11/25/2002 12:00AM

Valenzuela returns after suspensions


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Patrick Valenzuela, who hasn't ridden since Nov. 3, returns on Wednesday with three mounts at Hollywood Park, after serving 15 days' worth of suspensions for riding infractions.

The suspensions have been the only disruption to an otherwise outstanding year for Valenzuela. The 40-year-old jockey won riding titles earlier this year at Del Mar and the Hollywood Park spring-summer meet. He also finished second, one win behind Laffit Pincay Jr., at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meet.

He joins the Hollywood Park fall meet at the halfway point and is unlikely to threaten Pincay or Alex Solis in the race for the fall title. But with the important Santa Anita winter-spring meet less than a month away, Valenzuela is likely to be active in coming weeks, lining up mounts for the future.

On Wednesday, Valenzuela has an excellent chance to return a winner. In the fourth race, he rides You Crack Me Up in a maiden claimer for 2-year-olds at 6 1/2 furlongs. Trained by Jack Van Berg, You Crack Me Up is winless in two races against maiden special weight company and makes his first start in a claimer.

In the fifth race, Valenzuela rides Sea to See in an optional claimer at 5 1/2 furlongs on turf. Sea to See, a 4-year-old, has finished fourth in his last two starts - the California Turf Championship at Bay Meadows in September and the California Cup Mile at Santa Anita on Nov. 2. Valenzuela was aboard for the latter race.

The fifth race will be a change in distance for Sea to See, who is trained by Mike Machowsky. He was previously campaigned at a mile or farther on turf.

Sea to See drew the outside post in a field of nine that features Fast River, a stakes winner from Chile, and Teebar, an Australian import who raced only in turf sprints in that country.

The domestic team includes Lennyfrommalibu, Lake William, and Thunder Bullet, all of whom have run well on the hillside turf course at Santa Anita.

You Crack Me Up and Sea To See have better chances than Valenzuela's final mount, El Fumar in the sixth race. Claimed for $25,000 in his last start on Nov. 1, El Fumar has one win in seven starts. Now trained by Nick Canani, El Fumar stretches out to 1 1/16 miles, the longest race of his career.

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