Stay Lucky Picks: Key Races at Saratoga, Del Mar, Monmouth Park

Maximum Security, outside, and Midcourt duel through the stretch in the July 25 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar. (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, July 30: 1-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Friday, July 31: 1-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, Aug. 1: 1-3 p.m. ET on FS1; 3-4 p.m. ET on FS2; 4-6 p.m. ET on FS1; 6-7:30 p.m. ET on FS2; 7-10 p.m. on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, Aug. 2: 1-4 p.m. ET on FS1; 4-6:30 p.m. ET 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 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 headlined by two “Win and You’re In” races held at Del Mar in Southern California over the weekend: the Bing Crosby Stakes on Saturday (a qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint); and the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes on Sunday (a qualifier for the Longines Distaff). The Bing Crosby will be featured during a three-hour broadcast on NBCSN from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET.

Saturday, Aug. 1

Monmouth Oaks (5:31 p.m. ET): This race drew the top six finishers from the Grade 3 Delaware Oaks July 4 at Delaware Park, including 38.80-1 upset winner Project Whiskey (#8) and beaten favorite Piece of My Heart (#5) who was fourth in that race. I’m going to look in a different direction and try Lucrezia (#6) coming off a fourth-place finish behind runaway winner Gamine in the Grade 1 Longines Acorn Stakes. That race looks awful on paper as she was beaten by 27 lengths, but nobody was able to compete with Gamine that day and her two other starts this year have been significantly better: a win in the Suncoast Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs and a second behind Swiss Skydiver in the Grade 2 Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Park Oaks in March. She has tactical speed and should be able to rate just off the pace.

H. Allen Jerkens Memorial Stakes (6:18 p.m. ET): No Parole’s (#6) only defeat in six lifetime starts came in the Grade 2 Rebel Stakes when stretching out to 1 1/16 miles and trying his luck on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve trail. He’s back sprinting and romped in the Grade 1 Woody Stephens Stakes Presented by Claiborne Farm June 20 against several of the contenders in here. He’s 4-for-4 at distances of seven furlongs or less and I think he’ll be hard to beat in this spot, albeit against a very nice group.

Bowling Green Stakes (6:50 p.m. ET): Channel Maker (#5) and Sadler’s Joy (#6) both have run very well on the inner turf course at Saratoga and so, too has Cross Border (#2), who is 2-for-2 on this course. I expect the pace scenario with very little speed to favor Channel Maker and Cross Border, and I like that the Cross Broder has strung together four straight quality races and finishes very well on this surface. He’s a lukewarm pick this week against a quality field.

Bing Crosby Stakes (9:30 p.m. ET): A deep and interesting field that includes multiple Grade 1 winner McKinzie (#4) and plenty of early speed to set up his or others late finishing ability. Desert Law (#3) looks like a serious threat as does Collusion Illusion (#9), who is 2-for-2 on the main track at Del Mar. Wildman Jack (#8) also is very fast but will be making his first start on dirt and East Coast shipper Lexitonian (#1) and Fashionably Fast (#6), who is 3-for-5 at Del Mar, loom as additional win candidates. McKinzie reportedly will be scratched by trainer Bob Baffert so I’ll look to Desert Law or Collusion Illusion, depending upon the price.

Mike’s Top Stay Lucky Pick

(19 winners from 35 top plays in 2020)

1. No Parole (H. Allen Jerkens Stakes)

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