06/29/2016 3:30PM

Valenzuela hopes to be granted jockey's license

Shigeki Kikkawa
Patrick Valenzuela appealed a decision turning down his request for a jockey's license in California.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who has not ridden since late February in Louisiana, is hoping to ride in California in July for the first time since early 2014 if he is granted a license by the California Horse Racing Board.

Valenzuela has an exercise rider’s license in California and was in the stables at Santa Anita last weekend, soliciting mounts for the upcoming Del Mar summer season.

Valenzuela does not have a jockey’s license in California. His request for a jockey’s license was rejected by the California Horse Racing Board in March. He appealed the decision, and a hearing was held on April 27.

Hearing officer Patrick Kane submitted a decision to the racing board on June 20, a racing board official said. The full racing board is expected to review the decision in a closed session at Del Mar on July 14. An announcement on the decision is not expected until the following week.

Valenzuela said he is hoping to receive a favorable ruling and be granted a license.

“Hopefully, it will go my way,” Valenzuela said last weekend.

Valenzuela, 53, has a history of substance abuse problems that have led to suspensions and interruptions to his career, which began in 1978. He won the 1989 Kentucky Derby on Sunday Silence and has 4,366 career victories.

Valenzuela was denied his request to be reinstated as a jockey in California in July 2015 after he was suspended by Santa Anita stewards in March 2014 for failing to appear to ride on consecutive days at Santa Anita in January 2014. At the time, the stewards stated Valenzuela should not be reinstated in any capacity.

Valenzuela appealed the decision to a hearing officer, who recommended the rider be reinstated. The racing board rejected the decision, but allowed Valenzuela to hold an exercise rider’s license in California. The decision was reached in a stipulated agreement between the rider and racing board. At the time, Valenzuela was not eligible to ride races through the term of his California license, which expired last October.

Valenzuela rode in Louisiana last fall and winter because he had a valid license in that state. Valenzuela won 19 races in Louisiana and Texas from late November to late February. He stopped riding in late February because of a hand injury, he said last weekend.

Mike James 9 months ago
here we go again. What part of no license in any capacity doesnt he understand. If the stews have any spine they will deny him and send him back to New Orleans. He no longer deserves to ride in Cal. He has pissed away fortunes and needs to leave it for the younger deserving jocks....

Todd Elliot 9 months ago
He never killed anyone so why cant he get a license, such as we get car licenses,, and therefore abide by the rules of the license.
WILLIE 9 months ago
No crack-heads.
joseph 9 months ago
how many chances does he get? Remember Chris Antley !!!
Richard Glassman 9 months ago
What about Micheal Phelpps going to the Olmpics this year ? Didn't Kent D ride in the Belmont after blacking out from drinking after winning Preakness ? They still let him ride after being in rehab like 4 days.
Franck Rice 9 months ago
At his age time is running out for him anyway.  Hope he gets another chance.  If he was able to stay clean he would rank as one of the best of all time, still ranks pretty high.
Ray Sousa 9 months ago
As long as racing continues to license undesirables regardless of how talented they may be it will not be considered a serious sport .period. How many chances has he had?. What does this say to a young jockey staring out. Go ahead take drugs .you will get many chances. It's unfair to the betting public the fans and other riders to have a guy that can't control his drugs or booze in a race.
Richard Glassman 9 months ago
i use to agree with you on this one but alcohol is considered a disease and an employer under the disabilty act has to let you be treated without being fired as long as you attempt to get help in the USA.
Richard Glassman 9 months ago
Patrick is so popular with the public because a lot of us have a little Patrick in us and that is what makes us human beings and him so likable . If a jockey can ride in the Belmont Stakes a couple of days after checking into rehab and out of then really why shouldn't Patrick be given another chance ? I really admire both jockeys because maintaining their limited weight is so difficult at their age and I believe in people make mistakes that's why pencils have erasers !

Ray Sousa 9 months ago
In any other job he would be do gone. It's why racing is a joke.
Richard Glassman 9 months ago
Michael Phelps the "pothead " is going this year to the Olympics.
Richard Glassman 9 months ago
I really hope they help Patrick because he is a decent person. If they don't he would be a great TVG host !
Jo Jo Diddly Jackson 9 months ago
hustle rides, hustle a horse out of the gate, hustle a horse down the stretch. Never met a nicer guy, but, undependable in the morning when he was supposed to gallop a horse, never new if he was going to show up in the afternoon. When he did he was magic, hope he can keep it together.
Mikeb1961sports 9 months ago
PVal is the Steve Howe of horse racing. Both got like SEVENTH chances at the minimum after putting blow up their noses