12/18/2011 7:31PM

Hollywood Park: Valenzuela fined $1,000 by stewards


Retired jockey Patrick Valenzuela was fined $1,000 by Hollywood Park stewards on Sunday for failing to ride at Hollywood Park on Nov. 17.

Valenzuela, who announced his retirement on Dec. 9, did not contact the stewards or his agent before the start of racing on Nov. 17. He later said that he missed the program because he was attending to an emergency in his fiancée’s family.

Valenzuela later traveled to Kansas to be with that family. During his time there, he underwent gall bladder surgery. Earlier this month, the 49-year-old rider announced his retirement, citing the gall bladder surgery and the long-term effects of keeping his weight down.

A winner of 4,333 races, including the 1989 Kentucky Derby on Sunday Silence, Valenzuela appeared before Hollywood Park stewards Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer and Tom Ward on Saturday regarding his absence on Nov. 17. He said during that 15-minute hearing that he would not contest any penalties stemming from his absence.

Valenzuela rode his final race at Hollywood Park on Nov. 13. Saturday, he reiterated to the stewards that he has no plans to return to riding, and that he hopes to find a job doing television commentary in horse racing.