(Mr Wireless / Coady Photography)
From the Churchill Downs Media Team:
It was a sentimental win Friday at Churchill Downs for Jon Lapczenski and JIL Stable’s Mr. Wireless. Just days before his allowance victory, his co-owner/breeder John Kerber passed away at age 86.
Kerber, who died Nov. 5 in his native Iowa, was able to make one final trip to Keeneland in October to see Mr. Wireless. Kerber co-owned and bred the former Indiana Derby (GIII) and West Virginia Derby (GIII) winner with his wife, Iveta, and raced under the JIL Stable designation.
“He was just a nice man who loved his horses,” trainer Bret Calhoun said. “He’d been sick for a few years and I think every time he’d have a horse run he’d seem to heel up. It was pretty amazing to see how his horses kept him going. A couple years ago we had some horses down at Oaklawn and one of his was running. His family had a hard time trying to even get him from Iowa down to Hot Springs. We wheeled him down to the apron to watch the race and when we won I think he jumped out of that chair in the winner’s circle and we could never get him back in it. I think we may have had a little divine intervention yesterday to help Mr. Wireless get his nose down in front.”
Kerber managed Kerber Milling Company, along with his brother, Phil, who took over the business that was founded by their father, Fred, in 1922. The mill was later developed into a livestock feed company and was transformed to Hawkeye Sow System. According to his obituary, Kerber was able to watch the Breeders’ Cup in the afternoon prior to his death.
Mr. Wireless, with jockey Deshawn Parker in the saddle, got his nose down in front of pacesetter Here Mi Song and a fast-closing South Bend in Friday’s one-mile allowance event. The 4-year-old gelded son of Dialed In improved his overall record to 12-6-1-1 with earnings of $850,907.
Calhoun stated after the race that Mr. Wireless is likely headed back to stakes company at Fair Grounds.
AROUND THE BACKSTRETCH – Trainer Tom Amoss’ chief assistant Joel De La Cruz is set to make his training debut Wednesday in Race 6 with $20,000 maiden claimer Grapes for Eloise. … It was a snowy Saturday morning at Churchill Downs but that didn’t stop the action on the racetrack. The snow began to fall just after 6:30 a.m. and 30 horses were able to work over the “good” surface prior to the track being labeled as “muddy” from 7:30-9:30 a.m. The track remained harrowed until the second renovation break at 8:30 a.m. when it was sealed. … Sunny One, the 2-1 morning line favorite in Saturday’s $150,000 Claiming Crown Tiara, was scratched because the race was moved off the turf but could now target the $300,000 Cardinal (GIII) on Thanksgiving Day, according to trainer Conor Murphy. … Jockey Kylee Jordan recorded her first Churchill Downs victory Friday in Race 5 aboard the Robertino Diodoro-trained Lucksme. … Through the first seven days of the 19-day Fall Meet there were 72 claims for a total of $2,094,000. Last year, the first seven days of the meet totaled 70 claims for $1,880,500. … Grade III winner Hidden Connection is set to make her first start Sunday following the Longines Kentucky Oaks as the 6-5 favorite in a 6 ½-furlong conditioned allowance event. The 3-year-old Connect filly was close to the pace in the Oaks but faded to 12th. … The talented Run Classic is set to return to action beneath the Twin Spires Sunday in Race 7. The 4-year-old son of Runhappy was a recent 8 ¼-length winner in an allowance race at Keeneland. The Bret Calhoun trainee is tabbed at 2-1 on the morning line odds and will be ridden by Brian Hernandez Jr. … Saturday was likely the final day of training for multiple grade stakes winner Sconsin. She and her regular exercise rider Margarito Fierro had a light one-mile jog. Sconsin will make her career finale in Sunday’s $300,000 Dream Supreme.
DOWN THE STRETCH – Racing continued Saturday with a first post of 1 p.m. The 20-cent Derby City 6 Jackpot had a carryover of $30,986 and spanned Races 6-11. … Survivors of breast cancer will join family and friends, Gov. Andy Beshear and First Lady Britainy Beshear and other dignitaries on Sunday at Churchill Downs for the track’s annual “Horses and Hope Day at the Races.” The daylong celebration is designed to raise awareness and funding for the work of “Horses and Hope,” the breast cancer outreach initiative that provides information and offers free breast cancer screenings to workers in Kentucky’s signature horse racing industry. … For more information on the Churchill Downs Fall Meet, visit www.churchilldowns.com.
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