Valenzuela Gets Fine, 3-Year Probation
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 5/7/2008 7:13:57 PM
Last Updated: 5/9/2008 9:39:42 AM

Patrick Valenzuela
Photo: Benoit
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela was fined $1,595 and sentenced to three years' probation after pleading guilty to a charge of driving under the influence during a pre-trial hearing May 6 in San Bernardino County Superior Court.

According to court records, a second DUI charge was dropped in connection with the Dec. 22 early-morning arrest of the 45-year-old Valenzuela at a fast food restaurant in Upland, Calif. A not guilty plea Valenzuela made to the charges at his arraignment Feb. 21 was withdrawn and a May 19 trial date in the case vacated.

Valenzuela, whose conditional jockey license was rescinded by the California Horse Racing Board in late December because of the alcohol-related offense, has not ridden since Dec. 26.

He agreed to pay a $1,595 fine, which included an unspecified victim restitution amount, a $35 "installment fee" and $100 court-appointed counsel fee, making the total assessment $1,730.

Valenzuela, who was present in court, was represented by William Duffy, a San Bernardino County deputy public defender.

Under terms of his probation, Valenzuela must violate no laws other than minor traffic ones, pay his fine and related costs, attend a county-approved first offender alcohol program for four months, not drive a motor vehicle unless properly licensed and insured, and not operate a vehicle with a measurable blood alcohol level. If arrested, Valenzuela agreed to submit to any required blood, breath or urine testing.

Valenzuela was sentenced to two days in jail but was given credit for two days time served. He is to present proof of satisfactory completion of the alcohol program to the court by Nov. 28.

According to the CHRB, Valenzuela is not eligible to apply for a new conditional jockey's license until after Dec. 31.

A $50,000 bench warrant was issued by the court March 26 when Valenzuela failed to appear for a pre-trial hearing in the case. He appeared voluntarily April 18 and the bench warrant was recalled.

Valenzuela had 106 starts with 12 winners in 2007, according to statistics compiled by The Jockey Club Information Systems. In his career, Valenzuela has 3,969 wins from 25,674 lifetime starts, with $150,677,127 in earnings. Since November 1978, he has been unable to ride because of suspension or license denials for a total of 86 months, or more than seven years.

Among his victories are triumphs in the 1989 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) on Sunday Silence, and seven Breeders’ Cup wins.


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