07/19/2006 11:00PM

The long and short of it

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Edward Whitaker / Racing Post
Caller One (2) has become a once-a-year runner, competing only in the two-furlong Rocket Man.

MIAMI - The longest and shortest stakes races in the United States will be decided within a 30-minute span at Calder on Saturday. And that won't even be the most radical part of a wild, 14-race Extreme Day program, which also includes one stakes to be run clockwise on the turf course as well as two races to be contested simultaneously and billed as "the world's fastest daily double."

The $250,000 Bob Umphrey Turf Marathon Handicap at two miles is the main event on Calder's unique program. The Marathon will be preceded by the $50,000 Rocket Man Stakes at just two furlongs. The $50,000 King George's Wrong Way Stakes will be run clockwise going 1 3/8 miles on the turf, the $50,000 Methuselah Handicap is restricted to horses 5 years old and up, the $50,000 Gray Pride Stakes is carded for gray or roan horses, while the $30,000 Battle of the Sexes Invitational will match the track's two leading male riders, Manoel Cruz and Abel Castellano Jr., against their top two female counterparts, Rosemary Homeister Jr. and Kristi Chapman.

California invader is the 116-pound highweight and likely favorite in the Bob Umphrey Marathon, which is named in honor of Calder's former racing secretary, who died earlier this year. One Off finished second, beaten a length by T. H. Approval going 1 3/4 miles in the Grade 2 San Juan Capistrano Handicap earlier this season at Santa Anita. He is the only member of the lineup with experience in races of two miles or longer, having competed in a 2 1/4-mile marathon in his native England during the summer of 2004.

Trained by Neil Drysdale for owners Burt and Jane Bacharach, One Off will be ridden by Brice Blanc while conceding from one to six pounds to his eight rivals.

One Off is one of three horses who have shipped in for the race, along with Clevedale, who is trained by Todd Pletcher, and Princeofthestage.

is coming off a wire-to-wire win in a second-level allowance going nine furlongs on the main track at Delaware Park. He has some long-distance experience, having finished second going 1 1/2 miles last winter at Gulfstream Park.

registered a 2 1/4-length victory going 1 1/8 miles in his 2006 debut in the Mecke Handicap on July 4 but has never won a race beyond that distance. He will race coupled with stablemate A.J. Melini, both trained by Eddie Plesa Jr. A.J. Melini was an easy wire-to-wire winner of the 1 1/2-mile New York New York Stakes over the main track on June 10.

India Halo, the only filly or mare in the race, will try to duplicate her three-quarter-length victory over the boys in the 12-furlong Arthur L. Stakes earlier this month. India Halo also finished second against males in Aqueduct's 1 5/8-mile Gallant Fox last year.

, once among the elite sprinters in the world, will make his third straight appearance in the Rocket Man. Caller One, a two-time winner of the Dubai Golden Shaheen Stakes, has made only two starts since May 2002, and they came in the 2004 and 2005 editions of the Rocket Man. Caller One, who was supplemented into the race, finished third in 2004 and second last year.

That's the Problem has made only two starts since upsetting the Rocket Man a year ago and none since finishing sixth at Charles Town on March 17.

Love My Mountain, third in the 2005 Rocket Man, will also be among the key contenders, along with Mid-Atlantic speedster Rain Song.