Ivan Dalos’ homebred Amis Gizmo romped to a new track-record time in Saturday’s Grade 3 Ontario Derby, taking the lead shortly after the start and drawing away to win by six lengths on the wire. The sophomore son of Giant Gizmo covered nine furlongs over the fast Tapeta in 1:48.30 under Luis Contreras for trainer Josie Carroll.
Though Dragon Bay was the quickest of the six-horse field out of the starting gate, Contreras allowed Amis Gizmo to find his stride before taking the lead prior to the first turn. Marking the first quarter mile in :23.80, Amis Gizmo held a two-length advantage over Dragon Bay, who would shortly be passed along the inside by English Illusion. Through a half in :47.87, Amis Gizmo had extended his lead to nearly four lengths. Easing up a bit to cover three-quarters in 1:11.59, he allowed English Illusion to close that gap back to two lengths.
In the latter part of the final turf, however, Amis Gizmo rocketed away from the field once again, holding an easy four-length lead at the head of the lane and simply extending his lead down the lane under a hand ride. Amis Gizmo crossed the wire six lengths in front in track-record time, with Dragon Bay finishing up well to be second. English Illusion faded to third, while Thatlookonyerface was fourth. Yo Carm appeared to take a bad step on the far turn, and was pulled up suddenly by jockey Irad Ortiz. It was later reported that Yo Carm suffered a fracture to his left front leg, and was euthanized.
Bred in Ontario by Dalos’ Tall Oaks Farm, Amis Gizmo did not reach his reserve in the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society’s Canadian-bred Yearling Sale in 2014, with the last bid coming in at $ 124,200. Dalos simply sent the colt to his racing string in the barn of Josie Carroll, where the colt broke his maiden at first asking in a stakes race at Woodbine. He went on to win three more stakes in a row before an uncharacteristic fifth in another listed stake. His win in the Plate Trial made him the Queen’s Plate favorite, but he was upset there by Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Sir Dudley Digges. Amis Gizmo was victorious in the second leg of the Canadian Triple Crown, but found 1 1/2 miles a bit too far in the third leg, finishing sixth. The Ontario Derby is the colt’s first graded stakes win, and brings his overall record to seven wins from 10 starts, with earnings of over $ 800,000.
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