02/11/2014 4:04PM

Valenzuela banned from tracks


Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who has not ridden since late January and said at the time his riding career was over, has been banned from racetrack grounds.

Valenzuela failed to appear at a hearing with track stewards Feb. 6 to discuss his absence from riding on Jan. 24 and was subsequently suspended indefinitely. The terms of the suspension deny Valenzuela access to California’s racetracks.

At the time of his absence, the 51-year-old jockey told his agent Tom Knust that he was “done” with riding. Valenzuela, who has won 4,347 races, including the 1989 Kentucky Derby on Sunday Silence, was winless with 20 mounts at the current meeting. He struggled to gain mounts in 2013, with four wins from 89 mounts.

Quite A Dude More than 1 year ago
Pat was a great rider. I wish him the best and hope one day he can find some inner peace and be healthy and productive in whatever he does.
Mike Carney More than 1 year ago
I was in the paddock at Hollywood the day he got cow-kicked and broke three of his ribs, right through his protective wear. I didn't see it, I heard it, and it was some blow. I don't think he's been the same since. I'm not saying he's a saint, but he was a heck of a race rider. His attitude and defiance hurt him more than anything. So many of these guys and gals that ride have to go through so much, things even most railbirds don't know. That's why I have so much respect and appreciation for the Mike Smiths, Gary Stevens, Chris McCarrons and other old pros in the game and I'm glad for them that in the latter part of their careers, they are doing or did so well. Patrick wasn't that fortunate and yes, it was his fault, but its a hard thing. I'd say a prayer for him that he can deal with the harshness of his circumstance and maybe even become a better man. Tough game. Good luck, P. Val. (same goes for GoGo).
Richard More than 1 year ago
It seems that both extreme success and dismal failure are too much for some people to handle.
Gene Washington More than 1 year ago
People are outraged by a jockey. Show the same outrage to the drunks and druggies in DC.
Wiredfigs More than 1 year ago
These guys need help. The industry should do something to help them. Very few people in the world do what these people do. Let's help the precious few. We praise them when they win with our selection & curse them when they don't. They are human beings too. A little compassion people. Come up with a program that makes these people stick to it.
Gene Washington More than 1 year ago
Unless the person wants to quit no program will work.
Rudy Svantner More than 1 year ago
Why must people stomp on you when you're down,. I think Val was a good rider and could have been better if he was able to control his habits. Meantime does anyone know what happened to Garrett Gomez my favorite all time rider. Did he fall off the wagon again RJS
Art Brown More than 1 year ago
It looks like the stewards are putting the screw job to Gomez. I suspect the 3 ring circus that they are putting him though is the results of what Pat Valenzuela put them through the last 25 years and they are getting back at him because Pat was able to outsmart them.
Peter Orlando More than 1 year ago
Shocking! What's that the 200th time in his career? He has help make a joke of this industry. Steve Howe bows to his mastery of fooling people over and over again.
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
Why did it take this long?.its a bad example to others.if at the beginning they made it clear that it would not be tolerated he might have quit.1st offence cancel license and warned of all tracks for 1 year.2nd offence your done.end of story. instead we get this pathetic saga of never ending transgressions with the public never knowing how sober or drudged up their jockey is on any given day.considering how some are ridding we wonder how pervasive the problem is.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
cocaine, booze, money and wild women, that will ruin anyones career, lucky he is still alive and change his ways!!!
Ralston Headley More than 1 year ago
Great rider,sadly it's time to seek help away from racing.God speed.