04/01/2002 12:00AM

Johannesburg leads Lingfield prep noms


Johannesburg heads a list of seventeen nominees to the Fosters-International Trial Stakes, the proposed Kentucky Derby prep which will be run at Lingfield Park on Saturday.

The world champion juvenile of 2001 has been named for the $71,400 one-mile dirt allowance along with six of his Aidan O'Brien-trained stablemates, although probably only two or three of the Ballydoyle team will run. Among the O'Brien nominees are the Group 1 winners Hawk Wing, currently co-favorite with Johannesburg for the 2,000 Guineas, Rock Of Gibraltar and Sholokhov, as well as the Group 3 winner and Group 1 placed Castle Gandolfo.

Among the eleven other nominees at the five-day entry stage are two British-trained winners on dirt, Eastborough and Prince Tulum. Perhaps the most dangerous of the non-O'Brien possibles is the Paul Cole-trained maiden winner Kepler, a Spinning World colt out of Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup and Diana Handicap winner Perfect Arc.

The draw for the Fosters-International will be held on Friday with post time scheduled for 7:10am (EST) on Saturday.