July 21, 2004 |
Tucked inside the jockeys' room at Hollywood Park are quarters of private suffering. In back is a large, glass-windowed sauna, known in the riders' vernacular as the hot box, or sweat box. There, jockeys wring water and pounds from their bodies, sweating in stifling temperatures for up to three hours a day, some of them working out on a step machine as they swelter. "I've seen some guys pull seven, eight pounds," Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith said. "That's ridiculous."
July 3, 2004 |
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela's latest comeback lasted all of one day. About two hours before first post Friday night at Hollywood Park, Valenzuela was suspended by stewards Pete Pedersen, George Slender and Tom Ward for failing to comply fully with the terms of his conditional license with the California Horse Racing Board.
May 19, 2004 |
The California Horse Racing Board shortened a stewards' suspension of Pat Valenzuela on Tuesday, giving the embattled jockey credit for three months served and ordering him to sit out June. Had Valenzuela not appealed a stewards' ruling at Santa Anita in early April, he would have been grounded for the rest of the year. The three months' credit stems from an indefinite suspension that was handed out in late January.
April 19, 2004 |
A number of Santa Anita jockeys are unhappy with the decision to allow Pat Valenzuela to resume riding next Sunday at Hollywood Park, and as a group they may take their complaint to the California Horse Racing Board. Jockey Corey Nakatani said John Harris, the racing board chairman, had a conflict of interest when he issued Valenzuela a temporary stay of a stewards' ruling last Friday. Harris is a prominent California breeder and owner who has occasionally used Valenzuela to ride his horses.
April 17, 2004 |
Pat Valenzuela, whose long riding career has been a succession of second chances, got another one Friday from the chairman of the California Horse Racing Board, who granted the troubled jockey a temporary stay of a stewards' suspension that would have grounded him the rest of the year. John Harris, who heads the state racing board, said that Valenzuela would be allowed back on California racetracks Monday and could resume riding April 25.
January 30, 2004 |
He submitted to at least 192 urine tests in the last two years but the one test he didn't take might have ended Pat Valenzuela's riding career. The three stewards at Santa Anita, curious when Valenzuela called in to say he couldn't ride because of a sprained ankle on Jan. 22, asked him to come in by the end of the day for a drug test.
November 30, 2002
If anybody had any doubt that horse racing would be extinct in a few years, all that doubt was laid to rest Nov. 21. That was when the California Horse Racing Board voted against Hollywood Park's request to discontinue betting a minute prior to each race. This move was proposed to ensure the integrity of the parimutuel betting system, which was recently rocked by the Breeders' Cup pick six scandal, and would have completely ensured betting integrity. Instead of approving of the move, the CHRB vetoed it, citing that "the change is not worth the inconvenience to the relatively few horseplayers that we've been able to keep coming to the track."
November 22, 2002 |
Hollywood Park officials reacted angrily Thursday after the California Horse Racing Board turned down the track's request to discontinue betting a minute or more before the start of each race. "Most of my comments would be under the heading of 'expletives deleted,' " said Rick Baedeker, president of Hollywood Park. "I'm surprised and disgusted. The racing board has chosen convenience over integrity."
June 26, 2002 |
The men who will argue today to move the 17-day Los Angeles County Fair horse racing meet from Pomona's Fairplex Park to Arcadia's Santa Anita Park say it's a gamble every handicapper craves: a sure thing. Santa Anita President Jack Liebau and Los Angeles County Fair Assn. President/Chief Executive James Henwood will request that the lease agreement be approved on a one-year trial basis.
June 10, 2002 |
If horse racing is indeed the sport of kings, everyone in California who has a home computer now lives in a castle. Internet betting on horse races became legal for California adults in January. All types of track bets--including exacta, pick 6 and daily double, as well as the traditional win, place and show--can be placed online. The races also can be watched live on streaming video. Bets are placed and paid off through credit card accounts.