017 and the latter taking their most recent battle on May 5. Both are synthetic track specialists as is Gigantic Breeze (#2). Sir Dudley Digges (#7) is an accomplished turf runner who has won one of two tries on synthetic tracks. I’m looking elsewhere.

Winning Colors Stakes (5:26 p.m. ET): At her best, Golden Mischief (#2) is probably the most talented of this group, but she is wildly inconsistent. I prefer stablemate Pinch Hit (#3) but not enough to make her top play this week.

The Gold Cup at Santa Anita (5:30 p.m. ET): Accelerate (#2) is a Grade 1 winner in terrific form looking to avenge a loss to City of Light (#4) in the Oaklawn Handicap on April 14. Add Dr. Dorr (#5) to the mix off a 7 ¼-length romp in the Grade 2 Californian Stakes and you have the makings for a great race, but hardly a great spot to take a Stay Lucky stand.

Salvator Mile Stakes (5:58 p.m. ET): Shaft of Light (#2) gets the nod here stretching out an extra eighth of a mile after dominant wins at seven-eighths of a mile in his previous two starts. His trainer is dominant on this circuit.

Charles Whittingham Stakes (6 p.m. ET): Itsinthepost (#6) is very good at Santa Anita Park, so I’m willing to forgive a third-place finish by less than a length when shipping to Kentucky for a Grade 2 race in April. He’s consistently fast and has the running style to place himself in an ideal spot.

Arlington Classic Stakes (6:13 p.m. ET): I lean toward Alternative Route (#3) in a race that came up pretty light, but he’s a significant rink making his first start on grass. He comes off a nice stakes win for a trainer I really respect in Al Stall Jr.

Monmouth Stakes (6:29 p.m. ET): Divisidero (#4) figures to be the heavy favorite in this race, and he’s the fastest horse in the race, but it can be tough closing from way back at Monmouth Park. On the plus side, I do think this is his best distance.

Gamely Stakes (7 p.m. ET): There are a number of very talented females in here as you’d expect for a Grade 1 race. I think Hawksmoor (#7) has a shot to click here at a nice price. She probably needed her last race in her first start of the year and has run well when shipping to the West Coast in the past.

Sunday, May 27

Nassau Stakes (4:57 p.m. ET): Starship Jubilee (#4) is 4-for-4 in one-mile turf races and won this race last year. She’s also in good form with a win and a runner-up finish by a neck in two starts this year. But I don’t view her as a slam dunk. Grizzel (#7) has made six of her last seven starts in graded stakes and rates a contender at her best, while Bletchley (#5) is eligible to improve coming off an unplaced finish in a Grade 1 race and Jennifer Lynnette (#1) could be dangerous stretching out from sprints to a mile.

Monday, May 28 (Note: Monday races count for the following week)

Shoemaker Mile Stakes (6:30 p.m. ET): Heart to Heart (#6) is the 2-1 morning-line favorite and very dangerous when left to control the pace, which could happen in this race. But he is 0-for-3 on the Santa Anita turf, while Bowies Hero (#2) enters off a Grade 1 win at this distance on this turf course and has won five of eight at this distance. He is the pick.

All American Stakes (6:45 p.m. ET): With 2-1 morning-line favorite The Lieutenant (#3) making his first start on a synthetic surface, this sets up as a leap-of-faith race. If I had a streak of one or came in at zero, I’d take a shot, but otherwise I would pass.

Monrovia Stakes (8 p.m. ET): Belvoir Bay (#3) is 2-for-2 this season, both in stakes on this unique, 6 ½-furlong downhill turf course. I think he is a standout.

Mike’s Top 4 Stay Lucky Play

(Fourteen winners from 44 top plays in 2018)

1. Itsinthepost (Charles Whittingham Stakes)

2. Shaft of Light (Salvator Mile Stakes)

3. Bowies Hero (Shoemaker Mile Stakes)

4. Belvoir Bay (Monrovia Stakes)

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