06/03/2005 11:00PM

Round Pond gets up

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Round Pond and jockey Stewart Elliott score a 1 1/2-length victory in Saturday's Grade 1 Acorn.

ELMONT, N.Y. - It wasn't the Belmont Stakes, and the Triple Crown wasn't on the line, but trainer John Servis still got some satisfaction watching Round Pond run past the Nick Zito-trained In the Gold to win Saturday's Grade 1 .

It was almost exactly one year to the day that the Zito-trained Birdstone rallied past Servis' Smarty Jones to win the Belmont Stakes and deny Smarty Jones the Triple Crown.

"Feels good," Servis said. "No offense to Nick - I don't care who it was, running by them felt good."

After being passed by In the Gold turning for home, Round Pond, under Stewart Elliott, re-rallied in the stretch to get up in the final 70 yards to win the $250,000 Acorn by 1 1/2 lengths. Smuggler outfinished In the Gold to be second by a head. In the Gold was third, followed by Splendid Blended, Seeking the Ante, and Seek a Star.

It was the fourth consecutive win for Round Pond, a daughter of Awesome Again, who had not run since winning the Grade 2 Fantasy at Oaklawn Park on April 15.

Sensing that Round Pond would be fresh coming a layoff, Elliott was content to wait as long as possible before asking his filly for her best. Round Pond was only two lengths behind Splendid Blended, who ran an opening half-mile in 44.75 seconds while being chased by Seek a Star.

In the Gold, who was last early, ran by Round Pond approaching the quarter pole. Turning for home, Splendid Blended, Smuggler, and In the Gold were three abreast as Elliott guided his filly into the clear. She switched leads in deep stretch and kicked clear late.

Round Pond, a slight favorite over Splendid Blended, covered the mile in 1:35.33 over a fast track and returned $6.50.

"I knew when she got free she would want to go, because that's her," Elliott said. "And sure enough, as soon as I stepped her out and she saw daylight, she took off.''

Round Pond, owned by Rick Porter's Fox Hill Farm, will be pointed to the Grade 1 Mother Goose Stakes here on June 25.

- Bold Decision ($28.60) rallied past favored Be Wild Again and held off a late charge from Freddy the Cap to win the $60,750 Say Florida Sandy Stakes for New York-bred 3-year-olds by one length. It was the first stakes victory for Laurie Lafavers, who trains Bold Decision. Bold Decision ran six furlongs in 1:11.80.