Stay Lucky Picks: Competitive Stakes at Keeneland, Woodbine

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!

weekend TV schedule

Thursday, Oct. 15: post time varies on TVG

Friday, Oct. 16: 12:30-5:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, Oct. 17: 8:30-11 a.m. ET on FS2; 12:30-3:30 p.m. ET on FS1; 3:30-5:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, Oct. 18: 12:30-5:30 p.m. on FS2; post time varies on TVG

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?

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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 seven 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 headlined by multiple graded stakes at Keeneland Race Course and Woodbine.

Thursday, Oct. 15

Sycamore Stakes (4:57 p.m. ET): Ziyad (#10) looks tough here making his first start for trainer Graham Motion, but I think Red Knight (#2) could be very tough making his third start of the year at his best distance. Red Knight also has run well at Keeneland, he finished a close second in a Grade 2 turf race in spring 2019.

Friday, Oct. 16

Pin Oak Valley View Stakes (5:30 p.m. ET): I really like Antoinette (#12) in this spot, but I don’t love the outside post for a filly who probably needs to be on or near the lead to be successful. This is a balanced field, not ideal for Stay Lucky, but I think if she breaks well Antoinette is the most likely winner.

Saturday, Oct. 17

Lexus Raven Run Stakes (5:30 p.m. ET): I expect Venetian Harbor (#5) to go off as the favorite in the Raven Run, but I prefer Four Graces (#2), who is 4-for-5 at this distance with a Grade 3 win at Keeneland at seven furlongs in July.

Autumn Miss Stakes (8 p.m. ET): Warren’s Showtime (#5) is the fastest in the race on paper, in terrific form, and 3-for-4 on the turf at Santa Anita. I think she’ll get a nice stalking trip behind probable pacesetter Quiet Secretary (#2) and take control in the stretch.

Sunday, Oct. 18

Northern Dancer Turf Stakes (3:29 p.m. ET): Count Again (#8) figures to be a heavy favorite in this race, but he’s trying 1 ½ miles for the first time so I’ll try to beat him at what figures to be a short price. Nakamura (#5) has finished in the top three in each of his starts at this distance and he should appreciate a bit of rain in the forecast for trainer Graham Motion.

E. P. Taylor Stakes (4:37 p.m. ET): Theodora B. (#4) appears to be the controlling speed in this race and she is so consistent on the grass with three wins and a close second in her last for starts on the turf. Her only poor start during that stretch came on a synthetic main track. She has a win on this course at this distance Aug. 15 in the Grade 2 Dance Smartly Stakes and I think she’ll be tough to beat here. Theodora B. also is 3-for-5 on wet turf and has not finished out of the top three, so with rain in the forecast it should not be a concern. Besides, trainer Michael Dickinson is exceptionally conservative. If the ground isn’t right for her, she won’t run.

Hill Prince Stakes (4:47 p.m. ET): Decorated Invader (#3) faded late in the 1 3/8-mile Saratoga Derby Invitational, which halted a three-race winning streak in 2020 for the talented 3-year-old. He should appreciate the cut back to a mile here on a turf course that he was a dominant winner on back in June. The top play of the week.

Nearctic Stakes (5:45 p.m. ET): I like what I’ve seen from Kanthaka (#2) in three starts on the grass. While he has yet to win, he’s also unlucky not to be a Grade 1 winner on turf after coming up a neck short in the Grade 1 Jaipur Stakes, and he should be a decent value in a deep field. Not a play for Stay Lucky, but perhaps a nice pick for gambling purposes.

Twilight Derby (8 p.m. ET): This is a fun race to handicap but probably not an ideal spot for Stay Lucky. I opted to take a shot on Express Train (#2) making the switch from the main track to turf for trainer John Shirreffs, who has had success with that move. Add in Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith and potentially good value and it’s well worth keeping an eye on the toteboard for a price.

Mike's Top Stay Lucky Picks

(28 winners from 56 top plays in 2020)

1. Decorated Invader (Hill Prince Stakes)

2. Warren’s Showtime (Autumn Miss Stakes)

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