Preakness 2017 Picks: Experts’ Predictions to Win, Place and Show

Melissa Hoppert’s picks: Classic Empire, Always Dreaming, Cloud Computing

Here’s how we see the field:

1. Multiplier

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.

3. Hence

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?

Photo

Always Dreaming

Credit
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

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,…

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