06/16/2004 11:00PM

Platinum Ballet class edge in 'Northbound'


SHAKOPEE, Minn. - Nine 3-year old fillies were entered in Saturday's $40,000 Northbound Pride Stakes, formerly known as the Canterbury Oaks. The 1 1/16-mile race is scheduled for the turf course although none of the entrants has yet proven successful on the grass.

Platinum Ballet may be favored because of her experience in stakes company. Trained by Kelly Von Hemel, Platinum Ballet finished second in an optional claiming race on the Louisiana Downs turf last November. After winning her first allowance condition at Oaklawn in March, Platinum Ballet ran unsuccessfully in the Grade 2 Fantasy Stakes. She followed that start with a fifth-place finish against older rivals on the Lone Star turf in May. In her most recent race, Platinum Ballet closed well to finish second in the Panther Stakes at Prairie Meadows. Scott Stevens takes the mount.

Stevens might have had a choice of mounts in the Northbound Pride, as he also rode Ghostly Gate to an allowance win at Canterbury last month. But Seth Martinez takes the assignment on Ghostly Gate, a filly who has won her last two starts impressively, since racing around two turns. Hugh Robertson trains Ghostly Gate, a daughter of Silver Ghost produced from the immediate family of Flower Bowl winner Just a Game. It is a pedigree that suggests she will handle her first start on grass.

Trainer Larry Jones ships Brigette's Dream to Canterbury after the daughter of Gulch prevailed in an allowance race at Prairie Meadows earlier this month. Terry Thompson has the call.