09/16/2010 1:01PM

Twelve Pack Shelly the speed of Miss Shenandoah


In her brief racing career, the Maryland-based 2-year-old filly Twelve Pack Shelly has already won a $100,000 stakes, placed in a graded event for males, and set a Laurel Park track record. Despite her imposing credentials, Twelve Pack Shelly didn’t scare away the competition and will face a full field of nine others in Saturday night’s $100,000 Miss Shenandoah Stakes at Charles Town.

The 4 1/2-furlong Miss Sheandoah (race 8), the $100,000 Charles Town Juvenile, and the $75,000 Blue Ribbon for fillies and mares are the supporting stakes on a card highlighted by the $400,000 Charles Town Oaks.

In her career debut on April 8, Twelve Pack Shelly set a Laurel record by running 4 1/2 furlongs in 50.83 seconds, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 95. She followed up by finishing third, only a neck behind runner-up Boys At Toscanova, the recent winner of the Hopeful, in the Grade 3 Kentucky Juvenile at Churchill Downs.

“She’s very, very fast,” trainer John Salzman said. “But in that race at Churchill, she grabbed a quarter and it set her back a little bit.”

In her one subpar performance, Twelve Pack Shelly went to her knees at the start of the Polly Drummond at Delaware Park. She then won an allowance at Presque Isle Downs and the $100,000 Colleen Stakes a Monmouth Park. The runner-up, R Heat Lightning, came back to win the Grade 1 Spinaway at Saratoga.

“The last race at Monmouth, I was very pleased with her,” Salzman said. “She was able to lay second, opened up by four turning for home and won it professionally. I’d say for the race at Presque Isle, she was at 75 percent, for the race at Monmouth in the Colleen, she was about 90 percent, and now I feel like I’ve got her right at 100 percent.”

Big Sweets, a dominant 6 1/2-length winner of the Prairie Meadows Golden Lassie two months ago, looks like the main threat to Twelve Pack Shelly. Unbridled Praise, who ran second in the Golden Lassie, returned to win the $100,000 Sorority at Monmouth.

◗ Locally based Mr. Proud Allen will seek to extend his unbeaten streak to three races in the seven-furlong Charles Town Juvenile (race 9). Most recently, Mr. Proud Allen – owned, bred, and trained by John Casey – came from far back to win the six-furlong Mountaineer Juvenile.

Unleash the Humor, who finished two lengths behid Mr. Proud Allen that day, will take another crack at him.

The other two horses to fear are Thewayitusedtobe, who goes for three in a row after winning his maiden on Polytrack at Arlington and the Brian Barenscheer Juvenile on dirt at Canterbury Park, and Star Zapper, a winner in back-to-back starts at Delaware Park.

◗ Double Espresso, who has been facing some of the best female sprinters in the country, appears to have a class advantage in the seven-furlong Pink Ribbon (race 7).

Two starts ago, Double Espresso was beaten 3 1/4 lengths by 2009 female sprint champion Informed Decision going a mile at Presque Isle Downs. Earlier this season, the 4-year-old Double Espresso finished in back of such standouts as Dubai Majesty and Secret Gypsy in the Grade 3 Winning Colors.

Her competition includes Miss Dolce, a seventh-length winner locally last time out, and Cherryblossommiss, a former Southern California-based mare who faced the unbeaten Zenyatta in June. She won her first start since coming to trainer Stephanie Beattie’s barn at Penn National last month going six furlongs.