Horse racing, Santa Anita

PVal: I’m not riding any longer …

From Ed Golden of the Santa Anita publicity department:

Are Patrick Valenzuela’s riding days over?

According to a text he sent his agent Saturday morning, they could be.

“I’m sorry, Tom. I’m not riding any longer, I’m sorry,” is the message agent Tom Knust received this morning. “He didn’t say he was retiring,” Knust added. “He said he wasn’t riding anymore.”

Valenzuela, 51, took off his two scheduled mounts Friday. With 20 mounts through the first 20 days this meet, Valenzuela had not won a race and did not finish in the money on any of them.

A native of Montrose, Colorado, Valenzuela is a 13-time riding champion in Southern California who won the Kentucky Derby on Sunday Silence in 1989 and captured seven Breeders’ Cup races.

Popular with horsemen and handicappers alike in an occupation checkered with suspensions for a myriad of reasons, Valenzuela has 4,346 victories from 28,398 mounts in a career that began in 1978.

Del Mar, Horse racing

Updated Del Mar picks for Saturday, Aug. 17

FIRST RACE: 1. Legacy, 2. Indygo F M A, 3. Jazz On The Beach. LONG SHOT: Playful Humor.

Leading trainer John Sadler won two races on Friday he looks tough here with LEGACY. Jockey Julien Leparoux jumps aboard and he’s one of the best turf riders around.


SECOND RACE: 1. Cal Gal, 2. Meinertzhageni, 3. Singleinthelast. LONG SHOT: Good Proof.

CAL GAL comes from the red hot Doug O’Neill barn. The trainer won two more races on Friday to give him 12 in the last eight racing days. CAL GAL finished third in her debut and leading jockey Rafael Bejarano keeps the mount.


THIRD RACE: 1. Hard Buns, 2. Chestnut Moon, 3. Sharp Bella. LONG SHOT: Jaya Roo.

Trainer Vann Belvoir claimed HARD BUNS out of a winning effort last time. The 3-year-old filly faces winners for the first time, but Bejarano stays on.


FOURTH RACE: 1. Candy Boy, 2. Yes Yes Yes, 3. Can the Man. LONG SHOT: Flying Open.

CANDY BOY is a son of Candy Ride, who loved Del Mar. Sadler trains and CANDY BOY has been training well for his debut. YES YES YES is by the top sprint sire City Zip and trained by Peter Eurton, whose only win first time out came earlier in the meet via disqualification.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Lil Bit O’ Fun, 2. Gab Power, 3. Kid Edward. LONG SHOT: Bio Pro.

LITL BIT O’ FUN was claimed by trainer Richard Baltas, who won three races Sunday and Wednesday. Baltas is 29 percent first off the claim and jockey Garrett Gomez takes over.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Gravity Force, 2. Hoosier Dada, 3. New Year’s Day. LONG SHOT: Little Shack.

GRAVITY FORCE is from the O’Neill barn and it puts jockey Patrick Valenzuela aboard. They teamed up to win Friday’s first race. GRAVITY FORCE is by the awesome first out sire Malibu Moon and this colt has been training well for his debut. HOOSIER DADA is interesting because jockey Edwin Maldonado jumps on after riding HI FASHIONED to a second place finish last time. HI FASHIONED could very go favored in this race, but it looks wide open.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Marchman, 2. Know More, 3. Germany Bay. LONG SHOT: Master Clip.

MARCHMAN turned in a decent third place run in his Del Mar debut last time and now Bejarano jumps aboard. Beware.


EIGHTH RACE (Grade I Del Mar Oaks): 1. Kitten’s Dumplings, 2. Discreet Marq, 3. Wishing Gate. LONG SHOT: Pearlside.

The Oaks is full of shippers from the East Coast and Europe looking for that Grade I placing for breeding purposes. KITTEN’S DUMPLINGS has done little wrong for owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey. She won the Regret at Churchill Downs and then the Lake George at Saratoga. The Ramseys also have EMOTIONAL KITTEN in the race, too. The other Kitten just finished second in the Grade I American Oaks for trainer Wesley Ward. DESCREET MARQ ships in after winning two straight at Belmont for trainer Christophe Clement.


NINTH RACE: 1. HEAVEN AND EARTH (best bet), 2. Say’s Who, 3. My Lucky Rose. LONG SHOT: Too Obvious.

HEAVEN AND EARTH is a first-timer starter from the Jerry Hollendorfer barn and he gets Leparoux to ride. The daughter of Ministers Wild Cat has been training well at Del Mar and is bred to be a sprinter.


10th RACE: 1. Star Vesta, 2. Twelve Folds, 3. Showgirl Form. LONG SHOT: Corlett Drive.

STAR VESTA just won for fun and moves up for Hollendorfer and Bejarano. The daughter of Master Command also has a big work since her big win. She looks tough right back.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Horse racing

Updated Del Mar picks for Saturday, Aug. 3

All everyone will be talking about today is the Pick 6 carryover of more than $619,000, and rightly so, but we’ll try to get you some money to bet before the pool that is likely to be more than $3 million.

FIRST RACE: 1. Tanzanite Cat, 2. Hold Everything, 3. Rum Point. LONG SHOT: Knock Em Flat.

TANZANITE CAT is veteran jockey Patrick Valenzuela’s first mount of 2013 following a retirement and knee surgery. TANZANITE CAT was training with Guns Loaded, who is scheduled to run in Sunday’s Best Pal Stakes, so trainer Cody Autrey knows how to get a first-timer ready. Watch out for KNOCK EM FLAT, who is trained by Jeff Mullins. Mullins scored in Friday’s eighth race with a second time starter to set up the carryover and we get a similar move here. To add fuel to the fire, KNOCK EM FLAT has a pair of big works over the Polytrack.


SECOND RACE: 1. Big Wags, 2. Forever Freedom, 3. East Sky. LONG SHOT: Golden Mexico.

Trainer Bill Spawr is off to a slow start, but he is due to turn it around. He is 27 percent first off the claim and that’s what BIG WAGS is here.


THIRD RACE: 1. Truelee Scrappin, 2. Amazing Hearted, 3. Bank the Eight. LONG SHOT: Dress Code.

Trainer Mike Mitchell is another one good first off the claimed, which he did with TRUELEE SCRAPPIN at Hollywood Park. The 5-year-old horse has won 3-of-6 at the distance.


FOURTH RACE: 1. PULLA TRAIN, 2. Top Marquee, 3. Bro’s Bro. LONG SHOT: Dreamofatticus.

PULLA TRAIN got off to a slow start in his debut July 17 at Del mar. He finished a respectable third and trainer Eric Kruljac does better with second-time starters. First-timer TOP MARQUEE is by In Excess and could be live.


FIFTH RACE: 1. Mega Heat, 2. Rousing Sermon, 3. You Know I Know. LONG SHOT: Holding Glory.

OK, here we start the Pick 6 sequence here. MEGA HEAT has tactical speed and has two wins in three tries over the Del Mar Polytrack. A big effort by ROUSING SERMON could put him in the Pacific Classic. YOU KNOW I KNOW is from the John Sadler barn while long shot HOLDING GLORY has been training well for his U.S. debut and trainer A.C. Avila has been known to try and put one over.


SIXTH RACE: 1. Upward Spiral, 2. Warren’s Flasher, 3. Heart Stealer. LONG SHOT: Prettypriceygirl.

UPWARD SPIRAL was suppose to have some talent after coming over from Europe last year for the Breeders’ Cup, but she has yet to find her footing yet. Trainer Simon Callaghan tries her going two turns on the turf. We’re betting jockey Victor Espinoza tries going to the front with the addition of blinkers. WARREN’S FLASHER just beat Cal breds at this level and jockey Rafael Bejarano keeps the mount. HEART STEALER has speed, but it will be tough from the outside post.


SEVENTH RACE: 1. Swissarella, 2. Feature Attraction, 3. Eddies Curl. LONG SHOT: Miss Loujean.

The inside posts have been good on the Polytrack and SWISSARELLA, trained by Patricia Harrington, comes out of the No. 1 post for Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens. FEATURE ATTRACTION, trained by Mike Harrington (yes, they are related), is by good first out sire Roman Ruler. EDDIES CURL just finished second in the CTBA Stakes and is the likely favorite.


EIGHTH RACE (Clement L. Hirsch): 1. Include Me Out, 2. Lady of Fifty, 3. More Chocolate. LONG SHOT: Sisterhood.

INCLUDE ME OUT is the defending champ of this race and has a bullet work over the track to show she’s ready, but the outside draw might pose a bit of a problem.


NINTH RACE: 1. Blue Collar Boy, 2. Eyesablazin, 3. Just Irish. LONG SHOT: Changing Karma.

BLUE COLLAR BOY is first off the claim for Peter Eurton and he has a good maintenance work over the track since a seventh-place finish opening week. EYESABLAZIN is looking for his first win on the Polytrack.


10th RACE: 1. Christopher Street, 2. Ethnic Dance, 3. Pulpit’s Express. LONG SHOT: Turn On the Pumps.

CHRISTOPHER STREET was fifth in his comeback race and should be fitter in this spot. He draws the inside and Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith stays aboard. Don’t forget TURN ON THE PUMPS was trained by Carla Gaines until her suspension began on Thursday so the chances are good this 5-year-old gelding is ready to run.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter