Stay Lucky Guide: Preakness Stakes Edition


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 slate is anchored by the 143rdPreakness Stakes card on May 19, which will be preceded Friday by the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes card, which includes four graded stakes. ABR put together a handy guide, NBC’s Coverage Anchors Where to Watch/Listen During Preakness Week, for fans who want to follow all of the action this week for the second jewel of the Triple Crown.

Friday, May 18

Adena Springs Miss Preakness Stakes (2:39 p.m. ET): Right now, The Weather Channel is calling for a 100-percent chance of precipitation for Friday and steady rain from late Thursday night through Friday morning/afternoon. I think you have to handicap these four Friday Stay Lucky races (and probably Saturday’s races at Pimlico, too) as though they will be contested on a muddy or sloppy track and adjust if the rain breaks and the sun magically comes out. With that in mind, I’ll be looking for horses who have won on wet tracks and eliminating those who have performed poorly on them. Good Move (#9) has a win on a wet track. She’s 2-for-2 and training very well, but I’m going to try to beat her with Almond Roca (#8) who is back sprinting on the main track and figures to get a perfect setup from just behind several speed horses.

Pimlico Special Stakes (3:43 p.m. ET): Something Awesome (#8) has won five of his last six races and is 2-for-3 on a wet racetrack. I think One Liner (#2) is the chief competition, but Something Awesome seems better suited to handle the 1 3/16-mile distance.

Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (4:48 p.m. ET): Prior to a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Honeybee Stakes, Red Ruby (#4) had won two straight, including a win on a sloppy track in the Martha Washington Stakes that was her best performance to date. I would have picked her on a dry track, too, as this one was pointing to the Longines Kentucky Oaks before a mishap at the barn with a spooked stablemate caused her to miss training with several cuts that required stitches.

Allaire DuPont Distaff Stakes (5:57 p.m. ET): This looks like a coin flip between Verve’s Tale (#6) and Blue Prize (#7), a pair of graded stakes winners each with a win over the other. I think the possibility of a wet track maybe shifts the scales slightly toward Verve’s Tale, but I wouldn’t risk a significant streak on it.

Saturday, May 19

Dixie Stakes (2:07 p.m. ET): As I wrote earlier, I’ll handicap these races assuming they will be contested on a wet track or, in this case, on rain-softened turf. Champion World Approval (#7) loves a little give in the ground as he’s won three of his last four starts on turf rated good or yielding. He’s the best horse in the race and the conditions should suit him. 

Gallorette Handicap (3:25 p.m. ET): French-bred Blessed Silence (#6) has plenty of experience racing  on soft and heavy turf in her native country and should be dangerous. I’d definitely consider playing her if the ground comes up especially soft, but if not, there are more talented fillies and mares in this race.

Maryland Sprint Handicap (4:05 p.m. ET): There are a number of runners who have had success on wet racetracks in this field. I think Fellowship (#8) could capitalize on the track conditions combined with an abundance of early speed for an off-the-pace win at a nice price, but I’ll stay away from this race for Stay Lucky purposes.

Selene Stakes (5:08 p.m. ET): This is a tough race to handicap. If you draw a line though Dixie Moon’s (#2) last race on yielding turf, she makes a lot of sense here. She’s 2-for-2 on this Woodbine synthetic main track, including a stakes win at this 1 1/16-mile distance. Go Noni Go (#8) was very impressive in winning the Grade 3 Bourbonette Oaks on the synthetic surface at Turfway Park on March 17, and I also think Get Explicit (#5) is much improved from when she ran third behind two of the runners entered in this race.

Louisville Handicap (5:26 p.m. ET): Some in Tieme (#7) looks like the class of the field on paper and he’s the fastest horse in the race, but it’s impossible to enthusiastically endorse him based upon his current five-race winless stretch that includes four unplaced finishes. I can’t make a great case for any of the others in here, so I’ll pass.

Soaring Softly Stakes (5:33 p.m. ET): With so much rain in the forecast for New York as well, I have a hunch this race comes off the grass and is run on the main track. If that is the case, I really like the chances of Elevenses (#5). If it stays on the grass, Africa (#8) ran well on good to soft turf in France and could be the beneficiary.

Arlington Matron Stakes (5:44 p.m. ET): I view Con Te Partiro (#4) as the best horse in the field by a significant margin, but this is her first try on a synthetic surface so tread carefully.

Preakness Stakes (6:48 p.m. ET): I’m probably one of the few that would have liked Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve winner Justify (#7) even better on a fast track, but fast, muddy, or sloppy he’s by far the best horse in the race and should win the Preakness.

Mike’s Top 4 Stay Lucky Play

(Twelve winners from 41 top plays in 2018)

1. Justify (Preakness Stakes)

2. World Approval (Dixie Stakes)

3.  Something Awesome (Pimlico Special Stakes)

4. Red Ruby (Black-Eyed Susan Stakes)

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