VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) – Infamous horse jockey Patrick Valenzuela pleaded guilty in court to domestic abuse, admitting to hitting his girlfriend at Fidel’s Restaurant in Carlsbad in September.
He’s one of the most decorated thoroughbred horse jockeys with more than 4,300 wins. In 1989 Valenzuela won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, a seven-time winner of the Breeders' Cup races.
But he’s been sidelined on the track for personal and drug abuse problems and fined 28 times in his career.
His California license was permanently revoked at one point. Prosecutors say he smacked his girlfriend in a jealous rage for hugging a bartender.
In a surprise move, his girlfriend addressed the judge, asking him not to issue a protective order that would keep Valenzuela away from his girlfriend. Prosecutors say he grabbed his girlfriend’s cellphone and hit her face causing her ear to go numb.
They also say he chased her to her car and beat on her windows and that she was afraid to let him in the vehicle. Valenzuela was given three years probation and ordered to a domestic violence recovery program. It’s his second domestic violence conviction.