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Valenzuela Denied California’s Jockey License

Valenzuela Denied California’s Jockey License

19.07.2016, by Jim
Valenzuela Denied California’s Jockey License&h=223&w=348&zc=1

It’s the end of the road–for now at least–in jockey Patrick Valenzuela’s effort to get licensed in California. On Wednesday, Valenzuela was turned down by the California Horse Racing Board after an eight month fight. Valenzuela has had success on the track but a number of substance abuse related issues off the track.

Hearing Officer Patrick Kane had recommended the denial to the Racing Board but he did leave an opening for Valenzuela to return. He suggested that he re-apply for a California license in a year and undergo weekly drug and alcohol testing in the interim. Valenzuela was hoping to be licensed to compete at the currently running meeting at Del Mar. He has an exercise rider’s licence and will be allowed to continue in that role.

In his decision, Kane noted Valenzuela’s repeated violations in the past: “This Officer cannot ignore the number of chances the CHRB previously gave Valenzuela. It should be noted that since 2000, [Valenzuela] has what this Officer considers 15 major rule violations and/or convictions.”

Kane continued to say that he was pleased that Valenzuela has been clean for the past six months but: “a six-month record free of violations fails to demonstrate adequate rehabilitation in light of [Valenzuela’s] numerous past transgressions.” Another stipulation for Valenzuela to re-apply for a license-he undergo counseling with the Winner’s Foundation, which provides people in California racing assistance with alcohol and substance abuse issues.

The California State Racing Board had several options at their disposal. They could accept, reject or modify the proposal which they received in late June. Valenzuela last rode in California in 2014. He applied for a license in March but it was denied by the Racing Board. He appealed the decision which resulted in a hearing with Kane in April. The Racing Board reach its decision in mid July after reviewing Kane’s recommendations. Valenzuela hasn’t taken a mount in a race anywhere since February when he did so in Louisiana where he is actively licensed. He suffered a hand injury which has kept him sidelined from taking mounts. Since then, he’s been working as an exercise rider and preparing his legal case in this matter.

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