04/22/2008 11:00PM

Radke giving comeback another go


AUBURN, Wash. - Former riding champ Kevin Radke will return to the saddle with five mounts on Friday's card, including My Thistle in the day's 5 1/2-furlong feature for 3-year-old fillies eligible to be claimed for $12,500.

Radke was the leading rider at Emerald Downs in 2002 and 2003, but he has been sidelined by injuries for much of the intervening time. He missed two entire years with bone and ligament damage to a wrist, then finished fourth in the standings here in 2006. He was among the leading riders here last season before sustaining multiple injuries in a paddock accident in early June. He returned to riding last fall at Portland Meadows, but suffered a broken ankle in a gate mishap on Jan. 1.

Radke said he has been galloping horses at Evergreen Training Center in South Carolina for the past five weeks in preparation for his return to Emerald.

"I'm fit and ready to go," he said. "I would have ridden the card if my agent had gotten me on more horses."

Radke's mount in the feature, My Thistle, was a winner of 1 of her 3 starts here last season for trainer Steve Bullock. She led throughout to defeat $7,500 maidens at 5 1/2 furlongs in her final start of the year on Aug. 2.

Among My Thistle's most formidable opponents is Mountain Madness, who graduated here against $12,500 maidens in her fourth start before going uplaced in the Diane Kem Stakes for Washington-breds on Sept. 16.