09/29/2013 5:19PM

Belmont Park: Miss Behaviour wins Matron Stakes to stay perfect

Barbara D. Livingston
Miss Behaviour, under jockey Garry Cruise, wins the Grade 2 Matron Stakes by a length Sunday.

Maryland-based Miss Behaviour proved she was ready for prime time and kept her record unblemished by outlasting the odds-on Sweet Whiskey by one length to capture Sunday’s $200,000, Grade 2 Matron at Belmont Park.

Miss Behaviour, a Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Jump Start, is stabled at Bowie with trainer Phil Schoenthal but won her first two career starts at Parx and Monmouth Park, including the Sorority by 8 1/4 widening lengths earlier this month.

With regular rider Garry Cruise aboard, Miss Behaviour stalked the early pace of Sweet Whiskey, readily overtook the leader, and quickly moved clear nearing the stretch. She opened a comfortable advantage leaving the eighth pole, then held a safe advantage despite shortening stride near the wire.

Sweet Whiskey could not resist Miss Behaviour when challenged after three furlongs but continued on willingly and was gaining gradually on the winner at the end.

Court Dancer rallied mildly to finish third, 1 3/4 lengths behind Sweet Whiskey. She was followed by Ocean Boulevard, Gracer, and Art of the Game. Miss Narcissist was scratched.

Miss Behaviour, owned in partnership by Cal Mac William and Neil Teitelbaum, completed six furlongs in 1:10.57 and paid $8. The Matron gave Schoenthal the first graded stakes victory of his training career and his first win of any kind in New York.

“I didn’t expect her to go to the front like that and open up,” Schoenthal said. “I’m sure we’ll try her at two turns at some point, but she’s a sprinter right now.”

Cruise began riding in the United States in November, is currently based in Maryland, and was accepting his first mount in New York aboard Miss Behaviour.

“I’ve always wanted to ride here,” Cruise said. “This is like I would imagine, like a player coming to Yankee Stadium for the first time. The history of this place, it’s an honor to be here today and a privilege not only to win a graded stakes but to win for such great people.”