Stay Lucky Picks: Fun Schedule for Belmont Stakes Weekend

Horses race in the stretch on June 13 at Belmont Park. (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’s Stay Lucky slate is headlines by the 152ndBelmont Stakes , which will be held Saturday, June 20, as the first race in the Triple Crown for the first time in history, followed by the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve in September and the Preakness Stakes in October. But there are plenty of other intriguing races on the Belmont Stakes undercard, at Churchill DownsSanta Anita Park, and Woodbine.

NBC Sports will show the Belmont Stakes during a broadcast Saturday, from 2:45 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET on NBC. The show, anchored by Mike Tirico and featuring analysis from Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey, will include features on Belmont Stakes horses and personalities and also show four other races at Belmont Park, including the Jaipur Stakes Presented by America's Best Racing, a Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” qualifying race for the Turf Sprint. 

Saturday, June 20

Pennine Ridge Stakes (1:42 p.m. ET): Decorated Invader (#1) was positively electric in his 3-year-old debut, closing from 15 lengths back on the grass at Gulfstream Park to post a 1 ½-length win March 28 in the Cutler Bay Stakes. That was his first race since a close (and a bit unlucky) fourth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Presented by Coolmore America. I think he’s a standout here.

Wilshire Stakes (4 p.m. ET): This race looks like a coin flip between Keeper Ofthe Stars (#5) and Toinette (#6) and I think you have to give a fairly significant advantage to the former because she’s coming off an impressive win May 25, while Toinette has not raced since Dec. 1.

Longines Acorn Stakes (4:15 p.m. ET): I expect Hall of Famer Bob Baffert’s unbeaten Gamine (#1) to get much of the attention, but I prefer another Hall of Famer’s unbeaten filly. Steve Asmussen will saddle Casual (#4), a filly by two-time Horse of the Year Curlin out of multiple Grade 1-winning sprinter Lady Tak who has impressed in two victories in as many starts.

Jaipur Stakes (4:53 p.m. ET): I’m going to take a swing on a horse I think could be a nice price here in Kanthaka (#1), who has been gelded since his last start and transferred to trainer Graham Motion. He ran very well in that most recent race May 25, 2019, when third in his first try on grass behind elite West Coast turf sprinter Eddie Haskell in a Grade 3 race. Motion hits at 23% off a 180-day-plus layoff with a really strong return on investment. There is some pace in this race that should set up his finishing kick and he’s fast enough to race a little closer to the front if necessary.

Wise Dan Stakes (5:01 p.m. ET): Factor This (#3) is in terrific form coming into the Wise Dan off back-to-back graded stakes wins, and he looks like he should be able to dictate his own terms on the front end. This is a solid group for this 1 1/16-mile turf race, so he rates just below a top play for me but I would definitely roll the dice with him if I didn’t have a significant streak intact.

Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets (5:42 p.m. ET): No reason to get cute here — Tiz the Law (#8) looks like the class of the field and should be able to work out an ideal stalking trip just in behind a couple of speed horses. A top play.

Sunday, June 21

Whimsical Stakes (4:09 p.m. ET): Jean Elizabeth (#1) has won seven straight on turf, dirt, and synthetic surfaces and eight of her last nine starts. She is 8-for-12 lifetime on synthetic main tracks and 7-for-8 at this distance. Tough to look past here.

San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap (6 p.m. ET): Ward ’n Jerry (#8) seems to get better the longer the race, so this 1 ¾-mile San Juan Capistrano should suit him well. His two best races from an Equibase Speed Figure perspective came at 1 ½ miles, so he’s an obvious Stay Lucky play in a field lacking a lot of quality depth.

American Stakes (8 p.m. ET): I’ve been burned multiple times in Stay Lucky with Sharp Samurai (#5), so I won’t be able to back him here even though he’s probably the most likely winner. I really liked Jasikan (#2) last spring-summer and I think he’s a serious racehorse, but he might need a race coming back from 10 ½ months on the sidelines. If I’m not protecting a streak, I’ll play him and hope to build some momentum heading into next week.

Mike’s Top Stay Lucky Picks

(5 winners from 18 top plays in 2020)

1. Tiz the Law (Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets)

2. Decorated Invader (Pennine Ridge Stakes)

3. Jean Elizabeth (Whimsical Stakes)

4. Ward ’n Jerry (San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap)

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