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Say It Isn’t So: Reportedly Pat Valenzuela Cleared To Ride Again By Inept California Horse Racing Board

By Warren Eves


Reportedly Pat Valenzuela, whose conditional racing license was terminated Dec., 28, 2007, was cleared to ride again in California most likely in closed session when they held that widely reported CHRB meeting Tuesday.  To say this news was not well received by many is an understatement. 

In his last of many violations over the years Valenzuela was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol on Dec., 20 at 2:48 a.m. in Upland, California at a fast food restaurant.  According to the police report officers responded to a loud crash.  They found Valenzuela had flattened two tires of the vehicle he was driving in a collision in the drive-through lane.  The list of his violations is long.

His provisional license had been issued by the CHRB Nov., 14 and was to have run through Dec., 31, 2008.  Steward Ingrid Fermin made the announcement that Valenzuela actions were in violation of his conditional license.  The rider had been riding in Louisiana the past few years.  Only recently he was asked to leave Sunray Park when part of a jockey boycott.

Reportedly Tom Knust will once again handle Valenzuela who has had more chances than Steve Howe of baseball fame.

This is just one more prolific example of an inept California Horse Racing Board.  John Harris has been replaced by Keith Brackpool as chairman, but continues to hold a seat on the board.  Harris is just one of several commissioners that should have stepped down for the good of the sport long ago.

This development does not send the right kind of a message to the rest of the jockeys in the room.  We’re talking about those who play by the rules.  And there are a number of people who believe P. Val should have been banned for life.  

What should happen is the entire CHRB should be dismissed.  California horse racing has been on the skids for some time now and making a horrible decision like this doesn’t help matters.

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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.


6 Responses to “Say It Isn’t So: Reportedly Pat Valenzuela Cleared To Ride Again By Inept California Horse Racing Board”

  1. Casey58 says:

    I heard they consulted the Luisiana downs officials before making this decision. Doesn’t that mean anything? Why should a guy with that kind of talent be banned? What’s he supposed to do, work at 7-11 for the rest of his life?

  2. George Ruiz says:

    thats great news that P. Val will ride again . All you haters need to pluck the plank out of your own eyes before you cast judgement upon someone else.

    I hope P.Val all the best …..

  3. Hey I need to get back on track also at Del Mar and was wondering if you could possibly send some help my way Patrick.AS the racetrack is the only job that I know and Love and I have not been able to go for 2 years now.PLEASE PATRICK SEND ME HELP…

  4. GW says:

    Great news. Jay Hovdey whose wife, incredibly is in the HOF while PVal, one of the top 10 riders that ever lived is not, because , like Shoemaker, he was born with the alcoholic gene. Hovdey’s poison pen is used almost exclusively on Patrick, who the California racing fans love. Fermin who the racing world will easily forget, and her brother in law Bruce Headly hated Pat’s guts long before she was ever named Chair. The great one is back and the fans will love it even if jealous jockeys and their spouses may not.

  5. carlon rogers says:

    Del Mar is right around the corner.

  6. Ronni says:

    They really are trying to kill CA racing, aren’t they? All of the CA jockeys should pack up and move to greener pastures. That would leave P. Val to ride one horse in every race. The way things are going, soon there will only be one horse in every race anyway!, so he will be no danger to others. Thank goodness for Monmouth and Belmont. CA racng is a joke; unfortunately, it’s not funny.

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