03/11/2014 3:58PM

Santa Anita: Valenzuela wants to become exercise rider

Benoit & Associates
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela has won 4,347 career races.

ARCADIA, Calif. – Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who has not ridden since late January and was suspended Feb. 7 for failing to meet with track stewards, met with the same board of stewards Sunday, seeking an exercise rider’s license.

Valenzuela told Scott Chaney, Kim Sawyer, and Tom Ward that he no longer plans to ride but would like to stay involved in Southern California racing. He said he would like to work as an exercise rider or as a television commentator and has a long-term interest in training.

“I’m not going to ride,” he said. “I’d like to get a license and be able to work in the industry.”

The stewards did not give Valenzuela an exercise rider’s license at Sunday’s 15-minute hearing but said they would take the case under advisement. Valenzuela was informed that he would face a fine for his absence from riding at Santa Anita on Jan. 24-25.

The 51-year-old Valenzuela has a history of substance-abuse and personal issues that plagued his career. He is best known for winning the 1989 Kentucky Derby on Sunday Silence. Valenzuela has won 4,347 races but was winless with 20 mounts in the first month of the current meeting, which began Dec. 26.

At Sunday’s hearing, Valenzuela took responsibility for his absence in late January, saying that he overslept Jan. 24 and was “too embarrassed” to call the stewards the following day. He said he is undergoing financial difficulties and needs employment.

swede More than 1 year ago
P Val does have a lot to offer horse racing. His riding career is over, but surely he can be trusted in another capacity. I met him and he was super nice. He was friendly, unlike some of the so-called 'top jockeys'. He has a drug addiction, and he needs to deal with it, but he should be treated with respect. He rode his heart out and horse racing shouldn't turn their back on him.
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
You people are clueless. Pat never came to the track drunk . His suspensions were all about what he did on his own time. He wasn't a danger to anyone on the race track . He doesn't cause horse wrecks. He speaks perfect English and he's not a bald headed blowhard like Bailey. Of course he would make a good color man . He likes people & horses and that shows. He's not a sour bitter a-hole like Bailey. For any of you that claim you can't be on TV under the influence of ??? Don't make me laugh. I was in the BIZ half my life. Most of the people involved from top to bottom have wet lunches everyday . That's just a fact . There is a bar outside the gates in Culver City called the Backstage ... It's packed to the gills with the best people in the BIZ . There is a bar called the Formosa cafe .. 50 ft. from the front gate a Warner Hollywood. 100% of the customers are entertainment industry people. .... I once asked a friend of mine where we were going for lunch .... He looked at me a shouted in front of half the bosses on the set , "the freaking liquor store ... the same place we always go for lunch !! " None of the bosses even batted an eye :)
Sol Rivera More than 1 year ago
Pat has no shot as an on air personality. NO SHOT WHATSOEVER NONE. ZERO. HE IS DONE !!! His rap sheet won't allow it.
MT_Black More than 1 year ago
I met P-Val in Albuquerque on one of his come backs...He was drunk.
johnd More than 1 year ago
Obviously this is an early April Fools Joke!! No sane person can take seriously anything this man says. This man is like a bad case of herpes: he keeps coming back. Val go away and stay away. For your own good.
Jim Fields More than 1 year ago
All of these comments about a good ex jockey, has proven time and again that he can't be trusted by this industry. He is one little man that used illicit drugs in order to climb on horses and ride them fast, but forget him, there are thousands of little men and women that do it daily, without the use of false courage. Feel for Anne Von Rosen, who dedicated her life to her trade, and now is laying in a hospital bed hoping she might walk again. PVal is bad history
Ralph Wideman More than 1 year ago
He's is a great rider but his personal life interferes with that I understand the stewards ruling as they have to do something about his actions being around this industry all my life he has had chance people would have given there life for I would not allow him to ride in the morning or in races until he went to rehab a lot of people don't know he has found ways to not to get tested in the past can't say nothing about his talent cause he's a very talented rider but his own demons get the best of him would like to see him clean his act up and at least be apart of racing in some form I wish him the best
John Jp More than 1 year ago
Let's see, I have a nice horse, a big investment, hmmm, P Val can't ride him during the day because he can't be trusted for the zillionth time to come to the track sober, but maybe he'll get to ride him in the morning after an all night bender and jeopordize his health there?
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
Why does anyone keep using the word "great" in every sentence regarding this man? He is a mess. I hope you people do not teach your children to idolize such dangerous people.
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
'everyone', not anyone.
sjm80s . More than 1 year ago
You're a threat in the afternoons, dare someone allow you to ride in the morning? If you need money which apparently you do, go to the concession stands.
Lawrence Vaccarelli More than 1 year ago
Pat..for all your greatness in the saddle...and all your talent....were all so tired of your continuing saga of your swirl down the drain....go away....oh we will miss you ..but someone will take your place....we as a industry don't need you endangering others.....riding... exercising....a drunk or under the influence rider is a disaster waiting to happen....god forbid something happens ...the whole racing board would go to jail for giving you a license for the 1,000th time....enough already....go buy yourself some booze and drugs and enjoy yourself til you overdose...used to really admire your riding....damn...you were special....now your a joke.