Stay Lucky Picks: Fountain of Youth Headlines Spectacular Card at Gulfstream

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.

This weekend, all of the focus is on south Florida, where Gulfstream Park offers a bonanza of nine qualifying races on its Saturday card, headlined by the $400,000, Grade 2 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes televised on FS2 and TVG.

Saturday, Feb. 29

Palm Beach Stakes (12:57 p.m. ET): A stellar day of stakes action at Gulfstream kicks off with a wide-open turf race for 3-year-olds. This race is a pass for Stay Lucky as more than half of the 12-horse field has a chance to win, but it will be interesting to see if dirt stakes winner South Bend (#7) improves in his second start on turf (he was a close third in the Feb. 1 Dania Beach Stakes) and also how Vitalogy (#12), runner-up in last fall’s Grade 3 Dixiana Bourbon Stakes, fares in his return after a nearly five-month layoff.

Honey Fox Stakes (1:27 p.m. ET): This is another tough race for Stay Lucky, a one-mile turf event for older fillies and mares that drew 11 starters. The field includes mares with back class, like last year’s Honey Fox runner-up Valedictorian (#11), and fillies that are lightly raced but have upside such as recent South Beach Stakes winner Atomic Blonde (#2) and maiden winner Sister Hanan (#9). I will look elsewhere for a Stay Lucky standout.

The Very One Stakes (2:27 p.m. ET): Another jam-packed, pick ‘em turf race, this 1 3/8-mile Grade 3 drew a dozen older fillies and mares. Three of them are trained by Graham Motion, including European invader Queen of Time (#3). That mare may set the pace, but I favor another Motion runner, Empressof the Nile (#10). She is three-for-four at this distance and gets the services of Hall of Famer Javier Castellano for the first time. She’s not a Stay Lucky play, however.

Herecomesthebride Stakes (3:28 p.m. ET): Yet another turf race on this card, yet another full field. Twelve 3-year-old fillies are lined up to go 1 1/16 miles, and there’s no clear favorite. Cheermeister (#5) has won two stakes on turf this meet by controlling the pace, but I think she’ll have more company up front in this one. I’m inclined to box Gulfstream off-the-pace allowance winners In a Hurry (#6), trained by Shug McGaughey for Stuart Janney, and Stunning Sky (#8) in this race, but I’m moving on for Stay Lucky purposes.

Davona Dale Stakes (3:59 p.m. ET): She’s by no means a cinch, but Tonalist’s Shape (#9) is four-for-four in her career including three wins at Gulfstream. She comes off of an easy win in the seven-furlong, Grade 3 Forward Gal Stakes on Feb. 1 over this strip and has a clear class edge over the rest of the field as she stretches out another furlong. Tampa Bay Downs maiden winner Chart (#1), dominant Gulfstream maiden winner Spice Is Nice (#6, a million-dollar purchase), and two-for-two Churchill Downs-based Bayerness (#7) all have an upset chance in this one, but Tonalist’s Shape is a Stay Lucky play for me.

Canadian Turf Stakes (4:30 p.m. ET): Krampus (#3) won this one-mile turf race a year ago, but there were only five opponents and this time there are 11 (and he hasn’t won since in six starts). It’s another tough race to pull a Stay Lucky pick from, but the pace looks to be strong enough to set up for a closer. Hay Dakota (#1) and Caribou Club (#2) are both in good form right now, with their only poor efforts coming in races where they had compromised trips. Sombeyay (#5) will sit closer to the lead, but he’s looked promising since switching to turf and gets Flavien Prat to ride coming in from California. I’ll be looking to bet longshots in this race, and moving onward for another Stay Lucky pick.

Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes (5:01 p.m. ET): This is a very intriguing contest that brings together several horses who have shown an affinity for racing at Gulfstream, such as fan favorite Bodexpress (#1, see left) along with others shipping in after success elsewhere. Mr. Freeze (#9), Hog Creek Hustle (#11), and True Timber (#7) have all placed in Grade 1 stakes (Hog Creek Hustle even won one last year) but collectively they have three total starts at Gulfstream highlighted by Mr. Freeze’s runner-up finish in the Pegasus World Cup last out. I think the projected pace setup benefits a stalking type such as Zenden (#5), who has a career record of 5-2-2-0 at Gulfstream and may move forward from his runner-up effort to Phat Man (#3) in the Jan. 25 Fred W. Hooper Stakes. But he’s far from a Stay Lucky certainty.

Mac Diarmida Stakes (5:32 p.m. ET): Zulu Alpha (#6) got a perfect trip to win the Pegasus World Cup Turf Invitational in his last start, but he also responded well to new jockey Tyler Gaffalione and for his career is 3-for-4 at Gulfstream Park. Gaffalione returns to ride him in the 1 3/8-mile Mac Diarmida, which also drew top-class graded stakes winners A Thread of Blue (#3), Sadler’s Joy (#4) and Channel Maker (#5) as well as some up-and-coming types among its 10 starters. A Thread of Blue could be the lone speed and he’s been very dangerous before when he has things his way up front, but I think this distance is a bit too long for him and Zulu Alpha has shown to be versatile enough to sit closer to the early pace when necessary. I like this veteran gelding to keep rolling on Saturday.

Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes (6:04 p.m. ET): This is the marquee race of the weekend, and all eyes will be focused on the return of Dennis’ Moment (#5), who sat atop most Kentucky Derby future books last fall for a few weeks and still remains high on them today despite not racing since his compromised TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. He’s been training well and could unleash a winning performance right off the bench, but I’m going to take a wait and see approach. For betting purposes, I’m taking a long look at another horse coming off of a layoff – Country Grammer (#7) for Chad Brown. But I’ll pass on the Fountain of Youth for Stay Lucky.

Patrick’s Top Stay Lucky Picks:

1. Tonalist’s Shape (Davona Dale Stakes)

2. Zulu Alpha (Mac Diarmida Stakes)

newsletter sign-up

Stay up-to-date with the best from America's Best Racing!