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?
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 an action-packed card for the $1 million, Grade 1 TVG.com Haskell Invitational Stakes at Monmouth Park on Saturday. NBC Sports will broadcast the Haskell Invitational nationally on Saturday as the showcase of an hour-long show from Monmouth on NBC, running from 5-6 p.m. ET.
Friday, July 19
Lake George Stakes (5:51 p.m. ET): Chad Brown has three runners in here and Wesley Ward has a solid pair. It’s interesting that Javier Castellano opted for Brown’s Dogtag (#4) over stablemate Blowout (#7), but Jose Ortiz is a terrific option in his place. Blowout showed great tenacity late in winning the Winter Memories Stakes on June 22 and this filly out of a French classic winner looks like she’s just starting to figure things out.
Saturday, July 20
Oceanport Stakes (1:53 p.m. ET): This looks like a three-horse race between Divisidero (#1), Projected (#6), and Just Howard (#6). I’m not sure Projected is as good as he once was and trainer Chad Brown’s horses rarely offer much value, so I’ll take a shot on Just Howard here. He’s finished within a length of the winner in each of his three races this year with some trouble along the way. He’s due for a little luck and should offer some value in a race with no clear-cut standout. I’d skip the race for Stay Lucky purposes if I had a significant streak intact.
Molly Pitcher Stakes (3:29 p.m. ET): Midnight Bisou (#3) rides a four-race winning streak into the Molly Pitcher and looks like the best of this bunch by a significant margin. She’s my top play of the week.
Monmouth Cup Stakes (4:31 p.m. ET): While the name of the game in Stay Lucky is picking winners, like betting the races it’s also about identifying vulnerable favorites and avoiding them. I’ll bet Coal Front (#3) is heavily favored in this race and he’s got terrific credentials, but he’s stretching out to 1 1/8 miles for the first time in his career after fading late in the Met Mile in his most recent start. I’m going to try to beat him with Lemonade Thursday (#2) and Monongahela (#4) in any multi-race sequences I bet Saturday, so I’m skipping the race for Stay Lucky purposes.
Ontario Colleen Stakes (4:50 p.m. ET): I had trouble trying to pinpoint a probable favorite in this race, which is usually a bad sign for Stay Lucky. I think Speedy Soul (#8) has a good chance, coming off a win in the Bison City Stakes, part of the Canadian Triple Tiara for 3-year-old fillies. But she’s trying turf for the first time and there are others proven on the surface. I prefer Queen of Bermuda (#1) stretching out to a mile for the first time for trainer Graham Motion, who is just under 20% with that move.
WinStar Matchmaker Stakes (5:08 p.m. ET): This is a fun, little field with several wild cards among them. I can understand if you like Valedictorian (#3), who is 4-for-5 at Monmouth and enters off a win on this turf course, but I think we’ll see a much-improved effort from Xenobia (#7) in her second start in North America. After a troubled start, she closed pretty well to finish fourth in her U.S. debut and I think this European group stakes winner probably needed the race following a 10-month layoff.
TVG.com Haskell Invitational Stakes (5:49 p.m. ET): I fully expect we’ll see an improved effort from Maximum Security (#7) after he was upset in a shocker by fellow Haskell entrant King for a Day (#1) in the TVG.com Pegasus Stakes on June 16. I think he’s the best horse in the field by a significant margin and I’ll make him a top play this week.
San Diego Handicap (6:30 p.m. ET): Catalina Cruiser (#1) is 5-for-6 lifetime and 2-for-2 at Del Mar with the best two Equibase Speed Figures of his career (125, 127) last summer at the seaside track. He enters off a perfect prep race having won a Grade 2 sprint at Belmont Park on June 7 in his first start of 2019 and looks like a clear standout this weekend.
San Clemente Handicap (8:30 p.m. ET): If you have a Stay Lucky streak of any significance, this is a race you flee from in terror. From a gambling standpoint, however, if you have a strong opinion is looks like an opportunity to make some money. Specifically, I like Over Emphasize’s (#6) chances to win at an appealing price.
Sunday, July 21
Royal North Stakes (5:16 p.m. ET): Oleksandra (#3) has won two straight races by a neck with a dazzling late turn of foot and she’ll be making her stakes debut here. I think she’s up to the test. She finishes extremely well and earned a big Equibase Speed Figure in her most recent start. She faces a solid group of sprinters, including the fourth-place finisher in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, Ruby Notion (#2).
Eddie Read Stakes (6:30 p.m. ET): This is a small, but evenly-matched group of turf specialists who seem to really like the course at Del Mar. Catapult (#3) is 2-for-2 at the seaside track and won this race last year with a 120 Equibase Speed Figure, but he’s winless in three races this year. Sharp Samurai (#4) was second by a neck to Catapult last year in this race and has two wins and two seconds in five tries on the grass at Del Mar. Both Ritzy A.P. (#2) and Marckie’s Water (#5) posted their career-best Equibase Speed Figures on the Del Mar turf. Give Catapult the slight edge, but I have a hunch he’s really going to have to dig deep to win it.
Shuvee Handicap (TBD p.m. ET): I think 2018 Longines Breeders' Cup Distaff runner-up Wow Cat (#5) is the class of the field here by a pretty significant margin, but she has not race in 8 1/2 months and that type of layoff is always a concern. Of course, her trainer, Chad Brown, is about as good as it gets in these scenarios, winning at a 28% clip. I think she will run well, but I don't think I'd risk a big streak on her, preferring to wait until an easier spot next week, thanks to the presence of her talented, lightly-raced stablemate Electric Forest (#8) and Grade 1 winner She's a Julie (#1).
Mike’s Top 3 Stay Lucky Plays
(10 winners from 15 top plays in 2019)
1. Midnight Bisou (Molly Pitcher Stakes)
2. Catalina Cruiser (San Diego Handicap)
3. Maximum Security (TVG.com Haskell Invitational Stakes)