12/14/2001 12:00AM

Valenzuela gets license - with conditions attached

Email

INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Patrick Valenzuela, whose career has been plagued by interruptions caused by substance abuse problems, was granted a one-year conditional jockey's license on Friday with strict requirements for sobriety.

Valenzuela, who won the 1989 Kentucky Derby on Sunday Silence, is expected to resume riding on Dec. 26, the opening day of the Santa Anita meeting. Reached on Friday, Valenzuela said he received a license, but declined further comment.

According to a statement released by the California Horse Racing Board, Valenzuela's license is subject to several restrictions, including random drug testing at any time.

On racing days, he will be required to report to the CHRB office each morning, when he may be tested. He must attend three counseling sessions per week with the Winners Foundation, an organization that aids horse people with substance abuse problems. In addition, he must participate in a 12-step program offered by the Winners Foundation and is banned from entering "any public place where alcohol is the principal commodity for sale."

The conditions for Valenzuela's license were discussed in recent weeks by the jockey's lawyer, Donald Calabria, and Roy Wood, the executive director of the California Horse Racing Board. They met last Sunday with Valenzuela at an airport area hotel to discuss his request to be relicensed.

Valenzuela, 39, has not ridden since February 2000 when he took off his mounts. The following day, he tested positive for amphetamines and had a conditional license revoked.

Through Calabria, Valenzuela requested to be reinstated last February, but did not receive a license. The conditional license issued on Friday is the result of two months of discussions with CHRB officials.

"He has to stay clean and test," Calabria said. "He has to stay in the Winners Foundation. We're very happy with the CHRB that they have heart. They could have fought it harder.

"This time we're hoping we won't disappoint them. They did this by setting up programs that will ensure the safety of racing. Pat knows there's no escape hatch. We're very pleased that it's starting up again.

"He weighs 117. He's in good physical shape and good mental shape. He'll be randomly tested and he'll be tested at any time at their pleasure."

Trainers fined for herbal product use

Five trainers who used a herbal product that was found to contain two banned substances have been fined $1,500 each under a rule that states that trainers must ensure the condition of their starters.

Nick Canani, Scott Hansen, John Sadler, John Shirreffs, and Clifford Sise received fines for positive tests that occurred in horses that started from June 13 to Aug. 3.

Their horses were fed Herbal Advantage, which was found to contain the prohibited drugs phenylpropanolamine and norpseudoephedrine. The drugs are amphetamines categorized as class three drugs. Trainers who have horses that test positive for drugs listed in classes one through three are subject to fines and suspensions. Hearings regarding potential purse redistributions have not taken place.

The product was allegedly sold by Greg Long, an owner who used his license to gain access to the backstretch to sell Herbal Advantage, even though he did not possess a vendor's license.

Long was scheduled to appear before the stewards at Del Mar in early September, but the case has yet to be heard. Long could face a fine or suspension for a violation of his owner's license.

Corona chance for Kalookan Queen

The $70,000 Corona Handicap on Sunday will give Kalookan Queen a chance to rebound from a disappointing third in the Grade 2 First Flight Handicap at Belmont Park on Oct. 26.

The likely favorite in the Corona, Kalookan Queen has won 6 of 16 starts, including the Rancho Bernardo Handicap at Del Mar on Aug. 19, the second stakes win of her career.

In the First Flight, she broke from the inside, failed to reach the lead and finished three lengths behind Shine Again.

"She broke dead last and I had to come from behind," jockey Alex Solis said. "She's better than that. The inside was not the place you wanted to be at Belmont."

Solis rides Kalookan Queen in the Corona, run over six furlongs. The race drew a field of eight, including the undefeated Ivory Tower, an import from Argentina.