04/16/2005 12:00AM

Acey Deucey is Comely winner


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Diane Nelson knew she had horse. She just needed to find room.

In midstretch, Nelson was able to guide Acey Deucey into the clear and she ran past Seeking the Ante to win Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 by a half-length before 4,875 at Aqueduct. Seeking the Ante was second, 1 1/4 lengths ahead of favored Pleasant Chimes, who stumbled at the start.

Last Toots, Quite a Ruckus, Secrets Galore, Bright Mahogany, and Toll Taker completed the order of finish.

It was the first graded stakes victory for trainer John Morrison, who conditions Acey Deucey for Jeffrey Tucker. Morrison and Tucker purchased Acey Deucey privately after she won her maiden in her second start last October. Acey Deucey also won the Dearly Precious and was second in the Grade 3 Cicada.

The only concern Morrison had entering the Comely was whether Acey Deucey could get the one-mile distance, which she had not previously tried. He instructed Nelson to wait as long as she could to ask Acey Deucey to run, and it nearly cost them.

Acey Deucey was tugging at Nelson down the backstretch, but Nelson kept her reserved as Quite a Ruckus and Last Toots raced heads apart though four furlongs in 46.08 seconds.

Acey Deucey was behind four horses turning for home, but Nelson guided her into the center of the course before she unleashed her run. Acey Deucey, a New York-bred daughter of Abaginone, covered the one mile in 1:35.95 and returned $9 as the second choice.

"When I turned for home I was like, 'Something has to open up.' I just had to wait and get out and then she just made her run," Nelson said. "I was, like, 'If I don't get out and I cross the wire with all this horse I'm going to be so mad.' "