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VIEWPOINT LETTERS

He's Riding Well, When He's Not Suspended

August 14, 2004

Regarding the suspension and possible end of jockey Patrick Valenzuela's riding career: Valenzuela is one of the world's greatest riders and now his career is in jeopardy because of the Del Mar stewards' campaign to ban him from racing for life, all because he has used illegal drugs.

In my opinion, this should be a matter for the police rather than the track stewards. The only time a steward should become involved in a jockey's drug habits is when it affects his riding. Considering he won more races than any other jockey at the Southern California race tracks in 2003 and his behavior when riding is impeccable, I can't see why it's anyone's business what he does off the track. If this case goes to court, hopefully the judge will spell out the limits of the stewards' authority.

Theron Wyatt

Whittier

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