Ivan Dalos' homebred Amis Gizmo rebounded from a disappointing sixth in the Aug. 21 Breeders' Stakes on the lawn, and won the $171,300 Ontario Derby (Can-III) by six lengths Sept. 17 in track-record time at Woodbine.
Video: Ontario Derby (G3)
The 3-year-old Giant Gizmo colt opened up an easy lead early in the 1 1/8-mile Tapeta test, and was never challenged after posting fractions of :23.80, :47.87, and 1:11.59. Jockey Luis Contreras peeked back to check the advantage he held over his rivals off the turn, then cruised home on the 2-5 favorite through a 1:35.48 mile under a hand ride.
That track-record final time was 1:48.30.
"It's been 35 years of work, it's taken a lot but the proof is in the pudding. This is my love," said Dalos, who bred third-generation Amis Gizmo out of the Victory Gallop mare Galloping Ami.
Josie Carroll trains the chestnut winner.
"(Luis Contreras) just knows this horse so well," she said. "They are just in such sync, these two, I was more than confident he knew what he was doing (on the front end)."
Amis Gizmo raced in all three legs of the Canadian Triple Crown, finishing second in the 1 1/4-mile Queen's Plate, romping by 5 1/2 lengths in the Prince of Wales Stakes on Fort Erie's dirt, and ending up beaten 11 1/4 lengths in the Breeders' Stakes.
"I think he handled the turf quite well (in the 1 1/2-mile Breeders' Stakes), I think he handled the 1 1/4 miles (of the Queen's Plate)," Carroll said. "He's just not probably a 1 1/2-mile horse. And so few horses these days are 1 1/2-mile horses. We're quite happy with what he does. We'll see (about putting him on the turf again)."
Amis Gizmo picked up $108.000 for his Ontario Derby score, including a $18,000 Ontario-foaled bonus, to boost his bankroll to $826,288 with a record of seven wins and one second from 10 starts. All of his victories, including his undefeated four-start campaign as a 2-year-old, have come in stakes races.
Jockey Irad Ortiz Jr. was uninjured in the race when his mount, Chris Block trainee Yo Carm, suffered a left front fracture and fell. Ortiz walked back to the jockeys' room under his own power; the horse was euthanized.