Melissa Hoppert’s picks: Classic Empire, Always Dreaming, Cloud Computing
Here’s how we see the field:
Trainer: Brendan Walsh Jockey: Joel Rosario Odds: 30-1
Drape: He found his running shoes, winning his last two, including the Illinois Derby in April. Here’s your Indiana Derby winner.
Hoppert: The Illinois Derby field was mediocre at best, and his speed figures are well below those of the big names in this race.
2. Cloud Computing
Trainer: Chad Brown Jockey: Javier Castellano Odds: 12-1
Drape: This one is going to attract betting money because of the trainer-jockey combo, but that is not a prudent investment for a colt whose only win was a maiden sprint.
Hoppert: Of the so-called new shooters in the race, the lightly raced third-place Wood Memorial finisher is the most intriguing. He qualified for the Derby but was pointed toward this race instead, and Castellano chose him over Gunnevera, whom he rode to a seventh-place finish in the Derby.
Trainer: Steve Asmussen Jockey: Florent Geroux Odds: 20-1
Drape: Eleventh place in the Derby. Hence, he is slow.
Hoppert: The “wise guy pick” ahead of the Derby has more early speed than he flashed in that race, but will Geroux use it in the Preakness?
4. Always Dreaming
Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: John Velazquez Odds: 4-5
Drape: I always root for the Derby winner, but this one looks a bit like the barn’s 2010 Derby champion, Super Saver. Both caught a wet track on Derby day and looked like swamp buggies. Alas, Super Saver caught a dry one here and finished eighth.
Hoppert: I’m not sure about that: Always Dreaming won his past four races, including the Derby, by an impressive 23¼ lengths,…