09/19/2010 8:26AM

The real Derwin's Star shows up at Charles Town

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The ugly running line Derwin’s Star received for her dull effort at 5-2 odds in her most recent start didn’t scare trainer Steve Klesaris. In fact, Klesaris was willing to forgive his filly’s seventh-place finish in a seven-furlong stakes at Woodbine and was confident she would run much better in Saturday night’s $400,000 Charles Town Oaks.


Klesaris was right. Derwin’s Star performed more like the same filly who nearly beat division leader Blind Luck in the Delaware Oaks in July than the horse who finished ahead of only one opponent on Polytrack in Woodbine’s Duchess a month later when she drew off to a 4 3/4-length victory in the Oaks on a four-stakes card at Charles Town.


Earlier in the week, Klesaris said that in hindsight, Derwin’s Star was probably due for a letdown after leading to deep stretch in her first try beyond 6 1/2 furlongs in the 1 1/16-mile Delaware Oaks, a race in which she finished third, just 1 1/2 lengths behind Blind Luck.


“It was a combination of things,” Klesaris said when asked what went wrong at Woodbine. “She’s probably more comfortable on natural dirt, and the race at Delaware was very tough on her, so putting those together, it just didn’t work out. The race was a total toss as far as I’m concerned.”


The last time Klesaris switched Derwin’s Star from synthetic to dirt, she responded by running second, beaten three-quarters of a length, in the $200,000 Jostle at Philadelphia Park.
Ridden for the first time by Kendrick Carmouche in the Charles Town Oaks, Derwin’s Star ($11.40) stalked the pace three wide, moved to a clear lead around the turn, then maintained a clear lead through the stretch.


“She’s just so versatile,” said Klesaris, who purchased Derwin’s Star at the end of her 2-year-old campaign. “She has this ability to relax and is such a push button horse. Whenever the rider asks her for run, she takes off.”


Florida shipper Bronx City Girl got up for second at 11-1 by a neck over 18-1 longshot C C’s Pal.
Belle of the Hall, the even-money favorite on the basis of her third-place finish in the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga last month and a win over Derwin’s Star in the Jostle, never seriously threatened and finished last of nine.


The locally based Down Town Allen, who had won 8 of 13 locally, flashed high speed until the eighth pole before backing up to finish fifth, ending a five-race winning streak.


The all-stakes pick four, which produced just one favorite, returned $511.40 for a $2 ticket.


• Bandbox, stretching out around two turns and shifting from turf to dirt after winning his career debut, dominated the $100,000 Charles Town Juvenile.


Ridden by Eric Camacho for Maryland-based trainer Rodney Jenkins, Bandbox finished 9 1/2 lengths clear of runner-up Unleash the Humor while running seven furlongs in 1:25.60. He paid $7.80.
In his only previous start, Bandbox rallied to win a 5 1/2-furlong turf sprint. He had shown dirt ability with four bullet workouts on the main track at Laurel since early July.


Star Zapper, who inherited the role of favorite when locally based Mr. Proud Allen was ordered scratched by the track veterinarian early on Saturday, finished third at even money.


• Heavily favored Twelve Pack Shelly cruised to a 4 3/4-length victory in the $100,000 Miss Shenandoah for 2-year-old fillies, returning $2.60.


Based in Maryland with trainer John Saltzman Jr., Twelve Pack Shelly ran 4 1/2 furlongs in 51.91 seconds under jockey Harry Vega while winning for the fourth time in six starts. She previously won the Colleen Stakes at Monmouth Park and was third against males in the Grade 3 Kentucky Juvenile at Churchill Downs.


• Miss Red Delicious, bothered when pacesetter Miss Dolce drifted in while tiring late, was awarded the victory in the $75,000 Pink Ribbon Stakes for fillies and mares.


Following an objection by jockey Travis Dunkelberger and a stewards’ inquiry into the stretch run, Miss Dolce was disqualified and placed second after finishing 1 3/4 lengths in front after seven furlongs in 1:25.76. Miss Red Delicious paid $14.


It was Dunkelberger’s third win on the card and gave the 5-year-old Miss Red Delicious, based in Kentucky with trainer Mark Hubley, her first victory since she captured a turf sprint at Mountaineer a year ago.


Double Expresso was third as the even-money favorite.