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Friday, June 5, 1998

Bulls relaxed despite losing streak

AP Sports Writer
SALT LAKE CITY, June 5 -- Admittedly dog tired, losers of
four straight playoff road games and down 0-1 to the Utah
Jazz, the Chicago Bulls would seem to be in big trouble
going into Game 2 of the NBA Finals.

So why are they all yukking it up? Why is coach Phil
Jackson mugging for photographers? Why is nobody the least
upset that Dennis Rodman took an overnight trip to Las Vegas
just hours after Wednesday night's 88-85 overtime loss?

Michael Jordan kidded that some of his coach's spiritual
serenity is wearing off on the players.

``I think it's that Zen Buddhism stuff,'' Jordan said.
``We're practicing smiling when we may be frustrated inside
so we can relieve some tension. It's an art form. It takes
about 10 years.''

Time seems to be running out for the Bulls. A loss tonight
would drop them to 0-2, a place Chicago has never been in
its run to five titles in the 1990s.

``I have an inner confidence about ourselves and what we
are capable of accomplishing,'' Jordan said. ``One game does
not deteriorate like that. It's the ultimate apex of the
season, but you don't fight that apex with anger and

Instead, Jordan is banging away at the piano in his hotel
suite, taking out his frustration on the ivory and plotting
for a big game tonight.

``Well, I played at it,'' Jordan said. ``Don't confuse the
issue here. I pushed the keys. I don't really know what I'm
doing, but it's relaxation for me, that's all.''

Jeff Hornacek will start out guarding Jordan. Bryon Russell
and Shandon Anderson also will get their turns.

Hornacek insists he feels fine, but he looks as if his sore
Achilles' tendon is bothering him.

``It looks to me like Jeff Hornacek's really struggling,''
Jackson said.

Even when Hornacek is healthy, he's much smaller and slower
than Jordan. Expect the Bulls to try to take advantage of
that matchup.

It's just a matter of deciding whether to post Jordan up
inside for short jumpers or set up plays that allow him to
drive to the basket.

The Jazz adopt the attitude of their tough-guy coach Jerry
Sloan when it comes to injuries. They don't talk about them.

``It just gives you an excuse to fail,'' Sloan said.

So if Hornacek is hurting, nobody is saying so.

``Jeff's physical condition is he's like anybody else: when
we suit up, he's ready to play,'' Karl Malone said. ``That's
basically the motto of this team. When we put our uniform
on, we're ready, no excuses.''

There is no way that Hornacek -- or Russell or Anderson or
anybody else -- can guard Jordan one on one.

``Jeff realizes he's not going to stop him. We realize
that,'' Malone said. ``But it's our job as big guys to help
him out a lot more than we did last night.''

Malone, meanwhile, will try to locate the jump shot that
deserted him for most of Game 1. He had trouble getting to
the basket against Luc Longley, but hinted that he would
alter his approach tonight.

``I had opportunities,'' Malone said Thursday. ``Let's just
say that Luc was a great defensive player and I didn't do
the things I was capable of maybe doing. I made a minor
adjustment for tomorrow night's game. I'm not going to tell
you what it is. But I'm not going to stop shooting, if
that's what you're asking.''

Sloan said Malone's shooting was the least of his concerns.

``It's no big deal,'' Sloan said. ``I'm not going to lose
any sleep over it. He'll either make shots or miss them.
That's not a brilliant statement, but that's all this game
is. He's liable to have those same shots and make them the
next time. It wasn't like he was having to take shots that
were totally strange to him.

``The positions he got the ball on the floor were almost
identical positions where he's had the ball the last four or
five years.''

Malone was bailed out by his old partner, John Stockton,
who had 24 points and eight assists, including seven of
Utah's nine points in overtime.

Summer track runners get first meet

PECOS, June 5 -- Pecos-Barstow-Toyah summer track program
members were headed to Iraan today, for the first of their
two area meets this month.

Pecos Eagle girls' track coach Lily Talamantez is
supervising the program this summer, which has 42 students
signed up. "There are more in the older group, among the 10-
and 13-year-olds," she said.

Today's meet got underway about 8 a.m. and was scheduled to
wrap up about 3:30 p.m. It comes just three days after the
start of the summer program, which runs through June 22.

"We're trying to work on the handoffs to get the relay teams
ready," Talamantez said Thursday. "The little ones
(elementary grades) will just be doing to 50 and 100 (meter
runs) and the long jump, while for the older ones it will be
just like a regular track meet, except for the pole vault."

Next week's track meet will be in Stanton, and at the end of
the three week session there will be two other meets -- a
U.S. Track and Field Association meet in Lubbock on June 19,
and a Texas Amateur Athletic Federation meet at Odessa High
School on June 26-27.

However, those meets are not part of the summer program, and
competitors must provide their own transportation. Top
finishers in Odessa will advance to the TAAF State Finals on
July 23-25 in Lubbock, while winners at the USA T&F meet in
Lubbock this month go to the state USA T&F meet in Houston
on July 8-11.

Girls softball announcing all-stars

PECOS, June 5 -- The first of three all-star teams for the
Pecos Girls Softball League was announced Thursday night,
with the other two teams for the first-year program
scheduled to be announced this evening.

The three teams -- ages 8-9, 10-12 and 13-15 -- will
compete in an area softball tournament the weekend of June
19-21 in Midland.

The 14 players for the oldest group were announced
Thursday, in-between games of the 8-9 year-old tournament,
which concludes tonight at about 10:15 p.m. Names of the
all-star selections for that group and the 10-12 year old
division will be announced then.

Selected among the 13-15 year-olds were five players off
the Blue Team -- Ashley Salcido, Evelyn Galindo, Valerie
Tarango, Christina Arenivas and Mireya Medrano -- while
three players apiece were selected from the Red, Purple and
Gray teams.

Named from the Purple Team were Rebecca Wein, Alexa Marquez
and Kathy Maldonado; from the Gray Team Mireya Gomez,
Jennifer Mirelez and Cassandra Nunez were selected, while
Jessica Rodriguez, Neftalie Salgado and Brenda Fuentez were
chosen from the Red Team.

Real Quiet seeks respect, Triple Crown

NEW YORK, June 5 (AP) -- Real Quiet and racing's most
elusive prize stand just 1½ miles apart.

The chasm between those who question his worthiness to stand
next to racing immortals such as Triple Crown winners
Secretariat and Citation, and those who do not, is even

On Saturday, Real Quiet makes his bid to become racing's
12th Triple Crown champion when the Derby and Preakness
winner faces 12 challengers in the 130th Belmont Stakes.

``If Real Quiet goes out and wins the Belmont, he belongs
with all the rest of them,'' Billy Turner, who trained 1977
Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew, said Thursday. ``Anyone
who thinks otherwise is making a mistake.''

Yet there are those who disagree.

``I have trouble putting him in that category (with
Secretariat and Citation),'' David Cross, who saddles
Classic Cat in the Belmont, said. ``But he'd still be a
Triple Crown winner. I know some people who will say he's a

Real Quiet, the 6-5 favorite in a field that equals the
third-largest in Belmont history, indeed might have one of
the poorest records for a Triple Crown winner, with four
wins in 14 starts. True, he went 0-6 in sprint races to
start his career and finished 2-of-9 as a 2-year-old. But
once he started running longer distances, he turned into one
tough customer.

He's got two big wins and two seconds in five starts as a
3-year-old, and is one of only three horses to make it
through the Triple Crown series -- Victory Gallop and Basic
Trainee are the others. And of the 402 horses who started in
the Kentucky Derby since 1984, only 63 have made it through
the three-race series.

Hall of Fame jockey Angel Cordero Jr., who won three derbies
and four Belmonts, isn't buying the ``bash Real Quiet''

``Jealousy, that's all it is,'' Cordero said. ``When someone
gets on top, others just want to knock him down, find
something bad to say.

``All I can say is the strong survive in the Triple Crown.
And if Real Quiet has the endurance to go through and win
all three, he's got my vote as a great horse.''

Trainer John Veitch, whose Alydar finished second to 1978
Triple Crown winner Affirmed in all three races, questions
Real Quiet's credentials based on lack of quality opponents.

There were injuries to top contenders such as Lil's Lad,
Event of the Year and Halory Hunter. Also, Horse of the Year
Favorite Trick hasn't run since finishing eighth in the
Derby; Derby favorite Indian Charlie was too pooped to make
the Preakness; and Coronado's Quest never made it to a
Triple Crown race.

```It's survival of the fittest,'' Baffert said, countering
such criticism. ``That's what the Triple Crown is about.
That's part of the challenge.''

Veitch also said Real Quiet should have an asterisk next to
his name if he wins the Triple Crown, ``unless he can
continue to carry the ball and prove himself against all the
3-year-olds, then beat the best 4-year-olds next year,'' he
told the Lexington Herald-Leader last week.

The asterisk, Veitch says, would stand for: ``He's here (in
Triple Crown company), but does not belong.''

Jimmy Jones, now 91, trained 1948 Triple Crown winner
Citation. Recently, he said: ``To win the Triple Crown, you
have to have a pretty fair horse in a weak year. I think
that's pretty important. I think that applies to this

While the debate continues, there are other Triple Crown
winners with less than stellar credentials, but with the
passing of time, they are remembered only for winning the
Derby, Preakness and Belmont.

Sir Barton, the first Triple Crown winner in 1919, broke his
maiden by winning the Derby -- he was 0-for-6 as a
2-year-old -- and was only entered in the race as a
pace-setter for stablemate Billy Kelly.

Then there was '46 Triple Crown winner Assault, whose
2-year-old season was similar to Real Quiet's -- two wins in
nine starts. Also like Real Quiet, Assault needed medical
treatment before he went to the races.

Real Quiet had surgery to correct his crooked knees, while
Assault raced with a deformed right front foot after
stepping on a surveyor's stake.

With such a large Belmont field, it's clear there are enough
doubters convinced that can knock Real Quiet off his perch.

None of the 11 Triple Crown champions won the Belmont in a
field larger than eight horses. Affirmed beat four
challengers to win the '78 Triple Crown; Seattle Slew beat
seven others; Secretariat won in a field of five in '73; and
Citation won in '48 in a field of eight.

``The test of time decides what a great horse is,'' Mike
Pegram, Real Quiet's owner, said. ``As a 2-year-old, we
asked him to do things he wasn't ready to do. What they
forget is when you peak.''

Or as Baffert says: ``I've never heard of a bad Triple Crown
winner -- who's the second worst?''

Volleyball clinic for 7th graders Monday

PECOS, June 5 -- The first of three summer volleyball
clinics will be held next week, this one for seventh grade
girls, at the Pecos High School gym.

Pecos Eagles' volleyball coach Becky Granado said the clinic
will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday at the
gym. Students need to bring a sack lunch each day, she added.

The clinic for eighth grade girls will be held the week of
June 15, while ninth grade girls will have their volleyball
clinic the week of June 22.

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