12/27/2001 1:00AM

A Ransom tries for a road win


A pair of two-time Grade 1 winners this year at Los Alamitos - A Ransom and Hawkinson - meet New Mexico stakes winners Southern Beduino and Stoli in the inaugural running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Championship at Sunland Park sponsored by Frontera Training Center on Saturday afternoon.

A Ransom is making his first start away from Los Alamitos, and Hawkinson is making his second start outside California in the 400-yard Championship. Hawkinson was fourth in his All American Derby trial at Ruidoso Downs last year.

A Ransom and Hawkinson each shipped to Sunland Park after competing in the Grade 1, $500,000 Champion of Champions at Los Alamitos on Dec. 16. A Ransom, the 1-2 favorite in the Champion of Champions, finished third and 20-1 outsider Hawkinson finished second behind probable 2001 world champion Tailor Fit.

A Ransom, the 2000 world champion, has had a sensational year for owners John and Kathie Bobenreith and trainer Connie Hall. He started his 2001 campaign with a win in the Grade 1 Spencer Childers Championship and then won the Grade 1 Vessels Maturity. His only defeats were a close second in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Championship and a third in the Champion of Champions.

A Ransom drew the inside post position and will have regular rider Carlos Bautista aboard.

Hawkinson, owned by the EG High Desert Ranch, should have the 2000 champion aged stallion title wrapped up. He won the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Winter Championship as a 10-1 outsider and won the Grade 1 Go Man Go Invitational as the 5-2 favorite. He was also third to A Ransom in the Spencer Childers.

Joe Ruiz, who guided Hawkinson to his second-place finish in the Champion of Champions, will ride Hawkinson from post 2.

Southern Beduino, owned by SMS Racing, loves racing at Sunland Park. Last year at Sunland he won the Grade 3 Sunland Express Handicap, the Grade 3 West Texas Maturity, and the Grade 2 New Mexico Challenge Championship. He was also second by a head in the Sunland Fall Derby.

Juan Vasquez, who rode Southern Beduino to his Sunland Park stakes wins last year, has the mount. Southern Beduino will break from post 3.

Stoli, owned by R.D. Hubbard, won the Grade 1 All American Derby at Ruidoso Downs on Labor Day. This fall he went to Los Alamitos and was a close third in the Los Alamitos Championship. He then won a couple of minor stakes before finishing fourth in the Champion of Champions after being bumped at the start.

Stoli started his career at Sunland Park with a win in the Grade 1 West Texas Futurity. Stoli drew post 9 and will have Joe Badilla, who is recovering from a broken jaw, in the irons.

Wr Red Ace returns in Wooten

Also on Saturday's card, Wr Red Ace, winner of five of her last seven starts, will be making her first Sunland Park start in over a year in the Grade 3, $100,000 Lou Wooten Handicap for New Mexico-bred fillies and mares over 400 yards.

Wr Red Ace, owned by Rose Webb, has wins this year in the Pelican Stakes, New Mexico Breeders Derby, and the New Mexico Breeders Stakes.

The 5-year-old Cute N Bankin has wins this fall in the Ship Rock Stakes and the New Mexico Handicap.

Wr Red Ace drew the inside post position and Cute N Bankin drew post 9.