11/08/2002 1:00AM

Turf-tough Honor in War favored


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - When the Churchill Downs fall meet lasts four weeks instead of five, the traditional stakes schedule fits neatly on the calendar, with a stakes race matched to every weekend date.

But with a quirk in the calendar elongating the 2002 meet to five weeks, there are a few unavoidable holes. For instance, there is no stakes on the 10-race program Sunday, when three allowance races fill the void.

The richest of those is the eighth race, a $48,400 allowance on turf guided by a three-other-than restriction. The likely favorite is Honor in War, who ran well in defeat in his last start, the Oct. 6 Storm Cat Stakes at Keeneland.

Honor in War, owned by the Third Turn Stables of Will Wolford and partners, is a 3-year-old colt who, like many sons and daughters of Lord at War, has developed an affinity for grass. With Pat Day taking the mount, Honor in War should be able to prevail after breaking from the rail in the 1 1/16-mile race.

One race later, Lakeside Cup will try to break through her third allowance condition when she faces five other filly-mare sprinters. Lakeside Cup, trained by Bernie Flint, was soundly defeated at Mountaineer Park in her last race, but has the speed to dominate this race from the outset.

Flint will be outfitting Lakeside Cup with blinkers and will give Shane Sellers a leg up. Sellers continues to succeed in his comeback from a lengthy layoff, having swept the early daily double here Friday.

One potential upsetter in the ninth is Enquiry Woman, even though trainer Forrest Kaelin said he would have preferred to run her in a different race.

"I tried a $50,000 claimer earlier in the week, and it didn't go, and then I wanted to go in a race for nonwinners on the year," said Kaelin. "It didn't go, either. So they asked me to make six in here. She's okay, so we'll see what happens."

In the 10th-race finale, a $43,400 grass race, the top contenders could be the Graham Motion entry of Elway Uran and Mandy's Classic.

Three maiden special weight races also are carded for Sunday. First post is 12:40 p.m. Eastern.

* Racing will be conducted here Monday because of the Veteran's Day holiday. Admission is free. In turn, Tuesday will be dark, with the six-day race week resuming Wednesday.

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