Stay Lucky Picks: Action Heats Up at Woodbine, Gulfstream

Fans watch the horses race in the stretch at Woodbine. (Penelope P. Miller/America's Best Racing)

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, Stay Lucky graded stakes are on the schedule at Gulfstream Park, Belmont Park, Woodbine, Arlington International Racecourse, and Churchill Downs.

Saturday, June 29

King Edward Stakes (2:53 p.m. ET): Synchrony (#2) is a gamer who has finished in the top three in 18 of 22 career races and 13 of 15 starts on the grass. He’s a multiple graded stakes winner coming off a solid runner-up finish in a Grade 2 race and he’s the fastest of the group. I’m a little concerned that he’s never raced at Woodbine because it can be a bit tricky, but I like the cut back to a mile.

Dance Smartly Stakes (4:18 p.m. ET): I couldn’t blame you for taking Holy Helena (#1) or Starship Jubilee (#4) here, but I landed on a filly I believe will be a longshot in Art of Almost (#2). She’s a 3-year-old tackling older females here for a trainer who knows how to spot horses. She’s making the switch back to turf from the synthetic main track at Woodbine and I think she has a ton of upside. She’s not a Stay Lucky play but I am hoping to get a big price on her at the betting window.

Highlander Stakes (4:51 p.m. ET): This is a wide-open turf sprint with more than a half-dozen capable of winning, which makes it a fun handicapping race but a poor choice for Stay Lucky purposes.

Mother Goose Stakes (5:18 p.m. ET): I thought Dunbar Road (#1) had a solid chance in the Longines Kentucky Oaks but she did not draw into the race. Instead, she won an allowance race on May 30 at Belmont by 5 ½ lengths. I think she’s well-positioned to earn her first graded stakes win against a fairly soft field.

Princess Rooney Stakes (5:30 p.m. ET): Stormy Embrace (#6) freaked in this race a year ago but could not get back to that level in her next three races. She enters off a dominant win at this track and distance off a 3 ½-month layoff and holds a class edge on the competition. A top play this week.

Bashford Manor Stakes (5:59 p.m. ET): This race drew a field of 10 2-year-olds all stretching out to six furlongs for the first time. California shipper Phantom Boss (#1) looks tough, but this is a pretty wide-open race that I’ll skip for Stay Lucky purposes.

Smile Sprint Handicap (6:02 p.m. ET): This race looks pretty wide open to me. I landed on Proforma (#1) as the most likely winner coming off a runner-up finish in the Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Stakes. He’s very consistent and versatile.

Chicago Handicap (6:15 p.m. ET): Hotshot Anna (#3) has been terrific since switching to synthetic surfaces for her last three starts, winning each of those races by open lengths, including a 5 ¾-length runaway in this race last year. The big concern is she has not raced since Sept. 17, 2018. I’m going to play her, but I’d be cautious with her if I had a significant streak on the line.

Sunday, June 30

Dominion Day Stakes (4:55 p.m. ET): This looks like a coin-flip race to me between Souper Tapit (#1), who won his first try on the synthetic main track at Woodbine in his most recent start, and Pumpkin Rumble (#5) riding a three-race winning streak on the Woodbine main track. If either scratches I’d jump on the other, but otherwise I’ll take a shot on Pumkin Rumble but would not sacrifice a significant streak on him.

Mike’s Top Stay Lucky Plays

(2 winners from 6 top plays in 2019)

1. Dunbar Road (Mother Goose Stakes)

2. Stormy Embrace (Princess Rooney Stakes)

3. Synchrony (King Edward Stakes)

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