Big-Race Showdown: Kentucky Derby Championship Series Visits Fair Grounds, Turfway
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.
Opening weekend of Stay Lucky for 2019 starts off with graded stakes races at Woodbine, Santa Anita Park, Arlington International Racecourse, Belmont Park, and Penn National.
Saturday, June 1
Connaught Cup Stakes (5 p.m. ET): Emmaus (#6) ran well in his North American debut when second by a neck in the Elusive Quality Stakes on April 27 at this seven-eighths of a mile distance. He held his own in stakes competition in Europe and I think this is the ideal distance for the 5-year-old. Jockey David Moran has been ice cold with one win in 62 starts this year; that’s a cause for concern and the reason Emmaus is not my top play.
Pennine Ridge Stakes (5:18 p.m. ET): With two Chad Brown runners and two Todd Pletcher runners, Seismic Wave (#7) might be a bit overlooked here, but I think that would be a big mistake. I thought he was a bit unlucky in the Grade 2 American Turf Stakes Presented by Ram Trucks when he was very wide on the final turn but finished fast once guided to clear running room. Before that, he delivered an eye-catching win in the Cutler Bay Stakes at Gulfstream, rallying from 10 lengths back to win on a turf course that is not usually kind to deep closers. That said, it’s a tough group with a pair of unbeaten 3-year-olds from Brown’s barn – Value Proposition (#1) and Demarchelier (#3) – who possess star potential.
Arlington Matron Stakes (6:15 p.m. ET): In her last seven races, La Force (#3) has competed in five Grade 1 races, one Grade 2, and a Grade 3. At her best she can hang with elite competition but she does not win often (2-for-24 lifetime) and will try a synthetic surface for the first time. I expect La Force will be the favorite and is the most likely winner, but she’s tough to endorse here so I’ll pass on this race for Stay Lucky purposes. For betting purposes, I think Coachwhip (#6) making the move from turf to synthetic might offer nice value.
Honeymoon Stakes (7 p.m. ET): Maxim Rate (#6) has won two of three starts with a runner-up finish by a nose in a Grade 3 race her only blemish. She raced a little bit closer to the pace in her most recent start and edged away to win the Grade 3 Senorita Stakes by a half-length and looks like she could be a rising star.
Penn Mile Stakes (7:50 p.m. ET): Probable favorite A Thread of Blue (#2) is consistent and talented, but with rain in the forecast and losses in both of his races on wet turf (good and yielding) he could be vulnerable. I landed on Empire of War (#7), who beat A Thread of Blue as a 2-year-old and looked like he needed a race for trainer Todd Pletcher when he faded in his 3-year-old debut. This is a quality race, though, and a tough spot in a challenging week for Stay Lucky players with six or seven runners in this race who have a chance to win.
Mike’s Top Stay Lucky Plays
1. Maxim Rate (Honeymoon Stakes)
2. Emmaus (Connaught Cup)