INGLEWOOD, Calif. (April 12, 2012)—Jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who announced his retirement last December , is reportedly going to return to riding when the Betfair Hollywood Park meet begins Thursday, April 26.
Valenzuela, who will turn 50 in October, told the Daily Racing Form’s Steve Andersen that he is ready to resume his career. The last time he rode was Nov. 13, 2011 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
“I’m going to give it my best shot,’’ Valenzuela was quoted as saying. “I feel healthy. I’ve been running and I feel really good.
“I’ve been watching the races at home. My passion is racing. Over the last month, I’ve debated whether to come back. I don’t feel any reason why I can’t come back.’’
Sixth all time at Betfair Hollywood Park with 1,416 victories, Valenzuela will again be represented by agent Tom Knust. He also told Andersen he plans on starting to exercise horses in the coming days.
Valenzuela, who has 100 stakes wins at Betfair Hollywood Park, rode Acclamation, the champion older male of 2011, to consecutive wins – the Pacific Classic at Del Mar and the Clement L. Hirsch Turf Championship at Santa Anita – in the California bred’s most recent outings.
It is anticipated Acclamation will make his first start as a 6-year-old in the $100,000 Inglewood Handicap April 27 at Betfair Hollywood Park.
Lengthened a sixteenth of a mile to 1 1/8 miles in 2012, the grassy Inglewood is the first graded stakes of the 50-day Spring/Summer meet. The Grade III is the highlight of the opening Friday night card of the season.
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