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Mr. Wireless looks for even more success

NEW CUMBERLAND, W.Va. — Mr. Wireless in 2021 shipped to Mountaineer Casino, Racetrack & Resort in search of his second consecutive graded stakes victory, and he was successful with a smooth performance as the 3-2 favorite in the Grade III West Virginia Derby.

On Aug. 6, the 4-year-old gelding by Dialed In is scheduled to return to Mountaineer to compete in the $200,000 Grade III West Virginia Governor’s Stakes. He is one of 10 entered in the 1 1/16-mile test that has attracted several graded stakes winners.

Mr. Wireless, owned by Jon Lapczenski and JIL Stable and trained by Bret Calhoun, seeks to become the second horse to win the Derby and Governor’s Stakes, which achieved graded status for the 2018 edition. Winchell Thoroughbreds’ Zanjero won the West Virginia Derby for trainer Steve Asmussen in 2007 and returned to capture the Governor’s Stakes the following year.

Departing won the West Virginia Derby in 2013 and attempted to double up in the Governor’s Stakes in 2016 at the age of 6. He finished second as the favorite in what would be the final race of a career in which he earned just shy of $2 million.

After a fifth-place finish in the Grade III Oklahoma Derby last September, Mr. Wireless got some time off and didn’t return to the races until June 5 at Churchill Downs. He helped make the pace in a quickly run one-turn mile allowance event and backed off late to finish sixth.

His second start off the long layoff was far more productive. On July 9 in the Schaefer Memorial Stakes at one mile and 70 yards at Horseshoe Indianapolis, Mr. Wireless rated kindly inside for most of the way, found room in the stretch and pulled away to a comfortable two-length score under Deshawn Parker, who has the mount in the Governor’s Stakes. Parker has won more than 6,000 races and is the all-time leading rider at Mountaineer with close to 4,800 victories.

Mr. Wireless, five-for-nine with earnings nearing the $750,000 mark including a win in last year’s Grade III Indiana Derby, is the 9-2 third choice on the morning line behind Fulsome (3-1) and Silver Prospector (4-1).

After his Schaefer Memorial victory, Horseshoe Indianapolis media officials said they believe Mr. Wireless is the first Indiana Derby winner to subsequently win another stakes at the track. Calhoun indicated he expects progress from the gelding going forward with a race or two under his belt in 2022.

“We’re going race by race,” the trainer said. “He’s a gelding, so we don’t have to worry about chasing Grade I stakes or stuff like that if we don’t want to. The owners still own the family, so it is important to build the pedigree. I’d say we just want to maximize his earnings for now.”

Fulsome, a Juddmonte Farms homebred 4-year-old colt by Into Mischief, has won seven of 13 starts, four of them stakes with three of them graded. Trained by Brad Cox–he has won the Governor’s Stakes twice–Fulsome prefers to come from off the pace and will be ridden by Paco Lopez.

Silver Prospector, owned by Ed and Susie Orr and trained by Asmussen, won the Grade III Steve Sexton Mile at Lone Star Park May 30 and followed up with a fifth-place finish in the Grade III Cornhusker Handicap at Prairie Meadows July 9. Brian Hernandez Jr. is named to ride the 6-year-old Declaration of War horse who has earnings in excess of $1.2 million from 22 starts.

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