Harry Payne Whitney: Like Father, Like Son
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 is highlighted by six graded stakes at Woodbine, four on Saturday’s Ricoh Woodbine Mile Stakes card and two more on Sunday — the Grade 1 Natalma Stakes and the Grade 2 Summer Stakes. The Woodbine Mile is a Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” race for the Breeders’ Cup Mile on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs. Sunday's graded stakes at Woodbine are qualifiers for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf, respectively, on the Nov. 2 Future Stars Friday card at the Breeders’ Cup.
Saturday, Sept. 15
Ricoh Woodbine Mile Stakes (4:48 p.m. ET): The presence of Oscar Performance (#7) in this race makes me a little timid in giving a full endorsement of Delta Prince (#3), but I’m not going to be swayed. Delta Prince is in career-best form and he’s won on this turf course. Oscar Performance is capable of freaky things if left alone on the lead, but I think La Sardane (#2) will make sure he has some company early.
Locust Grove Stakes (4:53 p.m. ET): Blue Prize (#3) loves Churchill Downs — two wins and two seconds in four starts — and I don’t think this is an especially good field. If she runs like she did when winning the Grade 2 Fleur des Lis in her most recent start on June 16, she wins this race.
Iroquois Stakes (5:26 p.m. ET): Tight Ten (#4) looks formidable coming off a runner-up finish in the Grade 2 Saratoga Special after winning his debut on this racetrack by 4 ¼ lengths for Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen. It’s an evenly-matched 12-horse field of 2-year-olds, though, so beware.
Canadian Stakes Presented by the Japan Racing Association (5:27 p.m. ET): Inflexibility’s (#5) fifth in the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes was better than it looks on paper and she ran well on this turf course in June when second to stablemate Santa Monica in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes. She faces a quality field, however, so I’ll only use her if my streak is back at zero.
Sands Point Stakes (5:53 p.m. ET): This is a terrific betting race with three European invaders making their U.S. debuts, Secret Message (#8) coming off a Grade 3 win, Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes runner-up Capla Temptress (#3), a pair of runners who ran well in the Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks, and Reversethedecision (#4) coming off a career-best win for trainer Chad Brown. I’ll have a few bucks on the race, but nothing to see here from a Stay Lucky perspective.
Pocahontas Stakes (5:57 p.m. ET): Phoenix Thoroughbreds purchased a majority interest in Splashy Kisses (#5) after she won her most recent start by 5 ¾ lengths at Del Mar. I’m guessing they feel confident she’s a special one, but this looks like a competitive group and 2-year-old fillies are often unpredictable, so I’m looking elsewhere.
Bold Venture Stakes (6:02 p.m. ET): It’s tough to look past Pink Lloyd (#3) here with a career record of 16 wins, one second, and a third in 19 races on Woodbine’s synthetic surface. He’s won 13 of his last 14 overall, all in stakes.
Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (6:36 p.m. ET): Hawkbill (#5) probably will be a fairly heavy favorite, but I think he’s vulnerable. He’s been off form in his last three starts after winning a Group 1 race in Dubai in March and he was much better before this race a year ago when he was caught late as the 3-5 favorite. Utmost (#3) and Tiz a Slam (#6) ran first and second in the Grade 2 Sky Classic Stakes on this course on Aug. 19 and before that Tiz a Slam and Mekhtaal (#1) ran one-two in the Grade 2 Nijinsky Stakes here. I think Hawkbill comes up short again as the favorite, so I’ll pass on the race.
Sunday, Sept. 16
Natalma Stakes (4:26 p.m. ET): There are four European invaders for this race, and I think all of them are win candidates. I also like Bohemian Queen (#6) making the switch from synthetic to grass and respect My Gal Betty (#8), who has a stakes win on this turf course. It’s a rare Grade 1 grass race for 2-year-old fillies, so it’s no surprise it drew an overflow field. It’s a fun, competitive race that I’ll avoid for Stay Lucky purposes.
Summer Stakes (5:30 p.m. ET): This is another race where it’s tough to separate these lightly-raced 2-year-olds, but I really liked the regally-bred Fog of War’s (#3) debut and trainer Chad Brown is the maestro with turf runners.
Monday, Sept. 17
Presque Isle Downs Masters Stakes (7:30 p.m. ET): I’m a charter member of the Ami’s Mesa (#4) bandwagon. She won this race a year ago and she’s 6-for-7 on synthetic surfaces, but this year the race looks much tougher than a year ago and she’s coming off a five-month layoff. Hotshot Anna (#9) off a stakes win on this track and Lady Alexandra (#12), making her synthetic debut on a surface very similar to the one she trains on, look very dangerous.
Mike’s Top 3 Stay Lucky Plays
(32 winners from 79 top plays in 2018)
1. Pink Lloyd (Bold Venture Stakes)
2. Blue Prize (Locust Grove Stakes)
3. Delta Prince (Ricoh Woodbine Mile Stakes)