01/08/2006 1:00AM

Honor in War wins battle of Ft. Lauderdale


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Former Grade 1 winner Honor in War asserted his class while also showing a measure of gameness by overcoming a rough trip to capture Sunday's $75,000 at Gulfstream Park. The victory completed a sweep of the weekend's four stakes by jockey Shaun Bridgmohan.

Honor in War, winner of the Grade 1 Churchill Downs Turf Classic in 2003, was put in tight quarters and knocked around entering the clubhouse turn of the one mile and one sixteenth Ft. Lauderdale. The 7-year-old son of Lord at War recorded from his early trouble to commence his rally three wide leaving the backstretch, altered course briefly to secure racing room in early stretch then finished full of run to defeat Hotstufanthensome by a neck.

Hotstufanthensome raced well placed from the outset and continued willingly through the final furlong to just miss. Longshot Old Dodge rallied belatedly to finish third.

Saint Stephen, the tepid 3-1 favorite in a field of 11 grass specialists, was also involved in the banging incident around the clubhouse turn but never recovered and finished a non-threatening fifth.

Honor in War, who is owned by the 3rd Turn Stables LLC of former NFL player Will Wolford, covered the distance in 1:40 and paid $9.40. The win was the third in the last four starts for the Kentucky bred and pushed his career earnings over $1.1 million.

"Shaun said he got banged around pretty good on the first turn," said trainer Paul McGee. "Obviously his win in the Grade 1 was his all time best bit if he's lost a step since then it hasn't been much of a step. I thought this was a very good race for him today. For a Grade 3 I thought this was a pretty good field. There were a lot of runners in there."

McGee said he would consider all of the upcoming turf stakes during the remainder of the meet for Lord in War including the Grade 1 Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup Handicap on Feb. 25.