05/16/2007 12:00AM

Passage of Time wins at York


Trainer Henry Cecil, the winner of 23 British classics since 1975 but none since 2000, will be in the catbird's seat in the June 1 English Oaks with Passage of Time, winner of Wednesday's Group 3 Musidora Stakes at York.

Ridden by Richard Hughes, Passage of Time, a Dansili filly, won the Musidora, her 2007 debut, holding off Sweet Lily by a neck. She ran the 1 1/4 miles, 88 yards of the $118,000 contest in 2:11.78 on good ground as the odds-on choice. It was another 1 3/4 lengths back to Sues Surprise in third, with Shorthand, a full sister to last year's Musidora winner, Short Skirt, fourth, beaten 2 1/2 lengths

Cecil's last classic triumph came in 2000 with Love Divine, the most recent of his seven English Oaks winners.

A Khalid Abdullah homebred, Passage of Time was running for the first time since Nov. 12, when she beat colts in the Group 1, 1/4-mile Criterium de Saint-Cloud. Out of a mare by Sadler's Wells, she looks certain to stay the 1 1/2 miles of the Oaks, especially as her second dam is a half-sister to All At Sea, who finished second to User Friendly in the 1993 Oaks.

Cecil, who won his eighth Musidora, revealed after the race that Passage of Time is suffering from a minor throat abscess that may have to be removed following her run in the Oaks, for which Ladbrokes has her as its 9-4 favorite.