08/28/2004 12:00AM

South Africa takes Prelude Stakes


Bossier City, La - The next stop for South Africa will be next month's Super Derby as he turned in an impressive frontrunning performance in Saturday's Prelude Stakes. The win netted the son of Cape Town an all-fees-paid berth into this meeting's marquee event slated for September 25. Fantasticat made a late charge up the rail to finish a close second followed by favorite Britt's Jules who rated off the winner early before dueling with that foe through the last half mile. Panama invader Xirius finished fourth and along with the second and third place finishers received an automatic nomination to the Super Derby.

Trained by Cole Norman for Gary and Mary West Stables, South Africa ($19.40) made his two turn debut a successful one under John Jacinto after setting early fractions of :23.74, :47.85 and 1:12.09. He lost the advantage to Britt's Jules when straightened for home then battled back in game fashion to score the upset by a neck. The final time for the mile and a sixteenth was 1:43.98 over a fast but not particularly glib surface. The victory was South Africa's second stakes win, having accounted for the six furlong Airline Stakes in his last start, and the fourth overall from seven starts. He has now earned over $110,000.