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Patrick Valenzuela seven Breeders' Cup victories and was the first jockey to twice win two races in the same year: the 1991 Juvenile (Arazi) and Mile (Opening Verse), then in 1992 in the Juvenile Fillies (Eliza) and Turf (Fraise). He also won the 1986 Juvenile Fillies with Brave Raj, the 1987 Sprint with Very Subtle and the 2003 Distaff with Adoration. He did not ride in a Breeders' Cup event in 2006-2009, but returned in 2010 with two unplaced mounts. 

He won the 1989 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes with Sunday Silence. They lost their chance for a Triple Crown when Easy Goer defeated them in the Belmont Stakes. By the time Sunday Silence again defeated Easy Goer in the Breeders' Cup Classic that year, Valenzuela was serving one of his many suspensions and had lost the mount.

He won the 2011 Pacific Classic with Acclamation, after having won the same race twenty years prior aboard Best Pal. Also won the G1 Shoemaker Mile with Courageous Cat, and three more graded stakes from 10 stakes wins going into the Breeders' Cup.

Valenzuela has struggled with substance abuse throughout his career. And has consequently been suspended from racing repeatedly. Agent Tom Knust has insisted that he has been sober since May of 2008. When Valenzuela was granted a license to ride in Kentucky in September of 2010, it enabled him to ride in the Breeders' Cup that year at Churchill Downs. Valenzuela returned to the Triple Crown scene seven months later in the 2011 Kentucky Derby with Comma to the Top for trainer Peter Miller in 2011, but finished last.

He returned to Southern California during the summer of 2010 after his suspended provisional license was reinstated. He then began riding during the second week of the Del Mar meeting and was a force throughout the season, finishing a strong third in the jockey standings with 29 victories and purse earnings of $1.5 million. His biggest wins came aboard J P's Gusto in the track's Best Pal Stakes (G2) and Del Mar Futurity (G1). Other big wins in '10 included the G2 Las Palmas Handicap with Briecat and Morvich H. (G3) aboard Quick Enough. 

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