05/07/2002 11:00PM

Khalkevi rallies at Longchamp

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Khalkevi established himself as a strong candidate for the French Derby by launching a late rally to win Wednesday's 1 1/2-mile Group 2 Prix Hocquart at Longchamp.

Owned by the Aga Khan, who won this race for the fourth time, Khalkevi is a son of Epsom Derby winner Kahyasi. In spite of his diminutive size he extended his unbeaten record to 3 for 3 in his first start in stakes company.

Settled at the rear of the seven-runner field by Christophe Soumillon, the 3-1 Khalkevi rallied to catch Black Sam Bellamy at the eighth pole and had little trouble holding Louveteau safe to record a three-quarter-length victory. Trained by Alain de Royer-Dupre, he was timed in 2:32.20 on good ground that was running on the fast side.

Louveteau was disqualified and placed fifth for interfering with Morozov. Black Sam Bellamy was moved up to second and Thompson Ridge up to third.