07/05/2009 11:00PM

Sirrah finds a hole in Northbound Pride

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SHAKOPEE, Minn. - A bold gamble on a first-time starter at the Fair Grounds meeting six months ago paid off for owners Al and Bill Ulwelling, whose Sirrah captured the $50,000 Northbound Pride Stakes at Canterbury Park on Saturday.

Eleven 3-year old fillies contested the 1 1/16-mile event on the turf course, which got a brief soaking earlier in the day. Lady Countdown set the early fractions and was closely shadowed along the inside by Thelifeoftheparty. As that pair made their way through the far turn, a traffic jam was forming outside them, as several drifting rivals impeded the off-the-pace challenge of favored Pterodactyls Rule, who was forced to shift out seven wide nearing upper stretch. Jockey Jose Ferrer had reserved a pulling Sirrah as the field entered the far turn, and as a result he was now presented with a clear path along the inside as the field raced into the stretch. Sirrah prevailed by a length on the wire over Lady Countdown, who edged third-place Thelifeoftheparty by another half-length. The winner completed the mile over going listed as firm in 1:38.36. A subsequent claim of foul by the rider of Thelifeoftheparty against Lady Countdown for some bumping in the stretch was disallowed.

Mike Biehler trains Sirrah, who was claimed in her first start at Fair Grounds in February. Sirrah returned $14 as the fourth choice in the wagering and capped an exacta that returned $347.60.