Monday, June 21, 2010

High School Football Rankings

Here's a preseason Top 5 ranking for Class 5A Football
1 - La Cueva
2 - Mayfield
3 - Las Cruces
4 - Clovis
5 - Manzano, Sandia (tie)

On another note, any thoughts on Mayfield running back Brandon is receiving some interest from Division I schools, including New Mexico State and perhaps Texas-El Paso?

Betancourt will need to prove he can get done consistently and stay healthy. It'll be interesting to see if any other schools jump in the mix.

- Felix

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Julio Cesar Chavez Jr.

Next Saturday at the Alamodome in San Antonio, unbeaten Julio Cesar Chavez Jr., the son of the legendary Julio Cesar Chavez, meets John Duddy in a bout fight that both fighters need.

Chavez Jr. isn't widely considered a great father like his dad and Duddy was once a prospect, but has one loss to his name.

Both are considered average fighters by many boxing fans. I have not been impressed by either fighter in their careers, although Chavez Jr. is only 24 and he is working with trainer Freddie Roach.

What are you thoughts on either fighter, but especially Chavez Jr.

- Felix

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Continuing series on top hispanic jockeys

One of the sport's better hispanic jockeys over the years has been Mexico City's Victor Espinoza. He currently rides in California and is one of the many top riders on the tough Southern California circuit.

Arguably he is best known for riding 2002 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner War Emblem. Espinoza also finished third in the 2001 Kentucky Derby aboard Congaree.

Espinoza is a solid, if not spectacular rider. He has been consistent throughout his career and is always a danger. He's been the rider on many top horses, including Happy Ticket and Imperialism.

- Felix

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Siju Shabazz wins regional

Las Cruces amatuer fighter Siju Shabazz won a USA Boxing regional title on Saturday night in Albuquerque with a decision win over Arizona's Robert Lopez.
With the win, Shabazz advances to the USA Nationals next month in Colorado.

- Felix

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Joel Garcia boxing story

Up and coming Garcia has high hopes
By Felix Chavez
El Paso Times
EL PASO — El Paso has been home to many solid lower weight fighters over the years, including Fernie Morales, Juan Lazcano and Antonio Escalante.
The city has another world title hopeful on its hands in 19-year-old Joel Garcia. Garcia recently made his pro debut in Laredo and left with a four-round decision victory against Raymundo Torres on Torres’ home turf.
“It was a good win,” Garcia said. “It was good to get in there and get the first pro fight out of the way. I felt like I did some good things.”
Garcia’s trainer Louis Aguilar said Garcia handled himself well in the pro debut, particularly since it was in his opponent’s hometown.
“We didn’t have much notice for the fight, but Joel was in the gym getting ready for a fight and was in good shape,” Aguilar said. “Joel boxed well, he settled in just fine.”
Garcia is currently fighting between 108 and 112 pounds, but Aguilar said he could fighter at a higher weight down the road.
Garcia would like to fight five times this year and could be busy this summer. He is slated to fight next month in New Mexico on the undercard of the Johnny Tapia vs. Frankie Archuleta featherweight bout. Garcia could also land on a card in McAllen, Texas, later this month as well.
“I’d like to stay busy,” Garcia said. “It’s a learning experience as a professional. There is so much to pick up and work on. It’s a process and I’ll be patient. I have a lot of good help here in El Paso. I spar with a lot of fighters at or near my weight and that helps me in terms of preparation. I’m able to experience a lot of things in the gym.”
Garcia certainly has the amateur pedigree to become a competitive professional boxer. He won 79 of his 86 fights, won several El Paso Golden Gloves titles and was also a two-time regional Chihuahua state champion.
“Joel had some very tough fights as an amateur and that will help him as he fights more as a pro,” Aguilar said. “Joel is a good boxer and he’s getting better all the time. He’s still young, but he has impressed a lot of people so far. He works hard in the gym and he always wants to get better. There isn’t any need to rush him. He took some time off from the sport, but he’s ready for the professional ranks.”
Garcia said his goal is to win a world title one day, but he’s aware of the time and preparation it will take.
“A championship belt is something I really want,” Garcia said. “I know it will take time. I learned a great deal in the amateurs and it help me get ready for the professional level. I just look forward to my next fight and want to win that one and then it’s on to the next one after that.”

Felix Chavez can be reached at; (915) 546-6374

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

New Onate coaches

Apparently, Ben Trujillo will be the new girls basketball coach at Onate High School, while former New Mexico State volleyball player Alice Borden has been pegged as the new volleyball coach.

- Felix

Monday, June 7, 2010

Another Hispanic Jockey Post

I have posted two blog items on retired hispanic jockeys in the past couple of days. Today, I take a look at a current jockey and one of the best going today.

The talented Rafael Bejarano has emerged as one of the nation's best since 2004. The 27-year-old native of Peru is having a big year this year and we aren't even halfway through the year. His horses have earned a nation's best $6,739,101 through June 6.

Bejarano is very adept at reading how a race will happen and then make the correct adjustments. He's won with horses on the lead and with horses having to come from behind in which he has to make a bold move at the critical time.

Bejarano has won several big races including the San Felipe Stakes, the Blue Grass Stakes and the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

Among the top horses he's been on include Papa Clem, Ginger Punch and Square Eddie. Bejarano has been a staple in California, but surely it won't be long before the talented rider gets a chance to become a top notch jockey all over the U.S. He rides hard, with confidence and with patience and he can never be underestimated.

- Felix

Sunday, June 6, 2010

More Top Hispanic Jockeys

Today I continue a look at the top Hispanic jockeys of all-time. Today, I give you a look at Mexican Ismael "Milo" Valenzuela. Valenzuela began working with quarter horses in his young career, but by the late 1950s, he was beginning to make his mark on the thoroughbred scene.

Valenzuela rode such great great horses as Tim Tam and Kelso. Tim Tam won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness, while Kelso won 22 of 35 starts.

Valenzuela is part of the National Racing Museum Hall of Fame and won more than 2,500 races in his fine career. Valenzuela is part of a great family of riding, which includes Pat Valenzuela, who is currently riding in Louisiana and has been at top of the sport at various times in his career.

Ismael Valenzuela was a complete rider, he won at the highest levels of the sport and is among one of the top riders of all time. You don't get an assignment to ride a horse like Kelso if you don't have the ability to do so and the confidence and respect of many.

- Felix

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Top Hispanic jockeys

Today I start a look at some of the top hispanic old-timer jockeys and some of the current hispanic jockeys, who have made a name for themselves. There is a long and beautiful history of Mexican, Panamanian and other Latin American jockeys and their influence on the Sport of Kings.

One of the greatest jockeys of our time was the gifted Panamaian, Braulio Baeza. he led the U.S. in earnings five times and won the George Woolf Memorial jockey Award in 1968. In his career, Baeza won an impressive 4,013 races, including wins in the Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Oaks, Belmont Stakes, Travers Stakes and the Blue Grass Stakes.

Baeza rode so many great horses, but among the best he rode were Ack Ack, Dr. Fager and Buckpasser.

Baeza was greatly respected for his patient rides and his confidence to perform at the highest level. Many of today's top hispanic riders owe a lot to Baeza. He rode not only here in the United States but in other countries where he fared well.

I never saw Baeza ride live, I was just two years old when he retired, but he certainly made the most of opportunities and helped open the door for many of today's latino jockeys. Baeza is certainly someone to look up to in terms of knowing how to be successful at the best tracks and in the biggest races.

His legacy in the sport will never be forgotten and must be considered to be in the top tier of jockeys of any race, but he's certaily in the top five of any list that rates hispanic jockeys.

Any thoughts?

- Felix

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Ring Magazine on Austin Trout

Las Cruces junior middleweight Austin Trout, who is ranked by the World Boxing Association didn't exactly getting a ringing endorsement by Ring Magazine in the July issue.

Trout was given the dubious distinction of being tabbed the most protected in the 154-pound division in the recent state of the game edition of the magazine.

The junior middleweight division features standouts Alfred Angulo, Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams.

- Felix

Monday, May 31, 2010

Former local prep baseball players

Congrats to former Las Cruces area high school baseball players Ryan Honeycutt, Daniel Gonzalez, Steven Flores and Gera Sanchez. The four players are on the University of New Mexico baseball team, which was selected to play in the NCAA Tournament on Monday.

Honeycutt, Gonzalez and Sanchez played key roles on the team this year. Sanchez won a pair of games on the mound, while Honeycutt and Gonzalez were two of the team's top offensive players.

The Lobos will be playing in their first NCAA Tournament since 1962. All three were very good high school players and were high on Lobos coach Ray Birmingham's radar when he took the job with the Lobos.

Got to give all the former area high school kids credit for doing what they had to do to make it happen for the Lobos. And give Birmingham credit for what he's done with UNM. He had a goal of taking UNM to the College World Series and this is another step in the process. And he said he'd do it with New Mexico kids and he has kept his word on that promise as well.

- Felix

Sunday, May 30, 2010

All-State Baseball, 3A, 4A, 5A

Class 3A State Baseball teams
First Team
Class 3A
Matt Forsyth, Hope Christian
Colin Friedman, St. Mike's
Jared Gallegos, West Las Vegas
Alex Garcia, Bloomfield
Aaron Ordonez, Cobre
Michael Hernandez, St. Mike's
Matthew Miramontes, Bloomfield
Irving Gomez, Cobre
Shane Harmishige, St. Mike's
First Base
Regan Ramos, Cobre
Joel Vega, Hope Christian
Second Base
Nick Nelson, Sandia Prep
Jay Dominguez, Cobre
Michael Eaton, Sandia Prep
Third Base
Aaron Ordonez, Cobre
George Marquez, Raton

Second Team
Alex Kyriakis, Sandia Prep
Michael Chavez, Socorro
Zach Shark, Miyamura
Blake Washburn, Raton
Brian Detrick, Bloomfield
Nick Aragon, Robertson
Gene Chavez, SF Indian
Roberto Martinez, Sandia Prep
Andrew Castanon, Cobre
Ian Sutton, Hope Christian
Jared Gallegos, West Las Vegas
Brennan Day, Sandia Prep
Robert Martinez, Sandia Prep
Girard Martinez, Robertson
First Base
Clay Payne, Bloomfield
Second Base
Alex Garcia, Bloomfield
Charlie Savedra, Socorro
Nick Nelson, Sandia Prep
Michael Archibeque, Bloomfield
Third Base
Nick Aragon, Robertson
Justus Jaramillo, Socorro
Alex Houser, Sandia Prep
Levi Helton
Player of the Year
Alex Garcia, Bloomfield
Coach of the Year
Frank DeHoyos

Class 4A
First Team
Chris Fischer, Moriarty
Jake MaCasland, Piedra Vista
Tim Bailey, Piedra Vista
Eli Freese, Farmington
Deven Nelson, Artesia
Victor Sanchez, Volcano Vista
Steven Contreras, Belen
Max Ruben, Moriarty
Shilo McCall, Piedra Vista
Shane Weedson, Piedra Vista
Steven Pilito, Artesia
Morgan McCasland, Piedra Vista
Isaac Aragon, Moriarty
First Base
Jake McCasland, Piedra Vista
Second Base
Keaton Chancellor, Moriarty
Jacob Zunich, Silver
Alex Bregman, Academy
Third Base
Victor Sanchez, Volcano Vista
Robbie Bell, Moriarty
Damion Lovato, Piedra Vista

Second Team
Kevin Piersol, St. Pius
Scott Berkebile, Los Alamos
Quentin Mansfield, Belen
Matt Holona, Belen
Dominic Moreno, Piedra Vista
Joe Chandler, Farmington
Robbie Bell, Moriarty
Jorge Venegas, Valencia
Brycon Campbell, Farmington
Javy Armendariz, Deming
Elliot Hanson, Academy
Lincoln Stanfield, Academy
Cody Donaghe, Artesia
Quintin Rizek, St. Pius
Hunter Blaylock, Belen
Chris Lobato, St. Pius
First Base
Javier Sanchez, Farmington
TJ Trujillo, Volcano Vista
Second Base
Scott Wilcox, Farmington
Andre Vigil, Volcano Vista
Tanner Cooper, Piedra Vista
Nick Gonzales, Moriarty
Chris Weaver, Farmington
Tim Bailey, Piedra Vista
Aaron Huerta, Silver
Third Base
Chris Nunez, Goddard
Nick Martinez, St. Pius
Eli Freeze, Farmington
Player of the Year
Jake McCasland, Piedra Vista
Coach of the Year
Mike Magaha, Piedra Vista

Class 5A
First Team
Sam Wilson, Eldorado
Josh Walker, Carlsbad
Josh McCallister, La Cueva
Roby Romero, Onate
Kaleb Nelson, Hobbs

Joe Sena, Rio Rancho
Sam Wilson, Eldorado
Ryan Padilla, La Cueva

Blake Swihart, Cleveland

First Base
Nate Ross, La Cueva
Ben Matheson, Rio Rancho

Second Base
Bobby Blackstone, Eldorado

Kris Martinez, Rio Rancho

Third Base
Robert Gunther, Sandia

Wes Koerper, Onate

Second Team
Brulio Hernandez, Albuquerque High
Chris Lee, Las Cruces High
Nicasio Sanchez, Sandia
Thomas Lee Mares, Manzano
Ryan Padilla, La Cueva
Angel Sanchez, Hobbs

Aaron Sandoval, Onate
Austin Bertola, Hobbs
Josh Walker, Rio Rancho

Andrew Castillo, Carlsbad
Ethan McCranie, Rio Rancho

First Base
John Cachora, Onate
Kameron McLLroy, Hobbs

Second Base
Nathan Paz, Las Cruces

Jason Sandoval, Onate
Matt Smith, La Cueva
Matt Chavarria, Carlsbad

Third Base
Anthony Boyle, Hobbs

Zach Cogan, La Cueva

Co-Player of the Year
Sam Wilson, Eldorado
Josh Walker, Rio Rancho

Coach of the Year
Jim Johns, Eldorado

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Softball All-State, 4A/5A

Class 5A
1st Team
Kelsey Stevens, La Cueva
Alberta Medina, Las Cruces High
Val Swedburg, Cibola
First Baseman
Jillian Navarette, Carlsbad
Second Baseman
Shelby Lucero, La Cueva
Kuuleiokealoah Vonshriltz, Las Cruces
Third Baseman
Shelby Pendley, Rio Rancho
Lizzy Castro Carlsbad
Courtney Williams, Carlsbad
Alexis Dotson, Las Cruces
Stephanie Haft, La Cueva

Second Team
Sandra Serna, Sandia
Nicole Pendley, Rio Rancho

Kely Munoz, Carlsbad
First Baseman
Shannon Garcia, Rio Rancho
Second Baseman
Stephanie Dunham, Rio Rancho
Third Baseman
Ty Ramirez, Carlsbad
Jessie Roane, Rio Rancho
Christen Miller, Rio Rancho
Lara VanEver, Sandia
Brianna Chavez, Rio Rancho

Class 4A
1st Team
Karysta Donisthorpe, Piedra Vista
Katera Eltsosie, Volanco Vista
Aurelia Sandoval, Piedra Vista
First Baseman
Rachael Ward, Piedra Vista
Second Baseman
Marissa Ellis, Piedra Vista
Third Baseman
Jordan Ensign, Piedra Vista
Sheasia Yazzie, Piedra Vista
Meriel Parrish, Piedra Vista
Ashton Martinez, Farmington
Haley Thompson, Farmington

Second Team
Annamarie Rascon, Silver City
Naisha Nackai, Kirtland Central
Erika Gonzales, Farmington
First Baseman
Tansi Rudder, Aztec
Second Baseman
Kylnn Beall, Farmington
Third Baseman
Shaylynn Brown, Volcano Vista
Robin Randall, Farmington
Brittany Sofka, Piedra Vista
Ally Hakeem, St. Pius
Addie Woods, Aztec

Ruidoso Futurity Qualifiers

The 10 qualifiers for the June 13, 350-yard Ruidoso Futurity at Ruidoso Downs Racetrack and Casino

1. American Runaway 17.138
2. Royally Sandra 17.455
3. Fredona 17.460
4. Unanchored 17.468
5. Absolut Treasure 17.487
6. Treason 17.510
7. No Dice Special 17.513
8. Bodacious Dash 17.590
9. Legendary Express 17.601
10. Brimmin To Pass 17.606

Of note, both American Runaway and Royally Sandra were very, very impressive in the trials. American Runaway shipped in from Remington Park in Oklahoma and won his trial very easily. Royally Sandra did her work over a less than stellar track. She had to win over a sloppy track after a downpour midway through the 19 trials. She could be the favorite on June 13. West Texas Futurity winner No Dice Special earned a spot in the June 13 final as did Treason, who was very good in his first career start for trainer Michael Joiner.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Boxing Book Review

Title: Hit Man The Thomas Hearns Story
Authors: Brian and Damian Hughes
Pages: 240
Price: $17.95
Publisher: Milo Books

By Felix Chavez
In the late 1970s and much of the 1980s, boxing saw some of it biggest fights and was often times in the center of the sports world.
There were plenty of big names involved, i.e. Sugar Ray Leonard, Mike Tyson, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler and Larry Holmes.
Also included in that list is the man known as the “Hit Man” Thomas Hearns. While there has been much written about Tyson, Leonard, Duran and Holmes, an in-depth book about Hearns had yet to be written until authors Brian and Damian Hughes collaborated on a Hearns biography entitled “Hit Man The Thomas Hearns Story.”
For sports fans, but specially boxing fans, the biography Hearns is an important one in many ways.
Hearns, who won 61 of 67 fights, was one of the most recognizable sports figures during the 1980s. He fought Leonard, Duran, Hagler, Pipino Cuevas and Iran Barkley and was a popular figure because of his aggressive style, which included a thunderous right hand.
The book also gives readers a detailed look into Hearns’ boxing career, where he got started in the rough and tumble world of Detroit and his relationship with legendary trainer/manager Emanuel Steward.
This detailed biography can also help boxing fans can judge where Hearns stands in boxing lore because it gives readers a detailed account of several of Hearns’ key bouts and revives key details from his fights with Leonard, Duran and Hagler among others.
A good boxing book will always including behind-the-scenes details of a fighter’s career, whether it’s in the gym, negotiations for a fight or the moments leading up to a big fight. The Hughes’ did an adequate job of this in their piece on Hearns. There are many interesting side notes and interesting facts about not only Hearns but also other fighters and participants in the sport that were unknown to this reader and could very well be unknown to many readers.
Hearns, who was raised in Detroit, was officially a professional from 1977 until 2006, but did much of his good work from 1977 until 1992. Overall the book does a very good job of taking the reader through the ups and downs of Hearns’ career as well as giving us a detailed record of what Hearns and his team were thinking as they tried to maximize his potential.
During his time as a fighter, Hearns was a popular figure, an exciting figure and part of a very successful line of fighters to come out of the famed Kronk Gym in Detroit. It’s unfortunate that a book on his career took so long to originate, but the wait was worth it with “Hit Man The Thomas Hearns Story.”

Felix Chavez can be reached at; (915) 546-6374

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Rafael Marquez vs. Israel Vasquez

Well, it look as if Israel Vasquez has nothing left. On Saturday night, Vasquez was destroyed in less than three rounds by Rafael Marquez in a featherweight bout. The first three fights were very competitive, but on Saturday Marquez cut Vasquez, then pounced on him to even the battle at 2-2. But Vasquez should retire, while Marquez bought himself more time for his career.

- Felix

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Abie Han vs. Shibata Flores off

Looks like the proposed July 17 Abie Han vs. Shibata Flores in Phoenix is off. Han is unbeaten in 10 fights, Flores is aiming for a comeback at 154.

- Felix

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Mine That Bird Changes Trainers

Wednesday came the news that horse trainer Chip Woolley was no longer the trainer for 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird.

Instead, the 4-year-old horse, who has been resting at the Double Eagle Ranch in Roswell, will now be in the hands of Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas.

It's got to be tough on Woolley, who trained Mine That Bird through a solid 2009 campaign, which included a second-place showing in the Preakness, a third-place showing in the Belmont and a second-place showing in the Borderland Derby.

Woolley worked hard to help develop Mine That Bird and helped bring a certain amount of respect to New Mexico racing. Without Woolley in Mine That Bird's corner anymore, the relationship to Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino loses some of its luster.

Lukas is a veteran trainer and knows how to get a horse ready to compete. Mine That Bird has been off since last November and he needed that break.

Will Mine That Bird improve under Lukas? Perhaps. But Woolley deserved a chance to train the horse as a four-year-old and beyond and he deserved a chance to show he can be as good a trainer as some of the elite in the business.

- Felix

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Boxing column

Adding Burke could help Escalante
By Felix Chavez
El Paso Times
With a title shot on the horizon, El Paso featherweight Antonio Escalante has chosen to team with Las Cruces trainer Louie Burke to complete that mission.
And a solid choice it is.
The soon-to-be 25-year-old Escalante is ranked in the top 10 by various organizations and well deserved those rankings are. He’s battled-tested, he’ll fight the top fighters and he’s exciting to watch. The 23-2 Escalante was recently named one of the world’s most exciting fighters by The Ring Magazine, coming in at No. 10 on the top 10 list.
But if Escalante is going to take that next step into the elite of the boxing world, he needed to shore up some holes in his defense.
And that’s where Burke comes in. Burke, who trains area fighters Austin Trout (junior middleweight), David Rodriguez (heavyweight) and Abie Han (junior middleweight), will work closely with Escalante on the little things than can separate him from others.
Escalante is a focused fighter, a talented offensive fighter who loves the gym and wants to get better. He just needs a little push to get to the top of the world in the featherweight ranks, which is absolutely loaded with talent, i.e. Juan Manuel Lopez and Yuriorkis Gamboa.
Burke in particular has helped make Han and Trout much better fighters as they have made the progression from the amateur to the professional ranks.
Burke is a former professional and amateur fighter himself and has drawn solid reviews from present and former fighters for his work in the gym and in the corner during fights.
Part of what makes Burke a good trainer, is his ability to locate a fighter’s strengths and weaknesses, then help them improve on the weaknesses, while helping fine-tune his strenghts.
He knows Escalante is a powerful offensive fighter, he won’t change that. Instead, he’ll focus on getting Escalante better on defense and that in turn could help Escalante become an even better offensive fighter.
In addition, Burke is an easy trainer to work with personality wise. He loves the game, he wants what’s best for his fighter and he’ll be honest with Escalante. Escalante also has an easy-going personality and that should enable him to work closely with Burke, while taking what Burke has to say seriously and without feeling like Burke is solely picking on his weaknesses.
At this point in his career, Escalante must have one focus and that’s to be the best he can to win a world title. Simply put, Burke wants that for Escalante and will help him in any fashion.
There will be a transition for both fighter and trainer in the coming weeks, but if the two can come together with one purpose, it shouldn’t be a difficult working situation.
Escalante should be back in the ring soon and there are plenty of big fights that are ahead of him.
One fight on the horizon could come with Mexican featherweight Daniel Ponce De Leon. The former 122-pound champ is well known in the area and a Ponce De Leon vs. Escalante fight would be a huge attraction in El Paso. Both fighters will get after it and right now the fight would be a pick-em fight in my book.
But first things first and that’s the Burke and Escalante alliance. On paper, it shapes up to be a good move for both, only time will tell.

Felix Chavez can be reached at; (915) 546-6374

Monday, May 17, 2010

Louie Burke and Antonio Escalante

Las Cruces boxing trainer Louie Burke has begun working El Paso featherweight prospect Antonio Escalante. If everything works out and every indication points that it has, the two should be working together for his Escalante's next fight, which could happen in late June or July according to sources.

Escalante is ranked in the top 10 by a pair of governing bodies.

- Felix

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Abie Han column

Improving Han could soon be toast of El Paso
By Felix Chavez
El Paso Times
El Paso and the Borderland have long craved a boxing world champion to call their own.
There are plenty of boxing prospects in the area, i.e. featherweight Antonio Escalante, junior middleweight Austin Trout and heavyweight David Rodriguez all with dreams of becoming world champion. Juarez featherweight Mickey Roman started strong in his pro career and while he pestered Escalante enough to earn respect in their February match, he failed to get a win and is nowhere near a title shot.
And there are others who hope to make their mark in the rough and tumble world of professional boxing.
Lurking in the background (but maybe not for much longer) is El Paso junior middleweight Abie Han. The 25-year-old could very well be the top prospect to come out of this area in many years.
Han turned pro in 2007 and dedicated himself to boxing, which for him has turned out to be the right move.
One look at Han in the gym or in a real fight and he stands out right away because of the energy and fury he puts into his craft.
Han is a heavy-handed punching machine, who has scored nine knockouts in his 10 fights. Most recently, he discarded of 21-fight veteran Jose Gonzalez, who is not so easy to dispatch of. Gonzalez had been stopped just once before and that came late in a fight against Ronald Hearns. Han took out Gonzalez in less than three full rounds.
Gonzalez had also given respectable junior middleweights Carson Jones and Joaquin Zamora plenty of fits.
So for Han to handle Gonzalez like he did, says a lot about the fiercely competitive Han.
Han has shown the ability to take on tough fighters early in his career. In his fourth pro fight, he took on and beat unbeaten Ibahiem King by decision.
Han has had the advantage of getting quality sparring in the Borderland. He has routinely spars with the Las Cruces duo of Trout and Siju Shabazz.
But there was one sparring session that has stuck out in my mind. Several months ago, he sparred with the 18-2-1 Zamora in Las Cruces as Zamora was prepping for a fight. Han outworked and frustrated a determined Zamora during a sparring session.
That was my first insight into the promise that Han had as a professional.
Han’s pro career will continue to depend on his development both offensively and defensively and also on whether he can take a big punch he faces an opponent who is equal.
But Han has very good boxing skills, carries heavy hands and unquestionably a very exciting fighter due to his aggressive style.
And it appears Han is willing and able to meet a big challenge in front of him and he is slated to take on former world title challenger Jose “Shibata” Flores in Phoenix on July 17. Flores hasn’t fought much in recent years, but if he has anything left, could give Han a serious test.
So far, Han has passed every challenge presented to him, in the next year he may just become a household name not only in El Paso and the Borderland, but also around the country.

Felix Chavez can be reached at; (915) 546-6374

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Baseball/Softball matchups, preps

State Tournaments
May 13-15
Class 3A
No. 1 Sandia Prep vs. No. 9 Hope Christian, 11 a.m., St. Pius HS
No. 6 Lovington vs. No. 4 St. Mike's, 2 p.m., St. Pius HS
No. 3 Cobre vs. No. 11 Raton, 11 a.m, Rio Rancho HS
No. 10 Ruidoso vs. No. 2 Bloomfield, 2 p.m., Rio Rancho HS

Class 4A
No. 1 Piedra Vista vs. No. 8 Silver, 11 a.m., Sandia HS
No. 5 Volcano Vista vs. No. 13 St. Pius, 2 p.m. Sandia HS
No. 3 Moriarty vs. No. 6 Academy, 11 a.m., La Cueva HS
No. 7 Belen vs. No. 2 Farmington, 2 p.m., La Cueva

Class 5A
No. 1 La Cueva vs. No. 8 Mayfield, 11 a.m., Eldorado HS
No. 4 Onate vs. No. 5 Carlsbad, 2 p.m., Eldorado HS
No. 3 Eldorado vs. No. 6 Cibola, 11 a.m., Lobo Field
No. 10 Hobbs vs. No. 2 Rio Rancho, 2 p.m., Lobo Field

Class 5A
No. 1 La Cueva vs. No. 16 Gadsden, 8 a.m., Field of Dreams
No. 8 Los Lunas vs. No. 9 Mayfield, 8 a.m., Field of Dreams
No. 12 Manzano vs. No. 5 Carlsbad, 8 a.m., Field of Dreams
No. 4 Cibola vs. No. 13 Hobbs, 8 a.m., Field of Dreams
No. 14 Albuquerque High vs. No. 3 Las Cruces High, 8 a.m., Maag
No. 11 Valley vs. No. 6 Onate, 8 a.m. Maag Park
No. 7 Sandia vs. No. 10 Gallup, 8 a.m., Maag Park
No. 2 Rio Rancho vs. No. 15 Eldorado, 8 a.m.

Class 4A
No. 1 Piedra Vista vs. No. 16 Bernalillo, 10 a.m., Field of Dreams
No. 8 Los Alamos vs. No. 9 St. Pius, 10 a.m., Field of Dreams
No. 5 Moriarty vs. No. 12 Espanola, 10 a.m., Field of Dreams
No. 4 Artesia vs. No. 13 Aztec, 10 a.m., Field of Dreams
No. 3 Silver vs. No. 14 Roswell, Maag Park
No. 6 Kirtland Central vs. No. 11 Del Norte, Maag Park
No. 7 Farmington vs. No. 10 Deming, Maag Park
No. 2 Volcano Vista vs. No. 15 Valencia, Maag Park

Class 3A
No. 1 Bloomfield vs. No. 16 Socorro, noon, Field of Dreams
No. 8 Lovington vs. No. 9 Sandia Prep, noon, Field of Dreams
No. 5 Pojoaque vs. No. 12 Dexter, noon, Field of Dreams
No. 4 Cobre vs. No. 13 Hope Christian, Noon, Field of Dreams
No. 3 Portales vs. No. 14 W. Las Vegas, noon, Maag Park
No. 6 Miyamura vs. No. 11 St. Mike's, noon, Maag Park
No. 7 Laguna Acoma vs. No. 10 Hatch Valley, noon, Maag Park
No. 2 Raton vs. No. 15 Wingate, noon, Maag Park

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cuban light heavyweight impressive

I was in attendace at Friday's (May 7) light heavyweight bout between Yordanis Despaigne and Richard Hall at Isleta Casino and Resort near Albuquerque.

Despaigne entered Friday's fight with just five pro fights versus Hall's 36 fights and 29 wins.

But Despaigne, who had more than 400 amateur fights and is a former Olympian, won 100-90 on all three scorecards.

Despaigne is an up and comer with a good all around skill set. He isn't a household name yet, but give hime another 12-18 months and don't be shocked to see him fighting for a world title.

- Felix

Abie Han wins again

El Paso junior middleweight Abie Han, who trains in Las Cruces, defeated Jose Gonzalez via third-round knockout Thursday night in Dallas, Texas. Han is unbeaten and beaten a solid veteran in Gonzalez, who had a 13-7 record entering Thursday's fight and who had fought several tough fighters.

- Felix

Boxing Story, May 7

Despaigne eager for challenge against veteran Hall
By Felix Chavez
Tonight at Isleta Casino and Resort, just south of Albuquerque, former Cuban amateur star Yorandis Despaigne will undoubtedly face his biggest test as a pro when he faces former world title challenger Richard Hall in a scheduled 10-round light heavyweight fight.
The bout is the main event of ESPN's "Friday Night Fight Series" and can be seen live on ESPN2 at 10 p.m ET / 8 p.m. MT. There are seven other bouts on the card.
The 30-year-old Despaigne is a perfect 5-0 with four knockouts in his career, while the 38-year-old Hall is the owner of 29 wins and seven losses. Despaigne just turned pro last May.
"I am eager to take on the best," Despaigne said. "I was excited to get this fight when I heard it might happen. I'll get in there, take my time and see how things go. I'll make adjustments as the fight goes on. I expect a tough fight."
While Despaigne has nowhere near the pro pedigree as Hall, he seemed confident, while respectful of his opponent. Hall has faced the likes of Julian Letterlough, Roy Jones Jr. and Dariusz Michalczewski.
But while Despaigne has yet to face a big-time opponent, his amateur career was an impressive one. He fought in the Olympics and other international competitions. He fought the likes of Tomas Adamek, Andre Dirrell and Jean Pascal in his career.
"While it's not the pros, I do believe that the amateur experience will help me," said Despaigne, who started boxing when he was 11 and who owns four knockouts as a pro. "I've always wanted to be a pro. I just want the chance to showcase my skills and I'll take on whoever gives me a chance."
Cuba has had is fair share of solid pro and amateur fighters over the years. But while Despaigne said he has a great deal of respect for all of the fop fighters, his favorite remains heavyweight Teofilo Stevenson, who won three Olympic Gold Medals.
Despaigne is part of a current crop of Cuban fighters, who are garnering plenty of world wide attention.
Featherweight Yurokis Gamboa is unbeaten in 18 fights, super bantamweight Guillermo Rigondeaux is an up and comer as is unbeaten junior middleweight Erislandy Lara.
"Fight fans should be ready to see some great young Cuban fighters do well," Despaigne said. "I'm fortunate to get television exposure against Richard Hall and fans will enjoy watching all of us. We work hard and have good skills."

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tim Meek boxing update

Amatuer boxer Tim Meek lost his second round bout to Antone Pereira of Hawaii on Wednesday at the National Golden Gloves in Little Rock, Ark.

Meek was representing New Mexico and trains with the Las Cruces PAL team.

- Felix

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tim Meek update

Amateur fighter Tim Meek, who is from El Paso and trains is Las Cruces won his first fight at the National Golden Gloves in Little Rock, Ark., on Monday. He beat Nevada's David Robles and fights again on Wednesday.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Intersting boxing note

In the June 10 issue of the Ring boxing magazine, El Paso boxer Antonio Escalante is ranked No. 10 on the list of most exciting boxers in the world.

- Felix

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Baseball/Softball Rankings, April 28

Class 5A
1. La Cueva
2. Rio Rancho
3. Eldorado
4. Carlsbad
5. Onate
6. Cibola
7. Las Cruces High
8. Hobbs
9. Sandia
10. Mayfield

Class 5A
1. La Cueva
2. Rio Rancho
3. Cibola
4. Las Cruces High
5. Carlsbad
6. Sandia
7. Onate
8. Valley
9. Mayfield
10. Eldorado

Mine That Bird look back

One year later, Mine That Bird brings back great memories
By Felix Chavez
El Paso Times
EL PASO — Last year at this time, Mine That Bird was an afterthought for many horse racing insiders.
The now 4-year-old gelding was discarded by many at 50-1 odds at post time of the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby.
But by the end of the race, Mine That Bird had earned instant fame. Getting a brilliant rail-hugging ride by jockey Calvin Borel on his way to one of the greatest upsets in Kentucky Derby History. Mine That Bird won at odds of 50-1 and returned $103.20 for his loyal backers. Only Donerail’s win at odds of 91-1 in 1913 was a bigger upset.
So a year later, what are the connections of Mine That Bird up to? Owners Mark Allen and Leonard Blach and trainer Chip Woolley are in Louisville, Ky., this week and will be there for the 136th running of the Run for the Roses.
“It’s been a great time so far,” Woolley said. “Being back in Louisville has given me a chance to see some great horses, meet with some friends and just take a step back and remember last year’s race. It was a wonderful race, a very nice reward for all the hard work. Mine That Bird is a good horse, he ran an incredible race. I’m also grateful I’m healthy this year. Last year I was hobbling around on a broken leg and couldn’t do as much. This year is different.”
Mine That Bird joined a select group of horses last year to win the Derby. He is a gelding and other than Funny Cide in 2003, no gelding had won the race since Clyde Van Dusen in 1929.
"If someone had given me 100 opportunities to bet on that
race, I would not have picked Mine That Bird with any of those picks,” local racing fan Greg Berry said. “He wasn't on anyone's pre-race radar. But when he began to move, I never saw a horse running faster in the last quarter than he was."
After a brilliant two-year-old campaign in Canada, in which he earned the Sovereign Award as the top 2-year in that country, Blach and Allen purchased the horse for $400,000 and raced the horse twice at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.
Mine That Bird ran second and fourth in the Borderland and Sunland Derbies before embarking on his Triple Crown run. After the Kentucky Derby, Mine That Bird ran second in the Preakness and third in the Belmont. He hasn’t run since finishing out of the money in last November’s Breeders’ Cup Classic.
“Being back at Churchill this week has brought back so many great memories and feelings,” Blach said. “Obviously, this week there is no pressure and not nearly as many media commitments. The Kentucky Derby is great race, the atmosphere here is unbelievable. To be a part of it even this year is unique. There is so much history and to think about what Mine That Bird did brings a smile to my face.”
Mine That Bird’s win in the Derby and subsequent success in the Triple Crown races was good news for the Sunland Derby. This past March, the Sunland Derby was a graded stakes event, meaning more top-notch horses ran in the race and were Kentucky Derby caliber.
Endorsement and Conveyance both ran in the Sunland Derby and qualified for the Kentucky Derby, although Endorsement suffered an ankle injury and was pulled out of the race.
“The Sunland Derby was already a good race before it got graded,” Woolley said. “To see that race get graded in part because of what Mine That Bird did was a good deal for the track and New Mexico racing.”
The win for Woolley in the Derby was by far his signature win and just how hard is it for a trainer or a jockey to get a win in the world’s most famous race?
One of the country’s top trainers, Todd Pletcher is 0-for-24. D.Wayne Lukas, who is a well-known trainer, was 0-for-12 before his first win and several top jockeys are still don’t own a win.
Mine That Bird is currently in Roswell, where Blach and Allen make their home base. But he will be back in training at Churchill Downs later this month and could run in next month’s Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs.
There have been many great upsets in the Kentucky Derby and several close finishes. But there are some who are pushing for the Kentucky Derby to be downsized from 20 horses to perhaps 14. There is also some sentiment that more stock be put in how a horse does as a three-year-old and not as much as a two-year-old. Mine That Bird’s graded earnings and much of his success came as a two-year-old before the Kentucky.
Horses are entered into the race depending on their earnings in graded races.
“Things have gone pretty smoothly over the years in determining who gets in the Derby,” Woolley said. “Sure, there are a few horses that don’t get any, but it’s minimal. Most of the Kentucky Derby winners go on to do well. Mine That Bird proved he was worthy by doing well in Triple Crown.”
Added Blach: “I like how things are now. If they were to change how they determine how you get in the Derby, owners and trainers would really have to work their three-year-olds very hard to get in that race.”
Mine That Bird helped the Kentucky Derby draw 16.3 million viewers for last year’s race, the highest since 1992. He also aided Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino in other ways besides helping its signature race become graded.
“Our business for the Triple Crown races were very good, better than in previous years,” said Dustin Dix, the director of racing operations at Sunland Park. “People really got into the Triple Crown and wanted to learn a great deal more about racing. It was a special day last year when Mine That Bird won. It was a great run.
Mine That Bird’s success in last year’s Derby meant different things to many different people. But the victory also reminded sports fans that upsets are part of the sports fabric, particularly in horse racing’s biggest and most-anticipated race of the year.

Felix Chavez can be reached at; (915) 546-6374

Endorsement out of Derby

Sunland Derby winner Endorsement will miss Saturday's Kentucky Derby due to an ankle injury. Endorsement won the March 28 Sunland Derby, beating favorite Conveyance. Conveyance is slated to run in the Kentucky Derby.

- Felix

More on Mine That Bird

Looks like 2009 Kentucky Derby champion Mine That Bird could run in the Stephen Foster Handicap at Chuchill Downs on June 12. Mine That Bird hasn't run since the Breeders' Cup Classic last November.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mayweather vs. Mosley

For you boxing fans out there, don't forget about Saturday night's welterweight clash between Shane Mosley and Floyd Mayweather. The two veterans are two of the best in the world and Saturday's fight promises to be a classic battle.

I still believe Floyd is the better fighter overall and his defensive exploits will be too much. He wins by decision.

Also, keep an eye for Mexican welterweight Saul Alvarez on the undercard. Alvarez is an up and coming fighter, he's just 19, but many consider him to be the next great Mexican icon in the boxing ring.

Any thoughts on Saturday's card?


Monday, April 26, 2010

NMSU football story

I'm going out of the box on my blog here by posting a football story. But here is one on a couple of El Paso kids trying to find playing time for the Aggies at New Mexico State.


Former El Paso high school players trying to make mark at NMSU
By Felix Chavez
El Paso Times
LAS CRUCES — A pair of former El Paso high school football players are making a push for playing time next fall for the New Mexico State football team.
junior Ruben Escarcega and freshman Jake Swenson are both competing for the Aggies under second-year head coach DeWayne Walker. Both players redshirted last fall.
Escarcega is playing at right tackle, while Swenson is a right guard. Both have seen extensive time on the field during spring practice, which ends May 1 for the Aggies.
Swenson was one of the first players to commit to Walker after the former UCLA defensive coordinator was hired in December of 2008. Swenson attended Montwood High School during his prep career.
Swenson, a 6-foot-6, 314-pounder, said last year’s redshirt campaign it was a learning experience for him and one that he has used to his benefit.
“I got to practice against the first team and I learned a lot about what it will take to be successful at the college level,” said Swenson, who was one of the top linemen in El Paso during his high school career. “It’s been a learning process, but I feel like I’m doing some good things. I just want to get on the field and help the team in whatever situation I can.”
Swenson did suffer a left knee injury and will miss the final week of spring practice.
Escarcega, the former Del Valle standout, spent two seasons at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell before signing with the Aggies.
“There is a transition from JC to Division I,” Escarcega said. “But I feel like I have made enough progress and I’m in a spot where I feel I can contribute. I picked up a lot of things last year while sitting out.”
New Mexico State offensive line coach Jason Lenzmeier said both players have a chance to contribute in the fall.
“Ruben has made a bunch of progress,” Lenzmeier said. “Right now, he’s the No. 1 at right guard. We did sign a guard who will come in the fall and challenge for a spot, but Ruben is doing some good things. Jake is a big kid, who is young and maturing. I’ve been able to work with him more this spring and he’s picking things up every day. We feel like our depth is good on the line and both of them add to it.”
Last year, the Aggies struggled on offense in every aspect. The team scored just 126 points during a 3-10 season. The Aggies got a new offensive coordinator in Mike Dunbar and both offensive linemen believe the offense will be good.
“We’re doing a variety of things on offense and that will make us more effective,” Escarcega said. “We’re still learning, but making progress.”
The Aggies will attempt to qualify for bowl game for the first time since 1960 under Walker, who was considered an up and coming assistant when at UCLA.
“Coach Walker is a good coach and we believe in what he is doing,” Swenson said. “We are working hard every day and he wants us to be a winner in every aspect.

Felix Chavez can be reached at; 546-6374

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Mine That Bird Update

I talked to 2009 Kentucky Derby winning trainer Chip Woolley on Sunday. He said Mine That Bird, which won the race, is still based in Roswell and a decision on which race he'll race in later this year will be made at a later date. Woolley is back at Churchill Downs this week to watch the race and catchup with some friends he met at last year's Derby.
Saturday's running of the race will be No. 136.

- Felix

Abie Han update

El Paso junior middleweight Abie Han, who trains in Las Cruces with trainer Louie Burke, will fight May 6 in Dallas, Texas, against 13-7 Jose Gonzalez. Gonzalez is no pushover, he has fought Joaquin Zamora, Derel Ennis and Ronald Hearns.

- Felix

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Antonio Escalante fight off

The May 7 Antonio Escalante vs. Carlos Rodriguez fight at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso has been postponed. Escalanted suffered an elbow injury in training. A date has not been set for fight.

- Felix

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sunland Park Racetrack column, season ending

By Felix Chavez
El Paso Times
The 51st season of racing at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino had its share of ups and downs, upsets and plenty of wins by the favorites.
But a pair of jockeys and a big effort by a Kentucky-bound horse helped make the season one of the best since I started covering the meet 10 years ago.
Thoroughbred jockey Luis Contreras finally put an end to the reign of Ken Tohill as the top jockey at the track. Tohill had won six straight riding titles entering the 2009-10 campaign, but Contreras won a meet-high 51 races this year, despite missing the last three weeks because he had a commitment to ride in Canada for trainer Steve Asmussen.
Contreras is a solid, young rider and has the potential to win many more titles at the Southern New Mexico track if he stays in the area. The Mexico City native certainly has the potential to move up a notch to a bigger track down the road when he gains more experience.
Contreras is a competent rider, who is patient and takes what is given him on the track.
The other jockey who made covering the races interesting this year was Alejandro Medellin.
The native of Mexico City took New Mexico by storm in 2008 and has established himself as arguably the best overall jockey in the state. He tied for first in the quarter horse standings with 31 wins and was third in the thoroughbred standings with 41 wins, just one out of second place.
Medellin is a tough rider, he will take chances and he is confident in what he doing out there on the track. He is always a danger on a horse, regardless of odds and regardless of the type of race he is riding in.
There have been many great jockeys to grace the oval at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino, but right now it’s Contreras and Medellin battling it out for the top spot at the state’s best track. It’ll be interesting to see the two go head to head next year.
Back on March 28, Sunland Derby had its best field ever in its short history and it was an 11-1 shot, which won that race and left many believing he could fare well in the Kentucky Derby.
Endorsement, trained by Shannon Ritter, was very impressive in winning by three lengths and earning a very nice 101 speed figure in the process.
Endorsement’s win was very respectable in the sense that he beat the likes of Conveyance and Tempted to Tapit, two very good horses.
Ritter did a commendable job of getting her horse ready to run and Endorsement should be sharp for the May 1 Derby.
In all, it was a solid season for Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino. There were many big-time performances by very good horses such as First Moonflash and Queen Greeley and racing fans saw the return of veteran jockey Pat Valenzuela for the final few weeks of the season.
But the meet belonged to Contreras, Medellin and Endorsement and that trifecta made it a winning campaign for the track.
Felix Chavez can be reached at; (915) 546-6374

Prep Baseball/Softball Polls, April 21

Class 5A
1. Eldorado
2. La Cueva
3. Rio Rancho
4. Carlsbad
5. Onate
6. Cibola
7. Las Cruces
8. Hobbs
9. Mayfield
10. Sandia
Class 4A
1. Piedra Vista
2. Artesia
3. Farmington
4. Moriarty
5. Academy
6. Volcano Vista
7. Belen
8. Roswell
9. St. Pius
10. Goddard
Class 3A
1. Sandia Prep
2. Bloomfield
3. Cobre, Lovington
5. St. Mike's
6. Hope Christian
7. Portales
8. Raton
9. Robertson
10. Miyamura
Class 1A/2A
1. Eunice
2. Texico
3. Estancia
4. Tularosa
5. Santa Rosa
6. Tucumcari
7. Loving, East Mountain
9. Lordsburg
10. Floyd

Class 1A/2A
1. Capitan
2. Loving
3. East Mountain
4. Jemez Valley
5. Eunice
6. Estancia
7. Rehoboth
8. McCurdy
9. Lordsburgh
10. Jal
Class 3A
1. Bloomfield
2. Cobre
3. Portales
4. Raton
5. Miyamura
6. Santa Fe Indian
7. Lovington
8. Laguna Acoma
9. Pojoaque, St. Mike's
Class 4A
1. Piedra Vista
2. Volcano Vista
3. Silver
4. Artesia
5. Kirtland Central
6. Farmington
7. Aztec
8. St. Pius
9. Moarity
10. Roswell
Class 5A
1. La Cueva
2. Rio Rancho
3. Cibola
4. Las Cruces High
5. Onate
6. Carlsbad
7. Sandia
8. Valley
9. Mayfield
10. Eldorado

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

All-State Basketball Teams, New Mexico

Class 5A
First Team
Christian Sacoman, Eldorado
Ronnie Daniels, La Cueva
Michael Maya, Valley
Christopher Strong, Eldorado
Dylan Fritsch, Las Cueva
Second Team
Lucas Archuleta, Rio Rancho
Shelby Reeves, Hobbs
Ryan Becenti, Gallup
Marcus Slocum, Clovis
Josh Trujillo, Mayfield

Class 4A
First Team
Keydrick Allen, Roswell
Rodney Coles, Espanola Valley
Mario Molina, Volcano Vista
AJ Peralta, Roswell
Alex Kirk, Los Alamos
Second Team
Aaron Aragon, Espanola Valley
Joshua Mattox, Belen
Luis Rodriguez, Santa Teresa
Luis Alvarado, Espanola Valley
Marek Olesinski, Roswell

Class 3A
First Team
Matt Murphy, Hope Christian
Kyle Elliott, Hope Christian
Patrick Griswold, St. Mike's
Kody Salcido, Sandia Prep
Christian Schlenker, Hope Christian
Second Team
Jake Tenorio, Sandia Prep
Jamaal Anderson, Santa Fe Indian
Shawn Carrasco, Portales
Jared Marquez, Socorro
Arren Wells, Hope Christian
Jody Atencio, Santa Fe Indian

Class 2A
First Team
Cody Correa, Mesilla Valley Christian
Emery Coleman, Tularosa
Jonathan Allison, Bosque
Scott Adler, Mesilla Valley Christian
Seth Bailey, Texico
Second Team
Isaac Bejarano, Hagerman
Jim Coleman, Tularosa
Carson Carrillo, Tularosa
James Vigil, Tularosa
Aaron Gjullin, Bosque

Class 1A
First Team
Logan Medlin, Tatum
Isaiah DeHerrera, Springer
Karl Esquibel, Wagon Mound
Brandon Rafool, Logan
Ethan Shelley, Cliff
Eric Caldwell, Springer
Second Team
Tabor Martinez, Des Moines
Clint Barnard, Melrose
Ryan Glenn, Tatum
Cody Runyan, Cliff
Chet Chenault, Floyd
Dax Moyer, Fort Sumner

Class 5A
First Team
Ebony Walker, Sandia
Korina Chapman, Cibola
Kya De Garmo, Eldorado
Antiesha Brown, Clovis
Andrea Aragon, Las Cruces High
Second Team
Jade Brown, Las Cruces High
Camille Boal, Sandia High
Amber Battle, Cibola
Angel Reyes, Valley
Elena Martinez-Velasquez, Sandia

Class 4A
First Team
Taylor Ealey, Los Alamos
Shanice Steenholdt, Roswell
Nisa Duran, Espanola Valley
Elisha Levingston, St. Pius
Amanda Kerr, Kirtland Central
Second Team
Schylar Malone, Volcano Vista
Meghan Yazzie, Kirtland Central
Olivia Harris, Kirtland Central
Candace Pollard, Artesia
Kalen Henderson, Shiprock

Class 3A
First Team
Mystica Perez Lovington
Jenine Coriz, Santa Fe Indian
Linda Esquibel, W. Las Vegas
Roxanne Silva, Socorro
Miranda Medina, Santa Fe Indian
Second Team
Miranda Medina, W. Las Vegas
Tamra Quintana, St. Mike's
Tana Boyd, Miyamura
Danessa Grover, Hope Christian
Macy Mitchell, Portales

Class 2A
First Team
Victoria Richards, Texico
Jaylyn Cooper, Texico
Jordyn Cooper, Texico
Kaitlin Luscombe, Texico
Renae Roybal, Santa Rosa
Second Team
Sara Tapia, Santa Rosa
Demetria Clichee, Navajo Pine
Shannon Van Matre, Texico
Samantha Romero, Santa Rosa
Samantha Dunnahoo, Hagerman

Class 1A
First Team
Tori Tucker, Floyd
Mariah Peralta, Cliff
Cassidy Doherty, Des Moines
Nicole Hardy, Magdalena
Kelli Merrick, Dora
Second Team
Tanna Whitecotton, Floyd
Reavis Best, Elida
Keanda Chavez, Magdalena
Jenna Jenkins, Cliff
Mandy Rush, Grady

Monday, April 19, 2010

Boxer Edwin Valero dies

In the ring, Venezuela's Edwin Valero was a heavy-handed, hard-working fighter who was exciting to watch. The 28-year-old was a hero in his native country, a fighter with a brilliant past and a bright future.

Sadly, outside the ring, his life was apparently on the way down. It has been a sad few months in boxing. The sport lost the likes of Arturo Gatti, Alexis Arguello and Vernon Forrest.

Sadly, we will never know what Valero would have done against some of the lightweight's top fighters. I'll remember him as a great fighter in the ring and one who could have beaten elite fighters.

What were your thoughts on Edwin Valero?

- Felix

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Las Cruces High's Andrea Aragon

Las Cruces High's Andrea Aragon signed last week to continue her basketball career at New Mexico Junior College in Hobbs, N.M.

It's good to see Aragon sign and get a chance to play at the next level, I'm surprised she didn't sign with a four-year school. Aragon is a very good all-around player, a fierce competitor and a big reason the Bulldawgs were a Final Four team in Class 5A in two of her final three years in high school.

Aragon is a good shooter, has a good feel for the game and can pass the ball well. I wouldn't be shocked if she started or played major minutes at NMJC next year. And don't be surprised if she lands a scholarship to a four-year school down the road.

Aragon came a long way during her time at LCHS and is a fun player to watch. As with all players, she'll need to continue to work on her game in all facets and must step things up a notch at the college level.

It's always good to see a player with talent and a good work ethic be rewarded and Aragon has certainly been rewarded.

- Felix

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Baseball/Softball Rankings, April 14

New Mexico High School Coaches Association Rankings
Class 3A
1. Sandia Prep
2. Bloomfield
3. Cobre
4. Lovington
5. St. Mike's
6. Hope Christian
7. Portales
8 (tie). Raton, Robertson
10. Ruidoso
Class 4A
1. Piedra Vista
2. Artesia
3. Farmington
4. Belen
5. Moriarty
6. Academy
7. Volcano Vista
8. Roswell
9. Goddard
10. St. Pius
Class 5A
1. Eldorado
2. La Cueva
3. Rio Rancho
4. Carlsbad
5. Onate
6. Las Cruces
7. Cibola
8. Hobbs
9. Mayfield
10. Sandia
Class A-AA
1. Loving
2. Capitan
3. East Mountain
4. Eunice
5. Jemez Valley
6. McCurdy
7. Estancia
8. Gallup Catholic
9. Navajo Prep
10. Tucumcari
Class 3A
1. Bloomfield
2. Cobre
3. Portales
4. Miyamura
5 (tie). Santa Fe Indian, Raton
7. Pojoaque
8. Lovington
9. Laguna Acoma
10. St. Mike's
Class 4A
1. Piedra Vista
2. Volcano Vista
3. Silver
4 (tie). Farmington, Artesia
6. Aztec
7. Kirtland Central
8. St. Pius
9. Moriarty
10. Roswell
Class 5A
1. La Cueva
2. Cibola
3. Las Cruces
4. Rio Rancho
5 (tie). Valley, Carlsbad
7 (tie) Sandia, Mayfield
9. Onate
10. Eldorado

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Final weekend of racing shaping up

The final weekend of racing is shaping up to be a solid one at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.

The big race is Sunday's Sunland Park Handicap, which will contested at one and 1/8th miles for a purse of $140,000. The eight-horse field looks to be a dandy. Entered are Dumar, Going Ballistic, Jacobino, Ketchikan, Quiet Again, read Lead, Lemon Custard, Tie Rod. This race is filled with horses who have run at different tracks around the country and who are serious threats.

Tie Rod has won 9 of 31, Read Lead has hit the board in 11 of 13, Dumar won two races back at Fairgrounds in New Orleans and is trained by Steve Asmussen and Going Ballistic won a stakes races ar Remington Park in Oklahoma. It's a very good field with plenty of betting options.

Also on Sunday is the 300-yard West Texas Futurity, which features the very good First Class Lacy B, He's Too Icy for me and Decadencia.

Saturday also features a pair of races for New Mexico-bred 2-year-olds in the Copper Top Futurity for fillies and the Copper Top Futurity for colts and geldings.

In the fillies division, the clear cut favorite is Shamrock Girl, who is 2-for-2 in her career for trainer and owner David Wolochuk. Shamrock Girl will get Pat Valenzuela aboard. Another horse in that race to watch out for is Tin Can Kitty, who won her trial back on March 30 by four lengths for trainer Carlos Sedillo.

In the colts and geldings race, it's a bit more wide open. Todd Fincher trained Dodson is a serious threat, as is Red Rock Springs, Ting and Verny.

Post time both days is 12:55 p.m. The actual last day of the Sunland meet is Tuesday, April 20.

- Felix

Monday, April 12, 2010

Tim Meek

Area boxer Tim Meek will represent New Mexico at the National Golden Gloves in Little Rock, Ark., next month. Meek fights for the Las Cruces PAL and will fight at 165 pounds. He hails from Sunland Park.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Boxing column, April 10, 2010

By Felix Chavez
El Paso Times
EL PASO — While undefeated junior middleweight Austin Trout waits for his chance to fight the elite at 154 pounds, he is gaining some valuable experience in Youngstown, Ohio, training with middleweight king Kelly Pavlik.
Pavlik meets Sergio Martinez on April 17 in Atlantic City, N.J., in what is expected to be a hotly contested battle.
Trout has waited and waited for Japan’s Nobuhiro Ishida to defend his World Boxing Association interim title against the No. 1 ranked Trout.
So instead of waiting for Ishida, Trout has gotten in some valuable work with Pavlik. Trout is a valuable resource for Pavlik because of his quickness, solid boxing skills and craftiness in the ring. If Pavlik is able to hold off Martinez, then part of the credit should go to Trout.
Spending time as a sparring partner with Pavlik is better for Trout in the long run. Instead of facing an opponent, who won’t offer much in terms of experience, Trout gets to go against a champion who has fought some of the world’s best middleweights.
Trout can use that experience in his first big fight whenever it might come.
On May 7 in El Paso, featherweight Antonio Escalante returns to the ring to put his 23-2 record on the against rugged Carlos Ricardo Rodriguez of Argentina and his 22-3 record.
Escalante is now in the top five of two of the governing bodies in the featherweight division and he hopes to land a title shot later this year.
You can’t say Escalante doesn’t fight the top guys. In his career at 122 and 126, he’s battled the likes of Cornelius Lock, Miguel Roman, Mike Oliver, David Martinez, Gary Stark Jr. and Mauricio Pastrana.
Escalante still has plenty to prove after his last fight with Roman, which turned out to be one of the top fights on ESPN2 this year and one of the better fights on any television for that matter.
Roman came with his best effort against Escalante back in February and gave Escalante all he wanted. Escalante responded with a solid effort, but he’s going to have to step it up a notch at featherweight.
Escalante deserves a title shot and hopefully gets one by the end of the year. With that being said, Escalante can build on his positives and improve on a few things.
The positives are his work ethic, punch output and solid overall offensive game. Escalante must continue to improve his defense and become less of target for the bigger and stronger featherweights. That means more head movement and taking better angles when he gets in the ring.
Escalante has come a long way in his young career and is certainly a fan favorite in the borderland and probably is a fan favorite of those watching his fights on TV. If Escalante can make some key improvements in the coming months, he’s got more than a fair chance of winning a world title.

Felix Chavez can be reached at; 546-6374

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Baseball/Softball Rankings, April 7

5A Baseball
1. Eldorado
2. La Cueva
3. Rio Rancho
4. Carlsbad
5. Onate
6. Mayfield
7. Hobbs
8. Cibola
9. Las Cruces
10. Sandia

5A Softball
1. Cibola
2. Las Cruces
3. La Cueva
4. Rio Rancho
5. Valley
6. Carlsbad
7. Mayfield
8. Sandia
9. Onate
10. Albuquerque, Eldorado

4A Softball
1. Piedra Vista
2. Volcano Vista
3. Silver
4. Artesia
5. Farmington

3A Baseball
1. Sandia Prep
2. Bloomfield
3. Cobre
4. Hope Christian
5. Robertson

Escalante returns to ring May 7

El Paso 122/126 pounder Antonio Escalante returns to the ring on May 7 at the Don Haskins Center in El Paso.
Escalante, who is 22-2 with four knockouts will face Argentina's Carlos Ricardo Rodriguez of Argentina. Rodriguez is 22-3. The fight will be aired live on ESPN2. There will be seven fights on the card.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Pat Valenzuela column

Valenzuela still has hopes for big future
By Felix Chavez
El Paso Times
SUNLAND PARK — At 47, jockey Pat Valenzuela still looks fit and ready to ride even after multiple knee surgeries and other injuries in his long and glorious career.
In 1978, Valenzuela rode his first winner at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino and the rest was history. He went on to win many graded stakes races, including Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup races.
Valenzuela has had his battles with substance abuse problems and is currently not allowed to ride in California, where he’d like to return once again to compete.
So instead of California, Valenzuela has taken refuge in Louisiana, and at least for a few days, here in New Mexico at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino. He had a decent meet at the recently completed Fairgrounds meet in New Orleans, winning 30 races on just 199 mounts, far less mounts than other riders. Valenzuela also rode 32 horses to second-place showings and 25 to third-place finishes.
Since his arrival here in Southern New Mexico last week, he’s ridden a handful of winners including a talented 2-year-old named Shamrock Girl and been on the board a few other times. Valenzuela, who I met with early Saturday morning after a workout on a local horse for trainer Ben Torres, appears content in life and ready to ride like the professional he is.
Valenzuela is a terrific rider and perhaps most importantly he’s fearless and competitive, which might be the most important traits a successful jockey needs.
Confidence is synonymous with Valenzuela’s riding exploits. He carries himself well on the track, he looks prepared every time he is in a race and his horse at least has a fighting chance to hit the board.
It’s often a delicate balance for jockeys to stay both healthy and successful. Valenzuela is still competitive out there on the track and he still harbors dreams of winning a Kentucky Derby and returning to California to race full-time.
Valenzuela comes from a distinguished background of riding. He learned the sport from the likes of his father A.C. and uncle Milo. There is no denying that Valenzuela is one of horse racing’s top athletes in the sport referred to as the Sport of Kings and if given another chance to ride big time horses, he may still have another Triple Crown win left in him.
Valenzuela, who is engaging and well spoken off the track, is certainly worth the trip to the track even to watch for one race because he goes all out and he’s an elite athlete. He’s comparable to going to an NBA, NFL or MLB contest and watching the top athletes in those sports compete.
For now, Valenzuela has to stay busy in Louisiana and New Mexico and he seems ready to do that and do it well. He will ride some at Sunland Park until the meet ends April 20 and there is a chance he could ride at some point in Farmington, N.M.
Valenzuela said if he can stay healthy, he’d like to ride 10 more years.
For all that he’s accomplished, don’t be surprised to see him do just that and still fare well at a high level.

Felix Chavez can be reached at; (915) 546-6374

Saturday, April 3, 2010

NM All-Star Basketball Teams

Class A/2A Boys
Ryan Bustos McCurdy
Eric Caldwell Springer
Richard Chavez Cimarron
Tim Chee Navajo Pine
Pat Cordova Coronado
Jacob Flores Escalante
Leo Paul Pacheco Mora
Reggie Peralto Magdalena
Albert Roybal Penasco
Pedro Valdez Coronado
Jordan Easley Evangel Christian
Jared Herrera Questa

Scott Adler Mesilla Valley Christian
Jonathan Allison Bosque
Clint Barnard Melrose
Carson Carrillo Tularosa
Chet Chenault Floyd
Cody Correa Mesilla Valley Christian
Ryan Glenn Tatum
Logan Medlin Tatum
Ethan Shelley Cliff
Nolen Snyder Reserve
James Vigil Tularosa
Seth Bailey Texico

Class A/2A Girls
Carmen Gomez Dulce
Robbie Loretto Gallup Catholic
Myra Newkirk Des Moines
Kristin Neztsosie Navajo Pine
Julia Roberts Clovis Christian
Molly Rush Grady
Maria Sam Penasco
Jocelyn Swann Clovis Christian
Stephanie Velasquez Coronado
Crystal Martinez Mesa Vista
Nicole Hardy Magdalena
Jessica Burton Springer

Dellyn Chinana Jemez Valley
Jordan Dalton Capitan
Denika Flores Santa Rosa
Mariah Peralta Cliff
Renae Roybal Santa Rosa
Ashley Trujillo Clayton
Tori Varnell Dora
Tanna Whitecotton Floyd
Victoria Richards Texico
Sarah Tapia Santa Rosa
Kaitlin Luscombe Texico
Samantha Dunnahoo Hagermann

Class 4A/5A Boys
Luis Alvarado Espanola Valley
Lucas Archuleta Rio Rancho
Kevin Clauss Academy
Dylan Fritsch La Cueva
Dylan Houlihan Highland
Alex Kirk Los Alamos
Kyle Lantz Manzano
Michael Maya Valley
Michael Ortega Rio Grande
Gabriel Rodriguez Espanola Valley
Christian Sacoman Eldorado
Dillon Troncoso Gallup

Keydrick Allen Roswell
Jordan Lee Hobbs
Brandon Marinovich Hobbs
Mario Medradno Gadsden
Mark Olesinski Roswell
AJ Peralta Roswell
Shelby Reeves Hobbs
Luis Rodriguez Santa Teresa
Marcus Slocum Clovis
Josh Trujillo Mayfield
Logan Turnbow Clovis
Jeremiah Willis Mayfield

Class 4A/5A Girls
Korina Chapman Cibola
Paulette Coffey Gallup
Kya De Garmo Eldorado
Nisa Duran Espanola Valley
Olivia Harris Kirtland Central
Tyahnna Higgs La Cueva
Amanda Kerr Kirtland Central
Elisha Levingston St. Pius
Angel Reyes Valley
Ebony Walker Sandia
Taylor Ealey Los Alamos
Bernadette Sanchez Rio Grande

Lucinda Aguilar Silver
Shawntai Aguirre Silver
Justina Apodaca Mayfield
Andrea Aragon Las Cruces
Jade Brown Las Cruces
Jayde Burnell Hobbs
Shane Hillard Alamogordo
Candace Pollard Artesia
Andrea Reiff Onate
Devon Mulheron Las Cruces High
Antesha Brown Clovis
Katherine Cordova Clovis

West Texas Futurity qualifiers

Race finals to be run Sunday, April 18 at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino
Trials were held April 2
Hes Too Icy for Me 14.851
First Class Lacy B 14.868
Dash Back Queen 14.926
Finding Identity 14.966
Deacdencia 14.972
The Mentalist 14.976
Fast Moving Vic 14.980
No Dice Special 14.993
Jb Takeittothelimit 14.999
Rhinestonecowboy 15.000

Erik Morales

I finally got to watch the tape of former three-time world champion Erik Morales and his return bout last weekend in Mexico.
Morales, who is 33 and had been out of the ring for more than two years, won a hard-fought 12-round decision against Jose Alfaro of Nicaragua.

Morales was stepping up in weight and looked sharp at times. His defense was pretty good at times and he managed a fair offensive attack. He is not a natural welterweight and won't have much power at 147. And he's going to have to be in better shape if he stays at the weight.

But i was a bit surprised at how sharp Morales was considering the layoff, but again he is one of the best of our generation having beaten the likes of Manny Pacquiao, Marco Antonio Barrera and Junior Jones.

If any of you out there saw his fight I'd like to know what you thought.

- Felix

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Baseball/Softball 5A Polls, March 31

1. La Cueva
2. Eldorado
3. Carlsbad
4. Rio Rancho
5. Onate
6. 6 Mayfield
7. Hobbs
8. Las Cruces High
9. Cibola
10. Sandia

1. Las Cruces High
2. Cibola
3. La Cueva
4. Rio Rancho
5. Valley
6. Carlsbad
7. Mayfield
8. Sandia
9. Onate
10. Eldorado

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Endorsment impressive in win

On Sunday afternoon, it was quite a ride for 3-year-old Endorsement in his Sunland Derby win. Endorsement stood toe to toe with favorite Conveyance and then wore him down when it mattered down the stretch.

Endorsement entered the race with just one victory, but that victory came in the race preceding the Derby. And it appeared that Endorsement was improving coming into the race. he got a solid ride from veteran jockey Robby Albarado and was prepared nicely by trainer Shannon Ritter.

Albarado was latest in a strong stream of jockeys to ride at Sunland Park Racetrack. Albarado has won several top races, but he still hasn't won a Kentucky Derby. But he'll have his chance on May 1 with Endorsement.

Endorsement won the Sunland Derby at 11-1 and will be around those odds or higher on Derby day. Endorsement is bread to go long and his team feels the Derby could be to his liking.

Conveyance had no excuse in Sunday's race. He had little pressure and simply was beaten in the final strides. But Conveyance is likely headed to the Derby as well and can't be counted out.

- Felix

Siju Shabazz falls to Italy fighter

Las Cruces amateur fighter Siju Shabazz lost a 17-15 decision to Ital's Simone Fiori, 17-15, on March 27 in Illinois. The U.S. and Italy battled in a dual competition.

- Felix

Austin Trout update

While Las Cruces junior middleweight Austin Trout awaits word on his next fight, the unbeaten fighter has gone to camp with middleweight champ Kelly Pavlik to help him prepare for his spring fight with Sergio Martinez later this spring.

- Felix

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rodriguez, Han win

El Paso boxers David Rodriguez (heavyweight) and Abie Han (junior middleweight) each won their fights on Saturday night in Monterrey, Mexico. Rodriguez improved to 33-0 with a second round knockout of Daniel Bispo, while the 9-0 Han stopped Ulises Duarte in round two. Both train in Las Cruces under trainer Louie Burke.

- Felix

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sunland Park Oaks, March 28

While the Grade 3, Sunland Park Derby has received much of the attention for the race card on March 28 at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino, the six-horse Sunland Parks is interesting. While it would have been nice to see a couple of more horses in the field, there is value in the race.

The talented Ellafitz ships in for trainer Bob Baffert and is 3-1 in the morning-line. She has won 2 of 4, but the local favorite Queen Greeley is the morning line favorite at 2-1 and has won 3 of 4 for trainer Todd Fincher. Also keep an eye out for Harissa and Tornado Betty.

There are several other top races for Sunday's card, including the New Mexico Breeders' Derby and Oaks.

Also coming in for Sunday's card in the third-race allowance is a Steve Asmussen horse by the name of Sea Gaze, which has won 11 of 39 races and is shipping in from Oaklawn Park.

First race on Sunday is 12:55 p.m.

- Felix

Look at the field for March 28 Sunland Derby

Preview of candidates for the Grade 3 $800,000 Sunland Derby
By Sunland Park Racetrack media relations guru Eric Alwan

The Grade 3 $800,000 Sunland Derby bursts onto the national racing scene on Sunday, March 28. The 1 and 1/8 mile classic ranks as the second richest Kentucky Derby prep race in North America. The eighth running of Sunland Park’s signature event offers a hefty $400,000 first place check and a berth in the Kentucky Derby. Last year’s Sunland Derby was loaded with top runners. Fourth place finisher Mine That Bird went on to score a thrilling win in the Kentucky Derby at 50-1 odds. The 2010 Sunland Derby promises to draw record crowds. An all-Thoroughbred program is planned for Sunland’s biggest day. Here’s a preview of the leading candidates.

Owner: Zabeel Racing International Corporation.
Trainer: Bob Baffert.
Lifetime Record: 4-4-0-0, $254,400.

Conveyance looks like a blue chip star in the making from the Bob Baffert stable. The unbeaten son of Indian Charlie has rattled through four straight impressive victories including stakes triumphs in the Grade 3 San Rafael and the Grade 3 Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. In his most recent spin in Arkansas, Conveyance displayed brisk early speed and carried it well through the one mile distance over the natural dirt course. The grey-roan colt has rarely been headed in any of his four races. His dominating early kick should translate effectively over the Sunland Park surface. Obviously loaded with talent, Conveyance holds an impressive bankroll in excess of one quarter million dollars and a career top Beyer figure of 99. Conveyance is ranked in the Daily Racing Form’s Top 10 Derby Watch. Martin Garcia rides the likely morning line favorite for the Kentucky Derby.

Owner: Joseph Lacombe Stable, Inc.
Trainer: Doug O’Neill.
Lifetime Record: 5-2-0-2, $103,710.

Trained by two-time WinStar Derby winning trainer Doug O’Neill, Classical Slew certainly presents some powerful connections. O’Neill’s charge has placed in two graded stakes races in Southern California. The Bernstein colt ran third in both the Grade 3 Hollywood Juvenile Championship and the Grade 2 San Vicente Stakes. He ran fifth behind Lookin at Lucky in the Grade 2 Best Pal at Del Mar last summer. The 2-time winner has earned over $102,000. O’Neill won the 2003 WinStar Derby with Excessivepleasure and the 2005 edition with Thor’s Echo.

Owner: WinStar Farm LLC, Bill Casner et al.
Trainer: William Mott.
Lifetime Record: 6-2-2-1, $86,170.

Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner William Mott, Drosselmeyer rates a formidable contender for the Grade 3 $800,000 Sunland Derby. Racing as the 2-1 favorite in the Grade 2 Risen Star at the Fair Grounds, Drosselmeyer closed valiantly to gain fourth place while fighting a pronounced speed bias that day. The Distorted Humor colt owned by the WinStar Farm was beaten less than 2 lengths by Discreetly Mine. In six career starts, the sophomore has raced no worse than fourth while competing against some of the nation’s best. He has carved out two wins and two seconds with his powerful closing kick. Popular at the betting windows, Drosselmeyer has been favored in five of his six career starts. Bill Mott trained the legendary multiple Horse of the Year Cigar.

Owner: WinStar Farm LLC, Bill Casner et al.
Trainer: Shannon Ritter.
Lifetime Record: 3-1-1-0, $30,383.

Endorsement is another elegantly bred colt from the WinStar Farm. The son of Distorted Humor recently scored a 2 length maiden victory at Oaklawn. He set the pace and kicked clear with ease to capture the $36,000 event going one and one-sixteenth miles. Distance should be no problem for this fast improving chestnut colt. The sophomore is out of the A.P. Indy mare Charmed Gift. Although he lacks stakes experience, Endorsement is coming on fast of late and could be a sleeper in the Sunland Derby. His workouts at the Fair Grounds have shown plenty of progress in recent weeks.

Owned by Thomas R. Capehart.
Trainer: L. Brant Taylor.
Lifetime Record: 7-1-1-2, $39,320.

Local conditioner L. Brant Taylor saddles this experienced son of Thunder Gulch for the Sunland Derby. In his seventh career out, Fog Alert tackled some elite company in the Grade 3 El Camino Real at Golden Gate Fields. The grey-roan gelding responded with a strong performance and finished fourth behind Connemara and Posse Power. Fog Alert made a bold middle move and led in upper stretch. Fog Alert broke his maiden last fall at the Oak Tree meet at Santa Anita winning a $50,000 maiden claiming race. He followed that effort with a solid third behind Ranger Heartley and The Program in a $40,000 allowance race at Hollywood Park.

Owner: Bongo Racing Stable.
Trainer: Todd Fincher.
Lifetime Record: 6-1-0-1, $21,400.

Former Southern California campaigner Guiltbyassociation made his New Mexico debut a winning one by defeating Raise the Bridle by a nose at Sunland Park on Feb. 17. The Birdstone colt was forced very wide into the first turn during the Borderland Derby, and he wound up fifth. The eventful trip certainly cost him valuable real estate. Trainer Todd Fincher has dominated the Sunland Park stakes this season. His horses have earned over $650,000.

Owner: George and Lori Hall.
Trainer: Kelly Breen.
Lifetime Record: 3-1-0-1, $30,300.

The lightly raced son of Friends Lake won his two-year-old debut in 2009 with ease. He scored an eye opening 6-length maiden win last June at Monmouth over an off track while racing at 10-1 odds. The fast closing sort was wheeled back in the Grade 2 Sanford at Saratoga last summer, and he ran a strong fourth while encountering traffic problems in the stretch. He was only beaten a length by the classy Backtalk. Trained by New Jersey based conditioner Kelly Breen, Nacho Friend made a strong three-year-old bow at Aqueduct recently where he finished third in the Gotham Stakes. Breen has the three-year-old colt in fine condition. His recent workouts are eye catching. Breen saddled two starters in last year’s Kentucky Derby. Monmouth Park kingpin rider Joe Bravo gets the call on Nacho Friend.

Owner: Lathrop G. Hoffman.
Trainer: Henry Dominguez.
Lifetime Record: 5-2-1-1, $91,770.

Storming Saint gained his first career stakes in the $100,000 Borderland Derby through disqualification of his stable mate Raise the Bridle. Both runners surged well clear of the pack in the Borderland Derby to produce a dynamic finish. Storming Saint earned the victory because of interference through the stretch drive. The chestnut colt by Sweetsouthernsaint showed an abundance of talent early in career. His career debut came in the Smarty Jones Stakes at Ruidoso Downs last summer, and the strapping closer closed well to get second. After scoring a 13-length maiden at Zia Park going one mile, he went on to finish third in the Riley Allison Futurity. He and Raise the Bridle would make two excellent locally based runners pointing for the $800,000 Grade 3 Sunland Derby. Trainer Henry Dominguez won the 2007 WinStar Derby with Song of Navarone.

Owner: Gainsway Stable
Trainer: Steve Klesaris
Lifetime Record: 5-1-3-0, $103,340.

The grey son of Tapit ran a solid second behind Discreetly Mine in the Grade 2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds. In his previous outing over an off track at Aqueduct, Tempted To Tapit scorched his rivals by nearly 12 lengths and earned an impressive 100 Beyer Speed figure. His trainer, Steve Klesaris, directs powerful barns on the East Coast. The versatile gelding has earned over $103,000 far surpassing his yearling sales price of $18,000 at the Keeneland Sales of September 2008. This pace enforcer blends terrific speed with staying power and would be a major force in the Sunland Derby. Tempted To Tapit is ranked in the Top 20 in the Daily Racing Form’s Derby Watch.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Sunland Derby Prediction, race is March 28

Conveyance to win Sunland Derby
By Felix Chavez
El Paso Times
Sunday’s version of the Sunland Derby promises to be the best ever in the eight years of the event, which takes place at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.
Most likely, this year’s winner and perhaps another horse will move on to the Kentucky Derby. The Grade 3 event is worth $800,000 overall and half of that goes to the winner.
The field is nine-deep and there are several notable contenders among the 3-year-olds.
The leader of the pack and the general consensus as the favorite is Conveyance, which has won all four career races and proved he can travel well when went to Oaklawn Park in Arkansas last month and won the Southwest Stakes. He previously had raced in California. Conveyance is fast and earning the No. 3 post will only help his trek around the track in the one and 1/8th mile race.
Conveyance is trained by Bob Baffert and gets the talented Martin Garcia to ride. It’s going to very difficult to beat him if he’s at his best.
Baffert likes his horse a great deal and feels he’s improving a great deal as he matures.
Conveyance’s challengers are likely to be Tempted To Tapit, Classic Slew, Nacho Friend and Storming Saint.
Storming Saint has familiarity with the track having won the Borderland Derby last month and he is getting better with each race.
Nacho Friend is an improving for trainer Kelly Breen and might just have a chance against this field if he can get clear in the final stretch.
Classic Slew is an interesting horse and is going the distance for the first time. Trainer Doug O’Neill has had plenty of success at Sunland Park and may have this horse sharp in time to do some damage.
Tempted to Tapit comes into this race with high hopes. He’s won just 1 of 5 but is finding his groove as a horse and a win isn’t out of the question in this race. He will go for the lead up front with Conveyance and that could set up an interesting speed battle.
But in the end, I have to go with the 9-5 morning favorite Conveyance. He has all the factors working for him – jockey, trainer, confidence and the ability to go wire to wire. Conveyance looks the part of a Kentucky Derby horse and he seems to be improving with each workout in the morning and with each performance at the track. And Baffert knows how to get a horse ready for the Derby.
In the final analysis, I like Conveyance for the top spot followed by Nacho Friend and Tempted to Tapit.

Felix Chavez can be reached at; (915) 546-6374

Sunland Derby Field, race is March 28

Sunland Derby field
Approximately 5:45 p.m Sunday (Race No. 12) at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino. Advanced wagering begins Friday.
1—Storming Saint (8-1)
Lifetime: 5—2 1 1 ($91,770)
Jockey: Luis Contreras
Trainer: Henry Dominguez
2—Nacho Friend (9-2)
Lifetime: 3—1 0 1 ($55,300)
Jockey: Joe Bravo
Trainer: Kelly J. Breen
3—Conveyance (9-5)
Lifetime: 4—4 0 0 ($254,400)
Jockey: Martin Garcia
Trainer: Bob Baffert
4—McKenna’s Justice (15-1)
Lifetime: 5—1 0 0 ($17,000)
Jockey: Ken Tohill
Trainer: Chris Hartman
5—Endorsement (10-1)
Lifetime: 3—1 1 0 ($30,383)
Jockey: Robby Albarado
Trainer: Shannon Ritter
6—Classical Slew (6-1)
Lifetime: 5—2 0 2 ($103,710)
Jockey: Tyler Baze
Trainer: Doug F. O’Neill
7—Fog Alert (12-1)
Lifetime: 7—1 1 2 ($39,320)
Jockey: Alfredo J. Juarez Jr.
Trainer: L Brant Taylor
8—Guiltbyassociation (20-1)
Lifetime: 6—1 0 1 ($21,400)
Jockey: Isaias D. Enriquez
Trainer: Todd W. Fincher
9—Tempted to Tapit (3-1)
Lifetime: 5—1 3 0 ($103,340)
Jockey: David Cohen
Trainer: Steve Klesaris

Prep Baseball/Softball Polls 5A

Class 5A Baseball Poll
New Mexico Coaches
1. Rio Rancho
2. Eldorado
3. La Cueva
4. Carlsbad
5. Mayfield
6. Onate
7. Cibola
8. Las Cruces High
9. Hobbs, Sandia

Class 5A Softball
NM Coaches
1. Cibola
2. La Cueva, Las Cruces
4. Sandia
5. Rio Rancho
6. Carlsbad
7. Mayfield
8. Onate
9. Valley
10. Eldorado

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Rafael Marquez vs. Israel Vasquez

Boxing fans get ready for Rafael Marquez/Israel Vasquez IV. On May 22 in Los Angeles, the two featherweight boxers will do battle once again.

Boxing fans know this rivarly as full of blood and guts and everything that makes the sport both brutal and so rightfully engaging.

Vasquez owns the series lead having won 2 of 3. All three fights were closely fought and with a brutality that made some in the fight game not want to see these two fight again.

But Vasquez and Marquez, both among the best fighters in the world, wanted to make this fight happen. It's the true warrior in them to see who is the best.

Many of the boxing fans I now were wondering if these two fighters would fight each other again. The two fights have been taxing on both of them. Vasquez has been healing from detached retina surgery and Marquez has fought just once like Vasquez.

Yet, these two will get at it again and why not. These two are legends and have done much good when inside the ring and you have to respect their skill level and their desire to take on the best.

The 25 rounds these two men have fought have been pure savagery in a weirdly beautiful way. I'm gonna go out on a limb and predict a Marquez victory to even out the score, but whoever wins and whoever loses is still a champion in my mind.

- Felix

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Baseball/Softball 5A Polls

Class 5A Baseball
1. Rio Rancho
2. Eldorado
3. Carlsbad
4. La Cueva
5. Onate
6. Las Cruces High
7. Sandia
8. Mayfield
9. Hobbs
10. Rio Grande

Class 5A Softball
1. Cibola
2. Las Cruces High
3. La Cueva
4. Sandia
5. Mayfield
6. Carlsbad
7. Valley
8. Onate
9. Eldorado
10. Albuquerque High

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sunland Derby on March 28

It's exciting times for the horse racing folks over at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino. Bob Baffert-trained Conveyance and Kelly Breen-trained Nacho Friend are going to run in the Grade 3, $800,000 race, which could see more than one horse go to the Kentucky Derby in May.

Raise the Bridle and Storming Saint, both of which ran in the Borderland Derby on Feb. 27 at Sunland, will likely also run.

More top horses could also venture to the New Mexico track making the 8th running of the event the best ever by far.

- Felix

Austin Trout update

For you fans of Las Cruces boxer Austin Trout, he is still waiting to fight WBA interim junior middleweight Nobuhiro Ishida. Trout was hoping to get something done by the spring, but now it looks like it could be summer.

- Felix

Friday, March 12, 2010

Sunland Derby

Looks like the Grade 3 Sunland Derby could be getting some big time horses in Tempted to Tapit and Conveyance. Conveyance is trained by Bob Baffert, Tempted To Tapit is trained by Steve Klesaris. Conveyance won the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park earlier this year, while Tempted To Tapit ran second in the Risen Star.
The Sunland Derby is March 28 at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.
- Felix

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Two boxing notes

It looks like Las Cruces boxing judge Levi Martinez will be one of the three judges of the Manny Pacquiao/Joshua Clottey fight on Saturday night in Dallas.

Also, Las Cruces amateur boxer Siju Shabazz, a light heavyweight, is slated to fight for the U.S. against Italy later this month.

- Felix

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mesilla Valley Christian boys hoops

It has been quite a run for the Mesilla Valley Christian boys basketball team in recent years. A state championship, a runner-up showing and a semifinal appearance.
And this year, the SonBlazers are the verge of winning another state title. The team has lost just one game and is seeded No. 1 in in Class 2A state tournament and will play on Wednesday at 3 p.m. vs. No. 8 Mora at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho.

The core group of SonBlazers have been a steadying force for the team in the past few years, i.e. Cody Correa, Scott Adler, Greg Patti, Kyle Vasey.

This year's group has been as good as any of the previous three squads. The SonBlazers won the district championship, won the Alamogordo Holiday Tourney against top teams and beat a pretty good Santa Rosa team on Saturday in the first round of the state playoffs.

Regardless of what happens in the upcoming week in Albuquerque, this has been a special group of players at MVCS for head coach Terry Adler. You have to like the SonBlazers' chances of winning it all. Again Class 2A is tough from top to bottom. Hagerman is good, Mesa Vista is always in the hunt, Mora will play hard and Bosque School has been steady as well. And of course there is Tularosa, which beat MVCS earlier this year and can't be discounted.

- Felix

State tourney schedule, March 9, 10

State Tournament Quarterfinal Matchups
Bernalillo High School
Class A
No. 1 Cliff vs. No. 8 Hondo, 2:30 p.m.
No. 4 Dora vs. No. 5 Tatum, 4:15 p.m.
No. 3 Des Moines vs. No. 6 Floyd, 6 p.m.
No. 7 Grady vs. No. 2 Magdalena, 7:45 p.m.
Class 2A
Santa Ana Star Center
No. 1 Texico vs. No. 8 Pecos, 6:30 p.m.
No. 4 Penasco vs. No. 5 Hagerman, 8 a.m.
No. 3 Navajo Pine vs. No. 6 Navajo Prep, 11:30 a.m.
No. 7 Estancia vs. No. 2 Santa Rosa, 3 p.m
Class 3A
The Pit
No. 1 Portales vs. No. 9 St. Mike’s, 8 a.m.
No. 5 Thoreau vs. No. 4 W. Las Vegas, 3 p.m
No. 3 Pojoaque vs. No. 6 Lovington, 11:30 a.m
No. 7 Hope Christian vs. No. 2 Santa Fe Indian, 6:30 p.m
Class 4A
The Pit
No. 1 Kirtland Central vs. No. 8 Del Norte, 8:15 p.m
No. 5 Los Alamos vs. No. 4 Espanola Valley, 1:15 p.m
No. 3 Roswell vs. No. 6 Volcano Vista, 9:45 a.m.
No. 7 Piedra Vista vs. No. 2 Shiprock, 4:45 p.m.
Class 5A
Santa Ana Star Center
No. 1 Eldorado vs. No. 8 La Cueva, 9:45 a.m.
No. 5 Clovis vs. No. 4 Gallup, 8:15 p.m
No. 3 Las Cruces vs. No. 6 Cibola, 4:45 p.m
No. 7 Valley vs. No. 2 Sandia, 1:15 p.m.
Class A
Bernalillo High School
No. 1 Cliff vs. No. 8 Mountainair, 2:30 p.m.
No. 4 Des Moines vs. No. 5 Fort Sumner, 4:15 p.m.
No. 3 Springer vs. No. 6 Melrose, 7:45 p.m.
No. 2 Tatum vs. No. 7 Gallup Catholic, 6 p.m.
Class 2A
Santa Ana Star Center
No. 1 Mesilla Valley Christian vs. No. 8 Mora, 3 p.m.
No. 4 Bosque School vs. No. 5 Coronado, 8 a.m.
No. 3 Tularosa vs. No. 6 Mesa Vista, 11:30 a.m.
No. 2 Hagerman vs. No. 7 Navajo Pine, 6:30 p.m.
Class 3A
Santa Ana Star Center
No. 1 Hope Christian vs. No. 8 Bloomfield, 1:15 p.m.
No. 4 Lovington vs. No. 5 St. Mike’s, 4:45 p.m.
No. 3 Santa Fe Indian vs. No. 11 Robertson, 8:15 p.m.
No. 7 Pojoaque vs. No. 2 Sandia Prep, 9:45 a.m.
Class 4A
The Pit
No. 1 Roswell vs. No. 9 St. Pius, 3 p.m
No. 12 Capital vs. No. 4 Volcano Vista, 11:30 a.m.
No. 3 Academy vs. No. 6 Los Alamos
No. 10 Grants vs. No. 2 Espanola Valley, 6:30 p.m.
Class 5A
The Pit
No. 1 Eldorado vs. No. 8 Hobbs, 1:15 p.m
No. 5 La Cueva vs. No. 4 Manzano, 9:45 a.m.
No. 3 Valley vs. No. 6 Clovis, 4:45 p.m.
No. 10 Gallup vs. No. 2 Mayfield, 8:15 p.m.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Saturday's Prep Hoops Scores, March 6

Boys Basketball
First Round
Class 5A
Clovis 60, Gadsden 49
Eldorado 64, Las Cruces 45
Gallup 43, Highland 40
Hobbs 79, Rio Grande 70
La Cueva 61, Cibola 44
Manzano 67, Carlsbad 59
Mayfield 68, Albuquerque High 54
Valley 84, Rio Rancho 71
Class 4A
Albuquerque Academy 82, Belen 49
Capital 52, Santa Teresa 41
Grants 65, Shiprock 56
Los Alamos 89, Piedra Vista 56
Roswell 70, Chaparral 37
Volcano Vista 44, Artesia 22
Class 3A
Hope Christian 87, Ruidoso 33
Lovington 57, Newcomb 34
Pojoaque 53, Wingate 50
Robertson 81, Tohatchi 79
Sandia Prep 70, NMMI 37
Santa Fe Indian 83, Thoreau 52
St. Michael’s 46, Portales 43
Class AA
Bosque School 71, Eunice 18
Hagerman 68, Estancia 56
Mesa Vista 63, Escalante 46
Mesilla Valley Christian 62, Santa Rosa 50
Navajo Pine 67, Pecos 47
Tularosa 75, Texico 60
Class A
Cliff 76, Magdalena 50
Des Moines 59, Logan 57
Melrose 74, Evangel Christian 47
Springer 59, San Jon 41
Tatum 63, Hondo 37

Prep Hoops Scores, March 5, Girls State Tourney

Girls Basketball
First Round
Class 5A
Cibola 52, Rio Grande 50
Clovis 57, Cleveland 42
Eldorado 61, Alamogordo 18
Gallup 53, Manzano 50
La Cueva 52, Mayfield 46
Las Cruces 49, Carlsbad 23
Sandia 61, Onate 36
Valley 60, Hobbs 19
Class 4A
Del Norte 49, Artesia 36
Espanola Valley 55, Silver 36
Kirtland Central 68, Santa Teresa 29
Los Alamos 63, St. Pius 56
Piedra Vista 36, Deming 21
Roswell 63, Albuquerque Academy 28
Shiprock 47, Taos 30
Volcano Vista 59, Capital 39
Class 3A
Hope Christian 60, Miyamura 56, OT
Lovington 78, Wingate 31
Pojoaque 52, Ruidoso 37
Portales 43, Robertson 24
Santa Fe Indian 64, Newcomb 43
St. Michael’s 58, Socorro 38
Thoreau 58, Hot Springs 47
West Las Vegas 60, Hatch Valley 30
Class AA
Hagerman 30, Bosque School 18
Navajo Pine 86, Mora 54
Penasco 64, Dulce 58
Santa Rosa 57, Tularosa 44
Texico 54, Capitan 29
Class A
Cliff 42, Gallup Catholic 40
Des Moines 81, Logan 54
Dora 60, Evangel Christian 13
Floyd 70, Desert Academy 38
Grady 47, Cimarron 46
Magdalena 59, Animas 39
Tatum 63, Corona 32

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Prep Basketball opinion

When you think of top high school basketball coaches in New Mexico, you think of current coaches Pete Shock of Cliff, Hobbs' Russ Gilmore, La Cueva's Frank Castillo and Albuquerque Academy's Mike Brown and retired coach Jim Hulsman of Albuquerque High and the late Ralph Tasker of Hobbs.

On the boys, on this blog I have to mention Mayfield's Tommy Morrow. Morrow often goes unnoticed and underappreciated. He had plenty of success at Hot Springs before moving to Mayfield. Since 2000, the Trojans have played in a state title game, made another Final Four and came with a whisker of making two other Final Fours.

Also, the team has achieved a No. 1 ranking in the state playoffs and this year are No. 2 in the 5A playoffs, which start Saturday at home sites around the state.

Morrow is a smart coach, who often gets the most out of his players. The Trojans have been consistent force since he took over the program and this year they have as good a chance as any to win the state title.

Mayfield wasn't traditionally a basketball school before he arrived, but since his arrival he's turned the school into one you have to think of come postseason play.

- Felix

Escalante rating

Of note, El Paso junior featherweight/featherweight prospect Antonio Escalante is ranked No. 8 in the world at 122 pounds by boxing magazine, The Ring in its April edition.
Escalante is coming off a 10-round decision over Juarez' Mickey Roman last Friday at The Don Haskins Center.

- Felix

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

First Round State Tournament matchups, times

State Tournament matchups
Class A Girls
First Round
Logan at Des Moines, 6 p.m
Floyd at NMSD, 5 p.m
Evangel Christian at Dora, 6 p.m.
Cimarron at Grady, 6 p.m.
Gallup Catholic at Cliff, 5:30 p.m
Animas at Magdalena, 6 p.m.
Mescalero at Hondo, 6 p.m.
Corona at Tatum, 6 p.m.
Class 2A Girls
First Round
Mora at Navajo Pine, 3 p.m.
Mesa Vista at Navajo Prep, 6 p.m.
Dulce at Penasco, 6:30 p.m.
Rehoboth at Pecos, 6 p.m.
Santa Rosa at Tularosa, 6 p.m.
Capitan at Tularosa, 6 p.m.
Capitan at Texico, 6 p.m.
Bosque School at Hagerman, 6 p.m.
Eunice at Estancia, 7 p.m.
Class 3A Girls
First Round
No. 16 Robertson at No. 1 Portales, 7 p.m
No. 9 St. Mike’s at No. 8 Socorro, 7 p.m.
No. 12 Hot Springs at No. 5 Thoreau, 5:30 p.m.
No. 13 Hatch Valley at No. 4 W. Las Vegas, 7 p.m.
No. 14 Ruidoso at No. 3 Pojoaque, 7 p.m.
No. 11 Wingate at No. 6 Lovington, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Hope Christian at No. 10 Miyamura, 7 p.m.
No. 15 Newcomb at No. 2 Santa Fe Indian, 7 p.m
Class 4A Girls
First Round
No. 16 Santa Teresa at No. 1 Kirtland Central, 7 p.m.
No. 9 Artesia at No. 8 Del Norte, 6 p.m.
No. 12 St. Pius at No. 5 Los Alamos, 7 p.m.
No. 13 Silver at No. 4 Espanola Valley, 7 p.m.
No. 14 Academy at No. 3 Roswell, 7 p.m.
No. 11 Capital at No. 6 Volcano Vista, 6 p.m
No. 7 Piedra Vista at No. 10 Deming, 7 p.m.
No. 15 Taos at No. 2 Shiprock, 7 p.m.
Class 5A Girls
First Round
No. 16 Alamogordo at No. 1 Eldorado, 6 p.m.
No. 9 Mayfield at No. 8 La Cueva, 7 p.m.
No. 12 Cleveland at No. 5 Clovis, 7 p.m.
No. 13 Manzano at No. 4 Gallup, 7 p.m
No. 14 Carlsbad at No. 3 Las Cruces, 7 p.m.
No. 11 Rio Grande at No. 6 Cibola, 7 p.m.
No. 10 Hobbs at No. 7 Valley, 7 p.m.
No. 15 Onate at No. 2 Sandia, 7 p.m
Class A Boys
First Round
San Jon at Springer, 6 p.m.
Fort Sumner at Santa Fe Waldorf, 3 p.m.
Evangel Christian at Melrose, 6 p.m.
Des Moines at Logan, 6 p.m.
Magdalena at Cliff, 4 p.m.
Reserve at Gallup Catholic, 5 p.m.
Valley Christian at Mountainair, 6 p.m.
Hondo at Tatum , 6 p.m.
Class 2A Boys
First Round
Pecos at Navajo Pine, 2 p.m.
Questa at Coronado, 6 p.m.
Escalante at Mesa Vista, 7 p.m.
Rehoboth at Mora, 5 p.m.
Santa Rosa at Mesilla Valley Christian, 3 p.m.
Tularosa at Texico, 6 p.m.
Estancia at Hagerman, 4 p.m.
Eunice at Bosque School, 7 p.m.
Class 3A Boys
First Round
No. 16 Ruidoso at No. 1 Hope Christian, 6 p.m.
No. 8 Bloomfield at No. 9 Socorro, 7 p.m.
No. 12 Portales at No. 5 St. Mike’s, 7 p.m.
No. 13 Newcomb at No. 4 Lovington, 7 p.m.
No. 14 Thoreau at No. 3 Santa Fe Indian, 6 p.m.
No. 11 Robertson at No. 6 Tohatchi, 1 p.m.
No. 10 Wingate at No. 7 Pojoaque, 6 p.m.
No. 15 NMMI at No. 2 Sandia Prep, 5 p.m.
Class 4A Boys
First Round
No. 16 Chaparral at No. 1 Roswell, 7 p.m.
No. 9 St. Pius at No. 8 Kirtland Central, 7 p.m.
No. 12 Capital at No. 5 Santa Teresa, 5 p.m.
No. 13 Artesia at No. 4 Volcano Vista, 7 p.m.
No. 14 Belen at No. 3 Academy, 5 p.m
No. 11 Piedra Vista at No. 6 Los Alamos, 2 p.m.
No. 10 Grants at No. 7 Shiprock, 7 p.m.
No. 15 Valencia at No. 2 Espanola Valley, 7 p.m.
Class 5A Boys
First Round
No. 16 Eldorado at No. 1 Las Cruces High, 5 p.m.
No. 9 Rio Grande at No. 8 Hobbs, 7 p.m.
No. 12 Cibola at No. 5 La Cueva, 7 p.m.
No. 13 Carlsbad at No. 4 Manzano, 3 p.m.
No. 14 Rio Rancho at No. 3 Valley, 7 p.m.
No. 11 Gadsden at No. 6 Valley, 7 p.m.
No. 7 Highland at No. 10 Gallup, 7 p.m.
No. 15 Albuquerque High at No. 2 Mayfield, 7 p.m.