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Miss Behaviour Looks to Bounce Back in Prioress

Miss Behaviour wins 2014 Miss Preakness.
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
Miss Behaviour will look to bounce back off her narrow defeat in the Grade 1 Test earlier in the meet when she lines up for the Grade 2, $300,000 Prioress on Saturday at Saratoga Race Course.


The six-furlong Prioress for 3-year-old fillies will be part of an 12-race card that features the Grade 1 Woodward and Grade 1 Forego, as well as the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch, which is slated to be two-time Horse of the Year Wise Dan's much-anticipated return to the races.


Trained by Phil Schoenthal for Cal MacWilliam and Neil Teitelbaum, Miss Behaviour ran a gallant race in the Test on August 2. The Jump Start filly deviated from her usual front-running style under jockey Javier Castellano to track the early pace, and struck the front in the stretch before succumbing late to Sweet Reason. The Test marked the first time Schoenthal saddled a runner in a Grade 1 race.


"Winning any race at Saratoga would be the thrill of a lifetime, whether it be a stakes race or a graded stakes race," said Schoenthal. "I think clearly everybody feels six furlongs is better for her than seven [furlongs]. She's undefeated at six [furlongs] and has never won past the distance."


With one less panel to run in the Prioress, conventional wisdom might be to be more assertive early with Miss Behaviour, but Schoenthal will leave that up to Castellano, who has gotten to know the speedy filly well in her past two starts and has the mount again on Saturday.


"There's a reason he's an Eclipse Award winner," said Schoenthal. "You have to trust the rider to do what's best. I believe she can be on the lead in front of any horse in the country, but whether that's the prudent move or not, I don't know. He'll have all the speed that he wants, so if no one wants to take the lead he can waltz on up there. She's a versatile horse, though. Whatever he wants her to do, she can do."


Miss Behaviour, who will look to run her record at six furlongs to a perfect four-for-four, will break from post 6.


Also exiting the Test is Southern Honey, who was sent off at 4-1 in that spot but faded to finish ninth, beaten 8 ½ lengths after pressing the early pace.


Southern Honey showed enormous potential while racing in Kentucky in the spring for trainer Rusty Arnold. The bay filly rattled off three wins in a row in that span - a maiden race on April 5 at Keeneland, an optional claimer on May 2 at Churchill Downs, and the Grade 3 Winning Colors against her elders on May 26 at Churchill.


The Test, which she entered off a two-month layoff, was her first start since the Winning Colors.


"We were very disappointed [with her Test]; she was really going in the right direction prior to it," said Arnold, who trains Southern Honey for Ashbrook Farm. "It's the only poor race she's run, and maybe she was a little bit fresh off the layoff; she got up a little closer to the pace than we wanted."


Arnold was considering bringing Southern Honey back to Kentucky without running her again at the Spa, but had a last-minute change of heart.


"There's not many sprints left for 3-year-olds," said Arnold. "I want to run her in a sprint at Keeneland in October, and rather than have her run off a layoff again, I decided to go here. I can't tell you she's improved, but she has had time to settle here, and she's trained well every day."


Julien Leparoux gets the return call aboard Southern Honey and the pair will break from post 3.


Perennial Saratoga powerhouse Todd Pletcher, who is on his way to another training title, will send out Sweet Whiskey in the Prioress. Sweet Whiskey was fifth, beaten 1 ½ lengths in the Test, and was second, beaten a half-length by Sweet Reason in her prior start, the Grade 1 TVG Acorn. The Old Fashioned filly has not run at six furlongs since she took the Grade 3 Old Hat by 2 ¾ lengths on January 4 at Gulfstream Park.


Sweet Whiskey will be ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez from post 5.


Rounding out the field are the Michael Matz-trained pair of Tea Time and Who's In Town, recent allowance winners Thirteen Arrows and Stonetastic, and Grade 1 Mother Goose runner-up Princess Violet.


Source: NYRA


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