Valenzuela Excused Through Weekend

Stewards at Santa Anita excused injured jockey Patrick Valenzuela on Thursday from all of his commitments through Sunday's race card, one day after he failed to call in prior to taking off his mounts.

The 43-year-old jockey submitted a doctor's note indicating a foot injury suffered over the weekend was serious enough to warrant taking several days off.

"He came in this morning and had a doctor's note," steward Kim Sawyer said. "He's had X-rays, which were negative, I guess. He said the next step will be an MRI, which we were told may take place tomorrow."

Valenzuela took off his mounts on Sunday after the afternoon's third race citing a sore foot. Stewards were unaware of Valenzuela's location when he failed to show up for Wednesday's first race. He called them a short time later saying his agent should have already removed him from his mounts.

"He met with investigators this morning and was given a (drug) test," steward George Slender said. "He's good to go until next week where he will probably have to test again."

The oft-troubled Valenzuela currently rides under a strict conditional license that requires him to submit to regular drug testing, including urine and hair shaft/strand exams.

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