02/04/2008 12:00AM

Valenzuela to try Louisiana


Jockey Patrick Valenzuela plans to move his tack from Southern California to New Orleans, and was named to ride two horses on Friday's card at Fair Grounds.

Valenzuela, 45, had his conditional California jockey's license revoked on Dec. 28. Valenzuela had been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol on Dec. 20, a violation of the conditions of his license and the latest in a long line of problems that have derailed Valenzuela's career.

Racing officials in Louisiana have allowed Valenzuela to ride there because Valenzuela obtained a Louisiana jockey's license when he rode in the Dec. 7 Delta Jackpot, and that license remains in good standing. Charles Gardiner, the executive director of the Louisiana Racing Commission, said that because there were no sanctions against Valenzuela in California, and that he had not been ruled off the track, reciprocity guidelines that carry from state to state were not in effect in Valenzuela's case.

"If he didn't already have a license here, it may have been a different story," Gardiner said.

Valenzuela had launched his most recent comeback in early November in New Mexico before moving back to California. Valenzuela inquired about riding in New Mexico after his license was revoked in California, but was denied, according to the New Mexico Racing Commission. At the time of his recent inquiry, Valenzuela did not have a New Mexico license.

Valenzuela must meet with Fair Grounds stewards before he rides at the track, and Gardiner said that stewards "may ask for certain criteria" from Valenzuela.

Jockeys at Fair Grounds are tested randomly for drugs, and must undergo daily breathalyzer tests before riding.