05/10/2011 3:04PM

World Domination gets Epsom Derby prep


Frankel, the unbeaten English 2000 Guineas winner, was removed from Epsom Derby consideration partly because of skepticism concerning his ability to deliver a representative performance at the race’s 1 1/2-mile distance. Another factor in the decision made by his connections, trainer Henry Cecil and owner Khalid Abdullah’s Juddmonte Farms, is the fact that they may have another horse well suited to the Epsom Derby. That is World Domination, who will try to burnish his credentials for the Derby when he starts Thursday in the Group 2 Dante Stakes at York.

World Domination, a Juddmonte homebred by Empire Maker and out of Reams of Verse, has made just one start, but his 3 3/4-length victory over stablemate Solar Sky on April 16 at Newbury was powerful enough to make him one of the Derby favorites. Racing in fifth position for much of the 1 3/8-mile race, World Domination cruised up to the leaders with about three furlongs to run with jockey Tom Queally barely moving at all. Queally didn’t ask World Domination for any run until about 1 1/2 furlongs out, and World Domination strode away nicely once give his cue.

Five others were entered in the Dante, contested over about 10 1/2 furlongs, with Carlton House and Seville the most highly regarded among the remaining quintet. Carlton House, owned by the Queen of England and trained by Michael Stoute, makes his first start at 3, having capped a two-race 2010 campaign with a romping nine-length maiden win over Dante entrant Yaseer on Oct. 23 at Newbury. The Aidan O’Brien-trained Seville, who also makes his 2011 debut, finished a close second to Casamento in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy Stakes on Oct. 23, his most recent start. Casamento, however, was a disappointment in the 2000 Guineas, finishing 10th.

Midday returns in Middleton

Juddmonte, Cecil, and Queally will be prominent earlier on the York program when Midday makes her 2011 debut in the Group 2 Middleton Stakes. Winner of the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf and second in the 2010 edition of the race in her most recent start, Midday is one of eight final entrants in the Middleton. Midday made her 2010 debut in the same race and was beaten into second, but none of her rivals Thursday has the proven quality of Sariska, the filly who won the 2010 Middleton.