03/30/2006 12:00AM

Miss Marvic returns to the scene

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CALGARY, Alberta - Miss Marvic arrived here last spring as an unheralded 4-year-old, but quickly reeled off four consecutive victories in a steady climb up the claiming ladder. On Saturday, Miss Marvic looks like the one to beat as she faces six rivals in the optional $40,000 claiming feature at four furlongs at Stampede Park.

Under Gary Stein, who rides Saturday, Miss Marvic started her streak here by besting 4-year-old fillies twice for a $15,000 tag. She then defeated fillies and mares for a $22,000 tag and finally captured an optional claimer to complete her run.

Miss Marvic's final tally earned her a pair of tries, both unsuccessful, versus stakes rivals in her return to her home base of Assiniboia Downs, where she closed out the year with a front-running allowance score.

Miss Marvic likes to be on the lead and will continue to run even when hooked, as shown in several of her 10 lifetime victories from 19 starts. There is plenty of speed signed on in this race.

Miss Marvic's main challenge could come late from Jade Peony, who breaks to her immediate outside.

Jade Peony, an 8-year-old, enjoyed a banner season in 2005 while winning 5 of 8 starts, and runs well fresh as evidenced by tallies in her first two outings here last April at six furlongs. While she has never won going a half-mile, Jade Peony has finished second twice at the distance and will be rolling late under Quincy Welch.