Valenzuela Eyes Louisiana Downs Return

Valenzuela Eyes Louisiana Downs Return
Photo: Benoit
Patrick Valenzuela
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, on three years’ probation for a California DUI and unable to apply for a riding license in that state until Dec. 31 of this year, plans to begin riding races at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, La., according to a May 21 report in the Daily Racing Form.
Valenzuela, 45, has not ridden since Dec. 26 after having his conditional license in California revoked. Terms of the conditional license required that the jockey abstain from consuming or possessing alcohol or entering a public place where alcohol is the principal commodity for sale or use, and also required Valenzuela to submit to random drug testing. The license was revoked by the California Horse Racing Board after the jockey was arrested for a DUI in Upland, Calif. He was fined $1,595 and sentenced to three years of probation.
Valenzuela, whose 29-year career includes a 1989 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) win aboard Sunday Silence and seven Breeders’ Cup scores, has been plagued by a history of substance abuse issues. He obtained a jockey’s license in Louisiana last fall to ride stakes contenders at Delta Downs in Vinton, La., and planned to ride earlier in the year at Fair Grounds in New Orleans, but never fulfilled his commitments on mounts booked during that meet. His Louisiana license is valid through the end of June.
Valenzuela told the DRF that he has been working horses at Louisiana Downs since mid-May.
All jockeys in Louisiana are subject to random drug testing.

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