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Hawkey Star is aptly named
ETOBICOKE, Ontario - One's first inclination may be to think that whoever named Hawkey Star came up a bit short in the spelling department.
But Hawkey Star, the 2-year-old gelding who will make his stakes debut in Saturday's $125,000 Frost King at Woodbine, has a name that rings true on more than one level.
"I tried to get him into the select sale here, and they told me he was a little 'hocky,' " said trainer Julia Carey, who was not quite sure what that term signified other than the apparent reference to the horse's hocks. "That, plus the play on his father's name, Tomahawk, gave us Hawkey Star."
Hawkey Star, a homebred who races for owner Joe Doi and Carey, could live up to the latter part of his name based on his first two appearances.
Well-backed in his 5 1/2-furlong debut, Hawkey Star broke slowly and closed to finish third, beaten six lengths.
There was no hesitation in his next and most recent outing, however, as Hawkey Star sped to the front from his outside post in a 10-horse field and led throughout for a 5 3/4-length victory.
"He was always training really, really well," said Carey. "We liked him the first time, when he was left at the gate, and we really liked him that day when he won easily."
While Carey has concerns about Hawkey Star stretching out to seven furlongs for the Frost King, in which he will face seven other Ontario-sired colts and geldings, she believes he can prove equal to the occasion.
"He just has to be rated," said Carey. "He can rate; he handled that in his first race."
Hawkey Star also will have a new rider for the Frost King in Emile Ramsammy because Jim McAleney, who had several options, has cast his lot with Vandal winner Win and Reign.
Hawkey Star also represents a feel-good story for his dam, Tour d'Star, who was claimed for $50,000 by Doi in the summer of 2003 but was racing in the $20,000 conditioned claiming ranks by the end of the following season and was facing much bleaker prospects the following spring.
"She had bad arthritis, and we were going to be running her for bottoms at Fort Erie," said Carey.
"She had nothing left to give, so to give her another life we sent her to the farm and bred her. Not many owners would have done that, after we'd wintered her and had her back at the track.
"We saved her life, and she rewarded us. Hawkey Star is her gift."
Disfunction will skip Kennedy Road
Disfunction, the big gun in the Carey stable, will not see action again this season.
"He came up with a little issue," said Carey, who had been pointing Disfunction for the six-furlong Kennedy Road here Nov. 22. "It's nothing we can't deal with, but if we push him for one race we could ruin his career. Hopefully, patience will pay off."
Disfunction, a 4-year-old gelding who began his career with a win for $20,000 maiden claiming here last September, developed into a top-drawer sprinter this year.
After winning a second-level allowance over seven furlongs at Gulfstream, Disfunction became a stakes winner here in the Grade 3 Vigil at the same distance.
Disfunction later finished second here in the 6 1/2-furlong Bold Venture behind Fatal Bullet, subsequent runner-up in the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
In his latest appearance, which came in Keeneland's Grade 3 Phoenix at six furlongs, Disfunction was beaten 1 3/4 lengths as the fourth-place finisher.
Rahy's Attorney ready for road trip
The travel plans are in place for Rahy's Attorney, who is scheduled to make his next start in the Mile Championship at Japan's Kyoto Racecourse on Nov. 23.
Rahy's Attorney is to van out late Saturday evening for New York, where he must spend a brief period in quarantine.
At 3 a.m. Monday, the gelding will set out on a 14-hour flight for Tokyo, which will be interrupted for a refueling stop in Anchorage, Alaska.
Upon his arrival, Rahy's Attorney will go into quarantine at Tokyo's Shiroi Horseracing School, where he will be able to train daily, with exercise rider Tyler Gaskin and groom Aline Allain overseeing his requirements.
On Nov. 17, Rahy's Attorney will be free to leave the quarantine facility and will make the nine-hour van trip to Kyoto.
Trainer Ian Black, his wife, Janet, and part-owners Joe and Ellen McLellan will hook up with Rahy's Attorney in Tokyo and then head north.
Regular rider Slade Callaghan and his wife, Kelly, are slated to arrive in Japan the following day.
Making the grueling trip worthwhile is the prospect of a winning payday of $2.2 million as Rahy's Attorney is eligible for a $1.1 million bonus due to his victory here in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile.
Rahy's Attorney had earned a berth in the Breeders' Cup Mile with that victory but would have had to be supplemented at a cost of $180,000 and instead made his next start in Keeneland's Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile, where he finished a close sixth.
The Japan Racing Association picks up the travel and accommodation costs for the horse, owners, trainers and jockeys and their spouses, plus two stable employees.
Ice Bear sharpens for Autumn
Ice Bear breezed four furlongs in 47.20 seconds here Wednesday in preparation for Sunday's Autumn, which will be his final start of the meeting.
The workout, under exercise rider Paul Ravera, was the quickest of 27 at the distance.
"I just wanted to do a little something," said Mac Benson, who trains Ice Bear for owner/breeder George Strawbridge Jr. "If he ain't fit now, he ain't never going to be fit."
Ice Bear, a 4-year-old gelding will be looking for his fourth win of the season in the Grade 2, $150,000 Autumn, a 1 1/16-mile race.
Chantal Sutherland, who was aboard Ice Bear for two of those scores, including the 1 1/8-mile With Approval, is expected to be back from her new base in California to ride Ice Bear in the Autumn.
* Head Chopper, winner of the 1 1/16-mile Elgin here Sept. 1, was nominated to the Autumn but has been entered in Saturday's $125,000 Mountaineer Mile Handicap. Trained by Steve Owens, Head Chopper will carry 119 pounds and will be ridden by Tho Nyugen.