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Undefeated Miss Behaviour shot past favored Sweet Whiskey on the turn and then held off a resurgent late charge from the even-money choice to take the 106th running of the Grade 2, $200,000 Matron by a length on Sunday at Belmont Park.


It was the third straight victory and first in a graded stakes for the 2-year-old Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Jump Start, who broke her maiden on July 22 at Parx Racing and next took the Sorority Stakes on September 1 at Monmouth Park.


Under jockey Garry Cruise, a 34-year-old native of Scotland who was riding for the first time at Belmont Park, Miss Behaviour tracked Sweet Whiskey through an opening quarter-mile in 22.21 seconds and then made a bold move to grab the lead at the three-eighths pole, with the half going in 44.48. She swept into the stretch with a three-length advantage and had just enough left to fend off Sweet Whiskey, who made up ground steadily through the final furlong but could not catch the winner.


"When I dropped her in to be competitive a little bit, she just came into gear and and said, 'Let's go,'" said Cruise. "At that time, I could kind of sense that no one was going to jump on us, so I said, 'Let's finish this now.'"


Miss Behaviour, who was conceding four pounds to her rivals under high weight of 121 pounds, completed the six furlongs in 1:10.57.


"In this game, you learn to temper your expectations," said Phil Schoenthal, who trains Miss Behaviour for her breeders, Cal MacWilliam and Neil Teitelbaum. "I didn't expect her to go to the front like that and open up. When she moved to the lead at the three-eighths pole, I said to myself 'Don't run out of trainer, don't run out of trainer.' I'm sure we'll try her at two turns at some point, but she's a sprinter right now."


Miss Behaviour's victory was the first graded stakes win and first win in New York for the Maryland-based Schoenthal, a former assistant to Mark Shuman who is based in Maryland.


Sent off as the 3-1 third choice in the field of six juvenile fillies, Miss Behaviour returned $8 for a $2 win bet. The winner's purse of $120,000 elevated her earnings to $207,000.


Sweet Whiskey finished 1 ¾ lengths ahead of Gracer, who in turn was followed under the wire by Court Dancer, Ocean Boulevard and Art of the Game. Miss Narcissist was scratched.




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