Stay Lucky Picks: Stellar Summer Racing at Keeneland

Live racing at the spring meet at Keeneland in Lexington, Ky., which this summer will host an abbreviated summer meet. (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?

weekend TV schedule

Thursday, July 9: 1-6 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Friday, July 10: 1-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Saturday, July 11: 1-6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; post time varies on TVG

Sunday, July 12: 12:30–2 p.m. ET on FS1; 2-5 p.m. ET on FS2; 5–7 p.m. ET on NBCSN; post time varies on TVG

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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 headlined by Saturday's Toyota Blue Grass Stakes, an important prep race for the Sept. 5 Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve.

Keeneland Race Course will hold a special five-day summer meet from Wednesday, July 8 through Sunday, July 12. The meet features 10 graded stakes races that were supposed to be held during its traditional April meet, which was cancelled due to COVID-19.

TVG is the go-to network for racing at Keeneland. Their comprehensive Keeneland coverage begins at 11:30 a.m. ET each day of live racing with “Today at Keeneland” on TVG2 hosted by Scott Hazelton and Gabby Gaudet. Keeneland will also stream its entire card on its website and YouTube page, and it is offering extensive “Keeneland at Home” resources to fans to access since they will not be allowed at the track.

Friday, July 10

Maker's Mark Mile (4:57 p.m. ET): I wouldn’t fault you for taking Raging Bull (#4) in this spot and he looks like the most likely winner on paper, but there are at least four or five others in with a legitimate shot to win. Turf mile races can produce some really close and exciting finishes, so I’d probably avoid if I had a sizeable streak intact. For betting purposes, I think Next Shares (#9) has a shot to win at 8-1 on the morning line.

Saturday, July 11

Madison Stakes (3:18 p.m. ET): I liked what I saw from Guarana (#5) in her 4-year-old debut when she won an allowance race at Churchill Downs by 5 ¼ lengths and she was super-impressive in winning the one-turn mile, Grade 1 Acorn Stakes last June. She’s really never run a bad race.

Shakertown Stakes (3:51 p.m. ET): Wildman Jack (#2) has emerged as an elite turf sprinter, but the grass he’ll find at Keeneland is much different than the turf courses he competed on this year in Dubai and at Santa Anita. There are others I prefer that figure to be a better price like Extravagant Kid (#1).

Robert G. Dick Memorial Stakes (4:15 p.m. ET): Gentle Ruler (#5) is the 3-2 morning-line favorite for this race and the defending winner. She’s also been very good in two starts this year, but I prefer second choice Mrs. Sippy (#1). Mrs. Sippy ran a monster race at this distance last summer at Saratoga and was scratched out of the Grade 2 New York Stakes two weeks back when stablemate Mean Mary dominated the race. I think trainer Graham Motion knew Mean Mary was breathing fire and I like Mrs. Sippy's chances quite a bit in this race. I also like having jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. aboard.

Connaught Cup Stakes (4:15 p.m. ET): I landed on White Flag (#2) in this spot. His last start — a close fifth in the Grade 1 Jaipur Stakes — was much better than it looked on paper and he’s 2-for-2 at this distance. He’s also run fairly well on this turf course with two thirds in two starts on the grass at Woodbine.

Delaware Handicap (4:45 p.m. ET): I spent a bit of time trying to find the right horse to beat Grade 1 winner Dunbar Road (#2), but I just can’t see it. She’s the class of the field and she was impressive in her return from a layoff in May. A top play this week.

Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes (4:57 p.m. ET): This is a significant challenge against a deep group for Rushing Fall (#4), but she is the class of the field, she loves this turf course (4-for-5 on the grass at Keeneland), and she has three wins in four starts at this distance.

Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (5:30 p.m. ET): I’ll bet a lot of bettors will be scared away by the fifth-place finish in Enforceable's most recent start in the Louisiana Derby, but he didn’t run a bad race when wide throughout and he’s run well against top competition this year. Filly Swiss Skydiver (#7) is a win candidate for sure, but I like Enforceable’s (#12) chances in this spot and I’m hoping for a fair price.

Sunday, July 12

Kentucky Utilities Transylvania Stakes (4:24 p.m. ET): Field Pass (#1) is the 2-1 morning-line favorite but I don’t think he’s a clear standout by any means in this field of 11 3-year-olds. His lone start on the grass at Keeneland was an unplaced finish. Chad Brown’s Vintage Print (#5) has turned a corner once he switched from the main track to turf with two wins in as many starts, and I think he might be the one to play here. He’s a Curlin colt who was a $1.8-million auction purchase and looks like he’s really starting to figure things out. I’ll avoid the race for Stay Lucky purposes.

TVG Elkhorn Stakes (5:30 p.m. ET): Morning-line favorite Zulu Alpha (#5) and 3-1 second choice Arklow (#10) both have run well on this course and at this distance. They look like they have a pretty clear class advantage in this 13-horse field, but the Keeneland turf often produces surprising results and one horse I think will really outrun his odds is Nakamura (#2), who ran second in the 1 ½-mile, Grade 3 Sycamore Stakes on the turf at Keeneland last October.

Mike’s Top Stay Lucky Picks

(12 winners from 28 top plays in 2020)

1. Dunbar Road (Delaware Handicap)

2. Guarana (Madison Stakes)

3. Rushing Fall (Coolmore Jenny Wiley Stakes)

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