Stay Lucky Picks: Nice Options on Florida Derby Card

Mean Mary, who leads the field into the stretch above in the La Prevoyante Stakes, is a top Stay Lucky play this weekend. (Gulfstream Park/Tim Sullivan)

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 Television schedule

Friday, March 27: 1:30-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; 4-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, March 28: 1:30-7 p.m. ET on FS1; 4-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, March 29: 1:30-2:30 p.m. ET on FS2; 2:30-7 pm. ET on FS1; 4-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

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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 highlighted by the $750,000 million, Grade 1 Curlin Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park, a card that features 10 stakes and five other Stay Lucky contest races.

If you’re new to the sport and just want enough information to get you started and give you confidence when you’re betting a horse, check out Equibase’s Turf Club Analysts and STATS True Odds for FREE. Turf Club Analysts provides top picks for each race along with a, brief analysis that’ll help you learn the game as you’re playing along. STATS True Odds is a visual, easy-to-use handicapping product that predicts how the race may unfold and which contenders may be there at the finish line. Getting started is quick and it doesn’t require you to make any purchases at all. Just click on this link, add to your cart the tracks that you’d like to play and then simply register for a free Equibase account.

Saturday, March 28

Hal’s Hope Stakes (2 p.m. ET): This looks like a pretty wide-open race that I would not risk a long Stay Lucky streak on, but for gambling purposes I’m hoping for a decent price on American Tattoo (#6).

Orchid Stakes presented by Rood and Riddle (4:17 p.m. ET): Mean Mary (#6) is 2-for-2 on the turf at Gulfstream, in terrific form, and should have no trouble with the 1 3/8-mile distance coming off a Grade 3 win at 1 ½ miles. I am a little concerned by Elizabeth Way (#12) on the far outside from the barn of an outstanding trainer in Roger Attfield, but I do think Mean Mary is the play here.

Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Park Oaks (4:49 p.m. ET): Tonalist’s Shape (#9) figures to be a popular play this week and no doubt the most logical winner on paper. She is unbeaten in five career starts, all by open lengths, and is 4-for-4 on this main track. But there is so much up in the air with COVID-19 wreaking havoc on the nation that this looks like a mini-Kentucky Oaks. The connections of quite a few elite 3-year-old fillies are taking a shot here, and who can blame them. I think we’ll see an improved performance from Grade 2 winner Lake Avenue (#4) in her second start off a long layoff.

Kitten’s Joy Pan American Stakes (5:26 p.m. ET): A 1 ½-mile turf race with no Chad Brown runner? Maybe that tells you how dominant Zulu Alpha (#9) has been in two wins this season after closing 2019 with a fourth in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. He’s won his last four grass races at Gulfstream and rates as the top pick this week.

Appleton Stakes (6 p.m. ET): You could make a compelling argument for most of the runners entered in this race, which makes it a fun handicapping race for gamblers but a lousy spot for Stay Lucky. I’m going to hope for a fair price on March to the Arch (#3).

Santa Ana Stakes (6:30 p.m. ET): This field looks fairly evenly matched, but I think Opus Won (#9) should be able to work out an ideal stalking trip just off the pace and get a jump on the closers.

Curlin Florida Derby (6:36 p.m. ET): I’m a big a believer in Tiz the Law (#7) and he drew an ideal spot to work out a stalking trip behind a number of runners entered with tactical speed. But with a terrific field that includes the top three from the Grade 2 Fasig-Tipton Fountain of Youth Stakes, Grade 1-placed Gouverneur Morris (#5), and highly regarded multiple stakes winner Independence Hall (#9), the Florida Derby will be a test for Tiz the Law. It’s a terrific Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve prep.

Mike’s Top Stay Lucky Picks

(2 winners from 11 top plays in 2020)

1. Zulu Alpha (Kitten's Joy Pan American Stakes)

2. Tonalist’s Shape (Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Park Oaks)

3. Mean Mary (Orchid Stakes Presented by Rood and Riddle)

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