Stay Lucky Picks: Risen Star Stakes Weekend Kicks Off 2020 Season

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.

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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 a powerhouse card at Fair Grounds that is highlighted by two divisions of the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes Presented by Lamarque Ford.

Saturday, Feb. 15

General George Handicap (3:49 p.m. ET): Firenze Fire (#6) makes his 5-year-old debut in this race and takes on a very solid group of sprinters, primarily based in Maryland with success on this main track. On paper, Firenze Fire looks like a standout as he holds a class advantage over the opposition, although graded stakes winner Still Having Fun (#4) is Grade 1-placed. I’m intrigued by New York invader Wicked Trick (#9), who has really come on since he was claimed by Linda Rice and has now won six straight. It’s the first race of the Stay Lucky season, so I’ll swing away with Wicked Trick for the upset.

Mineshaft Stakes (5:01 p.m. ET): There will be a lot of buzz surrounding the 5-year-old debut of Hofburg (#6), but I landed on Silver Dust (#4) who has four wins at this distance and has three wins and three seconds at Fair Grounds. He also is in good form having won a Grade 3 on Jan. 18 at this track and distance.

Fair Grounds Stakes (5:32 p.m. ET): Synchrony (#2) has finished in the top three in 19 of 25 career starts and 14 of 18 races on the grass, and he’s been especially effective on the turf at Fair Grounds (4-for-5 lifetime). He won this race last year off a long layoff and profiles as the class of the field.

Rachel Alexandra Stakes Presented by Fasig-Tipton (6:05 p.m. ET): British Idiom (#6) is unbeaten in three starts and the 2019 champion 2-year-old filly will make her season debut here against a solid group. Finite (#7) to her outside looks dangerous coming off four straight wins and the top three from her Silverbulletday Stakes win were separated by only a neck and all return for this race. It’s always a bit of a question with racehorses if exceptional 2-year-olds will continue to improve or if they were simply developmentally ahead of their peers as precocious juveniles. I don’t think British Idiom falls into the latter category, but you never truly know until they get back in the starting gate, so I’ll sit this one out for Stay Lucky purposes.

Risen Star Stakes presented by Lamarque Ford, division one (6:38 p.m. ET): I like Mr. Monomoy (#9) to improve off a third-place finish in his stakes debut in the Lecomte Stakes and step up to win this division of the Risen Star. He faces a quality group, however, including the top two from the Lecomte – Enforceable (#8) and Silver State (#2) – so he has his work cut out for him.

Risen Star Stakes presented by Lamarque Ford, division two (7:12 p.m. ET): Although Anneau d’Or (#8) came up short when second in both of his two most recent starts, the runner-up finishes came in the Grade 1 TVG Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Grade 2 Los Alamitos Futurity so he is proven at this level of competition. Would I have liked to have seen him dig in to win one of them? Sure, but I think this division of the Risen Star came up lighter than the other and Anneau d’or has a significant edge. He’s a play for me this weekend.

Sunday, Feb. 16

Sweet Life Stakes (6:30 p.m. ET): Laura’s Light (#6) looks like the fastest filly in the field, but I’m always a little cautious with turf sprints, especially 3-year-olds with limited experience. If I had a nice streak on Saturday, I’d sit this out. Otherwise, I’ll fire away.

Monday, Feb. 17

Razorback Handicap (5:09 p.m. ET): There are a number of quality speed horses entered in this race plus quite a few closers, but very few who profile as classic stalker types. I think that could benefit a hard-knocking runner like Snapper Sinclair (#10), who has struggled against Grade 1 competition but absolutely can compete here.

Southwest Stakes (5:43 p.m. ET): I like Answer In (#9) better than winner Shoplifted (#3) coming out of the Remington Springboard Mile Stakes. Answer In finished second by a head in the Springboard Mile but finished willingly. The outside post does not help his cause here, but he’s been training well for his 3-year-old bow.

Mike’s Stay Lucky Picks

1. Synchrony (Fair Grounds Stakes)

2.  Anneau d’Or (Risen Star Stakes presented by Lamarque Ford, division two)

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