01/24/2011 3:35PM

Valenzuela due back at Santa Anita on Thursday


Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who took off his Santa Anita mounts on Sunday, complaining of body soreness from a spill on Saturday,  is expected to return to riding on Thursday, the next day of live racing in Southern California, where he is booked to ride two of the eight races on a program plagued by short fields.

In Saturday’s eighth race, Valenzuela was unseated when She’ll Heir clipped heels at the start of the Sweet Life Stakes on the hillside turf course. Valenzuela rose under his own power, but did not ride the last race.

“He was going to try to ride [Sunday] but when he woke up he didn’t feel like he’d be 100 percent,” said Tom Knust, Valenzuela’s agent. “He’ll be fine in a couple of days.”

The setback comes at a time when Valenzuela was making headway in the standings. Through Sunday, Valenzuela was third in the standings with 19 wins, 12 behind leader Rafael Bejarano. Valenzuela, 48, is the senior member of the Southern California jockey roster.

Valenzuela has two stakes wins at the meeting, and will have a chance to build on that in Saturday’s Sunshine Millions races at Santa Anita. He is booked to ride Briecat in the $300,000 Distaff over 1 1/16 miles and Quick Enough in the $200,000 Sprint over six furlongs.