Hal and Patti Earnhardt's Behaving Badly, a winner of five of seven career starts for Santa Anita's leading trainer Bob Baffert, is expected to be a prohibitive favorite in Saturday's $100,000-added Las Flores Handicap (gr. III).
Baffert, who also leads in stakes wins at this meet with nine, saddled Behaving Badly for victory in the seven-furlong Santa Monica Handicap (gr. I) in her last start. Just five older fillies and mares are signed on to face Behaving Badly in the six-furlong Las Flores.
Behaving Badly, a 5-year-old New York-bred daughter of Pioneering
, began her career with three consecutive victories at Del Mar before losing two in a row. She rebounded with an allowance win before rolling to a 4 ½-length triumph in the Santa Monica on Jan. 29. To be ridden by Victor Espinoza, Behaving Badly will carry 120 pounds, spotting her rivals from six to nine pounds apiece.
The 5-year-old mare Mazella, third behind Miss Terrible in last year's Las Flores after leading in the stretch, could be the best of the challengers, but she has not raced since May for trainer Jay Robbins.
Awesome Lady won the Monrovia Handicap at 6 1/2 furlongs Dec. 31 when it was switched from the turf to a wet fast main track, but she was a well-beaten seventh after fading in the Santa Monica.
The Las Flores goes as the third race on a 10-race program.
Saturday's supporting feature is the $100,000-added Pro or Con Handicap for older California-bred fillies and mares at one mile on turf. The millionaire Moscow Burning, one of racing's all-time bargain claims, ranks as a heavy favorite for trainer James Cassidy.$100,000-added Las Flores Handicap (gr. III, Race 3, 1:30 pm.), Fillies & Mares 4 & Up, 6 furlongs
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Spirit to Spare (SK), 111, Felipe F. Martinez
2. Vaca City Flyer (CA), 113, Dennis Carr
3. Mazella (KY), 113, Jon Kenton Court
4. Galactic Cat (KY), 110, Juan Ochoa
5. Awesome Lady (KY), 114, Tyler Baze
6. Behaving Badly (NY), 120, Victor Espinoza