08/21/2006 11:00PM

Marcavelly quietly emerging for Johannesburg

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Scat Daddy (left) rallies past Teuflesberg in the Sanford. Both are sons of leading freshman sire Johannesburg.

LAS VEGAS - The two leading freshman sires, Johannesburg and Officer, are waging a ding-dong battle for supremacy, and both had impressive stakes winners last weekend. While they each have three stakes winners, Officer does not have any graded stakes winners; Johannesburg has two.

Scat Daddy and Teuflesberg, who ran 1-2 in the Sanford Stakes, have been the leading juveniles by Johannesburg, but another son, Marcavelly, has also demonstrated talent. After winning his career debut at Belmont Park on July 15, Marcavelly returned to win the Continental Mile on Aug. 19 at Monmouth, with Daytona, also by Johannesburg, finishing second.

In the Continental Mile, Marcavelly got off to a slow start in the 10-horse field, but quickly moved up the inside. Swung out for his rally, he was three deep on the far turn and was four wide in the stretch, where he pulled away with authority to win by 3 1/2 lengths.

With the New York Racing Association now carding more maiden races for juveniles on the turf, the increasing number of babies who are bred for turf are able to showcase their ability instead of spinning their wheels on dirt. Artie Schiller (El Prado), who won last year's Breeders' Cup Mile, started his career in a six-furlong maiden race as a 2-year-old, showing incredible acceleration to win and prove that he was something special. Marcavelly showed more tactical speed in his career debut than Artie Schiller did, stalking the early leaders and then ranging three wide approaching the stretch before drawing off by seven lengths. Marcavelly closed his last quarter-mile in 23.17 seconds over a firm turf course.

Interestingly, Artie Schiller and Marcavelly share the same female family. Trained by Bill Mott, Marcavelly is out of the Majestic Light mare Dark Jewel, a full sister to multiple stakes winner Hidden Light, who is the dam of Artie Schiller.

Daytona, who found his best stride late to finish a clear second, is another Johannesburg colt who may have a better future on grass than on dirt. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Daytona is out of the Sultry Song mare Kirby's Babe, a full sister to Kirby's Song, the 1998 Canadian champion 3-year-old filly. In addition to her major stakes victories in Canada, Kirby's Song captured the Monmouth Oaks.

Officer had a splendid weekend as well. At Arlington Park on Sunday, Officer Rocket, a 2-year-old Officer colt, scampered to a 13-length victory in the Spectacular Bid Stakes. Officer Rocket has won 2 of 3 starts and is out of the Gone West mare Ocean View, who placed in the Oak Leaf Stakes and Hollywood Oaks. Ocean View is a full sister to Alcibiades winner Westerly Breeze and a half-sister to stakes winner Jacksonport.

Chief Officer, who was third in the Grade 3 Schuylerville Stakes at Saratoga, won the Lady Finger Stakes on Saturday at Finger Lakes for Bill Mott. Chief Officer is out of the Pine Bluff mare Guilty Pleasure and is a half-sister to Fantasy Stakes winner Ready to Please, who finished third in the Mother Goose Stakes.

Big weekend for Arch

Arch got two Grade 1 victories last weekend, when Pine Island won the Alabama Stakes and Arravale won the Del Mar Oaks. Arch Rebel, a 5-year-old gelding by Arch, finished second in the Group 3 Desmond Stakes at Leopardstown in Ireland.

Arch won the Super Derby on dirt, and although his offspring have won major stakes on that surface, they are superior on grass and at distances over one mile. Pine Island won her career debut on turf, showing a much faster turn of foot than she does on dirt, but she has better opportunities on the dirt in the U.S. and has a chance to win a championship if she scores additional stakes victories this fall.

Before her Del Mar Oaks victory, Arravale won the Natalma Stakes and Alywow Stakes and was third in the Grade 1 American Oaks.

Arch is by Kris S., who sired stakes winners on dirt as well as turf. Top runners by Kris S. include Hollywood Wildcat (champion 3-year-old filly), Soaring Softly (champion turf female), Action This Day (champion 2-year-old colt), Lucky Story (champion 2-year-old colt in England), My Renee (champion older female in Ireland), Symboli Kris S (horse of the year twice and multiple champion in Japan), Kris Kin (Epsom Derby), Prized (Breeders' Cup Turf), Kissin Kris (Haskell Invitational Handicap), Rock Hard Ten (Santa Anita Handicap), Kicken Kris (Arlington Million), Kudos (Oaklawn Handicap), Brocco (Breeders' Cup Juvenile), Dr Fong (St. James's Palace Stakes), and You and I (Metropolitan Handicap).