04/24/2003 11:00PM

Longtime partners on a hot streak


ALBANY, Calif. - Two of the hottest jockeys at this meet are veterans Roberto Gonzalez and Chad Schvaneveldt.

Through Thursday's races, Gonzalez, 48, was third in the standings with 15 victories in 60 mounts (25 percent). Schvaneveldt, 39, ranks fifth with 10 wins in 47 mounts (21 percent).

Schvaneveldt won the meeting's first stakes race, the $75,000 Miss America, aboard Lindsay Jean. Gonzalez has ridden five stakes winners in the past five weeks, including Mr. Technique in the $100,000 California Derby and Presidio Heights in the $60,000 Atherton.

The two riders are friends, who construct whips for themselves and their fellow jockeys. They have one other thing in common. They share the same agent, Bob Hack.

Hack has handled Gonzalez's book for 12 years and Schvaneveldt's for three.

"Right now, we're lucky to be getting live horses," Hack said. "None of us are acting any different. They just ride for certain stables that got hot, and now they are picking up spare horses that are live."

Hack has been an agent since 1958. He's represented Bobby Jennings, Juan Gonzalez, Randy Schacht, and Richard Galarza, among others.

He also has worked for Laffit Pincay Jr.

"I had him for three weeks one year when he was trying to be the leading money winner and there was no racing in Southern California after Oak Tree," Hack said. "His agent was Vince DeGregory, and he suggested me because I knew the horses up here better than he did.

"Laffit won 20 races and won the money title."

Hack doesn't have to do much selling with either of his current riders. Gonzalez, who has ridden here since 1978, has 3,490 career victories, second on this circuit only to Russell Baze.

"All the trainers know Bobby," Hack said. "Everyone knows how good he is on a front-runner, and his main outfits are pretty much speed outfits."

Since hooking up with Hack, Schvaneveldt, who has 1,656 wins, has enjoyed his most sustained success.

"He's always been a very capable rider," Hack said. "Chad's a rider you very seldom see get into trouble. He positions himself well and knows his way around the track."

Both Gonzalez and Schvaneveldt have four mounts Sunday, including one in the day's feature, a one-mile turf allowance race for older fillies and mares. Gonzalez will ride China Jewel, while Schvaneveldt will be on Off to the Opera.