09/15/2008 11:00PM

Top riders to battle on entire card


Jockeys Seth Martinez and Ricky Frazier enter the final two weeks of the Emerald Downs meeting gunning for the riding title.

Martinez, who won this year's Turf Paradise meeting, leads Frazier by four winners, 109-105, with both riders having mounts in each of Thursday's eight races.

Kevin Radke led the jockey race with 100 wins before breaking three ribs in a fall two weeks ago.

Frazier, the defending champion, made up some ground Sunday with three Washington Cup wins: aboard Bound to Be MVP in the Chinook Pass Sprint, Ladyledue in the Diane Kem, and Gadget Girl in the Belle Roberts. He beat Martinez, who was riding favorites in both the Chinook Pass and Belle Roberts. Martinez won the John and Kitty Fletcher aboard Sweetheart Deal.

Thursday's seventh race, a six-furlong $12,500 claimer for 3-year-olds, could find the top two jockeys battling aboard strong contenders.

Martinez takes the call on Airborne Eagle, who has won here twice this year, at 6 1/2 furlongs and a mile. A gelding trained by Vince Gibson, he has never won at the distance.

Airborne Eagle doesn't have keen sprint speed, so Martinez will have to save ground and hope for a clear run late in his first ride aboard Airborne Eagle, a son of Flying With Eagles.

Frazier will be aboard One Ofthe Others for the first time for trainer Jim Penny.

A 3-year-old Liberty Gold gelding, One Ofthe Others had a pair of wins and pair of seconds sprinting in his first four starts of the year before fading badly when he tried one mile last time. He will appreciate the return to a sprint, but Frazier will also need to get room to run late aboard a runner that has been favored in his past four starts.