SACRAMENTO, Calif. (July 20, 2016) -- SACRAMENTO, CA – The California Horse Racing Board has accepted a hearing officer's recommendation to deny Patrick Valenzuela a jockey's license for now but he may re-apply in one year, at which time he is advised to present evidence of rehabilitation, including the results of alcohol and drug testing performed on a regular basis, not less than once a week, along with other guidelines.
The Board reached its decision during executive session July 14 based on a proposed decision by Hearing Officer Patrick Kane, who conducted a hearing April 27, 2016, on Valenzuela's appeal of a CHRB decision to deny him a jockey's license on March 18, 2016. Valenzuela’s license to exercise horses – issued approximately six months before the hearing – remains in good standing.
Kane wrote in his proposed decision, "This Officer cannot ignore the number of chances the CHRB previously gave Appellant. It should be noted that since 2000, Appellant has what this Officer considers fifteen major rule violations and/or convictions. As such, a six-month record free of violations fails to demonstrate adequate rehabilitation in light of Appellant's numerous past transgressions. Accordingly, and based upon the evidence submitted, this Officer hereby finds that Appellant did not demonstrate a record of rehabilitation justifying his licensure as a jockey in the State of California. However, this Officer is encouraged by Appellants' six-month record that is free of violations. Appellant is encouraged to re-apply for a license in the future if he continues to maintain a clean record and attends meetings regularly to assist with any substance abuse issues.”
In order to re-apply for a jockey's license, in addition to regular testing, Valenzuela is advised in the Board’s decision to continue working with the Winner's Foundation, an organization that assists racing industry employees with problems of alcohol and substance abuse. At the time he re-applies, the Board will consider "the testimony of a representative of the Winner's Foundation as to the extent of Appellant's participation and involvement with the Winner's Foundation."