05/12/2013 9:26AM

Prairie Meadows: Wings of War wins John Wayne Stakes

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ALTOONA, Iowa – Wings of War benefited from an ideal trip under jockey Shane Laviolette and a duel between heavily favored stablemates when rallying for a half-length victory in the $70,000 John Wayne Stakes, a six-furlong sprint for Iowa-breds, at Prairie Meadows on Saturday.

As the Chris Richard-trained coupled entry of Ice Hockey and Cresco Direct Hit, sent off at 3-10, battled through fractions of 22.61 and 45.83 seconds, Wings of War ($13.80) bided his time along the rail before angling three wide approaching the furlong pole and taking aim on the pacesetters.

Wings of War, a 6-year-old gelding trained by Don Von Hemel, found plenty when asked and got past runner-up Ice Hockey. The late surge of the deep-closing Cainam was effective enough to catch defending champ Cresco Direct Hit for third, just a head behind Ice Hockey.

Collecting $42,000 for his owner and breeder, Beverly J. Lewis, Wings of War won his second Iowa-bred stakes race, following a tally Aug. 4 in the 1 1/16-mile Ralph Hayes, and pushed his career earnings to $380,712. He covered the six furlongs in 1:10.67.