It would be fair to say that the weekend was not great here at the US Horse Racing desk as Sunday saw an 0 for 2 result with a scratch with our third selection. A new week however brings new hope and as always we are picking from Betfred’s Extra Place races and only selecting horses from outside of the top three according to the Morning Line Odds…
We’ll start our day with a Finger Lakes double with the 19:13 being the first race on our radar. It is the veteran of this track Clifden Punch that we pick. Drawn in Gate 6, he has raced at the New York venue his entire career and has placed in over 50% of his starts. His record is 36 races, five wins, four-times runner-up with 11 third place finishes. During his 2023 campaign, he’s placed three times from five including a victory earlier this month. Nothing spectacular but to be priced up as the sixth choice of seven in a middling field feels like potential value.
The next race on the card is also an Extra Place Race and we have an intriguing selection in the 19:42. We are going for The Institute, a four-year-old who has been incredibly disappointing in his first two runs of his 2023 season. A year ago he was one of the top three-year-old’s based at Finger Lakes having won four of his six starts, three of which were at five-and-a-half furlongs. He’s back at that distance later today for the first time since last November and his record at that distance at this track is three wins and a runner-up from four starts. Good chance to bounceback. If he doesn’t run well here then big questions will be asked about whether he’ll be able to get back to that promising form of a year ago.
This is our first visit to Fort Erie for this column but in the 22:26, we have a five-year-old who keeps looking good on dirt whilst mixing in really disappointing runs on turf. It is back on to the dirt today and Beyond My Dreams is coming off the back of a win here at this track just last month. His recent form on this surface is significantly better than either turf or the synth at Woodbine, so the fifth place odds out of seven starters feels skewed by those poor runs on other surfaces.
*All our selections come from outside the top three in the Morning Line Odds and are from races included in Betfred’s Extra Place offering for today.