Stay Lucky Picks: Dream Play, Challenging Kentucky Downs


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 four graded stakes on the grass at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, Ky., highlighted by the $750,000 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes.

Saturday, Sept. 8

Dr. James Penny Memorial Stakes (4:04 p.m. ET): Dream Awhile (#5) is the overwhelming 4-5 favorite here and probably will be the most popular choice this week. Tough to go against trainer Chad Brown on the grass.

Kentucky Downs Ladies Turf Stakes (5:26 p.m. ET): Races at Kentucky Downs are tough for Stay Lucky purposes because of the deep fields and unique layout of the turf course. I tend to favor horses with experience, and more so success, on this course when evaluating races, but that methodology did not provide much help here. I landed on In the Lee (#8) based on her consistency and ability to close from off the pace or adapt and run nearer to the front if necessary.

Kentucky Downs Ladies Sprint Stakes (5:57 p.m. ET): I love this field from a betting perspective and can’t wait to toss a few bucks at it Saturday. Lull (#6) is the logical choice — she’s 2-for-2 at Kentucky Downs — and the probable favorite has run well against elite competition this year with a win and a pair of thirds in graded stakes in 2018.

Kentucky Downs Turf Sprint Stakes Presented by Coca-Cola (6:29 p.m. ET): Yet another terrific betting race at Kentucky Downs that I wouldn’t risk a streak on but would gladly wager a few dollars on. I’m going to try and get a nice price on Master Merion (#11), a 4-year-old gelding whose connections thought enough of to send him to the prestigious Royal Ascot meet. He ran 12th of 30 in England but was only beaten by 6 ½ lengths. Prior to that, he’d amassed four wins and two seconds in six starts on grass after he was reported as a gelding. He’s also trained very well leading up to this race for Wesley Ward. I’m hoping his two most recent starts, one in England and the other on a synthetic surface, will scare away other bettors.

Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes (6:59 p.m. ET): With two wins in as many starts on this turf course, including this race a year ago, you have to assume the Kentucky Turf Cup has been a target for Oscar Nominated (#6). He’s been rested since an unplaced finish in the Grade 1 United Nations Stakes and you could make a case that he’s been better this year leading into this race than he was in 2017. I’ll try to beat him here with Arklow (#8), but if you like Oscar Nominated I won’t try to convince you otherwise. He’ll be the favorite for good reason.

British Columbia Derby (8:25 p.m. ET): Coming off back-to-back convincing stakes wins, Sky Promise (#6) figures to be a heavier favorite than his 3-1 morning-line odds, but I like 7-2 second choice Weekend Wizard (#12) to pull the upset. I think Weekend Wizard uses his natural speed to get the jump on Sky Promise and holds on late.

Mike’s Top Stay Lucky Play

(32 winners from 79 top plays in 2018)

1. Dream Awhile (Dr. James Penny Memorial Stakes)

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