Valenzuela Makes Appearance in DUI Case

Valenzuela Makes Appearance in DUI Case
Photo: Benoit Photography
Patrick Valenzuela
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela showed up in a Southern California court April 18, three weeks after a bench warrant was issued for his arrest when he failed to appear for a hearing that stemmed from a driving under the influence charge in December.

The 45-year-old Valenzuela was ordered to return to San Bernardino County Superior Court May 6 for a pre-trial hearing, according to court records. Attorney Christopher J. McCann represented Valenzuela in court. A jury trial was set for May 19 at 8:30 a.m. According to court minutes, the public defender's office was appointed to handle the case on Valenzuela's behalf.

A $50,000 bench warrant was issued for Valenzuela when he failed to appear March 26 for pre-trial. The warrant was recalled with his latest appearance, according to court records, and he was not jailed.

Valenzuela is charged with DUI following his arrest at a fast-food restaurant in Upland, Calif., on Dec. 20. He pleaded not guilty Feb. 21.

The oft-suspended Valenzuela's latest conditional jockey license was rescinded by the California Horse Racing Board in late December. He has not ridden since Dec. 26.

According to San Bernardino court records, Valenzuela was also charged in May 2007 with driving 104 m.p.h. in a 70 m.p.h. speed zone, and was fined $361 that October after pleading guilty to a lesser charge. Records show Valenzuela only paid $50 of the fine, and the balance, which now includes an additional $300 assessment fee, has been turned over for collection.

Valenzuela had 106 starts with 12 winners in all of 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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