May 19, 2024

Mr. Wireless stalks and pounces to West Virginia Derby score

Mr Wireless wins the West Virginia Derby (Photo by Coady Photography)

Mr. Wireless backed up his recent win in the Indiana Derby (G3) with another solid performance in Saturday’s $500,000 West Virginia Derby (G3) at Mountaineer.

Perched just outside the dueling pair of Kinetic Sky and Bourbon Thunder until the far turn, Mr. Wireless took over about three furlongs from home, opened up a comfortable lead in mid-stretch, and held Warrant safe by 1 1/4 lengths under Ramon Vazquez.

“There was inside speed and he was able to sit off those two horses. He put himself into a good position, and when he got the lead he kept going,” Vazquez said.

Owned by JIL Stable and trained by Bret Calhoun, Mr. Wireless covered nine furlongs in 1:52.49 over a fast track and paid $5.20 as the 8-5 favorite.

Warrant, who had beaten Mr. Wireless by three parts of a length in the Texas Derby at Lone Star Park on Memorial Day, finished second by 1 1/2 lengths over Wood Memorial (G2) victor Bourbonic. Completing the order of finish was Bourbon Thunder, Kinetic Sky, and Americainaed.

The West Virginia Derby was the fourth win in six starts for Mr. Wireless, who endured a troubled trip when fifth in his six-furlong debut at Fair Grounds in early March. The gelding won photo finishes in his next two starts, both around two turns at Oaklawn, and then was a game runner-up in the aforementioned Texas Derby.

Last time, in the 1 1/16-mile Indiana Derby at Indiana Grand on July 7, Mr. Wireless romped by 3 3/4 lengths. His career earnings now stand at $670,150.

“I hate to get to looking too far ahead for a horse’s next race, but I would say the Pennsylvania Derby (G1) is very possible,” said Calhoun, who was winning the West Virginia Derby for the second consecutive time. Calhoun won the 2019 edition with Mr. Money, but the race wasn’t run last year due to the pandemic.

Bred in Kentucky by John Kerber and Iveta Kerber, Mr. Wireless is by Dialed In and out of Voussoir, by Arch. The latter has also reared the current Grade 2-placed filly Ain’t No Elmers.

West Virginia Governor’s S. (G3)

One race earlier, Sprawl turned back an upper stretch challenge from Mighty Heart to claim the $200,000 West Virginia Governor’s S. (G3) by 1 3/4 lengths as the 8-5 favorite under Joe Talamo.

Registering the first stakes win of his career, Sprawl paid $5.20 after running 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.95. Mighty Heart finished second, 2 3/4 lengths in front of Bourbon Calling.

Owned and bred by Claiborne Farm and Adele Dilschneider, Sprawl is trained by Tom Drury. The four-year-old son of City Zip entered Saturday’s race off a third-place finish to Maxfield in the Stephen Foster (G2).