Updated on 09/17/2011 3:16PM

Valenzuela denied stay of ban

Laura's Lucky Boy (left) was run down by Greek Sun as the heavy favorite in the Cinema BC. Laura's Lucky Boy returns in Saturday's La Jolla Handicap.

DEL MAR, Calif. - The California Horse Racing Board on Tuesday denied jockey Patrick's Valenzuela's request for a stay of his suspension for failing to take a hair-follicle test in early July.

The board's decision will force Valenzuela to seek a temporary restraining order in Superior Court in an effort to return to riding. Valenzuela's attorney, Neil Papiano, is likely to seek relief in the courts in coming days. Valenzuela and Papiano were not available for comment.

Valenzuela, 41, was suspended by Del Mar stewards Ingrid Fermin, George Slender, and Tom Ward on Aug. 6 for failing to take the hair-follicle test on July 1. The hair-follicle test was a requirement of Valenzuela's conditional license.

Valenzuela, who has a history of substance abuse problems, said at the time that he could not take the test because he had shaved his body, including his balding head, armpits, and pubic area.

A hearing on Valenzuela's suspension for not taking the hair-follicle test was held over three days in late July and early August in the stewards' office at Del Mar. In their Aug. 6 ruling, the Del Mar stewards also recommended that Valenzuela "not be considered for future licensing by the California Horse Racing Board in any capacity."

Papiano argued last week that Valenzuela should not have been suspended because the jockey passed urine tests on July 1, has not tested positive for drugs since 2000, and was never told how long his hair needed to be for hair-follicle testing.

Valenzuela led the standings at five meetings in Southern California last year, but has ridden for only two months this year. He did not ride from late January to late April after failing to submit to a mandatory drug test in January.

In April, Santa Anita stewards Pete Pedersen, Fermin, and Ward terminated Valenzuela's conditional license for the remainder of 2004 for missing that drug test. The penalty was reduced to four months, with three months' credit for time served, by the state racing board in May. The remaining month was served in June. Valenzuela returned to riding on July 1 but was summarily suspended on July 2 for failing to submit to the hair-follicle test.

Laura's Lucky Boy in La Jolla

Laura's Lucky Boy, who won the Grade 3 Will Rogers Stakes on turf at Hollywood Park on May 22, starts in Saturday's $150,000 La Jolla Handicap at Del Mar.

Owned by Ernie Moody and trained by Jason Orman, Laura's Lucky Boy shares highweight of 120 pounds with Blackdoun in the Grade 2 La Jolla, run over 1 1/16 miles on turf.

But unlike Blackdoun, who won a division of the Oceanside Stakes on July 21, Laura's Lucky Boy was second in his last start, the Cinema Breeders' Cup Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 26.

Laura's Lucky Boy, the 3-5 favorite in the Cinema, was pressured for the first seven furlongs by Unrivalled. Ridden by Mike Smith, Laura's Lucky Boy shook loose turning for home, led by 2 1/2 lengths in early stretch but was caught late by Greek Sun.

"I don't think the horse ever had a breather," Orman said. "When you have a horse laying on you, it's pretty tough. Every time he tried to take a breather, the other horse took back. I don't think there was anything that Mike could have done."

In the La Jolla, Jon Court will have the mount on Laura's Lucky Boy. Smith is riding the Arlington Million program.

Blackdoun will be favored. Other probable starters are Semi Lost, Sujimoto, Terroplane, Unrivalled and We All Love Aleyna.

Sunday's program features two stakes - the $200,000 Pat O'Brien Breeders' Cup Handicap over seven furlongs and the $150,000 Best Pal Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs for 2-year-olds.

Pico Central, considered the nation's top sprinter following three stakes wins earlier this year, is the 122-pound topweight in the Grade 2 Pat O'Brien. He faces a field expected to include Amerindio, Disturbingthepeace, Domestic Dispute, Kela, Marino Marini, and Taste of Paradise.

The Best Pal Stakes will have a small field, none of whom has won a stakes. The candidates are Actexutive, Roman Ruler, Things Happen, Wetherly, and possibly Slewsbag, a maiden after three starts.

Trainer Marcelo Polanco emphasized that Slewsbag would only start if the race draws a small field.

Calkins Road to Cal Cup

Calkins Road, the winner of the Joseph Grace Handicap at the Sonoma County Fair in Santa Rosa last weekend, will make his next start in the $250,000 California Cup Classic at Oak Tree at Santa Anita on Oct. 16, trainer John Shirreffs said.

The Grace Handicap was Calkins Road's first stakes win since the 2002 California Cup Classic. Owned by Tom and Debbie Shapiro, Calkins Road, 5, has won 5 of 16 starts and $488,265.