04/05/2006 11:00PM

Cuts keep Round Pond from stakes


Round Pond was not entered in Saturday's Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap at Oaklawn Park because multiple cuts in her mouth have not healed, her trainer, John Servis, said Thursday.

Round Pond would have been the probable favorite in the Apple Blossom, which has been her meet objective. She has won both of her starts at Oaklawn this year, including the Grade 3 Azeri Breeders' Cup in a thriller over Happy Ticket.

"It's a nice race to run in, and it's a prestigious race, and we really wanted to be in it," said Servis. "But if they're not right, you can't run them."

Round Pond was found to have three cuts in the left side of her mouth after drifting in a workout last Sunday. She drifted again in a two-minute lick on Thursday, which came under regular rider Stewart Elliott.

"She got to rolling a little bit and Stew had to reach and grab her and when he [did], she started fighting the bit again," said Servis.

The cuts, Servis said, "are healing up good, but they're not 100 percent"

Servis said two of the cuts are caused from the bit, with another up high in her mouth. They are similar to canker sores in humans. Servis said the next major objective for Round Pond that he and Rick Porter, the filly's owner, have discussed is the $1 million Delaware Handicap at Delaware Park on July 16.