10/15/2007 12:00AM

Bit of Whimsy upsets Dreaming of Anna

Michael J. Marten/Horsephotos
Bit of Whimsy, 6-1, springs a mild upset in Saturday's Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup.
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Bit of Whimsy rallied from well back to collar front-running Dreaming of Anna and pull clear for the biggest win of her career Saturday in the 24th running of the Grade 1 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland.

Ridden by Javier Castellano for trainer Barclay Tagg, Bit of Whimsy returned $15.80 as the fifth choice in the wagering after finishing 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.73 over firm turf. Dreaming of Anna, the 2-1 favorite under Garrett Gomez, held second, 2o1/4 lengths behind the winner and another length before Coquerelle in a field of nine 3-year-old fillies.

"This filly likes to lay up close, but I thought it best that Javier take her back today," said Tagg. "Fortunately it worked out perfect."

Amid terrific autumn weather, Dreaming of Anna set a solo pace in 47.66, 1:11.24, and 1:36.02 while edging clear from several chasers. Meanwhile, Bit of Whimsy, sixth most of the way, was full of run when getting through along the inside, and Dreaming of Anna had no response when Bit of Whimsy surged alongside as they passed the sixteenth pole.

"There was a lot of speed in the race," said Castellano. "We were looking for a good kick today."

Bit of Whimsy, a Kentucky-bred by Distorted Humor, was one of four QE II starters exiting the Grade 1 Garden City at Belmont Park. Bit of Whimsy was second in the Garden City behind Alexander Tango.

Bit of Whimsy, owned by Joyce Young and Gerald McManis, earned $310,000 of the $500,000 total purse. She now has 3 wins and 2 seconds from 6 career starts.

The order of finish after Coquerelle was Costume, Touch My Soul, Classic Neel, Sharp Susan, Good Mood, and Street Sounds.

* Earlier Saturday, Steve's Double ($26) captured his stakes debut when forging clear in midstretch and holding off favored Les Grands Trois by a half-length in the Grade 3, $200,000 Perryville Stakes. Steve's Double, a Maryland-bred, finished the Beard Course distance of seven furlongs and 184 feet in 1:25.38 over Polytrack. He is owned by Oxbow Racing and trained by Ronny Werner.

It was the third stakes victory of the meet for jockey Jamie Theriot, who won the Grade 1 Shadwell Mile with Purim last Saturday and the Jessamine Stakes on Thursday with a pickup mount, Wind In My Wings.

Saturday attendance was 18,271.