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How to watch Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series Super Saturday

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With the Breeders’ Cup the first weekend in November at Churchill Downs in Kentucky, the race is on to qualify for the Classic, sprints and turf stakes. NBC Sports is set to broadcast this weekend’s “Super Saturday” stretch of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series on Saturday, September 29.

The day will be highlighted by the Awesome Again Stakes and the Jockey Club Gold Cup Stakes, two “win and you’re in” qualifier races that guarantee the winners a spot in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on November 3. Accelerate headlines Awesome Again at Santa Anita, and Diversify will try to win the Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont for the second year in a row.

How to watch:
What: Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series “Super Saturday”
When: September 29, 2018
Broadcast time: 7-9 p.m. ET
Where to watch: NBCSN, NBCSports.com, NBC Sports app

Ex-jockey Valenzuela pleads guilty to domestic violence

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VISTA, Calif. (AP) Famed former jockey Patrick Valenzuela has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence for slapping his girlfriend at a Southern California restaurant.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the seven-time Breeders Cup winner entered the plea earlier this week, was fined nearly $900 and ordered to take domestic violence recovery classes.

Prosecutors say Valenzuela slapped his girlfriend last month for hugging a bartender at a Carlsbad restaurant.

Valenzuela told the Union-Tribune by phone Friday that he is “very saddened” by the situation and added: “I will continue to strive to be the best person I can be.”

Valenzuela had more than 4,300 winning races, including the 1989 Kentucky Derby and Preakness. He’s struggled with drug and alcohol abuse and lost his California racing license. He last raced in 2016.

Victor Espinoza plans comeback in late December

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ARCADIA, Calif. — Triple Crown-winning jockey Victor Espinoza is planning a comeback in late December after fracturing a vertebra in his neck during a training accident at Del Mar.

That’s according to his agent Brian Beach, who says Friday that Espinoza saw his doctors this week and they are pleased with his progress. However, they’re not yet ready to release the 46-year-old Hall of Fame jockey to ride again.

Beach says on his Twitter account that Espinoza “wants to be 100 percent when he comes back.”

A late December return would allow Espinoza to ride at Santa Anita, which opens its winter-spring meet on Dec. 26.

Espinoza got hurt July 22 when he fell while exercising a horse.

He rode American Pharoah to a Triple Crown sweep in 2015.