09/24/2006 11:00PM

Valenzuela to miss opener


ARCADIA, Calif. - Jockey Patrick Valenzuela will not be allowed to ride Wednesday's opening day of the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting after he was unable to provide California Horse Racing Board officials with requested documents from doctors explaining the details of his recent absence, according to his agent and attorney.

Valenzuela's agent, Tom Knust, and the jockey's attorney, Neil Papiano, said Sunday they were hopeful of providing the racing board with the necessary paperwork on Monday, which would allow Valenzuela to ride on Thursday. Entries for Thursday's program were to be taken on Tuesday.

"They want information from other doctors," Papiano said. "We can't do that on a Sunday."

Knust said that Valenzuela had several calls for Wednesday's program.

Neither Knust, Papiano, nor the racing board's chairman, Richard Shapiro, would divulge the specifics of the requested documents.

"They say if we have documentation we can ride," Knust said. "I can't go into what they are. They want more information. They're working with us."

Valenzuela and his advisers spent most of the weekend meeting trying to gain the right to ride. Saturday, at the racing board's request, Valenzuela traveled to Bay Meadows Racetrack in San Mateo, Calif., to meet with track physician, Dr. David Seftel, who works closely with jockeys on the northern California circuit.

Shapiro declined to reveal the nature of Valenzuela's meeting with Seftel.

"We did ask Dr. Seftel to meet with him," Shapiro said. "We're working cooperatively to try and resolve the matter."

Valenzuela, who has a history of substance abuse problems, has not ridden in California since July 16, the final day of the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting. He took off his rides at Del Mar on July 19, citing a back injury. In early August, Valenzuela, 43, was admitted to a Pasadena hospital that specializes in treating substance abuse and mental health problems to undergo treatment for undisclosed reasons. Valenzuela spent more than a month at the hospital before being released. He met with Del Mar stewards in early September and was granted the right to exercise horses, but the state racing board did not allow him to ride races pending the submission of medical information.

In his only mount this month, Valenzuela rode Becrux to victory in the Woodbine Mile in Canada on Sept. 17. Valenzuela was allowed to ride in Canada because no rulings have been issued against him in California, racing board officials said last week.

Valenzuela has passed several drug tests in recent weeks, including a hair-follicle test conducted earlier this month. He passed a urine test on Sunday, according to Knust and Papiano.

"Every time they've tested him, it's been negative," Papiano said.

Valenzuela has been riding under a provisional license, renewed annually, since 2001 that allows the CHRB to drug test him at any time.

Despite not being able to ride races, Valenzuela has worked horses on recent mornings at Santa Anita. Sunday, he worked the 2005 Kentucky Derby winner, Giacomo, for trainer John Shirreffs.