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.
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