10/13/2007 12:00AM

Bold Hawk by a head in Hawthorne Derby

EmailSTICKNEY, Ill. - New York-based trainer Jimmy Toner knows a turf stakes horse when he sees one, and Bold Hawk did not come to Hawthorne for his stakes debut on Saturday just to take in the Stickney sights. A sharp move about three-sixteenths of a mile from the finish put Bold Hawk on the front in the Grade 3, $250,000 Hawthorne Derby, and he won by a head over favored Twilight Meteor despite loafing a bit the final half-furlong.

The race was marred by the catastrophic breakdown of third-place finisher Western Prize, who crossed the wire without incident, but went down while galloping out.

The rail was the place to be on Saturday, according to winning rider Jean-Luc Samyn, who kept Bold Hawk glued to the fence before swinging out for room.

"I walked the turf course, and it looked like the best place to be was the rail," Samyn said. "It's a chance you take staying inside."

Bold Hawk, a gigantic 3-year-old Silver Hawk gelding, didn't make his career debut until June 24. He won his maiden in his second start, and captured a Belmont entry-level allowance by two lengths on Sept. 23.

"Each race he's gotten better and better," said Toner's traveling assistant, Dana Antonczak. "Jimmy thought it was time to step up."

Voy Por Uno Mas, who held on for fourth, set a fast pace, going to the half-mile in 46.44 seconds while tracked by a host of pursuers. Twilight Meteor moved into striking position on the far turn, got slightly bottled up at the top of the stretch, but ran well for second.

"He was struggling with the going," said jockey Chris DeCarlo.

Bold Hawk paid $10 to win, and was timed in 1:47.45 for 1 1/8 miles on turf labeled firm.

Star by Design up in time

Heavily bet Star by Design made his short price stand up in the $46,500 Rustic Ruler Stakes - but just barely.

Star By Design needed the length of the stretch to push past a game Celluloid Hero, who had pressed a fast pace set by Magnus One. But Star by Design ($4.40) was just a little too good, scoring by a head, with High Expectations running late for third. Ridden by Carlos Silva for trainer Richard Hazelton, Star by Design was timed in 1:09.61 for six furlongs.