Patrick Valenzuela is coming back. “He’ll start the first day at Hollywood,” his agent, Tom
Knust, said this morning. The Hollywood Park meet begins on Thursday, April 26.
The 49-year-old Valenzuela announced his retirement from riding
just over four months ago, but rumors had circulated that he would be
making a comeback ever since. He had last ridden on Nov. 13 at Hollywood
“I’m happy to hear it,” said his cousin, former jockey Fernando
Valenzuela, 41, now an exercise rider whose big horse is Eclipse Award
winner Acclamation. “Patrick is better off when he’s working. He needs
to lose four or five more pounds and he’ll be ready. I know he wants to
be back to ride Acclamation in the Inglewood.”
That would be the Grade III Inglewood Handicap at 1 1/8 miles on
turf on Friday, April 27. Valenzuela rode Acclamation in his last two
races, the Pacific Classic last Aug. 28 and the Clement L. Hirsch on
Oct. 2, both victories, before the 6-year-old California-bred horse was
sidelined with a foot bruise.
The Eclipse Award winning outstanding Older Male of 2011,
Acclamation worked one mile on Santa Anita’s main track Thursday for
trainer Don Warren in 1:40.20 with Fernando Valenzuela aboard.
P. Val, as he is known on the track, began his career in 1978
and has 4,233 victories, highlighted by his triumph in the 1989 Kentucky
Derby aboard Sunday Silence.