This one was uttered by a witness in a trial. It is a conflation of “keep your eyes on the ball” (stay focused) and I think “put your shoulder to the wheel” (work hard, put an effort into something). Certainly one has to keep their eyes open when driving, but don’t stare at the wheel or you will be in big trouble. Perhaps the speaker was thinking “eyes on the prize”, and the big Wheel of Fortune bubbled up in his brain. Not sure. A big thanks to Tom Justice who heard this one and passed it on.
This is a blend of “eyes on the prize” and “eye of the tiger”. I heard this tonight in the Sopranos episode “Sentimental Education” (Season five, Episode six). The writing in the Sopranos is rich with wordplay. I have posted several malaphors heard on the Sopranos series.