Trainer: Steve Asmussen Jockey: Ricardo Santana Jr. Odds: 12-1
Drape: He finished big in Baltimore and offers a pedigree that is long on stamina. Still, he’s lightly raced and you have to wonder how much the Preakness took out of him.
Hoppert: The sire of this third-place Preakness finisher is Curlin, who had stamina and speed, and his dam is Temptress, by Tapit. It’s certainly tempting to think he will hit the board.
8. Vino Rosso
Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: John Velazquez Odds: 8-1
Drape: Like Free Drop Billy, this colt was compromised at the start of the Derby. Still, he fought on and has been working lights-out at Belmont ever since. The pick.
Hoppert: The ninth-place Derby finisher is also by Curlin (see above), and his dam is a half sister to a Belmont runner-up. The combination of Pletcher (three Belmont wins) and Velazquez (two) puts him above Tenfold in my book.
9. Noble Indy
Trainer: Todd Pletcher Jockey: Javier Castellano Odds: 30-1
Drape: This colt should keep Justify and Restoring Hope company into the stretch. He has been fierce in the lane before. He is not the worst long shot on the board.
Hoppert: The speedy 17th-place Derby finisher will also go to the lead, and under the right circumstances, he can maybe hang around for a piece at the end.
10. Blended Citizen
Trainer: Doug O’Neill Jockey: Kyle Frey Odds: 15-1
Drape: This guy has yet to live up to the buzz he has generated on the West Coast. Don’t think there will be a breakthrough today.
Hoppert: He won the Peter Pan on this track, but he’s in over his head at this distance and versus this bunch.