Stay Lucky Picks: 2019 Season Concludes on Breeders’ Cup Saturday

Fans at the 2016 Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park celebrate a winner. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Welcome to the 2019 Stay Lucky season with new presenting sponsor Breeders' Cup! We have several exciting new prizes plus a smoother, faster app for the new season!

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’s Stay Lucky slate is highlighted by the 36th Breeders’ Cup World Championships Nov. 1-2.  NBC Sports will televise 13 of the 14 Breeders’ Cup championship races, starting on the Breeders' Cup "Future Stars Friday" program with five races, and continuing on Saturday with eight more. Twelve races will be televised on NBCSN, and the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic will anchor an hour-long telecast on NBC slated for 8-9 p.m. ET on Nov. 2.

An hour-long preview and handicapping program, "Betting the Breeders' Cup," will air on NBCSN Thursday, Oct. 31, at 4 p.m. ET.

Friday, Nov. 1

Marathon Stakes Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance (1:45 p.m. ET): This is a nice chance to kick off the Breeders’ Cup card with a winner because morning-line favorite Campaign (#5) looks like a standout. His biggest competition is Itsinthepost (#1), but he beat him decisively at 1 ½ miles in July at Del Mar and the added distance should only help Campaign.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint (4:12 p.m. ET): I like Indian Summer Stakes winner Kimari (#7) and longshot Encoder (#5) in this race, but a full-field of 12 2-year-olds sprinting on the grass is a hard way to make progress in Stay Lucky. It’s the last week, so you might as well swing away, but if you are closing in on a prize I’d look for a better spot.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Presented by Coolmore America (4:52 p.m. ET): I really like what I’ve seen from Decorated Invader (#4) in his last two starts and jockey Irad Ortiz Jr.’s decision to stay on him rather than 5-1 third choice Structor (#2) adds to my level of confidence.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (5:32 p.m. ET): With one runner pegged at 3-1 on the morning line and three at 7-2, the oddsmaker clearly had trouble separating the top four. It does look like a well-matched group on paper, but I think British Idiom (#4) will prove the best of that group and win convincingly. She should get an ideal stalking trip behind plenty of early speed.

Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (6:12 p.m. ET): This is a wide-open race that drew a full field of 14. I would not play this race for Stay Lucky, but I do like Crystalle (#7), Sharing (#11), and Selflessly (#13) all at nice prices on the morning line and plan to box them in an exacta.

TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (7:03 p.m. ET): The defection of Maxfield left me without my top choice, however, it also helped narrow down the serious contenders. Of the top two on the morning line, I strongly prefer Dennis’ Moment (#1) to Eight Rings (#6) and will make him a Stay Lucky pick this week.

Saturday, Nov. 2

Senator Ken Maddy Stakes (1:07 p.m. ET): I think 9-5 morning-line favorite Girls Know Best (#8) is vulnerable shipping out to the West Coast and taking on four horses who have won stakes on the grass at Santa Anita and another who is stakes-placed on the Santa Anita sod. Trouble is, it’s tough to separate the local runners. I’ll give a slight edge to Don’t Sell (#2), whose 3-for-4 on this turf course and versatile enough to press or stalk the pace.

Qatar Twilight Derby (2:17 p.m. ET): Kingly (#9) can get pretty brave when left alone on the lead and I think he’ll probably be unchallenged early. He came up just short against better competition when fourth by a neck in the Grade 2 City of Hope Miles Stakes Oct. 5. Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert is removing the blinkers here and clicks at 29% with that move.

Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint (2:55 p.m. ET): There is so much speed in here that I think the race really sets up for morning-line second choice Come Dancing (#4), who is going to have to run her eyeballs out to catch Covfefe (#1) but definitely has it in her. She’s won four of her last five and I think other speed horses in here will soften Covfefe up just enough that Come Dancing surges past in deep stretch.

Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (3:33 p.m. ET): Final Frontier (#9) has been outstanding since switching over to the turf, with four firsts, one second, and one third in seven races on the grass (although he was disqualified and placed second in one of those firsts). He comes off an impressive win Oct. 5 in the Belmont Turf Sprint Invitational Stakes and I’m going to try to pair him with consistent local star Eddie Haskell (#10) plus longshots Stubbins (#5) and Legends of War (#8) in the trifecta.

Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (4:10 p.m. ET): I’m very confident in Omaha Beach (#5) in this spot. He’s clearly a standout in this field, and I think he’s the best play of the week.

Turnback the Alarm Handicap (4:30 p.m. ET): I’m going to take a shot on an up-and-coming filly in this race, Bellera (#4), that I think will appreciate the 1 1/8-mile distance. I like the confidence her connection are showing testing her in a graded stakes even though she came up just short in an allowance race in her most recent race. I think she’ll lead from start to finish.

Maker’s Mark Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (4:54 p.m. ET): Sistercharlie (#2) figures to be tough in her bid for a repeat win in this race. She’s riding a six-race winning streak and has won 10 of 14 lifetime. I do think she faces the toughest competition she’s seen all year in this race and she’s shipping to Southern California for the first time. I think Vasilika (#7), who has won 11 of 12 on the Santa Anita turf course, and Fanny Logan (#12) have upset potential, so I’ll pass on Sistercharlie here.

Maple Leaf Stakes (5:20 p.m. ET): This race for older females came up quite strong with five local synthetic specialists, a couple of turf horses shipping in, and Lift Up (#2), a recent stakes winner on this main track who ran second to A. A. Azula’s Arch (#6) in this race a year ago. Tough call and a pass for Stay Lucky purposes.

Breeders’ Cup Sprint (5:36 p.m. ET): This is a loaded edition of the Sprint, even without Omaha Beach, but I think we’ll see Imperial Hint (#9) finally get his Breeders’ Cup win after finishing second in 2017 and third a year ago. I was worried a tough race in the Grade 1 Vosburgh Stakes might have emptied the fuel tank after the race, but he seems to have come out of that win in good order and has posted a pair of bullet workouts.

TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile (6:20 p.m. ET): I’d have a hard time recommending any horse in this race when there are at least a half a dozen capable of winning and probably more than that. I like European invaders Circus Maximus (#9) and Hey Gaman (#13), the latter being a price play capable of pulling an upset.

Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff (7 p.m. ET): Midnight Bisou (#4) has been so consistent all year with seven wins in as many starts. She is the class of this strong field and versatile enough to press the pace, stalk, or close depending on how the race shapes up.

Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf (7:40 p.m. ET): This race came up a little softer than I expected with Enable and Magical missing the Breeders’ Cup and several others shifting around to compensate. I think that opened the Turf up for Old Persian (#10), who won the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic in March and dazzled in his North American debut in the Grade 1 Northern Dancer Stakes Sept. 14 at Woodbine.

Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (8:44 p.m. ET): This is one of the more wide-open editions of the Classic I can remember with quite a few very good 3-year-olds and several accomplished older horses, but no clear favorite. I think there is a chance any one of McKinzie (#8), Vino Rosso (#10), or Code of Honor (#11) could be the betting favorite when they load into the starting gate. I’m leaning toward Vino Rosso and as the last race of the Stay Lucky season, you might as well swing away!

Mike’s Top 5 Stay Lucky Play

(27 winners from 45 top plays in 2019)

1. Omaha Beach (Big Ass Fans Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile)

2. Midnight Bisou (Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff)

3. Campaign (Marathon Stakes Presented by Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance)

4. Old Persian (Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf)

5. Dennis’ Moment (TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile)

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