01/15/2004 1:00AM

Dave Penna, former rider, dies

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Former jockey Dave Penna died Tuesday in Victoria, British Columbia. He was 46 years old.

Penna won 1,772 races in a career that spanned nearly 20 years. He was ultimately forced into retirement because of a serious hip injury incurred in a starting-gate incident at Woodbine in 1996. Penna rode primarily in Canada but also spent many winters on the south Florida circuit. He rode 178 stakes winners, 31 of them in graded stakes, during his career.

Penna trained horses for a brief period at Gulfstream Park in 2001.

Penna "had as good an opinion about a race horse as any rider I've known," said former trainer and longtime friend Lou Goldfine. "It devastated him when he was no longer able to rider races any more following his injury."

A memorial service will be held for Penna on Wednesday at 10 a.m. in the Gulfstream Park winner's circle.