01/27/2006 12:00AM

Lawyer Ron on target for Southwest

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Jeff Coady/Coady Photography
Ridden by John McKee, Lawyer Ron works five furlongs in 1:00.40 at Oaklawn on Friday to prepare for the one-mile Southwest on Feb. 20.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - For a 3-year-old who has won his last three starts by 27 1/2 lengths - punctuated by a Beyer Speed Figure of 106 - Lawyer Ron has held his flesh quite well, is quite fresh, and remains quite on target for the $250,000 Southwest after breezing five furlongs in 1:00.40 at his Oaklawn Park base Friday.

The move was the second-fastest of 48 at the distance, and he galloped out six furlongs in 1:13.16 in his first work since his stirring win in the Grade 3 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds meet at Louisiana Downs on Jan. 14.

"I thought he worked well; it was a good effort," Bob Holthus, who trains Lawyer Ron, said Friday. "It was just kind of to keep him fit. It will be two weeks tomorrow since he ran. Although he is fit, I thought he needed something to keep a little air in him."

Lawyer Ron, a strong-looking colt, came onto the track at about 7:30 a.m., and worked to the wire under regular rider John McKee. He reeled off fractions of 11.95 seconds for the opening eighth of a mile, 23.98 for the first quarter, and 36.45 for three furlongs. He went out seven furlongs in 1:27.31.

Lawyer Ron, who has never been beaten on dirt, will be making his first start at Oaklawn in the Southwest, a one-mile race for 3-year-olds to be run Feb. 20. The work Friday was his first over the surface in Hot Springs.

"It seemed like he got over it well," Holthus said. "He finished strong, and he galloped on out strong."

Lawyer Ron won the Risen Star by 8 1/4 lengths, and the 106 Beyer he earned is the second-highest of the year for a 3-year-old behind the 107 put up by Brother Derek in the Grade 2 San Rafael. During his streak, Lawyer Ron also won the $100,000 Diamond Jo at Evangeline Downs by 8 1/2 lengths on Dec. 31, and he romped by 10 3/4 lengths in an entry-level allowance at Fair Grounds.

Lawyer Ron is a son of Langfuhr, and he races for his breeder, James T. Hines Jr.

March return for Round Pond

Round Pond walked the shed row Friday, one day after she breezed five furlongs in 1:01.72. She is preparing for her 4-year-old debut, which is scheduled to come in the Grade 3, $175,000 Azeri Breeders' Cup at 1 1/16 miles on March 11.

"She's coming along real nice, and I think I'm just going to train her right up to the race," said John Servis, who manages the filly for Rick Porter.

Round Pond was consistent throughout her work, and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.53 and seven furlongs in 1:28.62.

"She was steady and galloped out really, really good," said Servis. "I'm really happy with her."

Round Pond won the Grade 1 Acorn and Grade 2 Fantasy in 2005 before having a small bone chip removed from her left knee.

Fast start for Burress

Beverly Burress, a 20-year-old apprentice born in Louisiana and raised in Oklahoma, has gotten off to a fast start in Arkansas. She had a double last Sunday, when she guided Biscuits and Buns ($14) to a win in the fourth race and Pass the Biscuits ($16.60) to victory in the fifth. Burress also was fourth in a highly rated 3-year-old allowance last Saturday with the promising R's Star.

"I couldn't ask for a better opening weekend," she said.

Burress's wins came on a soaking wet card Sunday.

"I had been praying for rain," she said. "When it started raining, I said, 'Hallelujah. This is great.' Biscuits and Buns won here last year in the pouring rain."

Biscuits and Buns is owned by Burress's grandfather Billy Burress Sr. and is trained by her father, Bobby Burress, a former jockey who rode at Oaklawn in 1974.

Burress, who once considered a career in nursing, won the first race of her career in her debut, March 25 at Blue Ribbon Downs. She has won 39 races, and heading into Friday's card was one win away from her apprentice allowance dropping from seven to five pounds. Burress came into Oaklawn off a strong meet at Remington Park, where she finished ninth in the standings. She also has one stakes victory to her credit, at Blue Ribbon.

Burress has mounts in the third, fourth, fifth, and seventh races Sunday.

Beau's Town preps for King Cotton

Beau's Town recently arrived at Oaklawn to prepare for the $50,000 King Cotton next Saturday, said his owner, Dave Hulkewicz. Friday, he worked four furlongs in 48.80 seconds. Level Playingfield is being pointed for the King Cotton, said his trainer, Holthus, while Stolen Time is a possible for the race, said his trainer, Ralph Nicks.

* Sweetdownthelane owns the field's highest last-race Beyer Figure, an 84, in the featured ninth Sunday. It is an entry-level allowance for 3-year-old fillies going six furlongs. Trainer Larry Jones has given the mount to Terry Thompson.

* Thunder Mission, an impressive allowance winner last weekend, is possible for the Grade 3, $100,000 Essex Handicap, according to Nicks.