09/18/2014 3:59PM

Miss Behaviour favored in Charles Town Oaks

Barbara D. Livingston
Miss Behaviour, winning the Miss Preakness, has earned more than $500,000.

The Grade 3, $500,000 Charles Town Oaks on Saturday night appears to be an ideal middle ground for 3-year-old fillies who are either just starting to come to hand or whose connections don’t wish to tackle Grade 1 competition. The Charles Town Oaks will be run over seven furlongs at two turns, and it’s being conducted as a graded race for the first time.

Miss Behaviour should go favored against nine others following a bold second in the Grade 1 Test at Saratoga. Size also will get good support on the strength of her win in the Grade 3 Iowa Oaks, while Aqua Regia and Saintly Joan both look like notable players after chasing the Grade 1 Cotillion-bound Cassatt last out at Monmouth. Other promising runners in the field include Stormy Novel, second to Miss Behaviour in May, and Executive Allure, a two-time stakes winner from Woodbine.

The Charles Town Oaks will anchor a 12-race card offering more than $1 million in purses.

:: DRF Live: Get real-time updates and insights from DRF reporters and handicappers starting at 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday

Miss Behaviour is the most accomplished member of the Charles Town Oaks cast as a Grade 2 winner of more than $500,000.

“It was always kind of the race we liked for her just because it’s close to home and it’s a half-million dollars,” said her Laurel-based trainer, Phil Schoenthal. “And knowing, too, that some of the big boys were going in different races made it a nice spot.”

:: CHARLES TOWN OAKS: Get PPs, watch Saturday's card live


Miss Behaviour (Last 3 Beyers: 86-91-88)

◗ Her lone start at seven furlongs came in the Test, and she finished a length behind Cotillion-bound winner Sweet Reason in the Aug. 2 race at Saratoga.

“The Test was a great day for us,” Schoenthal said. “We went up there, really, with no expectations, thinking that seven furlongs was probably beyond her best distance. But we felt she’s one of the better 3-year-old fillies in the country sprinting, and if you feel that way, put up or shut up, show up for the big races. So, we went up there. She exceeded our expectations.”

◗ Miss Behaviour will break from post 2 under Jevian Toledo, who has worked the filly, said Schoenthal.

“Our intention is to let her do her thing on the front end,” Schoenthal said. “Her greatest ally is her speed, and why try to take that away from her?”

◗ Schoenthal is in the midst of a memorable week. His wife, Sarah, is due with their third child. He signed a contract to buy his first house. And the barn’s big horse is in the Charles Town Oaks.

Stormy Novel (Last 3 Beyers: 76-66-87)

◗ She won the $100,000 Miss Woodford at Monmouth on July 20, and her connections decided to pass on the Grade 2 Prioress at six furlongs at Saratoga to await the Charles Town Oaks.

“I like the distance, and I think she’ll handle the bullring fine,” trainer John Servis said. “The only other option for her was the Prioress. If we go to the Prioress, then we ship to Saratoga, then wheel right back for this race. She likes time between races, and we elected to wait and go to this race.”

◗ Stormy Novel finished a length behind Miss Behaviour when second in the Miss Preakness.

“She was a little slow coming around, then she started to really put it together in her race at Pimlico,” said Servis.

Kiss to Remember (Last 3 Beyers: 87-88-83)

◗ She is cross-entered in the Dogwood at Churchill but will go in the Charles Town Oaks, said trainer Tom Amoss.

“To me, she’s the kind of athletic filly that will enjoy that bullring track,” Amoss said. “In terms of the distance of this race, we’re talking about a race that kind of slants a little toward sprinters and hurts a true closer, and we fit that profile.”