Patrick Valenzuela underwent emergency surgery to remove his gall bladder in Kansas on Thanksgiving morning, three days after racing officials in California ordered the often-troubled jockey drug-tested because he failed to fulfill his mounts at Hollywood Park last Thursday and did not call the stewards to notify them he would not ride. Daily Racing Form quoted California Horse Racing Board steward Tom Ward as saying Valenzuela tested clean. The report did not indicate if the test administered to Valenzuela was urine screening or a more sensitive test of hair samples.
Valenzuela went to Kansas last Friday after telling his agent, Tom Knust, that he was dealing with a family crisis involving his girlfriend, who he had been visiting in San Diego during Hollywood Park's dark days. The rider did not contact his agent until after pulling the “no show.”
Because of Valenzuela's history of substance-abuse related suspensions (he received a “lifetime ban” from California officials in 2008 that was lifted in 2010), he will not be allowed to ride until he meets with the stewards.
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