Valenzuela Calls In Late, to Meet With Stewards

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela will meet with stewards Thursday morning after missing all his mounts at Oak Tree at Santa Anita on Wednesday. The oft-troubled rider said he was suffering from a sore foot that knocked him out of action following his ride in the second race on Sunday.

According to track steward John Hervuveaux, Valenzuela called in after missing his first mount Wednesday in the afternoon's first race saying his agent, Ronnie Ebanks, should have called to take him off his mounts earlier. The 43-year-old rider isn't suspended, Hervuveaux said, but will meet with stewards on Thursday morning.

"He called in late after he missed his first mount saying he still had the sore foot that caused him to take off on Sunday," Hervuveaux said. "He's not suspended. He'll meet with us in the morning and will report to the CHRB investigators as he does every day. He'll need a doctor's clearance to ride since he took off today for the same sore foot he took off with (on Sunday)."

For most of his career, Valenzuela has been in and out of the saddle due to substance abuse and/or personal problems. He captured the riding titles for all the major Southern California meets in 2003, and then sat out most of 2004 following his failure to submit to a drug test after he took off his mounts without notice. He currently rides under a conditional license that requires regular drug testing and that he maintain hair on his head that is a minimum of 1 ½ inches long and of a sufficient quantity (minimum 150 shafts/strands) to submit a sample for testing.

Valenzuela is set to ride six horses Thursday and was named on four for Friday's program. He's also scheduled to ride four or five horses on the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships card at Belmont Park Oct. 29.

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