02/11/2006 12:00AM

Round Pond returns


, who was a finalist for champion 3-year-old filly of 2005, will make her seasonal debut on Thursday in a six-furlong optional claiming race at Oaklawn Park.

Round Pond has not raced since July, when she finished second in the Grade 2, $500,000 Delaware Oaks. Following the race, she was found to have a small bone chip in her left knee, and the bone chip has since been removed. For her comeback, Round Pond has turned in a series of impressive workouts at Oaklawn, her latest coming last Sunday.

Under regular rider Stewart Elliott, she breezed six furlongs in a bullet 1:13.09 and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:26.10.

"She just worked tremendous," said Elliott.

Round Pond will face five other fillies and mares on Thursday, including More Moonlight, winner of the $50,000 American Beauty at six furlongs in her last start on Jan. 21.

John Servis trains Round Pond, who won the Grade 1 Acorn last year at Belmont Park over eventual 3-year-old filly champion Smuggler. Round Pond began her career last year at Oaklawn, where she won her maiden, the $75,000 Honeybee, and the Grade 2, $250,000 Fantasy.

A daughter of Awesome Again, Round Pond races for Fox Hill Farms. The meet objective for Round Pond is the Grade 1, $500,000 Apple Blossom Handicap on April 8, according to Servis.