Stay Lucky Picks: Keeneland Focus on Light Weekend

Horses race during the fall meet at Keeneland in this file photo. (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 four graded stakes at Keeneland.

Thursday, Oct. 17

Sycamore Stakes (4:57 p.m. ET): Focus Group (#5) has lost four straight races, but three have been Grade 1 races and the other was a Grade 2. He gets some class relief here, but not too much. The Sycamore drew 11 horses, including 2018 Triple Crown competitors My Boy Jack (#7) and Blended Citizen (#8) along with graded stakes winner Postulation (#6) and Nakamura (#4), who had won three straight for Graham Motion before finding traffic trouble in his most recent start Sept. 28. I like Focus Group to win, but I don’t think he cruises to an easy victory.

Friday, Oct. 18

Pin Oak Valley View Stakes (5:30 p.m. ET): I am not a believer in 5-2 morning-line favorite Blowout (#2). I actually prefer both of her stablemates, Catch a Bid (#7) and Turf War (#10), in a wide-open race with seven or eight 3-year-old fillies capable of winning.

Saturday, Oct. 19

Ontario Fashion Stakes (2:18 p.m. ET): I gave a slight nod to Alnilah (#4) coming back off her first graded stakes win. She got a nice freshening after that race and has been training well. It looks like a four-horse race, however, with two quality pace horses and another runner who finished a solid third in her first try on a synthetic track. I didn’t like what I saw from probable favorite Summer Sunday (#3) in her most recent start. She, too, has been freshened, so we could see a return to the level that made her a back-to-back graded stakes winner in June and July. Tough call.

Lexus Raven Run Stakes (5:30 p.m. ET): The Raven Run drew a deep, talented field with some familiar names from major stakes in the spring and summer as well as some promising newcomers. Royal Charlotte’s (#1) lone career defeat came a t the hands of brilliant sprinter Covfefe and she has a win on this track. She’s the pick and I’ll look to play her in an exacta with Restless Rider (#6), who might be overlooked coming off a dismal performance in the Longines Kentucky Oaks. I believe in her talent and I think she’ll run a big one in the Raven Run off a 5 ½-month freshening.

Sunday, Oct. 20

Athenia Stakes (4:57 p.m. ET): For Stay Lucky purposes, you probably have to lean toward Elysea’s World (#10) as she’s held her own against Grade 1 competition and looks like the class of the field. For betting purposes, I’m going to try to make some money on Ambitious Moon (#1) who should get an ideal, ground-saving trip from the inside post.

Rood & Riddle Dowager Stakes (5:13 p.m. ET): Simply Breathless (#1) is the logical choice, but I’m going to try and beat her with Pepper Sprout (#8), a filly I was hoping would be tested against stakes competition after setting a track record at my old home track, Delaware Park. She’s closed powerfully in all three of her starts with two wins and a second.

Mike’s Top Stay Lucky Play

(26 winners from 42 top plays in 2019)

1. Focus Group (Sycamore Stakes)

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