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P Val’s lack of respect for profession is appauling!

By Warren Eves

His respect for the profession is nowhere to be found.

His smile that charmed oh so many over the years has worn thin.

The ranks of those who gave him second, third and fourth chances has dwindled.  The late Mike Mitchell gave him more support than anyone.

A legion of racetrack stewards no longer buy his baloney.

How dare he complain about one racetrack authority that finally said no mas!

By now it’s likely you figured out we’re talking about Patrick “BreakAllRules” Valenzuela.

Once again he’s back in Louisiana, one of two states that will have him, to resume riding. He used the same avenue in 2008 when he resurfaced at the famed Fairgrounds for Thanksgiving. He’s named to ride a few at Delta Downs and you’ll see his name in the entries for racing at the Fairgrounds this week at the age of 53.

Back on Dec., 9, 2011, Valenzuela announced he was “retiring” after gall bladder surgery.

You can’t believe anything he says.

For years I’ve been one of P Val’s biggest critics. There is absolutely no doubt he should have been banned from riding long ago.

We won’t bore you with his list of breaking rules. It’s so over the top he surpassed baseball’s Steve Howe years ago with a myriad of violations. Howe, whose cocaine and alcohol addiction is well documented, was killed Aril 29, 2006 when he rolled his pickup not far from Palm Springs. Valenzuela is fortunate he hasn’t met his maker in similar fashion.  In 1992 he wrecked a luxury car Allen Paulson had given him after a big win.  It goes on and on and on.

Not many are willing to write about P Val’s disgraceful act not far from Santa Anita. He hijacked a cab from the area of Arcadia Liquor store. Somehow his lawyer got him off without serious jail time. His away from racetrack past performances look like a train wreck.

When I was close to those frequenting the jockey rooms in SoCal I had close relationships with many. I am, and will continue to be critical of his phony charade.

As a senior turf writer I’m proud of having stood tall for the lesser jockeys in the room, who played by the rulebook while making a meager living. Valenzuela’s manipulation of the system was grossly unfair to those who had to scrape to get a mount here and there while toeing the line.

Question? Stop and think about the lesser riders in the jockey room. I know first hand how some of ‘em felt when Valenzuela was allowed to resume riding time after time? I’m not going to single out my sources. That would serve little purpose. What I can tell you is there were fellow jocks who felt betrayed as Valenzuela manipulated things to keep on the racetrack.

I’m glad to see the California Racing Board, which looks the other way on many issues, did not welcome him back without P Val adhering to their process which could have led to yet another provisional license. Talk about irony?  Valenzuela has been knocking the CHRB for not doing yet another el foldo. He’s lucky Louisiana and New Mexico adhere to a more liberal standard.

Here’s the shame of it all. Many years back California bloodstock agent Bob Cass said this about Pat Valenzuela: “He gets horses to run around a turn like no other jockey in my lifetime.”

Unfortunately the bad pub this guy has brought racing over a long period of time is sad. One has to wonder what his lifetime stats could have been if he didn’t choose to break all the rules.

I’m not mad at Valenzuela. But in my view he should be serving a lifetime ban for a sport that he’s made oh so much money at.

Notes scribbled across my official program–Boy was I impressed with the maiden win of Gift Box in the gumbo on October 3 at Belmont.  The colt appeared beaten midway on the turn but once outside he surged late and won going away over an off track…………………I think I found a nugget in the sixth race at Belmont Park on October 3, a one mile test at a flat mile.  Shoot From the Hip, making his second career start, sure caught the eye. He was crowded and pinched off early on and was steadied. Racing wide early and on the turn Shoot From the Hip was pointed toward the inner railing once in the straight, he finished with interest to suggest a positive next run for trainer Gary Contessa…………………Runhappy was the only horse in the Breeders Cup Sprint who raced without lasix. Kudos to her connections…………..Kurt Becker calls the races at Keeneland and it boggles the mind why he’s in such a hurry during the course of a race. In my opinion he’s trying to do too much in too short of a time and he has no style. Slow down, young man, give each race a staple of its own. We don’t have to hear all the fractions, just give a relaxed, call with some kind of tempo, not what you are doing now. Maybe Keeneland, which is well managed on most fronts, should consider going back to having no race announcer. That would be okay with me…………….We asked Pat Cummings his thoughts about the Breeders Cup this year/ “Most memorable BC moment–honestly, was Mongolian Saturday and the Mongolian owners, reinforcing the belief that you just never know.” Like I’ve stated before I love to read what Cummings has to say at all the racing venues he covers…………..While doing some video work on Friday, Nov., 6, I saw something at the Lyon La Soie meet from France that I had never seen before. The field of 15 was sent on its way. A flagman, standing about 100 yards ahead of the field in the middle of the course, waved a “white flag” and the jockeys all pulled their horses up. One of the 15 horses was not all the way in the gate at the start and this prompted the action of the factions to force a re-start. Yes, all the horses were returned to the gate, and a few minutes later the race was re-started. Barry Irwin of Team Valor was asked if he recalled anything similar at some of the other venues he races at and replied: “I’ve seen this happen in South Africa where the starting gate crews are incredibly inept.”  Michael Cox, who covers Hong Kong racing, said he had not seen such a thing where he covers horse racing…………..Things you’d like to forget, but the memory lingers on. It was early on the morning of June 5, 1969 I got a call to get to my place of employment Saratoga Raceway. When I arrived a barn had been completely wiped out by a fire and the stench from the 43 horses that lost their life was terrible. Trainer Harold Story told me the 25 horses he had lost were possible the best stable he had ever had, and that took in a lot of territory. Then he said: “I’ve never been licked yet.”  That quote made the local papers. Charles Peckham lost 10 and at 73 he was shaken. My boss Ernest B. Morris told the horsemen’s association he’d match all funds raised by their association. I have to wonder how a very talented filly named Jostle wound up wound up……………….Here’s another observation from veteran horse racing analyst of Hong Kong Jockey Club racing and star jockey Joao Moreira:  ”He routinely gives his mounts a very good post race gallop out, what Mike Mitchell called a “warm down” the opposite of pre-race warm-up. Moreira takes seriously this part of race riding just like every other part of his considerable game.”

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About The Author

Warren Eves
Warren Eves is a senior turf writer from the state of California who calls Pearl River, Louisiana his home. The one time editor of the Pasadena Independent Star News moved on to handle publicity for racetracks coast to coast. Eves gained his first exposure to the racetrack through a school buddy the late Art Lerille, Jr., who eventually became a trainer in California. Warren worked as farm manager for crack two-year-old trainer Ray Priddy, before holding on track jobs at the racetrack. He worked for Hall of Fame trainer M.E. "Buster" Millerick, Allen Drumheller, Jr., and Dick Moon. Eves has a well rounded background in all breeds. He developed Quarter Horse Report in 1979 with Ed Burgart, track announcer, at Los Alamitos Race Course. It was an innovative publication which revolutionized the industry with actual descriptions of the workouts. While handling publicity at Saratoga Raceway in upstate New York Eves was named employee of the year in 1970. He also handled publicity for Sunland Park, Centennial Park, Ascot Park, Thistledown, and two harness meetings in California. Eves then went into the 900-line business with his best plays and has compiled his own Kentucky Derby ratings for many years. In 1997 he began going back and forth to Las Vegas teaming up with Ralph Siraco to create the long runining radio show Raceday Las Vegas. Eves has produced and directed many horse racing shows on both radio and television. In 2010 he got a call from Mark Geiger. That's when he began writing Eves, with a reputation of a trip handicapper, is known for his video tape scrutiny. He currently monitors horse racing in for a major horseplayer. While writing for Ridder Publication at the Pasadena Star News his investigative reporting was highly regarded by his peers. Often on the cutting edge, Eves has been given the green light to write about what issues he sees fit to cover. Have a question. His book "Hold All Tickets" is soon to be made available for those who come to this site. It's a factual account of actual events and happenings that took place in the 70s, 80s and 90s. If Warren doesn't know the answer to a question you may have, he'll tell you up front. Eves won't drop it there, however, he'll find someone who knows the answer and get back to you.


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