2022 Arlington Stakes Cheatsheet
By TwinSpires Editorial Team, Sponsored Content

By Vance Hanson (TwinSpires.com)

1. ADMISSION OFFICE (3-1) – Appeared to find his niche in three-turn events a couple seasons ago, finishing a solid second to Zulu Alpha in the Mac Diarmida (G2) and then winning the Louisville (G3) here; however, he hasn’t been out in 15 months and reappears at a distance that is perhaps a little less than optimum these days; gelded since we last saw him and picks up Velazquez, but wouldn’t be shocked if he needed one to shake off the rust.

2. FLORIFORM (4-1) – Less exposed than everyone else, he’s never finished worse than third in five tries on the lawn; and the one third-place try was a terrific effort in his lone prior stakes attempt in the Tampa Bay (G3), in which he was only beaten two lengths by eventual Maker’s Mark Mile (G1) winner Shirl’s Speight; confirmed his class again last out taking a Keeneland allowance over Cellist, who recently captured the 12f Louisville here; might get ideal stalk-and-pounce trip here; appealing.

3. LIKE THE KING (12-1) – Equaled career-best 94 Brisnet speed rating in his April 20 comeback from a break dating to late October; he was beaten less than three lengths against that tough N3X group in a race he likely needed for conditioning; while some improvement expected here, his turf form stands out less than what he showed early last season on synthetic leading up to the Kentucky Derby (G1); Casse barn also a bit cold at the moment.

4. GET SMOKIN (3-1) – Offered little against some crack European sprinters in Dubai last time, but this spot more up his alley; second best against the aforementioned Shirl’s Speight in his title defense of the Tampa Bay two back, he figures to be much more formidable in these conditions, though an easy lead no guarantee with Gray’s Fable also possessing early foot; nonetheless, a solid-looking prospect.

5. FIELD PASS (5-2) – Ran into an up-and-coming buzz saw in Chez Pierre at Laurel in his return from a modest winter layoff, and perhaps was a little too close a strong pace in that one; possesses sufficient back class to make an impact here, though he’s inconsistent at showing it at times; one of several capable of taking advantage of a potential duel involving Get Smokin and Gray’s Fable, but would certainly hold out for much more than this ML price.

6. GRAY’S FABLE (7-2) – Seven-year-old turned back some mild mid-race pressure and then scraped home to land the Opening Verse during Derby week, only the second stakes success for this lightly-raced seven-year-old; need-the-lead type figures to have competition for early supremacy in Get Smokin, who seems to have a touch more class, and career-best likely needed to beat this deeper group.