05/17/2006 11:00PM

Biancone confident his filly will step up


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Patrick Biancone, from France, has trained horses on three continents. Neil Pessin, from Kentucky, as of Thursday afternoon was training a total of three horses. Divergent histories aside, Pessin and Biancone have horses worth watching in back-to-back races on Saturday afternoon at Arlington Park.

Arlington, it should be added, does not have rain in the forecast Saturday. With Thursday's main track rated good, Arlington had conducted wet-track, no-turf racing on seven straight programs.

Saturday's featured eighth race, the Fit for a Queen, is written for fillies and mares at six furlongs, and like all the recent $40,000 overnight stakes here, it has attracted a field that could easily be running for bigger bucks. This is the spot where Biancone comes into play; he ships up , a filly who, despite her trainer's ever-growing name recognition, might actually offer a price. Maggie Jordan raced at 2 in England, winning her only start, missed her entire 3-year-old season, and wound up with Biancone's Turfway Park string at age 4. Her U.S. debut was a corker, an easy allowance victory on the Turfway Polytrack, and Maggie Jordan was an excusable fourth last out in a Keeneland allowance.

"She's no champion, but she's a nice filly," Biancone said. "She'll move forward. She was caught wide last time, and when you're caught wide at Keeneland, you know, that's not good. She should be in the money."

Also in the Fit for a Queen field are , all of whom are far more accomplished than Maggie Jordan. Grand Portege, from the barn of Carl Nafzger, comes off a sharp win at Keeneland.

While Biancone fires bullets from coast to coast, often in graded stakes races, Pessin has started 10 horses all season. But one of them is pretty good. Chin High won the Grade 3 Transylvania, an April 7 turf race at Keeneland, at odds of 68-1, and he came back about two weeks later with a troubled sixth of nine in the Grade 2 Lexington.

On Saturday, Pessin, whose stable will double in size with an influx of stock next week, has put Chin High in a second-level allowance race scheduled for nine furlongs on turf. Pessin said Chin High would start regardless of the track surface.

"Mentally, he's still not 100-percent there," Pessin said. "He's already a graded-stakes winner. I think he could be even better."