03/25/2004 12:00AM

Turf victory by Society Cat gives her edge in Scottsdale


PHOENIX - Three of the four highweights have never even tried the turf. So, it's easy to make a case that Society Cat goes into Turf Paradise's $40,000 Scottsdale Handicap on turf Saturday with a significant edge, because she comes off a big recent win on the grass.

A field of six was entered in the mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies.

Society Cat, trained by David Van Winkle, had been knocking on the door for some time. Finally, after five straight runner-up efforts, she broke through and won her maiden at Turf Paradise on Feb. 20, sprinting on dirt.

Her connections wheeled her back March 14 to try winners for the first time, turf for the first time, and an extra two furlongs. Society Cat responded big, dueling early, opening up into the lane, and comfortably holding her lead. It's entirely possible she's simply a new horse nowadays, but that proven ability on turf may give her the nod Saturday. A daughter of Iron Cat, Society Cat carries 116 pounds and rider Glenn Corbett.

Muir Beach and Church Editor both carry high weight of 119 pounds, though neither has ever set foot on turf. They have other assets, however. Muir Beach, trained by Kevin Lewis, comes off a tough nose loss in the Cactus Cup here March 12. She notched her only win going long. Kelly Bridges rides.

Church Editor had the misfortune of hooking the very talented House of Fortune in the California Oaks at Golden Gate on March 6. Church Editor finished second - though she was beaten 17 lengths. She previously finished fifth in the Arizona Oaks here on Feb. 7. Scott Stevens rides for Vladimir Cerin.