The California Horse Racing Board has denied jockey Patrick Valenzuela a license to ride during races in the state, citing a recommendation made by a hearing officer, according to a July 20 news release from the regulatory agency.
Although he is still allowed by the CHRB to work horses following a decision in August, the ruling stated Valenzuela can re-apply for a racing license in a year with the recommendation he “present evidence of rehabilitation, including the results of alcohol and drug testing performed on a regular basis.”
The CHRB reached its decision during a closed session July 14 and based it on the recommendation of hearing officer Patrick Kane, who conducted a hearing April 27 regarding Valenzuela’s appeal of a prior CHRB ruling to deny him a license March 18.
“(I) cannot ignore the number of chances the CHRB previously gave (Valenzuela),” Kane wrote in his recommendation to the CHRB following the hearing. “It should be noted that since 2000, (Valenzuela) has what (I consider) fifteen major rule violations and/or convictions. As such, a six-month record free of violations fails to demonstrate adequate rehabilitation in light of (Valenzuela's) numerous past transgressions.”
The 53-year-old jockey, who has a history of substance abuse, failed to fulfill his commitment to ride two races at Santa Anita Park in January of 2014. Valenzuela had been riding with a conditional license that made him subject to drug and alcohol testing at the CHRB's request.
Valenzuela declined to comment on the CHRB ruling on advice from his attorney.