Stay Lucky Picks: Star-Studded Action at Arlington

Horses race in the stretch on Arlington Million day in 2017. (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 Arlington’s International Festival of Racing, featuring three Grade 1 races: the Arlington Million Stakes, Beverly D. Stakes, and Secretariat Stakes.

Saturday, Aug. 11

Saratoga Special Stakes (5:11 p.m. ET): This race drew four debut winners, two other runners coming off dominant wins, and the top two finishers from a race on the synthetic main track at Arlington. There is so much speed in this race that I landed on a colt I think should benefit from a speed duel in Noose (#1). I expect him to take back from the inside, save ground, and then try to close past tiring rivals in the stretch.

Fourstardave Handicap (5:46 p.m. ET): European invader Ostilio (#5), a Group 2 winner, and Grade 1-winning female Uni (#5) add intrigue to this race with the latter on a five-race winning streak for Chad Brown. Brown also entered Raging Bull (#4), who won a pair of graded stakes on the grass at Saratoga last summer, and graded stakes winner Made You Look (#9). It’s a fun betting race and in search of value, I landed on March to the Arch (#1). There are a pair of speed horses in the race, which should set up his closing kick, and I thought he was unlucky not to finish in the top three in his most recent start in the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple on this turf course. I think the price will be right. He’s not a Stay Lucky play but I’ll be firing away with him at the betting window.

Beverly D. Stakes (5:53 p.m. ET): It’s tempting to just pound the Sistercharlie (#7) button in Stay Lucky this week, and I think the 2018 champion turf female is the most likely winner in this race as she tries to repeat in the Beverly D. But it’s also tough to dismiss European invader Fleeting’s (#1) chances coming off a runner-up finish in the Irish Oaks after running third in the English Oaks in May. Pegasus Turf World Cup Invitational runner-up Magic Wand (#6) adds another wrinkle if she opts for this race rather than taking on males in the Arlington Million. I’ll play Sistercharlie but I’m not making her my top pick this week.

Secretariat Stakes (6:28 p.m. ET): I landed on Valid Point (#7), who I think has star potential and looks like terrific value at 5-1 on the morning-line, but this is a tough race with six of nine runners between 3-1 and 6-1 and even 20-1 Clint Maroon (#1) would not be a shocking upset. Tough race for Stay Lucky purposes.

Arlington Million Stakes (7:12 p.m. ET): Strange things can and do happen in the Arlington Million, but I think the most likely winner of the four graded stakes on the International Festival of Racing card is Bricks and Mortar (#3). He has won five straight since he returned from injury in December 2018, including three Grade 1s, and he’s only been seriously threatened in one of those races. He might be the best horse in training in the U.S.

Pucker Up Stakes (7:55 p.m. ET): This is another evenly-matched group on a nice card at Arlington. Art of Almost (#10) gets a slight nod coming off a strong third-place finish in a Grade 2 race in which she faced older females.

Best Pal Stakes (8:30 p.m. ET): Flavien Prat was on three of the runners in here in their most recent start, all impressive debut wins, and he chose Schrodinger (#4) for a trainer he’s clicking at 31% with in the last year. Buzz horse Wrecking Crew (#1) returns on short rest after an impressive July 27 debut at this track and distance. I’ll bet he goes off as the favorite under Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith. There are four or five in here that I think are serious win candidates, so unless the field gets whittled down, I’m passing for Stay Lucky purposes.

Sunday, Aug. 11

Seagram Cup Stakes (5:08 p.m. ET): Mr Havercamp (#1) was dominant in his 5-year-old debut when winning the Grade 3 Forbidden Apple Stakes on the turf at Saratoga in July. I think he faced better competition in that race but he makes the switch back to the synthetic main track at Woodbine on which he’s won three of four. I think he’s a significantly faster horse on grass and there are two or three horses entered capable of beating him with a big effort. Mr Ritz (#5) is very good on synthetic surfaces and might be allowed to set an uncontested pace and I really liked what I saw from Revved Up (#6) in his first try on the Tapeta Footings main track at Woodbine when beating Seagram Cup entrant Are You Kidding Me (#8) by 1 ¾ lengths. Mr Havercamp is the play, but I think he’ll have to fight to earn this win.

Rancho Bernardo Handicap (8 p.m. ET): It’s been a year since her last win, but Anonymity (#5) has been facing stellar competition and holding her own with three seconds and a third in the Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint during that stretch. I think she regains her winning form here albeit against a sneaky-tough group of sprinters. Unless I had a significant streak, I would swing away with her.

Longacres Mile Handicap (8:09 p.m. ET): Anyportinastorm (#8) looks like the fastest horse in the field and the lone speed, which is a potent combination. However, he will be trying to do something he has never done before in the one-mile race, which is win a race longer than 6 ½ furlongs. His lone previous attempt at a mile was a third-place finish in a stakes race on the turf at Golden Gate Fields, and given the potential ideal pace scenario I think there is a strong chance that he’ll be fine at the mile. I just would be very cautious if I had a long streak at risk. With one win or two, I’d take a shot on Anyportinastorm, but otherwise I think you have to pass for Stay Lucky purposes.

Mike’s Top 2 Stay Lucky Plays

(14 winners from 20 top plays in 2019)

1. Bricks and Mortar (Arlington Million Stakes)

2. Sistercharlie (Beverly D. Stakes)

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