Stay Lucky Picks: Kentucky Downs Headlines Challenging Weekend

Horses race on the pristine turf course at Kentucky Downs during the 2018 meet. (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 four graded stakes from a loaded Sept. 7 card at Kentucky Downs.

Runhappy Turf Sprint Stakes (4:53 p.m. ET): This race drew a solid cast, including two-time defending Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Stormy Liberal (#9). The fact that Stormy Liberal is the third choice in this 10-horse field tells you there is some serious quality. White Flag (#6) ran well last year when second in this race, earning a career-best 113 Equibase Speed Figure, and he’s been freshened for this spot by trainer Christophe Clement. I value experience over this unique turf course, so I’ll go with White Flag and hope his 8-1 morning-line odds hold.

Three Chimneys Ladies Turf Stakes (5:28 p.m. ET): This is another nice field at Kentucky Downs, something we love as horseplayers, and you could make a compelling argument for four or five of the entrants as serious win candidates. I landed on Simply Breathless (#2), who has two wins and a third in three stakes races since coming to North America. She also has a win in England at Newmarket, which like Kentucky Downs has an uphill run to the finish line and is 4-for-9 in one-mile races. I’ll happily take her 5-1 odds on the morning line and hope they even drift up a bit coming off a third-place finish in a Grade 3.

Spendthrift Farm Ladies Sprint Stakes (6:01 p.m. ET): Oleksandra (#3) is in career-best form with three wins and a third in her last four starts and I think she’s formidable. Ruby Notion (#10) is a personal favorite of mine who ran won of the best races of her career to win this race a year ago, so we know she likes Kentucky Downs. But I’m drawn to a 20-1 longshot here in Stillwater Cove (#11), who should enjoy the cutback in distance. I think she’s much better than she has shown and I expect her to outrun her odds.

Super Derby (6:07 p.m. ET): Grade 1 winner Knicks Go (#8) is the fastest horse in the field and the lone graded stakes winner in the field of 10. If he runs the same race he ran when second in the Ellis Park Derby, he should win. That said, he’s lost seven straight and several of those were absolute clunkers. I just can’t endorse him with any level of confidence, so I’ll pass on the race for Stay Lucky and try to beat him at the betting window with Rescind (#6).

Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup Stakes (6:35 p.m. ET): Campaign (#11) won two races in a week at Kentucky Downs last year but he’s raced exclusively on the  main track this year for trainer John Sadler, winning a pair of graded stakes. I think he’ll like getting back on grass and the 1 ½-mile distance is right up his alley. Arklow (#10) won this race a year ago with a 114 Equibase Speed Figure and is a worthy favorite. That’s my exacta and I’ll take Campaign on top.

British Columbia Derby (7:35 p.m. ET): Explode (#2) has won four straight, most recently taking the Grade 3 Canadian Derby via disqualification, and six of his last seven. I think he should also enjoy cutting back in distance from 1 ¼ miles to 1 1/8 miles. I hate to play a horse in Stay Lucky from a circuit I’m not very familiar with but this is a tough weekend so I’ll press my luck at Hastings.

Mike’s Top Stay Lucky Plays

(19 winners from 28 top plays in 2019)

1. Simply Breathless (Three Chimneys Ladies Turf Stakes)

2. Explode (British Columbia Derby)

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