07/01/2006 12:00AM

New York debut for Behaving Badly

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A New York-bred, Behaving Badly made her name in California races like the Las Flores.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Born and bred in New York, became a star in Southern California. Monday, she makes her Empire State debut as a prohibitive favorite in the Grade 2, $150,000 Genuine Risk Breeders' Cup Handicap at Belmont Park.

Behaving Badly will meet only three rivals in the Genuine Risk, run at six furlongs on the main track. Baffert was planning to run Behaving Badly in Saturday's A Gleam Invitational at Hollywood Park, but was unhappy with the fact she picked up a pound off a loss in the Grade 1 Humana Distaff. She drops a pound in the Genuine Risk, but at 121 pounds, she will spot her three opponents 7 to 11 pounds.

Behaving Badly, a 5-year-old daughter of Pioneering, has won 7 of 10 starts with two second-place finishes. A recent four-race winning streak included a victory in the Grade 1 Santa Monica Handicap at Santa Anita in January.

That streak was snapped when Behaving Badly finished second to stablemate Pussycat Doll in the Humana Distaff at Churchill Downs on Derby Day. After the race, jockey Victor Espinoza said he didn't feel that Behaving Badly handled the Churchill surface like she did the California tracks.

Baffert said Churchill's track was "loose and cuppy that day" but said the conservative way Espinoza rode Behaving Badly didn't help.

"I think her whole deal is to steal away from there and keep going," Baffert said from California. "Victor took a hold of her because he was worried about the seven-eighths. She's more of a six- or 6 1/2-furlong horse, that's why I sent her [to the Genuine Risk]."

Garrett Gomez will ride Behaving Badly from post 1.

Behaving Badly will have to outsprint Stormy Kiss for the lead. After winning 5 of 6 starts in Argentina, Roy and Gretchen Jackson's Lael Stables purchased her privately and moved her to trainer Barclay Tagg. After breaking slowly and finishing fifth in the Sweet and Sassy Handicap at Delaware Park on May 20, Stormy Kiss went gate to wire to win an allowance race here next out.

Khalila and Swap Fliparoo will try to become the first 3-year-old since Safely Kept (1989) to win the Genuine Risk. After winning her first two starts, Khalila got hooked in a speed duel when third in an overnight stakes on June 9. Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin wants jockey John Velazquez to get her a bit off the pace in the Genuine Risk, which goes as Monday's third race.

Swap Fliparoo is a closer who would benefit if someone applies pressure to Behaving Badly.