Stay Lucky Picks: Star Power at Keeneland, Woodbine


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 Grade 1 races at Keeneland Race Course and Woodbine.

Friday, Oct. 12

Buffalo Trace Franklin County Stakes (5:30 p.m. ET): Kicking off the weekend races with a turf sprint that drew 14 fillies and mares just seems unfair. I like Brielle’s Appeal (#13), but at 12-1 on the morning line it’s a betting play not a Stay Lucky pick.

Saturday, Oct. 13

Ontario Derby (2:14 p.m. ET): The three horses to his inside all have speed or have shown good early speed and I expect Strike Me Down (#4) to enjoy an ideal trip and pull away in the stretch. This will be his third start on the synthetic main track at Woodbine — he won a maiden race on it in May and ran fourth in the Queen’s Plate in June — and I think this well-bred Tapit colt is poised to take a major step forward.

Nearctic Stakes (4:30 p.m. ET): I don’t feel great about Holding Gold (#7) as a Stay Lucky play, but he’s my pick to win this race, potentially at a nice price. He’s lost five straight, but all in group or graded stakes and two in Group/Grade 1 races. He was entered in a race last weekend but was scratched in favor of this spot, and he’s been working really well. I expect him to fire his best race.

Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes Presented by Lane’s End (5:30 p.m. ET): The Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup is one of my favorite races every fall. It’s a Grade 1 for 3-year-old turf fillies that draws top runners from both coasts, the Midwest, and Europe. This year is no different, but I do think this year’s field has a clear standout in Rushing Fall (#8). She proved in her last start, a 2 ½-length score in the Grade 2 Lake Placid Stakes, that she is back at her best and she’s 2-for-2 at Keeneland.

Pattison Canadian International Stakes (5:41 p.m. ET): Handicapping this race gave me more trouble than any other this weekend. I don’t believe in the local runners; I’m not sold on an of the European invaders; and the horses I view as the most talented here are all coming off disappointing efforts. I think anything can happen here, so I’ll pass for Stay Lucky purposes.

E. P. Taylor Stakes (6:18 p.m. ET): I have a tendency to fall hard for European invaders in big turf races. Sometimes it works out well, other times not so much. But I really like Pollara (#3) making her North American debut having won two of three starts in France. It’s the ultimate show of confidence that they are starting her in a Grade 1 race against older females in only her fourth career start. She was purchased privately by Allen Stable and Peter Brant after winning a Group 3 race in June and transferred to Eclipse Award-winning trainer Chad Brown. I think they unleash a monster on Saturday.

Mike’s Top Two Stay Lucky Plays

(36 winners from 91 top plays in 2018)

1. Rushing Fall (Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes Presented by Lane’s End)

2. Pollara (E. P. Taylor Stakes)

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