11/24/2001 1:00AM

Calder: Tour of the Cat in game win


MIAMI - Tour of the Cat turned the tables on his nemesis TV Sports Director and confirmed his status as one of the top 3-year-olds on the Calder grounds when he registered a half-length victory in the $60,000 The Vid Handicap.

Tour of the Cat had finished behind TV Sports Director in the Needles and Simply Majestic stakes earlier this season. But jockey Abad Cabassa Jr. took advantage of his inside post and sent Tour of the Cat to a lead that he never relinquished, despite setting a rapid pace and drifting through the late stages of The Vid.

TV Sports Director advanced to close contention along the rail around the second turn, bore out a bit entering the stretch, and could not quite reach the winner with his final rally. Vikadontis came from well back to finish third.

Tour of the Cat, who is trained by Myra Mora for the Double G Stable, returned $10.40. He covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:40.46 over a firm course.

"We gave him most of the summer off after he got sick in New York," said Mora. "He can go short or long, run on turf or dirt."

Mora said that Tour of the Cat would probably race next in the $100,000 Pete Axthelm on Dec. 22.

A race earlier, Vague Memory, turning back off a pair of longer races, parlayed a perfect trip into a

1 1/2-length victory over 2-1 favorite Platinum Tiara in the $60,000 U Can Do It Handicap.

In her two previous starts, Vague Memory had finished a tiring third in the 1 1/16-mile Shocker T. Handi

cap and a troubled ninth in the grassy Powder Break Handicap at a mile on turf. But she was able to stalk the pace of Too Many in the 6 1/2-furlong U Can Do It, assumed command midway on the turn, and then gradually edged clear from Platinum Tiara through the stretch. Platinum Tiara raced forwardly but lacked a solid closing bid. Castlebrook broke slowly, raced wide, and rallied mildly to finish third.

Vague Memory paid $20.40 after covering the distance in 1:18.48 over a fast track. Julio Garcia rode the winner for trainer Ross Wolfendale.

"I ran her in here because this was the only race for her right now," said Wolfendale. "The biggest thing is keeping her from getting dirt in her face and Julio was able to keep her in the clear from the start."