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Mr. Wireless connects in Grade 3 Indiana Derby

It was a flawless connection for Mr. Wireless and he made all the right moves to dominate the 27th running of the $300,000 Grade 3 Indiana Derby. It was the second win in three years for trainer Bret Calhoun in front of a packed house with the all-sources handle soaring to a new record of $6,292,387.

Starting from post six, Mr. Wireless (photo) wasted no time getting out of the gate for jockey Ramon Vazquez. Three horses were across the track heading into the first turn with Mr. Wireless widest of all. Vazquez backed off of WW Crazy and Victor Santiago and allowed them to move onto the lead while Starrininmydreams and Luis Saez, who were between horses, backed away into third.

Down the backstretch, Mr. Wireless moved up on the outside of WW Crazy by the halfway mark of the one and one-sixteenth-mile race. The sophomore son of Dialed In waited patiently until Starrininmydreams moved three wide to press the pace, making Mr. Wireless move on and take control of the race.

In the stretch, Mr. Wireless had Starrininmydreams to his outside and Sermononthemount to his inside but was able to shake loose, drawing off to a three and three-quarter-length advantage at the wire. Sermononthemount and James Graham finished second over favored Fulsome and Florent Geroux, who moved up late to finish third.

“I am really confident in my horse,” said Vazquez. “I know my horse is getting better and better. So, I just put my horse in a good position. When I asked him the last quarter, he gave me everything he has. He’s going to be a good horse.”

Mr. Wireless paid $9.80 for the win. After going unraced at two, he is now three for five in his career. The Grade 3 Indiana Derby marks the first career stakes win, and he doubled his career bankroll to more than $360,000. Jon Lapczenski and John Kerber’s JIL Stable own Mr. Wireless, who was homebred by John and Iveta Kerber.

“John (Kerber), the breeder, is a lot older and our group has gotten to learn from him and jump in on some of his horses,” said Lapczenski, who lives north of Oklahoma City. “He’s actually won the Iowa Derby and the Indiana Derby in the last six days. Bret (Calhoun) called me Monday morning and asked me, ‘What do you think of the spot?’ I said, ‘I think it’s great. There’s only one horse, and they (the public) just basically think we basically have no chance. We know this horse just keeps getting better and better. We were pretty confident.’”

Calhoun, a native of Texas, brought a stable to Hoosier Park in the first few years of pari-mutuel racing in the mid-1990s when he first started training. Since that time, his operation has grown to prominence with numerous Graded Stakes wins, including two in the Indiana Derby.

“I thought this horse was on the improve,” said Calhoun. “I also thought Fulsome was on the improve. I didn’t get to see the replay; I’m not sure what happened to him. I have a lot of respect for that horse. Obviously, I was very concerned about him. I didn’t know how much farther we could go, but he took it to another level today.”

Calhoun continued, “He’s got to keep moving forward. He hasn’t done much wrong in his career. He’s got a really good two-turn record. We don’t think he has any distance limitations. He’s gotten better and better. He’s a horse who was really hard to get to the races, just to get him fit and ready. I know his family pretty good. I’ve trained his family. His sister, Ain’t No Elmers, was the first one. Mentally and physically they were slow developers. He was the same. You have horses like that, a lot of times they just keep getting better and better.”

Hailed as Indiana’s biggest summer sporting event, the Indiana Derby featured numerous ancillary activities, including five $1,000 Indiana Derby Megabet Win Wager drawings. Of the five, only one correctly chose Mr. Wireless as the winner. Charles Beacom of Shreveport, Louisiana, cashed in for nearly $5,000 with the wager, which was sponsored by the Indiana Thoroughbred Alliance.