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Breeders' Cup 2017

PVal Rides Acclamation in Inglewood

In a move that comes as no surprise to many, Pat Valenzuela will resume his career when Betfair Hollywood Park begins its 50-day run Thursday and step into the spotlight aboard Eclipse Award winner Acclamation in Friday night’s Inglewood Handicap.

The 49-year-old Colorado native last rode November 13th at Hollywood Park.  After not honoring his engagements the next two days, Valenzuela announced his retirement shortly thereafter, citing gall bladder surgery and weight issues.  According to agent Tom Knust, Valenzuela passed two blood tests at the time, but was fined $1,000 for taking off his mounts without contacting the stewards.

 

“He’s been getting on horses for a couple of weeks now and feels great,” said Knust.  Pat hired a personal trainer and changed his diet, and it’s made a big difference. “He worked Acclamation a mile in 1:38 and change last week.”  

 

Knust added that the rider met with the stewards recently and was cleared to ride with the same ‘test anytime’ provision in effect.

 

Valenzuela has been named on a pair of first time starters Thursday; Family and Friends for Eddie Truman in the 6th race, and Jilly Baylee for Steve Knapp in the 8th.  In addition to Acclamation in Friday’s 3rd, he’s scheduled to pilot Devils Afleet for Robertino Diodoro in the 4th, Silent Sue (Walter Solis) in the 7th, and It’s Time to Go (Don Warren) in the 9th..

 

In related news, Tyler Baze will meet with the Los Alamitos stewards Saturday in an effort to be reinstated.  A conflict of interest prevents the Hollywood Park stewards from intervening in the process.   Baze was suspended last summer at Del Mar after failing to show up for a scheduled breathalyzer test.  He is currently enrolled in the Winner’s Foundation substance abuse treatment program.

 

 

 

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