12/30/2009 12:00AM

Emigh heading to Oaklawn Park


STICKNEY, Ill. - Chris Emigh, who for years has been among the top Chicago jockeys, had his foray into Kentucky racing cut short by a spill in November at Churchill Downs. Now, Emigh is back at Hawthorne Race Course, but his stay here will be brief, according to Emigh's agent, Jay Fedor.

Emigh suffered a slight fracture of his collarbone when he went down at Churchill. Fedor said the injury was minor enough that X-rays failed to detect it and that the fracture only showed up on a CT scan.

Emigh resumed riding last Friday at Hawthorne but basically is here getting tuned up for the Oaklawn Park meet, which starts Jan. 15. Fedor said Emigh's last day of Hawthorne mounts is Friday and that the rider would travel to Arkansas this weekend. Fedor also will book mounts for jockey Corey Nakatani there. Fedor's main jockey at the ongoing Hawthorne meet, Lyndie Wade, will take some time off this winter and return for the Hawthorne spring meet, Fedor said.

Emigh realized he was heading into strong competition when he elected to ride at Keeneland and Churchill this fall, rather than moving his tack to Hawthorne at the end of the Arlington meet. Emigh, who had 34 winners last season at Oaklawn, rode three winners from 34 Keeneland mounts and was 2 for 24 at Churchill before getting hurt.

Riggs closing on riding title

Meanwhile, among regular Hawthorne jockeys this winter, 20-year-old Tanner Riggs is trying to hang on and win his first riding title. Midway through Wednesday's card, Riggs held a four-win lead, 56-52, over Tim Thornton, who has won multiple Hawthorne titles.

Riggs first showed up on the Chicago circuit two falls ago at Hawthorne and basically has held his own ever since. He has benefited this meet from riding first call for Frank Kirby, who is leading the trainer standings.

Riggs missed his assigned mounts last Friday when he was unable to get back to Chicago after Christmas because of a snowstorm.

Reavis brings hot streak to feature

It almost looks like veteran trainer Mike Reavis had a plan: Sit chilly early in the Hawthorne fall-winter meet, wait for many of the stronger stables to move south to their winter quarters, and then start firing.

Reavis sent out six winners from 36 starters from Oct. 1 through Dec. 1, but since Dec. 1 he has won nine races from just 25 starters. That feels a lot like a meaningful trend, and it is something on which to hang one's hat in featured race 8 on Friday at Hawthorne, a mind-bending entry-level route allowance race. The race has a full field of 12, including a Chris Dorris-trained entry.

Reavis's starter is Bobs Tiebreaker, whom he claimed for himself for $10,000 out of an easy 5 1/2-length victory on Nov. 22 at Hawthorne. Bobs Tiebreaker only beat $10,000 conditioned claimers that day, but he did so easily, and Reavis is treating his new acquisition like a horse that can at least repeat the recent effort.

He has given Bobs Tiebreaker a nice break before raising him in class, and Bobs Tiebreaker's three December workouts include a six-furlong drill and a bullet five furlongs on Dec. 18. And, in a race filled with early-speed elements, it looks like Bobs Tiebreaker can rally from a stalking position.