08/20/2010 9:55PM

Valenzuela caps big day with dead heat in Sandy Blue


DEL MAR, Calif. - Jockey Patrick Valenzuela won his third race on Friday’s program when Warren’s Jitterbug ($13) and Go Forth North ($6) finished in a dead heat for first in the $87,675 Sandy Blue Handicap at Del Mar.

Earlier in the day, Valenzuela won the first race with Brookie Girl ($6.80) and the fifth race with Winter Camp ($6). For Valenzuela, the triple was his best day of racing since returning to riding in California on July 28, shortly after receiving a conditional jockey’s license from state racing board officials. Valenzuela had not ridden in California since late 2007 because of a drunk-driving charge, a violation of his previous license.

In the Sandy Blue Handicap at a mile on turf for 3-year-old fillies, Warren’s Jitterbug rallied on the rail and Go Forth North rallied wide to run past 2-1 favorite Fortunia, who finished a head behind the first two in the field of eight.

The final time was 1:34.27. Go Forth North was ridden by jockey Omar Berrio, who thrust his whip in the air at the finish in celebration. Valenzuela did not express such confidence at the finish.

Both Go Forth North and Warren’s Jitterbug won their first stakes in the Sandy Blue, but earned different amounts of prize money. Go Forth North earned $32,370, while Warren’s Jitterbug’s win was worth $39,120. Warren’s Jitterburg earned a higher sum as a California-bred eligible for a bonus for winning against open company.

Go Forth North races for a partnership and trainer A.C. Avila. Warren’s Jitterbug is owned by breeder Ben Warren and is trained by Jorge Gutierrez.