03/29/2004 1:00AM

American Post starting his year

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American Post begins what is expected to be a high-profile season at Saint-Cloud on Wednesday in the Prix Omnium II, a one-mile listed event in which he will face four rivals.

A 3-year-old British-bred son of Bering, American Post followed his four-length victory in the Group 1 Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere at Longchamp on Oct. 5 with a win in the Group 1 Racing Post Trophy at Doncaster three weeks later. He is using the Omnium, best remembered in America as the race used by Arazi as his sole prep for the Kentucky Derby in 1992, as a prep for Longchamp's Poule d'Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) on May 16.

Trained by Criquette Head-Maarek for Khalid Abdullah, American Post will be ridden by British-based Richard Hughes. His main challenger in the Omnium could be Joursanvault, winner of the listed Prix Montenica at Maisons-Laffitte on March 19.