Upland, Calif., police department spokesman Sgt. Cliff Mathews confirmed that Valenzuela was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol on Dec. 20 at 2:48 a.m. at a fast food restaurant in the city.
According to the police report, officers responded to a loud crash at the restaurant. Upon investigating, they found that Valenzuela had flattened two tires of the vehicle he was driving in a collision in the drive-through lane.
After conducting a field sobriety test, Mathews said officers determined that Valenzuela was under the influence of alcohol and incapable of operating the vehicle. The jockey was taken into custody and booked at Upland P.D., where he was cited and given a Feb. 21, 2008 court date.
Valenzuela's provisional license was issued by the CHRB Nov. 14 and was to have run through Dec. 31, 2008. According to Ingrid Fermin, executive director of the CHRB, the action against Valenzuela was taken based on information provided by the Upland police.
"The board has received evidence provided by the Upland Police Department indicating Mr. Valenzuela had been arrested for being under the influence of alcohol. Consuming or being under the influence of alcohol is a violation of Mr. Valenzuela's conditional license," Fermin said in a statement.
Tom Knust, the agent for the oft-suspended Valenzuela, said Dec. 28 that he did not learn of the incident for a week.
"I didn't even know he had (the arrest) until I heard from some people that he had a DUI on opening day (at Santa Anita Dec. 26). When I asked him about it, he said it happened a week earlier."
Knust said he is no longer representing the 45-year-old Valenzuela, who won the 1989 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) aboard Sunday Silence.
Valenzuela had been out of action for nearly a year following a paddock accident at Hollywood Park. He was kicked by a horse in the walking ring Nov. 26, 2006, and sustained broken ribs. He underwent subsequent knee surgery for a lingering injury and, after being allowed to ride by stewards, resumed his career Nov. 17 at Hollywood Park. He launched his comeback Nov. 3 at Zia Park after being licensed in New Mexico and rode three winners with 20 mounts there through Nov. 11.
During the recently concluded Hollywood autumn meet, Valenzuela won with eight of his 80 mounts. He was blanked on three mounts at Santa Anita Dec. 26. He had been scheduled to ride in four of the eight races at Santa Anita Dec. 28, but was taken off those mounts as well as others this weekend.
Since 2001, Valenzuela has ridden in California on a provisional license, which has been amended several times to include stricter conditions.