05/16/2006 11:00PM

Short Skirt upsets at York


Short Skirt upset Alexandrova in the Group 3, $113,000 Musidora Stakes at York on Wednesday. A daughter of Diktat trained by Michael Stoute, Short Skirt thus assumed favoritism for the English Oaks over the Aidan O'Brien-trained Alexandrova.

Both of the principals had to overcome rough trips before Short Skirt crossed the line 1 1/4 lengths in front of the odds-on Alexandrova.

Short Skirt lacked room at the three-eighths pole and had to be angled wide by Michael Kinane for a clear run. Alexandrova, runner-up by a short head to Nannina in last fall's Fillies Mile, was bumped leaving the gate in her seasonal debut and didn't find her best stride until the quarter pole.

Sent off at 7-2, Short Skirt had been only eighth in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes last out on Oct. 15. A half-sister to European group race winners Little Rock and Whitewater Affair, Short Skirt covered the 1 1/4 miles, 88 yards in 2:15.63 on good to soft ground and is now William Hill's 7-2 Oaks favorite, although Stoute was uncertain about her status for the race.

A half-hour later, Steenberg, second in last year's Duke of York Stakes, scored a half-length victory over Quito in this year's Group 2, $188,000 Duke of York. Trained by Mark Tompkins and ridden by Michael Hills, the 7-year-old Steenberg was timed in 1:12.54 at 25-1. Last year's winner, The Kiddykid, finished eighth of 16.