Stay Lucky Picks: Big Weekend at Belmont, Santa Anita Derby

The stretch run of the 2019 Santa Anita Derby. (Eclipse Sportswire)

Welcome to the 2020 Stay Lucky season with 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.

Thank you for your patience while we paused the Stay Lucky season due to the coronavirus pandemic. We did not want to confuse players with an inconsistent schedule of a couple of Stay Lucky contest races every few weeks and extended stretches with none, but now that most major racetracks are back up and racing we feel comfortable restarting the 2020 season.

This weekend’s Stay Lucky slate is highlighted by the $400,000 Runhappy Santa Anita Derby as well as a jam-packed Saturday card for opening weekend of the Belmont Park meet, highlighted by the $250,000 Runhappy Carter Handicap.

Saturday, June 6

Fort Marcy Stakes (3:59 p.m. ET): This is a class test for Gucci Factor (#2) and the Fort Marcy drew a solid group, but he’s fared well when stepping into open competition in the past and he finishes very well in his races. There is a short run into the first turn in this race, so the inside post should mitigate ground loss. If you like to wager a few bucks I expect the price will be fair.

Westchester Stakes (4:32 p.m. ET): Really nice to see Code of Honor (#9) back for his 4-year-old campaign, and I think he has a major edge on class here. He’s coming back off a long layoff of seven months, but considering the lack of races because of the COVID-19 pandemic only two horses in the field have raced since March 14 so I think that might be less of a concern than usual. I have no doubt that Hall of Fame trainer Shug McGaughey has bigger targets down the road, but I believe Code of Honor is the best horse by a significant margin here and I’ll make him a top Stay Lucky play.

Intercontinental Stakes (5:04 p.m. ET): Chad Brown has four runners entered in here and all look like legitimate threats. Newspaperofrecord (#5) could improve cutting back in distance, but it looks like she might be challenged up front and she has not looked like the budding star she appeared to be as a 2-year-old. I prefer Regal Glory (#7) and Significant Form (#12) from Brown’s contingent, but Viadera (#1) also is intriguing in her stateside debut — Brown does well with talented fillies sent to him from Europe. It’s tough to separate this group, so I’ll pass for Stay Lucky purposes but make a wager on Regal Glory if the price is right.

Runhappy Carter Handicap (5:36 p.m. ET): Firenze Fire (#1) and Mind Control (#10) figure to take a ton of money and Performer (#2) rides a four-race winning streak into the race for trainer Shug McGaughey, but I landed on Vekoma (#11) in what turned out to be a terrific field for the Carter. It’s also a really fun betting race with an opportunity to make some cash if you go against the grain, which I’m hoping will be the case with Vekoma, but for Stay Lucky purposes it’s not the best spot.

Dogwood Stakes (5:50 p.m. ET): This one looks pretty wide open to me with several talented and lightly raced fillies. I landed on Edgeway (#8) from the outside post as she’s in good form, training well, and very fast. Her only loss was a third behind a filly I’m really high on in Kimari. I’m not sure if I’ll play it for Stay Lucky purposes, but if my streak is reset or I’m at one win I’ll probably roll the dice.

Runhappy Santa Anita Derby (7 p.m. ET): I’m not going to stray from the probable favorite here as I’ve been a fan of Authentic (#7) pretty much from the start and I think he’s the real deal. There’s no betting value there, but for a Stay Lucky play where you are just looking to pick a winner he’s a safe choice.

Mike’s Top Stay Lucky Picks

(3 winners from 14 top plays in 2020)

1. Authentic (Runhappy Santa Anita Derby)

2. Code of Honor (Westchester Stakes)

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