Joahannesburg (above) continues rivalry with Officer in the breeding shed.

Joahannesburg (above) continues rivalry with Officer in the breeding shed.

Tony Leonard

Johannesburg, Officer Fighting It Out on Freshmen Sires List

Johannesburg and Officer, who raced against each other as 2-year-olds, now are battling each other as freshmen sires. Johannesburg has emerged as the clear cut leader by progeny earnings, but the two are tied for number of winners (a dozen) and stakes winners (three).

Johannesburg's total of about $550,000 in progeny earnings not only leads the first-crop list, but the overall sires of 2-year-old list. The son of Hennessy boasts a graded winner and a group winner and both are unbeaten. Johannesburg's son, Scat Daddy, won the Sanford Stakes (gr. II) over another Johannesburg offspring, Teuflesberg, at Saratoga. In England, another son, Hamoody, captured the group II Sterling Insurance Richmond Stakes at Goodwood. Back in the states, Johannesburg colts Marcavelly and Daytona ran one-two in the Continental Mile Stakes on turf at Monmouth Park.

Officer, whose offspring have earned about $480,000, is represented by two stakes winners in the U.S. and one in England. A son, Officer Rocket, captured the Spectacular Bid Stakes at Arlington Park, and a daughter, Chief Officer, won the Lady Fingers Stakes at Finger Lakes after placing in the Schuylerville Stakes (gr. III) at Saratoga. Another daughter, Satulagi, captured the Indore Pears Diamond Winkfield Stakes at Ascot and was twice stakes-placed, once in a group event.

Johannesburg has a commanding lead over Officer by number of juveniles (129 to 70) and that might prove to be the deciding factor as the year goes on. Already, 40 of Johannesburg's 2-year-olds have started compared to 24 for Officer.

Johannesburg and Officer met for the only time in the 2001 Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) while both were unbeaten, and Johannesburg emerged the winner, with Officer unplaced. Johannesburg was voted an Eclipse Award as top 2-year-old male to go along with championships in England, Ireland, and France. Both raced the following year and entered stud in 2003.

Johannesburg, who is out of the Ogygian mare Myth, stands at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky. His 2006 fee was $25,000.

Officer (Bertrando--St. Helens Shadow, by Septieme Ciel) holds court at the Beck family's Gainesway Farm near Lexington, where his 2006 fee was $15,000.