01/02/2010 1:00AM

Perf gets up in time in Minaret

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OLDSMAR, Fla. - Perf, next to last in the early going, swung to the rail in the drive and unleashed a powerful late rally to run down Rate of Exchange in the final strides and come away with a neck victory in the for fillies and mares at Tampa Bay Downs on Saturday.

Under Luis Gonzalez, Perf posted her second straight local win and third in a row to take down the $39,000 winner's share, which raised her career earnings to $189,328.

Rate of Exchange drew off from favored Lady Alexander after a half-mile of the six-furlong race, and was almost three lengths clear with a furlong remaining. She finished 1 1/2 lengths to the good of a late-closing Nicks, while Choragus, who had almost unseated jockey Israel Ocampo at the start, was flying along the outside and wound up fourth in the field of 10.

Mary Bennett saddled Perf, a 4-year-old Florida-bred daughter of Burning Roma bred by owner Harold Queen. She covered the six furlongs in 1:10.78 and returned $8.40 as the second choice.