Saint Afleet won the first graded stakes race of his light career, holding off Hombre Rapido in the final yards for a three-quarters of a length victory Sunday in the $150,000 Palos Verdes Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Park.
Embattled jockey Patrick Valenzuela received his California riding license and is expected to be back in the saddle for the first time since last July on Jan. 15. Valenzuela, 42, received a conditional license (Jan. 13-Dec. 31) after he and his attorney, Neil Papiano, met Jan. 12 with Santa Anita Park stewards.
The California Horse Racing Board Friday cleared the way for jockey Pat Valenzuela to regain his riding license when it voted to adopt the ruling of an administrative law judge that overruled a board of stewards' suspension of the rider.
The California Horse Racing Board is scheduled to meet Jan. 7 in executive session to discuss an administrative law judge's ruling regarding the suspension of rider Patrick Valenzuela.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela's suspension for the remainder of 2004 was upheld Friday by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Board of Stewards, which recommended that the California Horse Racing Board deny any future license applications from the rider.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, seeking reinstatement from a suspension that has been in effect since July 2, testified Sunday that he was unaware that he was required to provide hair samples for drug testing.
Del Mar stewards heard two hours of testimony Friday during the second day of jockey Patrick Valenzuela's hair follicle testing case before adjourning the suspension challenge until Sunday morning.
Embattled jockey Patrick Valenzuela appeared before Del Mar stewards Thursday to seek reinstatement from his current suspension, but a decision will have to wait.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela was denied a stay of his suspension by California Superior Court judge David Yaffe on July 16 and will not be permitted to ride until he appears at a hearing before Del Mar stewards.
Rock Hard Ten, runner-up to Smarty Jones in this year's Preakness Stakes (gr. I), heads a field of six 3-year-olds who will clash in the $400,000 Swaps Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. II) Saturday at Hollywood Park.
The stewards at Hollywood Park summarily suspended jockey Patrick Valenzuela Friday until they can conduct a formal hearing after the jockey failed to provide samples of his hair for drug testing as required under terms of his conditional licensing agreement with the California Horse Racing Board.
In his first work since a fifth-place finish in the Belmont Stakes on June 5, Rock Hard Ten drilled five furlongs in 1:00 Sunday at Hollywood Park under jockey Patrick Valenzuela. Imperialism also worked Sunday.
The gutty gelding Designed for Luck, who returned to competition last year after missing nearly 17 months with a fractured left rear hock, capped his improbable comeback with the first grade I stakes victory of his career in Monday's $456,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park.
It took Rock Hard Ten three tries, but he finally worked Tuesday morning for the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) with jockey Pat Valenzuela, who may or may not ride the colt in the Belmont, aboard. Even the distance and time of the work are uncertain, depending on how you look at it.
Mercedes Stable's Laura's Lucky Boy gave trainer Jason Orman his first stakes success with an electrifying stretch drive to win the $109,400 Will Rogers (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds in stakes-record time on the Hollywood Park grass Saturday.
His connections hope that Rock Hard Ten, who threw a fit prior to being loaded into the starting gate for last week's Preakness (gr. I), could improve on his second-place finish in the race with some improved etiquette in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I).
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who was set to serve out the remaining 30 days for a recent suspension handed to him by the Calng Board during the month of June, is considering filing an appeal that will allow him to ride Mercedes Stables' and Madeleine Paulson's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) runner-up Rock Hard Ten in the June 5 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
A distant fourth in last month's Fantasy Stakes (gr. II), Elusive Diva found the field and a cutback in distance a little more to her liking Sunday, winning a tight four-horse decision in the $109,600 Railbird (gr. III) at seven furlongs for 3-year-old fillies at Hollywood Park.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, out of action since failing to submit to a mandatory drug test Jan. 22, successfully returned to action Sunday at Hollywood Park, winning two races.
The commissioners of the California Horse Racing Board have scheduled a May 18 hearing to consider the appeal of jockey Patrick Valenzuela.
The Southern California jockey colony April 22 expressed its displeasure with the April 16 decision by California Horse Racing Board chairman John Harris to grant jockey Patrick Valenzuela a stay of his recent suspension that allows him to ride while he appeals the termination of his conditional license.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela worked two horses on the main track and De La Costa, a nominee for the Inglewood Handicap (gr. IIIT) on May 1, on the turf at Hollywood Park Thursday as he prepared for a return to riding on Sunday.
Former jockey Corey Black has resigned his position as a racing analyst/ with the TV Games Network in order to pursue a career as full-time agent for jockey Patrick Valenzuela.
Having been persuaded by information and testimony that the most recent troubles of jockey Patrick Valenzuela were due to clinical depression, not substance abuse, and that Valenzuela's depression is being successfully treated, the chairman of the California Horse Racing Board Friday issued a temporary stay of Valenzuela's suspension until an appeal of the decision by Santa Anita Park stewards to suspend him through December 31 is completed.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, his future as a rider in the balance Thursday, had failed to contact Santa Anita Park stewards as of 12:30 p.m. to learn of his fate.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela met informally with Santa Anita stewards Pete Pedersen, Tom Ward and Ingrid Fermin Wednesday morning, nearly three weeks after the 41-year-old rider was suspended Jan. 23 for failing to fulfill the provisions of his conditional license.
Santa Anita stewards have suspended Jockey Patrick Valenzuela's conditional jockey license for an indefinite period of time and his case has been referred to the California Horse Racing Board for further investigation.
Former jockey and current TVG horseracing expert Corey Black has accepted the position as agent for jockey Patrick Valenzuela effective immediately. Valenzuela and his former agent, Nick Cosato, parted ways earlier this week after Valenzuela expressed concerns over Cosato also representing Corey Nakatani.
Patrick Valenzuela, the leading rider at all five of Southern California's major meets during 2003, has fired his agent of the last two years, Nick Cosato.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who is to resume riding Sunday after serving accumulated suspension days, has given his rivals a huge head start in defense of his Santa Anita riding title.
Except for designated races during the first eight days this meet, Patrick Valenzuela won't ride regularly until the 14th day of the 84-day Santa Anita meeting.
The 30-day autumn meet at Hollywood Park ended Sunday with a moderate increase in attendance and slight declines in wagering numbers.
Patrick Valenzuela became the first jockey in 20 years to sweep all five major Southern California riding titles in the same year when he brought a maiden, 6-1 shot Hollywood Story, from behind to win the $349,500 Hollywood Starlet (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies. In typical P. Val fashion, he survived a stewards' inquiry to do it.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela passed the injured Julie Krone to take over the jockey lead Wednesday at Hollywood Park.
Jockey Ryan Fogelsonger, the nation's top apprentice rider last year, was taken off his mounts Saturday after being thrown at the start of Friday's final race at Hollywood Park.
Dress To Thrill worked a half mile on the Hollywood Park turf course in :51 Sunday under Patrick Valenzuela in preparation for defense of her crown in the $500,000 Matriarch (gr. IT) for fillies and mares next Sunday.
Stewards at Santa Anita Park have suspended Patrick Valenzuela for five days from Nov. 5-9 for causing interference in the stretch aboard Hagerstown in the ninth race on Oct. 24.
David and Holly Wilson's Designed for Luck, who returned to action in August after missing nearly 17 months with a fractured left rear hock, held off a digging Sarafan by a half-length to win Sunday's $300,000 Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita.
Congaree worked six furlongs in 1:12 Wednesday on Santa Anita's fast main track in 1:12 under Patrick Valenzuela.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela guided Tates Creek through a narrow opening in the stretch and the multiple graded stakes winner did the rest, winning the $500,000 Yellow Ribbon (gr. IT) by three-quarters of a length over fast-closing Musical Chimes.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club completed 2003 with an all-time record for pari-mutuel handle and the highest on-track attendance since the addition of inter-track wagering in 1988.
Patrick Valenzuela urged everything he could from Chester's Choice, dramatically nipping Julie Krone and Woke Up Dreamin by a nose at the wire in a match race at Del Mar Sunday that exceeded everyone's expectations.
Excess Summer and jockey Julie Krone spoiled the return to competition of Gary Stevens Friday, less than three weeks after he was injured in a spectacular spill in the Arlington Million (g. IT), breezing to an easy triumph in the featured $92,825 El Cajon Stakes for 3-year-olds.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela will start from the rail aboard Summer Mayberry's Chester's Choice and Julie Krone will be aboard Bob Baffert's Woke Up Dreamin in Sunday's "Battle of the Sexes" match race at Del Mar.
Woke Up Dreamin, a 3-year-old colt by Holy Bull owned by Mike Pegram and trained by Bob Baffert, will replace the injured Oopstheregoes as one of the two horses set for Sunday's match race pitting leading Del Mar riders Julie Krone and Patrick Valenzuela.
Coming off the worst race of his career, top California sprinter Joey Franco showed his doubters that he can win around two turns in Monday's $178,000 Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II).
Happy, cheerful Julie Krone may never match the intensity of Patrick Valenzuela, but as the Sept. 7 "Battle of the Sexes" match race between Del Mar's leading riders draws closer, the bubbly Krone doesn't need to convince anyone of her winning desire.
Wertheimer Farm's Halfbridled showed why she's likely to be heard from later this year when she recorded a scintillating five-length victory in the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) for 2-year-old fillies at Del Mar Saturday.
Perfect Moon, a $4,700 yearling purchase, won his second consecutive graded stakes Sunday at Del Mar, capturing the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes (gr. III) for 2-year-olds by 1 1/4 length with a powerful stretch drive.
Little Red Feather Racing's Singletary, who flopped when heavily favored in each of his three starts, put it all together Saturday in winning the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap (gr. IIIT) for 3-year-olds on the Del Mar turf course.
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