11/25/2009 12:00AM

Listen In meets statebreds


Jackie's Express and Listen In, both of whom show some sharp races against open company, drop to face Pennsylvania-bred 2-year-old fillies for the first time in Friday night's $75,000 Blue Mountain Stakes at Penn National.

The six-furlong sprint drew a field of 10, four of whom are still maidens, and goes as race 5 on a nine-race card that begins at 6:45 p.m. Eastern.

Listen In, based at Delaware Park with trainer Joe Kasperski, has run three consecutive good races. In her second start, she won her maiden sprinting on a sloppy track in mid-September. In her first try against winners, and while stretching out to two turns, Listen In came from off the pace to just miss by a half-length.

Listen In now shortens up to six furlongs, a positive move for Kasperski, who is 3 for 13, with a return on investment of $2.98, with horses going from routes to sprints the past two years.

Jackie's Express comes off three consecutive fourth-place finishes against open stakes company, although she was elevated to third via disqualification once. In perhaps her best effort in a stakes, she was up close through the first six furlongs of the 1 1/16-mile Blue Hen and was beaten less than three lengths despite having to steady on the heels of another horse in upper stretch.

Philadelphia Park-based filly Picabo's Concho has yet to finish worse than third in her four races. She easily defeated open maiden special weight company two starts ago and will be dropping to face statebreds for the first time. Although her Beyer Speed Figures in the upper 60s suggest she can compete with Listen In and Jackie's Express, Picabo's Concho comes from the low-percentage barn of trainer Uriah St. Lewis, who is an ice-cold 2 for 69 this season.

Beijin returns less than two weeks after winning a slowly run stakes at Philadelphia Park restricted to fillies who spent at least 90 days in South Carolina. She would have to run much faster than she did in either that race or winning her maiden two starts ago at Penn National to contend in this spot.