04/12/2004 12:00AM

Voix du Nord wins Noailles

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Voix du Nord established himself as the early favorite for the French Derby with a three-length score over Cherry Mix in the Group 2, $126,000 Prix Noailles at Longchamp on Sunday.

The winner of last November's Group 1 Criterium de Saint-Cloud at 1 1/4 miles, Voix du Nord led through the final 1 1/2 furlongs as the 6-5 favorite under Christophe Soumilon. He was running on strongly at the end of the 1 3/8 miles, suggesting that he is fully capable of getting the French Derby's extra furlong at Chantilly on June 6. Trainer David Smaga will give Voix du Nord, who was timed in 2:17.46 on good-to-soft ground, a final French Derby prep in the Group 1 Prix Lupin at Longchamp on May 16.

Ridden by Gary Stevens, Cherry Mix overcame early rankness to get up for second, a short neck ahead of Fast and Furious.

* Dance in the Mood rallied from sixth to win the Grade 1, $1.9 million Oka Sho (Japanese 1000 Guineas) at Hanshin on Sunday by two lengths over Azuma Sanders.