Unbeaten Miss Behaviour heads field for $100,000 Sharp Cat
By Jon Forbes | 10/25/2013 02:00 PM ET
Miss Behaviour will attempt to win her third black-type event when she competes in the $100,000 Sharp Cat overnight stakes for 2-year-old fillies on Sunday, closing day of the fall meet at Belmont Park.
The 6 ½-furlong Sharp Cat is one of three stakes on Sunday's card, which consists of nine races, all restricted to 2-year-olds. In addition to the Sharp Cat, Belmont will host the $100,000 Chelsea Flower and $100,000 Awad, a pair of overnight stakes on the turf.
Miss Behaviour, owned by Cal Mac William and Neil Teitelbaum, served notice with a 2 ½-length debut win in July at Parx Racing before airing by 8 ¼-lengths in the Sorority on September 1 at Monmouth Park. She made her graded stakes debut in the Grade 2 Matron on September 29 at Belmont Park, racing in second behind front-running favorite Sweet Whiskey, claiming the lead with three-eighths remaining, and opening a three-length lead in the stretch. A resurgent Sweet Whiskey made a late run at Miss Behaviour, who held on to win by a length under a drive.
Phil Schoenthal, who conditions Miss Behaviour at the Bowie Training Center, said he and the owners made a late decision to enter the daughter of Jump Start in the Sharp Cat.
"She was going to be sold at Fasig-Tipton after the Breeders' Cup, but the owners got together and decided they were having too much fun and that she probably wasn't going to bring the amount they wanted, so they decided she wasn't for sale," said Schoenthal. "She's been training and doing super, even better than she was before the Matron."
The Sharp Cat's 6 ½-furlong distance also was part of the race's allure, Schoenthal said.
"There's the Tempted, a Grade 3 going a mile [on November 3 at Aqueduct Racetrack], but we're not going to try stretching her out, at least not yet. After winning a Grade 2, people might think we're making a mistake going in a listed stakes, but we know she handles the track and 6 ½ furlongs should set her up well for a mile next time. If that works, she can go longer, but if it doesn't, then we can always going back to sprinting."
Miss Behaviour was installed as the 9-5 morning-line favorite and drew post position 3 for the Sharp Cat. Garry Cruise, who was making his first appearance at Belmont when he rode Miss Behaviour in the Matron, has the mount once again.
The 2-1 second choice is Tea Time, who is cutting back in distance off a sixth in Belmont's Grade 1, one-mile Frizette on October 5. Previously, she had broken her maiden by 3 ¼ lengths going six furlongs on September 15 over the Big Sandy.
The field also includes Yes Liz, second to Miss Behaviour in the Sorority, and Storm Swept, Winekeeper, and Alpaca Fina, who all enter the Sharp Cat off maiden victories.
The field for the $100,000 Sharp Cat: