Congaree heads what should be a small but talented field of milers shaping up for Monday's Labor Day Del Mar Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) on the main track.
A.C. Valenzuela, father of Del Mar's leading rider, Patrick Valenzuela, died Saturday at San Antonio Hospital in Upland.
Kachamandi took advantage of a solid pace and a perfectly-timed ride by Patrick Valenzuela to score a length victory in the featured Harry F. Brubaker Handicap at Del Mar Friday.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela continued his thus far successful comeback with a four-win day at Hollywood Park Wednesday. Calzada Kid won the $60,180 feature race under Valenzuela, giving him his first four-victory day in nine years.
Michael Tabor's Gotham Stakes (gr. III) winner Mayakovsky, set to start in Saturday's Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), worked a half-mile in :48 1/5, breezing, over a fast Santa Anita main track Tuesday morning immediately after the renovation break.
Troubled rider Patrick Valenzuela scored his first victory in nearly two years at Santa Anita on Monday, winning the third race aboard Rich Musique for owners David and Holly Wilson and trainer Vladimir Cerin.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who turns 39 Wednesday, had an informal meeting Sunday with three stewards at Santa Anita Park to begin the process of obtaining a license to exercise horses. Valenzuela, winner of the 1989 Kentucky Derby aboard Sunday Silence, has not ridden since February, 2000, when he was suspended for the latest in a series of drug violations. The rider applied to be relicensed one year later, but that request was rejected.
The California Horse Racing Board, meeting in executive session, denied Patrick Valenzuela's license application by upholding the stewards recommendation that the 38-year-old jockey not be relicensed. However, the racing commissioners indicated Valenzuela may reapply for a license in six months if at that time he can prove that he is no longer abusing drugs or alcohol and can show proof that he has regularly attended the Winners' Foundation program without interruption for the entire six-month period.
The future of jockey Patrick Valenzuela's racing career may be decided during the next California Horse Racing Board meeting later this month.
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