02/16/2006 12:00AM

Round Pond wins in return

Jeff Coady/Coady Photography
Round Pond, Eclipse-finalist filly, wins the 9th race at Oaklawn Park with Stewart Elliott up.

Round Pond indicated she will be a filly to be reckoned with in her division this year, winning a six-furlong Thursday at Oaklawn in her 4-year-old debut, covering the distance in a meet-best time of 1:09.93.

Round Pond, a finalist for champion 3-year-old filly honors last year, will next start in the Grade 3, $175,000 Azeri at Oaklawn on March 11, according to her trainer, John Servis.

Round Pond ($3) won by 2 3/4 lengths under a hand ride in her first start since July. She raced a few lengths behind the pace early, as True Tails jumped out to a lonely lead and ran the opening half-mile in 45.20 seconds. Round Pond easily ran True Tails down in the stretch, and galloped out strongly under Stewart Elliott.

Round Pond, whose biggest win last season came in the Grade 1 Acorn, had not raced since finishing second in the Grade 2 Delaware Oaks in July. After that race she was found to have a small bone chip in her left knee, and it was removed. She has been based at Oaklawn since November.