Patrick Angel Valenzuela (born October 17, 1962 in Montrose, Colorado) is an American thoroughbred horse racing jockey. Born into a racing family, his father plus three of his uncles, including Ismael Valenzuela, were jockeys. He rode his first career winner on November 10, 1978, at Sunland Park Racetrack in Sunland Park, New Mexico. In 1980, 17-year-old Pat Valenzuela became the youngest jockey to ever win the Santa Anita Derby. He was voted the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award by his peers in 1982.
Pat Valenzuela has repeatedly said throughout his career that the best horse he has ever ridden was Arazi.
Pat Valenzuela is a seven-time winner of Breeders' Cup races. In 1992, he became the first jockey to twice win two Breeders' Cup races on the same card.
During his career, Valenzuela has had to deal with a drug abuse problem that many observers believe has prevented his natural talents from making him one of the greatest of jockeys in racing. During the 1990s, he was suspended by racing authorities 8 times and in 2000 another suspension kept him out of racing for 22 months. Problems emerged again in January 2004 that resulted in suspension but he came back to win top jockey honors during the 2004-2005 racing season at Santa Anita Park. In 2005, he rode Wild Desert to victory for trainer Robert Frankel in the Queen's Plate, Canada's most important horse race.
Valenzuela's conditional California license was suspended once in 2006 and twice in 2007 for violation of the conditions.
On October 9, 2008 at Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, Louisiana, Pat Valenzuela rode his 4,000th winner.