Updated on 09/18/2011 12:34AM

Extremely disappointing conditions

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Michele Blanco
Tacit Agreement ($14.80), Carlos Olivero up, wins the $250,000 Bob Umphrey Memorial Handicap at Calder on Saturday.

MIAMI - Calder's Extreme Day, held Saturday, took many months of planning and forced track management to overcome numerous logistical obstacles. Unfortunately, the one variable nobody could control was the weather, which ultimately put an end to the afternoon's two most extreme events: the clockwise King George's Wrong Way Stakes and the World's Fastest Daily Double, which was to have consisted of two simultaneous races.

Heavy rains on Friday led to the decision Saturday morning to switch the King George's Wrong Way Stakes, scheduled to be run at a mile and three furlongs clockwise on the grass, to the main track, where it was instead run under normal counter-clockwise conditions at a 1 1/4-mile distance. The condition of the turf course also resulted in the seemingly curious decision to take the afternoon's main event, the $250,000 Bob Umphrey Memorial Handicap, off the turf but leave a $34,000 allowance race on the grass. That race was to have been the second half of the World's Fastest Double - two races at the same time, one on turf and the second over the main track.

But when another heavy downpour struck shortly after the second race, management had little recourse but to finally cancel all turf racing for the afternoon, which in the process also ended the possibility of running two races at the same time.

"Naturally, not being able to carry out our plans to run our most extreme events, especially the two simultaneous races, was a major disappointment," said Ken Dunn, Calder's president and general manager. "Our first consideration was for safety, and secondly what damage would be done to the turf course.

"At 7:30 a.m. we felt we could safely run once around the surface for sure, and possibly, with a break from the weather, also run the Umphrey, which would be two more times around. There was no chance we could use it for for the Wrong Way Stakes, which would mean an additional two laps."

But after walking the course again at 11:30 a.m., Dunn and his associates knew conditions had not improved.

"There was just no way we could safely make two runs over the course, so at that time we chose to also move the Bob Umphrey to the main track," Dunn said. "Eventually, Mother Nature made our final decision, which was really no decision at all, to cancel all turf races."

Dunn said plans are already in the works to schedule a second Extreme Day card, during the Tropical-at-Calder meeting this fall.

"We haven't selected the date yet, but we're definitely planning to bring the whole card back, except the two-mile turf race will not be worth $250,000," Dunn said. "We've spent a lot of time and energy planning this card, and we don't want to waste all that work.

"People in the industry might have poked fun at this promotion, and it might not have been the best betting card," Dunn added, "but it has generated interest and it would have been fun. I think the industry needs to take a lighter look at times."

One trainer who had no problem with the decision to move the Umphrey to the main track was Marty Wolfson, whose Tacit Agreement ($14.80) took advantage of the change in venue and a ridiculously slow pace to register an easy seven-length victory over India Halo.

Tacit Agreement, a 5-year-old son of Unbridled owned by Live Oak Plantation, dueled India Halo through fractions of 27:48 seconds, 55.34, 1:23.78, and a trotter-like 1:51.40 for a mile before drawing off impressively through the stretch. India Halo, the only filly or mare in the field, was easily second best, checking home 5 3/4 lengths in front of 2-1 favorite Supervisor. Two of the seven starters failed to complete the two-mile distance.

"The plan was to be on the lead, and the key was when he was able to go the opening half in 55," Wolfson said. "I was hoping the race would come off the turf once I saw Neil [Drysdale] had sent his horse here for the race. Otherwise it probably wouldn't have mattered."

Carlos Olivero rode Tacit Agreement, who completed the distance in 3:37.94 over a sloppy track.

Drysdale's One Off, the 116-pound highweight, was scratched along with Magic Mecke after the race was taken off the turf.

In other Extreme Day results, Rain Song ($3.20) sprinted to a popular victory in the two-furlong, $50,000 Rocket Man Stakes; El Segundo ($4.40) extended his winning streak to seven with a hard-fought decision in the $50,000 Methuselah Handicap for 5-year-olds and up; Texas Red ($13.40) upset even-money favorite Joey Blueeyes in the $50,000 King George's Wrong Way; Slider ($5) led throughout to win the $50,000 Gray Pride Stakes; and Rosemary Homeister Jr. won the Battle of the Sexes Invitational Stakes with Boston Fox ($7).