11/15/2006 12:00AM

Extreme Day gets another chance to succeed


MIAMI - After Calder's first attempt to run its innovative Extreme Day card on July 22 went slightly awry due to the weather, track management could have easily thrown in the towel and said "wait 'til next year." Instead, they immediately rescheduled the event, which will now be held over Thanksgiving weekend on Nov. 25.

Heavy rain forced racing to be taken off the grass during the original Extreme Day program, preventing the $50,000 King George Wrong Way Stakes from being run clockwise as originally scheduled and the "world's fastest daily double" from being held at all. The fastest daily double consists of two races being run simultaneously, one on the main track and one on turf.

Both events have been rescheduled for Extreme Day II, as has the $45,000 Fast 'n' Furious Stakes carded at two furlongs, the $45,000 Methuselah II Handicap for 5-year-olds and up, and the $45,000 Gray Pride Stakes II, which is restricted to roan and gray horses.

Extreme Day took many months of planning, and track management had to overcome numerous logistical obstacles just to bring the event to fruition, only to have the most innovative aspects of the card washed away due to the inclement weather.

"We are eager to present these races," said track president Ken Dunn in the wake of Extreme Day I. "The safety of the horses and potential damage to the turf course were the key elements in taking the races off the grass. But we certainly created a buzz in the industry with these concepts - there were over 8,000 people in attendance in bad weather to see the card, and that's why we have decided to reschedule the event for later in the season at a time when there is less likelihood for rain in this area."

Yanez wins as jack-of-all-trades

For the majority of the year, Pedro Yanez holds two jobs. In the morning, he's an exercise rider for trainer Ralph Ziadie. In the afternoon he serves as a valet in the Calder jockeys' room.

But on Monday, Yanez worked a third job. He was the jockey for Can't Stop Me, a 2-year-old who rallied from near the rear of the pack to win his career debut under a $25,000 claiming tag.

Yanez, 50, a native of Venezuela, had accepted three previous mounts this season and was winless until getting Can't Stop Me home on top for Ziadie and the Funky Monkey Stable. Yanez first came to this country in 1998, riding at both Calder and Hialeah for two years before sustaining rib, lung, and spleen injuries in a spill in 1999. Can't Stop Me was his eighth winner in the U.S.

Croton Road lands in soft spot

Croton Road, second behind the odds-on Can't Beat It in the Grade 3 Calder Derby on Oct. 14, has found a significantly softer spot in Friday's $26,500 feature on the turf.

Croton Road rallied from midpack to best nine other rivals while proving no match for Can't Beat It in the 1 1/8-mile Calder Derby. Croton Road, a 3-year-old son of Mr. Greeley, had finished second in the Needles Stakes in his previous start and also won the Lord Juban Stakes this past summer.

Friday's feature, an optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles, will mark the first time Croton Road has faced older horses. He will meet a field that includes the consistent turf runner Ho Ho Ho, improving Starlight Serenade, and fellow 3-year-olds Verismo and Fancy Silver.

* Trainer Andy Williams ended a long winless drought by sending Liquid Amber ($4.40) out to capture Monday's first race. Williams had not registered a victory with 49 previous starters this year until Liquid Amber rallied from just off the pace under jockey Ray Fuentes.