03/18/2002 1:00AM

Billy Daniels, jockey, dead at 41


Former jockey William "Billy" Daniels died of cancer Monday morning in Providence, R.I. He was 41.

Prominent in his native New England early in his career, Daniels went on to win titles at Charles Town and consistently rank among the leading jockeys at other Mid-Atlantic tracks and at Tampa Bay Downs.

He is survived by his wife, Margaret, of Smithfield, R.I., as well as his mother, Beverly, and his father, Ed, a former trainer who introduced his son to racing. In addition, Daniels had four brothers.

Daniels began his career with a victory at Suffolk Downs in 1976 and enjoyed his biggest year in 1982, with 129 wins. He stopped riding full-time in the mid-1990's, then made a comeback, winning 98 races over the past four years.

Funeral arrangements are pending.