07/01/2016 12:06PM

Giant Gizmo rocketing up the charts

Barbara D. Livingston
Giant Gizmo won twice at the Grade 3 level, including the 2008 Alysheba.

Giant Gizmo has arguably the fastest-growing résumé among Canada’s stallion ranks and could give it another high point Sunday if morning-line favorite Amis Gizmo runs up to expectations in the Queen’s Plate.

The youngest member of Canada’s top 15 sires by 2016 progeny earnings currently sits in fourth on that list with fewer runners than the three horses immediately ahead of him and behind him. A Queen’s Plate winner could take Giant Gizmo to the summit in that group.

“I think it would finally put him up where he’d be one of the top stallions in the country,” said Dermot Carty of Adena Springs, “and I think he’s already on his way to being there anyway.”

Giant Gizmo, a 12-year-old son of Giant’s Causeway, resides at Adena Springs North in Aurora, Ontario, and stands for an advertised fee of $5,000 Canadian.

An Adena Springs homebred from the operation’s Paris, Ky., base, Giant Gizmo retired with six wins in 11 career starts for earnings of $508,685.

He started his ontrack career at Woodbine, winning his maiden in his second start as a juvenile for trainer Brian Lynch in 2006. The colt moved to the barn of Bobby Frankel at age 3, won his seasonal debut in an allowance over the Belmont Park turf, and finished his campaign with a track-record-setting allowance win over a mile on the all-weather track at Santa Anita.

Giant Gizmo stepped up his level of competition at 4 and finished his career with Grade 3 wins in the Alysheba Stakes at Churchill Downs and the Lone Star Park Handicap.

Once the horse was retired, owner Frank Stronach and his staff debated where to begin Giant Gizmo at stud. Carty pushed his chips to the middle of the table to get the horse to Ontario.

“When we were looking at the decision of where to stand him, I put my hand up like a schoolboy and asked for the horse because we had all-weather here and the horse had set a course record on the all-weather,” Carty said. “It wasn’t something I was going to have to go up against, it was already proven.”

Giant Gizmo debuted at stud for the 2010 breeding season and has sired four crops of racing age, with 52 winners and progeny earnings of more than $5.2 million.

His runners started fast, helping Giant Gizmo finish as Canada’s leading first-year sire in 2013. The first class of juveniles featured stakes winner Spin the King and multiple stakes-placed Splashy Gizmo, giving him more than twice as much in first-year progeny earnings as his closest contemporary.

“When you look at the mares he’s received initially, he’s absolutely managed to upgrade his mares,” Carty said. “It’s not all about the fashion of the sales ring. We’re in the racehorse business, and to get a racehorse, you must have a stallion that can upgrade his mares.”

A big part of Giant Gizmo’s ascension has come from Brooklynsway, a filly who has never raced outside of stakes company in 18 career starts. A member of Giant Gizmo’s second crop, Brooklynsway won last year’s Bison City Stakes, the second leg of Canada’s triple tiara, and gave her sire his first graded stakes winner in April, taking the Grade 3 Doubledogdare Stakes at Keeneland.

Amis Gizmo, from his sire’s third crop, enters the Queen’s Plate having won five of six starts, highlighted by last year’s Simcoe Stakes and, most recently, the Plate Trial.

Giant Gizmo has done well establishing himself as a top Canadian sire, but Adena Springs stands stallions at points across North America. If his positive returns continue to trickle down to the U.S. in the form of graded stakes winners, Carty said the stallion would deserve a chance to follow them.

“I think he’s done enough to show he should have a ticket to Kentucky,” he said. “The amount of mares down there is several times more than it is up here for a stallion.

“People have been critical of Canadian stallions, but they forget about a horse called Silver Deputy, who stood for $1,000 up here and went down to the United States and changed the whole deal,” Carty added. “I would love to see him go to Kentucky, and I think he deserves the chance to go to the bigger market, but that would be just a personal feeling.”