06/06/2004 12:00AM

South Africa wins stakes debut


Bossier City, La. - Mary and Gary West's South Africa made his stakes debut a successful one here Saturday as he held on through the stretch to capture the Airline Stakes. Smalltown Slew made a late run at the 2-1 favorite but came up three quarters of a length short. Early pacesetter Britts Jules reported home third followed by Foxtrot Oscar.

John Jacinto placed South Africa ($6.00) just behind and outside of Britts Jules in the early stages of the six furlong sprint for 3-year-olds then moved to the fore turning for home. Despite brisk right-handed urging, the winner steadily drifted out but managed to hold off Smalltown Slew in the late going in a time of 1:09.63 over a fast track. The winner is trained by Cole Norman and has now won three of his six lifetime starts and with Saturday's winner's share of $30,000, has now earned $75,000.