04/25/2004 11:00PM

American Post all the way


American Post led throughout to take an otherwise chaotic Prix de Fontainebleau at Longchamp on Sunday, while Gary Stevens piloted Grey Lilas to victory in the Prix de la Grotte.

When American Post's regular rider, Richard Hughes, was injured in a spill at Leicester at Saturday, trainer Criquette Head-Maarek had to press Christophe Soumillon into service. The 1-2 favorite, American Post ran on well in his final prep for the French 2000 Guineas to defeat Antonius Pius by a length, but the runner-up, trained by Aidan O'Brien, was disqualified and placed last of four for impeding a fading Diamond Green at the eighth pole. Blackdoun was placed second and Diamond Green third in the Group 3 mile, which went in 1:38.50 on good-to-soft ground.

The improving Grey Lilas defeated Petit Calva by 1 1/2 lengths in the Group 3 Prix de la Grotte, with the 1.30-1 choice Denebola a short head away in third. Trained by Andre Fabre, Grey Lilas (2.80-1), a Danehill filly, got the mile in 1:38.40 and is now a leading candidate for both the French 1000 Guineas on May 16 and the French Oaks on June 13.

Millemix, also trained by Head-Maarek, was a two-length winner of the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe, establishing himself as a leading contender for the French Derby on June 6. A Linamix colt, he got the 1 5/16 miles in 2:12.90 as the 3-2 choice. As in the Fontainebleau, an O'Brien-trained runner-up, in this case Esperanto, was taken down, He was placed fifth for interference and the George Strawbridge-owned Day or Night was placed second. Jamie Spencer, rider of both offending horses, received a six-day ban. Barring an appeal, Spencer will miss the ride aboard the Epsom Derby favorite, Yeats, in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial on May 9.