04/14/2005 11:00PM

Round Pond wins Fantasy Stakes

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Jack Coady/Coady Photography
Round Pond wins the Fantasy Stakes by 4 1/2 lengths at Oaklawn Park on Friday.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Round Pond pulled clear to a four and a half length win in the Grade 2, $250,000 before a crowd of 22,031 at Oaklawn Park on Friday. She will make her next start in the Grade 2, $200,000 Black-Eyed Susan at Pimlico on May 20, said her trainer, John Servis.

Rugula finished second after setting the pace in the Fantasy.

Round Pond ($5.80) broke well and settled along the rail in third, a few lengths behind Rugula, who was up by a length through fractions of 24.18 seconds for the opening quarter and 47.78 seconds for the half-mile, stalked by favorite Sharp Lisa.

Round Pond began her bid on the second turn, drew even with the pacesetter by the quarter pole, overtook her past the eighth pole, and pulled away, covering the mile and a sixteenth in 1:43.49.

"Once we got past the leader, she had plenty left and finished strong," said Stewart Elliott, who rode Round Pond. "I'm impressed with her."

Round Pond, who was making her first start on Lasix, earned $150,000 for the win, which was her third from four career starts. Her earnings now stand at $217,300. Round Pond is a daughter of Awesome Again and races for Rick Porter.

R Lady Joy finished third in the Fantasy, a length behind Rugula, and in the stretch her rider, Jose Lezcano, misjudged the finish line and pulled up past the sixteenth pole, but resumed riding in an incident that did not appear to affect the outcome. The sixteenth pole is the finish line for one-mile races at Oaklawn.

Sharp Lisa finished fourth, a week after a hind foot bruise forced her to scratch from the Grade 1 Ashland at Keeneland.

"I moved her out to the middle through the stretch and she kept trying but she was just plodding along and not really accelerating," said Garrett Gomez, who rode Sharp Lisa.

Yankee Penny and She Sings were both scratched from the Fantasy. Handle on the meet's second-to-last program was $5,884,251. Oaklawn closes on Saturday with the Grade 2, $1 million Arkansas Derby.