12/30/2006 12:00AM

Familiar foes Komax, Moores Bridge meet

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PHOENIX - Moores Bridge and Komax, two of the elite sprinters on the Arizona circuit the past couple seasons, renew acquaintances in Monday's $45,000 Cactus Wren Handicap at Turf Paradise. The 6 1/2-furlong event for Arizona-breds has lured a field of eight.

Moores Bridge and Komax each carry high weight of 123 pounds, but the slight edge may go to defending champ Moores Bridge, who appears in top form.

Moores Bridge and Komax put on quite a show in this race last year, as Moores Bridge, owned by Dennis Weir and trained by Dan McFarlane, stalked the pace under Glenn Corbett, took over into the lane, and held off Komax to win by a half-length.

The 6-year-old Moores Bridge took a lengthy vacation after finishing second to Komax in last April's Grand Canyon Handicap here, and returned in October to win the Caballos del Sol. He was fourth as the favorite in the Zip Pocket, but bounced back Nov. 27 with a sharp allowance win.

Corbett again has the call on Moores Bridge, whose tactical speed may give him an advantage on Komax.

Komax, 9, has won 16 of 43, and is 6 for 11 on this track, and is best known for his style of sitting far back early and putting in a furious rally. He, too, got a lengthy vacation this summer and fall. He returned for a $12,500 tag at Zia Park Dec. 2 and missed by a head as the 2-5 favorite. He was claimed from that race by Bill Tollett. He resurfaced at Sunland Dec. 19 and won going away as the 4-5 favorite. Again he was claimed, this time by Kevin Eikleberry for $20,000. Eikleberry trained Komax when he ran in the Cactus Wren last year. Ry Eikleberry has the mount.

The most likely candidates to topple the two favorites would be Hey Slick and King Hunter. Hey Slick comes off a game win in the Paradise Valley here on the turf Nov. 25, and is a stakes winner on the dirt here as well. King Hunter has rattled off three straight victories, all against weaker. He certainly has blossomed and may now be ready for this assignment.