05/10/2004 11:00PM

Prospect Park looks best


An improving Prospect Park rates a narrow edge Thursday at Longchamp in the Group 2 Prix Hocquart, the next-to-last trial for the June 6 French Derby.

Prospect Park, trained by Carlos Laffon-Parias, took the listed 1 5/16-mile Prix de Courcelles at Longchamp on April 4. Bred for the 12 furlongs of the Hocquart, he will have Olivier Peslier in the saddle, and that combination should be enough to turn back Cherry Mix and Fast and Furious, the second- and third-place finishers in the Group 2 Prix Noailles.

* Punctilious gave Godolphin a second key contender for the English Oaks with a six-length victory over Glen Innes in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes at York on Tuesday. Punctilious will join stablemate and Oaks favorite Snowdrop in the Epsom classic on June 4. Sent off as the odds-on favorite, Punctillious, a Danehill filly, covered the 1 1/4 miles, 85 yards on good-to-soft ground in a slow 2:22.33.