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HAWTHORNE NOTES

Hawthorne Racecourse daily notes (4/14/03)

Contact: Jim Miller
(708) 780-3700

JOCKEY RONNIE GABRIEL SCORES FIRST VICTORY IN 12 YEARS

Family Covenant was dismissed at 19-1 in Monday's third race but Ronnie Gabriel was feeling very confident. "I worked her the other day and she went very easily. I felt pretty good about her chances. Once she grabbed the lead her heart got big and she finished full of run."

Gabriel, 52, a popular local reinsman a couple of decades ago, returned to riding late last year after taking about 12 years off to train and work in the racing office. He started hanging around the racetrack in 1972, started riding in 1973, and rode for about 17 years.

"I had hoped this would happen sooner," said Gabriel, speaking of his first win since his return. "I thought I was getting on some live horses but it just didn't turn out that way. It wasn't like I was away from racing. I was still working and galloping horses while I was training."

"After this meet is over I might head over to Great Lakes Downs. I wouldn't get many mounts at Arlington and I should be able to build my business in Michigan. Hopefully, I'll get more opportunities when I return here in the fall."

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