05/17/2004 12:00AM

France: Victory lands in American Post's lap


American Post, the 2-5 favorite in the Poule d'Essai des Poulains at Longchamp, seemed ready to settle for second place in the one-mile classic when Antonius Pius rushed to the lead inside the furlong pole. Suddenly, however, Antonius Pius veered wildly to the right, slamming into the rails and bouncing back to a fifth-place finish. Left in the lead 50 yards from the line, American Post recorded a half-length victory over Diamond Green in the French equivalent of the 2000 Guineas.

American Post has now won six in a row, but trainer Criquette Head-Maarek will consult with owner Khalid Abdullah before deciding on a trip to Epsom, where firm ground could rule him out of the June 5 Derby.

Torrestrella, supplemented for $25,000 to the Group 1 Poule d'Essai des Pouliches, or French 1000 Guineas, scored a 1 1/2-length upset at 9-1 over the favored Grey Lilas, ridden by Gary Stevens.

In the Group 1 Prix Lupin, a key 1 5/16-mile prep for the French Derby, Voix du Nord, the 7-5 favorite, nosed out Prix Greffulhe winner Millemix after a rousing duel.

Altieri defeated the odds-on Vespone by three lengths in the Group 1 Premio Presidente della Repubblica in Rome, getting the 1 1/4 miles in 1:58.70. At Kranji, the Gary Tanaka-owned, German-based Epalo was a handy five-length winner over Surveyor in the $1.6 million Singapore Airlines International Cup. And in Tokyo, the Win Radius won the $1 million Group 2 Keio Hai Spring Cup.