Calder bugler Wally McMurray brought the horses onto the track for the first race on Saturday to the tune of “Yakety Sax,” popularly known as the music used during a sped-up chase scene in the old Benny Hill Show. Extreme Day at Calder Race Course had begun.
Heavy rainfall in the area on Friday forced the Turf Daily Double, races one and two, to be run on the main dirt track, but the day’s third race – the first half of the World’s Fastest Daily Double – remained at one mile on the grass and was run simultaneously with the fourth race, a six-furlong sprint on the main track.
In between the first two races was the Jockey Sprint Race, a favorite among fans and the riders alike. The 70-yard dash on the main track was won by Roimes Chirinos, who covered the distance in 7.21 seconds.
When the 16 horses were in the post parade for the World’s Fastest Daily Double – eight horses in each race – it started to rain, but the novel event still went off without a hitch. Track announcer Bobby Neuman called the two races seamlessly. Ice Skating won the third race and King Anthony won the fourth. The World’s Fastest Daily Double paid $32.40 for each $2 wagered.
Next up was the Harrison Half, a one-mile race that offered win and exacta wagering at the half-mile pole. It was number two, Keene Road, that was in front at both the half-mile pole and at the finish line. Those who bet on him to be in front at the half-mile pole earned $12.60 for each $2 wagered; those who bet on him to win the one-mile race received $9.20 for each $2 bet. The Harrison Half exacta combination of 2-4 paid $119, while the one-mile exacta combo of 2-1 returned $26.
The stakes action kicked in at race number 7 with the $50,000 Rocket Man Stakes. The remarkable 10-year-old Caller One defeated last year’s winner Rain Song in the 2-furlong event.
Following that event was the two-mile $50,000 Marathon (taken off the turf), won by Golden Strategy. Firebrook won the $50,000 Methuselah starter stakes, and Kristali was the winner of the $50,000 King George’s Wrong Way Stakes, which was actually run the “right way” at 1 1/4 miles over a track labeled ‘good.’
Another extreme-themed event was the $50,000 Gray Pride starter stakes, a race restricted to horses roan or gray in color. Zoobstick was the clear winner of the 1 mile and 70 yards contest.
The on-track attendance at Calder’s Extreme Day was 6,552.