10/27/2003 12:00AM

Sutherland, owner, dead at 81

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Dwight Sutherland, who raced the Grade 1-winning filly Sister Act and other top horses in partnerships, died Saturday following a brief illness in his hometown of Kansas City, Mo. He was 81.

Sutherland and his son, Perry, as the principals in Choctaw Racing Stable, raced horses primarily in the Midwest. Sister Act, winner of the Grade 1 Hempstead (now Ogden Phipps) Handicap at Belmont in 1999, was their most notable runner, although the elder Sutherland also owned interests in Gentlemen and Puerto Madero, among others.

Funeral services were scheduled for Tuesday in Kansas City.