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?
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 – the first of the official summer season – is light compared with the previous two, but still features some competitive graded stakes races scattered across the continent, including the Grade 3 Ohio Derby at Thistledown, which drew two horses that ran in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve.
Saturday, June 23
Singspiel Stakes (4:57 p.m. ET): The 1 ½-mile Singspiel over Woodbine’s unique turf course drew a competitive eight-horse field. Danish Dynaformer (#6) has the most back class but hasn’t won in nearly two years, while Shahroze (#2) is an up-and-coming type for Graham Motion who is 2-for-4 since moving to North America from Ireland. But I’m going with Johnny Bear (#7), who is making his second start of the year. He returned after a six-month layoff to finish fourth in a1 ¼-mile turf allowance on May 25, where he hung late. Last year, he won twice at 1 ½ miles on Woodbine’s turf course, including the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes. He’s got a race under his belt and is a solid Stay Lucky play for me.
Ohio Derby (5:10 p.m. ET): Flameaway (#2) and Lone Sailor (#3) have the big-name appeal in this 12-horse field based on their regular appearances on the Triple Crown trail. As ABR contributor Ellis Starr points out, other horses such as Title Ready (#5) and Core Beliefs (#10) have more upside. I’ve been a Title Ready backer since he impressed at Oaklawn Park, but this is a tough spot to fully endorse him – it’s a good betting event, but not a Stay Lucky race for me.
Chicago Handicap (6:11 p.m. ET): This race, featuring a 13-horse field, shapes up as a classic Arlington Park stampede where several contenders are in play through the stretch. I generally favor horses who have winning form over Arlington’s Polytrack racing surface, which in this race are Princess La Quinta (#5), Babybluesbdancing (#9, the probable pacesetter), and One Liz (#11). One Liz has tactical speed and is trained by Arlington Park kingpin Wayne Catalano and ridden by Jose Valdiva Jr., who is winning at a clip over 30 percent for this meet. But this race is wide open.
San Carlos Stakes (8 p.m. ET): American Anthem (#4), who won two graded stakes last year, impressed in his first start of 2018 on June 1 at Churchill Downs and is now back at Bob Baffert’s home base at Santa Anita Park. But he doesn’t figure to get an easy lead in this seven-furlong race (he is 3-for-4 at that distance). I actually think the pace scenario could benefit a stalker, such as Stone Hands (#7) or Baffert’s other starter, the lightly-raced Dabster (#8). This is another tough race to find a Stay Lucky standout, but American Anthem does have a class edge in the San Carlos.
Sunday, June 24
Wilshire Handicap (7:30 p.m. ET): Sophie P (#5) improved tremendously in her second North American start on May 26, winning the Grade 1 Gamely Stakes. She shortens up to a mile from 1 1/8 miles and faces Grade 2 winner and Gamely fourth-place finisher Beau Recall (#1) and several other good turf fillies and mares in the Wilshire, including the intriguing Ancient Secret (#9), who is stretching out after three consecutive good races on Santa Anita’s 6 ½-furlong downhill turf course. I am eager to see if Sophie B can back up that Grade 1-winning performance on Sunday, but I’m not picking her for Stay Lucky.
Patrick’s Top Stay Lucky Picks (last week: 0-for-2):
1. Johnny Bear