Update on jockeys’ whereabouts

I’ve received some inquiries the past few weeks about jockeys Patrick Valenzuela, Martin Pedroza and Omar Berrio. Where did they go, and are they still riding? Well, here’s an update on the trio:

PVal is riding fulltime in Louisiana at Louisiana Downs and the Fair Grounds after a number of suspensions stemming from substance abuse problems in California. A ruling was recently made by the CHRB that Valenzuela can’t apply for a license any more in California. Would that ruling hold up in court? Hard to tell, but it seems he had more than enough chances here. He kept throwing each one away. Currently at the Fair Grounds, PVal is 11th in the jockey standings with 23 wins in 215 mounts — a 9 percent winning clip. Those are not the type of numbers that PVal is accustomed to and I think he’s most likely on the downside of his career.

Pedroza, one of the most hustling riders around, fractured his pelvis when thrown before the last race at Santa Anita on Jan. 11. Pedroza said he’s never been in as much pain as in the days and weeks after the accident. He said things have gotten much better, but he’s still quite a long way from returning. At the time, his agent Richie Silverstein thought the best-case scenario for a return was two months. Pedroza said he initially feared he might be sidelined a year. But Silverstein says doctors say Pedroza is ahead of schedule on his rehab. Silverstein and Pedroza now are shooting for the beginning of the Hollywood Park meet on April 22 for his return and I think that’s a much more realistic target.

Berrio, mostly known as the regular rider for trainer A.C. Avila, was suspended last summer when he failed a drug test in New York. He’s just now coming back and it will take a while before he’s re-licensed. He must submit to regular drug testing and stay clean in order to stay in good standing. Berrio was always a very capable rider who could win with a live mount. I cashed on many Berrio long shots, and I hope he can get his life back in order and return to riding.

Have a question about anything regarding horse racing, whether it’s a jockey, trainer, horse or whatever? Post it on the blog or e-mail me at art.wilson@sgvn.com and we’ll find the answer for you.

25 thoughts on “Update on jockeys’ whereabouts

  1. Yeah, I’ll tell ya what, I don’t miss PVal’s antics at all. While never admitting he had a problem with drugs/alcohol, he was perhaps one of the more talented riders I have seen since I started watching the races. But, California is safer without him and he shouldn’t ever be allowed back.

  2. Rudy Campas was a fixture on the Southland circuit for many years and was a regular participant in the “Rocking Chair Derby” that was held once a year at Del Mar, an exhibition race that included many former jockeys. I believe Del Mar ended that promotion 15 years ago or so, perhaps because of liability issues.

    Campas was a popular rider around these parts. I’m not sure what he is currently doing, but he used to fare very well at the Pomona Fair, successfuly negotiating that old bullring like the seasoned pro he was. Current jockey Aaron Gryder credits Campas for teaching him how to ride when he was only 13.

  3. In my opinion, PVal wore out his welcome one or two infractions before he was given the boot for good in the Southland. I think you might have seen some sort of protest by the SoCal jockeys if he’d been allowed to return for the umpteenth time. If you or I messed up at our job twice, we’d most likely be history, but PVal was given the luxury of messing up many more times than that and still couldn’t get his act together. It’s a shame, too, because he should have been a Hall of Famer.

  4. Berrio’s riding was atrocious the last year he rode. He’d make premature middle moves on most of his mounts and couldn’t outride me to the wire (and I weigh 180 lbs).

    I owned a few horses back in the early part of the decada and Omar rode a few times for me – including a memorable 9/1 win in the Hollywood Park slop aboard a Town Caper gelding when he raced gate-to-wire.

    Omar is a capable rider and hope he gets his life straightened out.

  5. I might be wrong, but it seems to me that in the year leading to his suspension, Berrio was still riding for Avila but it was on a less-consistent basis. Avila is letting Berrio work horses for him in the mornings in an effort to help the veteran jockey jump start his career.

  6. Sorry my inquiry is not really related to racing, but is related to a search for a rider who can help us. Would have contacted you privately,,could not figure out how.

    I live in the Los Angeles area and am looking for a light weight jockey or exercise rider to help with a 7 year old mare who has some training issues. Prefer a woman as my daughter and I are women and the horse is fine with male riders. This is for basic walk trot canter, nothing involving speed.

    We are experienced hunter jumper riders and have bred and trained our own horses. In this instance a nimble confident race rider will be extremely helpful. We are happy to pay someone to assist us. The horse is already trained to 1st level dressage and has excellent ground manners and trailers well. She has no physical problems and has been thoroughly vet checked.

    Please feel free to refer anyone you think is suitable. I can provide photos and video of the horse.

    Thanks so much,

    Winter Hoffman
    Santa Monica, Ca
    email: winterh@adelphia.net

    (310) 200-4828 C

  7. Winter,
    I would suggest calling trainer Kristin Mulhall at her barn — 310 680-2003. She has experience in dressage and can perhaps steer you in the right direction. Good luck.

  8. Yes, I’m looking where Terry Lee Guard is riding. He usually rides on the fair circuits. My buddy knows him and we are trying to get into contact with him. Thank You!

  9. HI everyone. Rudy Campas is my father in law. He is doing great and training horses for racing. He is being honored with his fellow riders this saturday at Del Mar. They will also be unveiling a mural in their honor on that same day!

    Dana Campas

  10. Dana,
    It will be great to see your father in law again on Saturday. I remember him riding in the old “Rocking Chair Derby” at Del Mar each year after he retired until they discontinued it quite a few years back. I’m sure a lot of the old-time fans remember Rudy, I sure do. And I remember him riding a horse named “Huntington Lady” to quite a few victories down the Santa Anita hillside turf course.


  12. my name is charles elliott i am an old friend of your father -in-law.my mom and dad lived next to him in california please let him know that i am tring to find him.contact me by email PLEASE!!!!

  13. dana please let rudy know about me i need to find him my mothers name is jackey and my dad was tom. PLEASE TELL him my name.thank toy charlie

  14. Thanks everyone for the sweet comments to my father in law Rudy Campas. He and his family thanks you. Everyone is doing well. Charlie we got your message you can reach me and my hubby Rudy Jr. at: fanciface75@yahoo.com

    Dana Campas

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