04/08/2010 12:00AM

First-time starter breaks track record


Twelve Pack Shelly, a first-time starter, shaved more than a second off the Laurel Park track record for 4 1/2 furlongs in the first race of the season for 2-year-olds in Maryland on Thursday afternoon.

A daughter of Deputy Storm trained by John Salzman Jr., Twelve Pack Shelly ($3) cruised to a 10 3/4-length victory in the maiden race, covering the distance in 50.83 seconds.

The previous record of 52.11 was set in last season's first race for 2-year-olds by another Salzman-trained filly, Gator Prowl. Her time broke a 45-year-old record for the distance.

"She is freaky fast," Salzman said. "I liked her from Day One when we bought her. She looks just like Gator Prowl. Did I think she'd do that? No, but she was working well leading up to the start."

Salzman said he intends to follow the same path with Twelve Pack Shelly that he did last year with Gator Prowl by going to the Kentucky Juvenile at Churchill Downs on April 30. Gator Prowl finished fifth in the 2009 running.

This is the ninth time in 11 years that a horse trained by Salzman, his brother Tim, or his father John Sr. has won the season's first race for 2-year-olds in Maryland.

Twelve Pack Shelly beat her entrymate, Happytheman, as well as four other runners, including two trained by Tim Salzman.

"I was pleased with my second horse to hang on to second," said John Salzman Jr, who is 14 for 33 at the Laurel Park winter meet that ends Saturday. "It was great to run one-two. We buy horses just for this race."