06/29/2006 12:00AM

Canterbury: Six sprinters challenge Komax


The $40,000 Minnesota HBPA Sprint at Canterbury Park has the look of a Wild West shootout, with Komax playing the hot gunslinger who must stare down six talented rivals.

An 8-year-old Arizona-bred gelding, Komax has amassed more than $350,000 in earnings while winning stakes since age 3. That form has held up this season as Komax has won five straight races at three different tracks. After beginning the season in the claiming ranks and then winning an optional claiming event at Sunland, Komax journeyed to Turf Paradise, where he captured the Grand Canyon Handicap and Old Line Policy Stakes. Trainer Kevin Eikleberry then sent Komax to Denver three weeks ago, where Komax closed well late to take the Arapahoe Park Sprint carrying 124 pounds. Rash Eikleberry has the riding assignment in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint.

Papa Fuse made his first start at Canterbury when he bested eight rivals to prevail in the Shot of Gold Stakes on Kentucky Derby Day. Rested since that performance, Papa Fuse has ben given two solid five-furlong works at his Arlington base.

Celluloid Hero tries older competition for the first time, but he demonstrated his capabilities when he rallied strongly to win the St. Paul Stakes last month. Trained by Mac Robertson, Celluloid Hero also captured the Dixieland Stakes at Oaklawn in January.

Stormy Business finished third in the Bosselman Handicap in April, perhaps his best performance since winning the St. Paul Stakes last year. His recent bullet workout over the Canterbury strip suggests he could be rounding into his old form.