01/02/2016 3:21PM

Lira wins Ginger Brew to stay perfect

Barbara D. Livingston
Lira and jockey Javier Castellano win the Ginger Brew Stakes by half a length Saturday.

HALLANDALE BEACH,  Fla. – Trainer Todd Pletcher said he feared that Lira might not even hit the board once she was forced to steady sharply in traffic near midstretch in Saturday’s $100,000 Ginger Brew Stakes at Gulfstream Park. But the young filly showed a touch of real class when surging late after extricating herself from trouble to register a well-deserved half-length victory over Pricedtoperfection in the 7 1/2-furlong turf stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

Lira was reserved within easy striking distance of the early leaders when suddenly finding herself with no place to go and shuffled back behind horses leaving the furlong grounds under jockey Javier Castellano. But the undefeated filly was able to ease outside and find daylight shortly thereafter, putting in a strong late kick that carried her to a third win in as many starts.

Pricedtoperfection broke a step slowly, raced wide throughout, and rallied belatedly while unable to match strides with the winner at the end. Module finished another head farther back in third after gaining a short advantage from the pacesetting Recognition between calls in deep stretch.

Lira, a daughter of Giant’s Causeway, covered the distance in 1:30.38 over the firm course and paid $5.20.

“She had a really good trip up until turning for home and then kind of had nowhere to go,” said Pletcher. “I was pretty impressed by her acceleration once she found some room. She really showed a good turn of foot. To go from thinking she’d be off the board at midstretch to win by nearly a length, that was an impressive run.”