01/06/2013 6:10PM

Santa Anita: Valenzuela facing knee surgery

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Benoit & Associates
Patrick Valenzuela says he's hopeful of being ready to resume riding in late February following knee surgery.

Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who has not ridden since Nov. 16 at Betfair Hollywood Park after complaining of knee pain, is scheduled to undergo knee surgery this week, he said on Sunday.

Valenzuela, 50, hoped to have the operation in December, but said that it was delayed while he waited for approval from an insurance company. He is hoping to return to racing in late February.

“I finally got the okay to get the surgery on Friday,” he said. “I hope to be back by the end of the February. They have to go in there and see what’s going on.”

In the autumn, Valenzuela said his knee had been causing him difficulty since the Del Mar meeting last summer. Valenzuela ended a six-month retirement in May. In 2012, he won 9 races from 129 mounts.

Two of the wins came in Grade 1 races on Acclamation – the Charles Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park and the Eddie Read Stakes at Del Mar.

More recently, he said he has been limited to watching races on television.

“I’m ready to get back,” he said. “I have been watching too many races on the couch.”

Frank Cazares More than 1 year ago
Get well soon cuz.GOD BLESS.
Frank Cazares More than 1 year ago
Get well cuz.
Mooch J More than 1 year ago
Patrick Valenzuela was the most talented rider I have ever saw and I go back a long way
mikey More than 1 year ago
I wish him well he has fought a long hard fight.He is a fighter and we need him in this game.
Andrew Nahinu More than 1 year ago
Thanks steve, while responding to the article about the exciting return of gary,in my post I asked if anybody new about pval. We gained one exciting player back and lost track of another, reminds me of the problem of keeping our star power horses healthy and running.
Dave Schuler More than 1 year ago
Cool Story GARY @ P Val +many More Stories WE Dont Hear About-,The Beat Goes On -LOLK-DS
kingsailor2 More than 1 year ago
Gary Stevens did very well today !
Vince More than 1 year ago
given Stevens history of sticking with nothing it remains to be seen how long the comeback lasts
Guy More than 1 year ago
Would have been the all time leading rider if he could have stayed clean...as successful as he has been, there is a lot of wasted time in his career. Hoe you stay healthy and happy PVal.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Get well P. Val! Be nice to see you and Gary, in a stretch duel!!!
Timothy Wheelster More than 1 year ago
i could beat both of them