12/29/2007 12:00AM

Agent urges Valenzuela to retire

EmailARCADIA, Calif. - Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, whose license was revoked by the California Horse Racing Board on Friday after a recent charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, should retire and not attempt another comeback, according to his agent, Tom Knust.

Speaking on Friday, hours after Valenzuela learned his conditional license was revoked for a DUI in Upland, Calif., on Dec. 20, Knust said that the 45-year-old jockey has been battling weight problems in recent months. Knust said he advised Valenzuela to quit riding after a 29-year career that includes a victory in the 1989 Kentucky Derby aboard Sunday Silence and seven wins in Breeders' Cup races.

Valenzuela had been riding under a conditional license issued by the racing board that mandated random drug testing. The license dictated that he abstain from consuming or possessing alcohol or entering "a public place where alcohol is the principal commodity for sale or use," according to a statement released by the racing board Friday.

Because of the DUI, Valenzuela may be unable to gain another racing license in California.

"The chances of him riding again are very slim," Knust said. "My suggestion to him was he's got to live and pay bills and he's got a family to support. He may have to look at other career opportunities.

"The weight deal is a big thing for him. Trying to diet all the time and reduce, I think with some people it's too much pressure. Maybe he puts too much pressure on himself."

Knust said that Valenzuela has had significant trouble trying to keep his weight close to his riding assignments.

"I think he'd be a lot happier human being if he wasn't riding," Knust said. "There has to be a better way to live than the way he's living. I think he knows that he screwed up. I know the weight thing has been a big problem for him. It's unfortunate."

Valenzuela did not return a phone call seeking comment.

Valenzuela's career has been plagued by substance-abuse problems that have led to numerous interruptions.

Valenzuela returned to riding in November after an 11-month break because of knee and rib injuries. Since returning to riding at Zia Park in New Mexico on Nov. 3, and shifting his tack to Hollywood Park on Nov. 17, Valenzuela had won 12 races from 106 mounts.

Final Hollywood figures

Hollywood Park had an average daily all-sources handle of about $10.9 million at the 32-day fall meeting that ended Dec. 22, according to a statement released by the track Friday. The statement revealed more detailed handle figures than the track announced at the conclusion of the meeting.

The all-sources average daily handle - which includes all wagers on Hollywood's races plus simulcast wagering on other tracks - showed a gain of 5.1 percent over the 2006 figure of about $10.4 million.

Ontrack attendance averaged 4,944, a gain of 3.6 percent from 2006. The average ontrack handle of $1.3 million marked a decrease of 4.8 percent from 2006.

The meeting was run without a simulcast of the Breeders' Cup program, which was run during the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting in late October. The 2006 Breeders' Cup was simulcast when Hollywood Park was conducting its fall meeting.

Mile may be in Furioso Star's future

Furioso Star, a full brother to the Grade 1 stakes winner Bordonaro, won a 6 1/2-furlong optional claimer in Friday's seventh race at Santa Anita, his second win in four starts.

Trainer Bill Spawr thinks that unlike Bordonaro, Furioso Star will be effective at longer distances.

"I don't think he's a pure sprinter," Spawr said. "I think he'll run a mile."

Furioso Star ($20.40) rallied from fourth to win the optional claimer by 1 1/4 lengths in 1:15.11. Like Bordonaro, he races for breeders Fred Carrillo and Dan Cassella.

Bordonaro, unraced since finishing sixth in the Breeders' Cup Sprint at Monmouth Park on Oct. 27, is only in light training, Spawr said. Bordonaro had his last published workout over three furlongs at Hollywood Park on Dec. 11.

"He's had a little setback and we'll see him later at the meeting," Spawr said.

* Jockey Martin Garcia has been suspended three days for causing interference in the eighth race at Hollywood Park on Dec. 22. Garcia was cited for his ride aboard Wise One, who was disqualified from first and placed fourth. The suspension runs from Thursday through Saturday.