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Hawthorne Race Course

Hawthorne Racecourse (1/13/08)

Contact: Mitch Demick (708) 222-4542

Thornton, Kirby nail down titles

Stickney, IL – Chris Emigh won the final race of Hawthorne Race Course’s fall meet aboard the Frank Kirby trained Yearly Expression, but the jockey title had for all intents and purposes been decided after the first race.

Twenty-one-year-old Tim Thornton was aboard Devil in Excess, the winner of Sunday’s opening race, extending his lead over Emigh to four races, ultimately an insurmountable advantage. Thornton finished the day three wins ahead of Emigh, capturing his first riding title.

“I worked hard all year, had a couple setbacks in the meet, but it feels great to win my first title,” said Thornton. “It’s great to beat a veteran like Chris (Emigh). He knows how to win of course, so it’s nice to beat somebody like that… It’s also nice because my family is really excited.”

Emigh, who was shooting for his eighth Hawthorne jockey title, fought tenaciously the final few weeks but, in the end just fell just a bit short.

“We made a good run at him, made him sweat a bit, but Timmy’s a good rider and hung in tough. He showed a lot of class and never gave up,” commented Emigh. “Now I have to come back and give it another shot. See, they could have gotten rid of me,” he joked.

The award for leading trainer wasn’t decided until the ninth race, when the Frank Kirby trained Thanks Lord won and gave Kirby his seventh Hawthorne tally.

The win put Kirby one-up on Mike Reavis, and when Yearly Expression won the finale, Kirby ended the meet two wins ahead, in a friendly, but heated battle that went on throughout the meet.

“I’d like to congratulate Mike (Reavis) on a good meet, too. Mike’s a fierce competitor and always does a really good job,” said Kirby. “Winning the title always feels good, but it’s just nice to win your share.”

Final totals:

Tim Thornton 92 wins Chris Emigh 89 wins

Frank Kirby 39 wins Mike Reavis 37 wins

Hawthorne Race Course’s Thoroughbred meet concluded January 13, 2008 and will reopen Friday, March 12, 2008. Hawthorne Race Course is located at 3501 Laramie Avenue, Cicero, IL 60804, gates open daily at 7 am. Call (708) 780-3700 or visit the Web site at




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