12/28/2004 12:00AM

CHRB will consider P. Val's appeal at January 7 meeting


The California Horse Racing Board has scheduled a teleconference meeting on Jan. 7 at Santa Anita to consider the decision of an administrative law judge regarding jockey Patrick Valenzuela's appeal of a suspension he received during the summer.

The details of the administrative law judge's opinion have not been made public. The CHRB can reject, modify, or accept the decision.

Valenzuela was suspended in August for the remainder of 2004 by Del Mar stewards Ingrid Fermin, George Slender, and Tom Ward for failing to take a hair follicle test at Hollywood Park on July 1. In addition, they recommended that Valenzuela "not be considered for future licensing by the California Horse Racing Board in any capacity."

Fermin has subsequently been named executive director of the CHRB.

Valenzuela, who has a history of substance abuse problems, reapplied for a jockey's license during the final week of Hollywood Park, according to his attorney, Neil Papiano. He expressed frustration that the CHRB had not made public the administrative law judge's decision.

"They should serve us with the ruling," Papiano said. "It makes no sense what they're doing."