05/22/2017 4:38PM

Keen Gizmo makes Steady Growth his first stakes victory

Michael Burns
Keen Gizmo paid $8.80 in winning the Steady Growth Stakes on Monday.

ETOBICOKE, Ontario — The quirky chestnut Keen Gizmo notched his first stakes victory on holiday Monday at Woodbine in the $125,000 Steady Growth, a 1 1/16-miles route for Ontario-sired runners.

Keen Gizmo ($8.80) had a three-wide stalking in third in the race for Ontario-sired runners. The favored Where’s the Widget was pressed through honest fractions by Nipigon, who hit the front exiting the far turn before Keen Gizmo overtook him en route to a 1 1/4-length win, in a time of 1:42.73.

Born in a Breeze rallied wide for second at 12-1. He was followed by Nipigon, Niigon’s Glory, Marten Lake, Maxsmiraclejourney, and Where’s the Widget.

“This horse always tries, but he’s one of the most difficult horses to ride,” Contreras said. “He likes to switch his leads a lot, and loses his momentum. I wanted to stay close to the pace, and wait as long as I can, until the quarter pole, to make my move.”

Keen Gizmo, a 6-year-old gelding by Giant Gizmo, earned $75,000 for owner/breeder Ivan Dalos and trainer Josie Carroll.

“We’ve had a lot of confidence in this horse over the years,” Carroll said. “He’s his own worst enemy. He’s not very focused. He’s always done something silly, where we’d miss races. Finally, he’s put it all together and done his job. I’m really happy for Ivan. Another stakes winner for this mare.”

Keen Gizmo is out of Keen Victory, the dam of stakes winners Conquest Enforcer and Conquest Vivi.