07/30/2010 9:59PM

Del Mar: Valenzuela rallies to win


Jockey Patrick Valenzuela won for the first time since his return in California on Wednesday, closing from last in a field of eight on Warren's Jitterbug to win an optional claimer over 1 1-16 miles on turf in Friday's sixth race.

Warren's Jitterbug ($7.40) finished a half-length in front of Ashee, who was followed by Magic Launch.

Prior to Wednesday, Valenzuela had not ridden in California since December 2007 after losing his conditional jockey's license because of a drunk driving arrest. He rode primarily in Louisiana in recent years, but sought to resume his career in California. Valenzuela was granted a license by the California Horse Racing Board on July 22, contingent on frequent drug testing and that he attend counseling for alcoholism.

Warren's Jitterbug was Valenzuela's eighth mount of the week. He is booked to ride seven of Saturday's 10 races.