Stay Lucky Picks: Summer Fun Begins at Saratoga, Del Mar


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 features important stakes races from the opening weekend cards at Del Mar and Saratoga Race Course.

Friday, July 20

Schuylerville Stakes (5:02 p.m. ET): Graded stakes for 2-year-old fillies are frequently unpredictable, especially in a race like this lacking a clear standout. My streak is back at zero, though, so I’ll come out swinging and take a shot on Tapping Pearl (#6) coming off a clear win for elite connections. At 10-1 on the morning line, she’s also a solid win-place bet.

Lake George Stakes (5:40 p.m. ET): The race lost expected heavy favorite Rushing Fall to a fever, which left the Lake George wide open. I lean toward Chad Brown’s Punked (#1), who finished her final quarter-mile in about 22 3/5 seconds when second in a stakes race at Belmont Park on June 23. I wouldn’t mortgage a significant streak on her, but I’ll take a spin if I’m sitting at zero.

Saturday, July 21

Ontario Colleen Stakes (4:47 p.m. ET): Got Stormy (#6) has won three of four at this one-mile distance and enters off back-to-back stakes wins. She has a terrific closing kick and I expect her to win this race.

Sanford Stakes (5:22 p.m. ET): With Sombeyay (#1) coming off a runner-up finish in the Tremont Stakes and the seven other entrants coming out of maiden victories, this one is a toss up. Given the presence of multiple speed horses, I’ll take a shot with the closer with stakes experience in Sombeyay.

Diana Stakes (5:55 p.m. ET): I’ve bet A Raving Beauty (#6) in each of her two starts in the U.S., both wins for trainer Chad Brown, and I’ll stick with her here. But a word of caution: this is a terrific field with multiple Grade 1 winner New Money Honey (#3), Grade 1 winner Sistercharlie (#1), and multiple graded stakes winners Proctor’s Ledge (#2), Ultra Brat (#5), and Hawksmoor (#7). I’m a fan, but A Raving beauty is no sure thing.

San Diego Handicap (8 p.m. ET): Accelerate (#7) won this race in 2017 and earned a career-best 126 Equibase Speed Figure when upsetting champion Arrogate. With three wins and a second in four starts this year and coming off a dominant Grade 1 win, Accelerate looks like a solid Stay Lucky play. He’s the class of the field and in terrific form.

San Clemente Stakes (8:30 p.m. ET): The San Clemente drew a full field of 14 3-year-old fillies and it might be the best betting race of the weekend, which makes it a dud for Stay Lucky purposes. I think Rockin Ready (#1) has a chance for a mild upset in her stakes debut.

Sunday, July 22

Nijinsky Stakes (4:47 p.m. ET): I view a Group 1 winner in France like Mekhtaal (#4) and wonder why he’s fared poorly in his two U.S. starts. My hunch is he’ll return to form in his second race for trainer Graham Motion, but because I am concerned he might need a race after more than nine months off, I’ll leave him out of my top plays.

Eddie Read Stakes (8:30 p.m. ET): Familiar rivals Hunt (#7) and Itsinthepost (#9) traded victories last summer-fall and probably will be the top two betting choices at post time, but I’ll try to beat them with European invader True Valor (#1) coming off a Group 3 win in Ireland. But the Eddie Read came up strong and deep this year, so I wouldn’t risk a significant streak on the last Stay Lucky race of the weekend.

Mike’s Top 2 Stay Lucky Plays

(25 winners from 65 top plays in 2018)

1. Got Stormy (Ontario Colleen Stakes)

2. Accelerate (San Diego Handicap)

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