06/04/2002 11:00PM

Hawthorne's live handle slips

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There were few surprises in a blink-and-you-miss-it Hawthorne spring meet that concluded Tuesday. Business followed industry-wide trends during the 23-day meet. Fans at the track and in associated betting parlors wagered more this year than last on full card simulcasts, but handle on Hawthorne's live product declined from 2001 levels.

Noteworthy was a decline of nearly 11 percent, from $1,572,200 last year to $1,401,785 this year, in out-of-state handle on the Hawthorne live product. At the same time, there was an increase of more than 9 percent in total handle on full-card simulcasts, from $1,261,002 to $1,381,899.

Average daily total handle from all sources also declined this year, down more than 4 percent, from $3,635,933 to $3,467,986.

Handle comparisons were taken from a comparable 23-day period in 2001, though last year's meet was longer.

Tom Tomillo and Shane Laviolette, leading trainer and jockey at last year's fall-winter meet, repeated this spring. Tomillo saddled 13 winners and Laviolette rode 19, beating Jesse Campbell by one win.

Louie Roussel and Lothenbach Stables tied for leading owner with five wins each.

Thirty-seven straight days of harness racing begin at Hawthorne on Friday. Thoroughbred racing returns in November.