05/30/2009 12:00AM

Nursery Rhyme finds a hole and runs through it


You could have moved all the king's horses and all the king's men through the hole that Nursery Rhyme and jockey Jesse Campbell found just before the eighth pole in the Fit for a Queen Stakes late Saturday afternoon at Arlington Park. Just as Dee's Rose leaned in and Sly Storm drifted slightly out, Campbell took Nursery Rhyme off the fence and on to a neck victory in the $52,400 Fit for a Queen.

Nursery Rhyme ($16.60), in from Kentucky for trainer Ian Wilkes, won just her third career race, and her first on a synthetic surface. Nursery Rhyme, bred and owned by Janis Whitman, had never before raced outside maiden or allowance company.

The Fit for a Queen looked on paper like a battle between favored Choragus and second choice Sly Storm. Sly Storm ran okay, pushing forward late to make it close at the finish, as Nursery Rhyme "started to ease up and look around" after making the lead, Campbell said. But while Sly Storm at least showed up, Choragus beat only Paddy Wak Wakie in the Fit for a Queen. Choragus made a bold move at about the half-mile pole to reach contention on the turn, but was flat in the stretch while wide.

Meanwhile, Campbell sat coolly as Kylane and Dee's Rose set fractions of 22.16 seconds for the first quarter-mile, and a quick 45.05 to the half.

"I thought, 'Let me just sit as long as I have to,' and she responded when the hole opened," said Campbell.

Nursery Rhyme finished up 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:17.08. Dee's Rose also stayed on, finishing another neck behind Sly Storm for third.