Jockey Patrick Valenzuela.

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela.


Valenzuela Denied Reinstatement of License to Ride

From CHRB Press Release
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 stewards at Santa Anita Park suspended Valenzuela on Feb. 11, 2000, for "engaging in the use of a dangerous drug – amphetamine." The suspension covered the term of his conditional license, which had been issued on Sept. 18, 1999, under terms of an agreement for continued treatment with Winners' Foundation and random testing.

When Valenzuela reapplied for a license this year, CHRB investigators denied his application. The stewards at Santa Anita conducted a fitness for licensure hearing, then issued their recommendation to the Board. Their proposed decision stated in part:

"The Board of Stewards, who must be ever vigilant about the safety of the entire jockey colony, is of the unanimous position that the respondent has not submitted evidence to substantiate that he has sustained one year of uninterrupted sobriety. U/A (urinalysis) tests were not submitted. For the dimension of his chemical dependency, and the task that was before him, his documented attendance at 12-step meetings was insufficient. Although the respondent traveled to Colorado for a five or six-week period, he did not submit documentation of having participated in 12-step meetings while in that state, (and) at no time during the period of suspension did respondent choose to contact the Board of Stewards to clarify the standards to be met to satisfy the recommendations in the (Feb. 11, 2000) ruling."