Pat Valenzuela Returns to Win Two Races at Zia Park

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, out of action for the past 11 months, returned to the saddle Nov. 3 at New Mexico's Zia Park with a pair of victories.

Valenzuela, who has not been able to regain a conditional license that would allow him to ride in California, returned in Zia's sixth race, guiding the 2-5 favorite Strong Force to a fourth-place finish. However, he won the next two races on the card with odds-on choices Devil Action and Must Be a Topper. He concluded his day in the ninth race when My Pizazz ran out of the money.

The oft-suspended 45-year-old jockey had not ridden since Nov. 26 following a mishap that resulted in three fractured ribs and subsequent surgery on his right knee. He met with Santa Anita stewards Oct. 24, who declined to take a position on a conditional license at the the time.

Valenzuela represented by agent Tom Knust, subsequently gained approval in New Mexico. he has been working horses at the Hobbs track the past week.

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