04/03/2005 12:00AM

Virden captures Scottsdale Handicap


Virden, heavily favored off a string of strong stakes outings despite trying turf for the first time, had little trouble handling fellow 3-year-old fillies on the sod in Turf Paradise's $40,000 Scottsdale Handicap on the turf on Saturday. Despite facing a new surface Virden, trained by Dan McFarlane and owned by Dennis Weir, had little trouble disposing of the opposition as the daughter of Tactical Cat stalked the pace as the 3-2 favorite, took the lead into the lane under Joel Campbell, then drew off to win with disdain. She ended up romping by nearly seven lengths and earned $24,000 for the victory.

The win gave her a career mark of 6-3-2-1 and boosted her career earning to over $78,000. She previously finished won the Sun Devil here on Jan. 22 and was second in the Arizona Oaks and Cactus Cup Handicap, all the dirt.

Kick the Can sat well back early and closed smartly to be second, though she was never a threat to the winner. Regal Boot stalked the pace, loomed a threat into the lane but couldn't make the necessary impact late while holding on to be third. Lyndee's Pearl, the second choice at 9-5, stalked the pace, loomed a big threat into the lane but then flattened out, ending up fourth in the field of nine.

Virden covered the mile on the turf in 1:35.87. and paid $5 to win.