Tour of the Cat Never Looks Back in Miam

Double G Stable's Tour of the Cat took the early lead and never looked back, winning the $150,000 Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap at Calder Race Course by 2 1/2 lengths. Last Stand finished second in the one-mile race originally carded for grass but run over a main track rated good.

(Under rules established by the American Graded Stakes Committee, the Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap was originally carded as a grade III race but was run as an ungraded event after being moved to the main track. The committee will review the race to determine if the grade should be restored or if the race will be recorded as a non-graded race for this running.)

Hear No Evil stalked Tour of the Cat through the first three-quarters of a mile as the 5-year-old Tour d'Or gelding set fractions of :24.12, :47.59, and 1:12.06. Last Stand also established a stalking place in third throughout before making a mild gain to take second, with Lavender's Lad third. Favored Supah Blitz was unhurried early, advanced three wide far turn, but could not gain on the leaders.

Tour of the Cat, who got the mile in final time of 1:38.65 under jockey Abad Cabassa Jr., paid $8.60, $5.20, and $3.80. Last Stand returned $10.00 and $5.40, with Lavender's Lad paying $5.20.

"This horse has good early speed so I sent him away from the gate thinking that someone would outrun him early and we could just sit behind the pacesetters," Cabassa said. "As it turned out, he was so eager to run we wound up in front. I slowed him down as much as I could but when we got pressure from Hear No Evil, he wanted to run on again, so I let him and he still had something for the finish."

The victory was the ninth in 30 career starts for Tour of the Cat, who has earned $696,261. Produced from the Tunerup mare Tune in to the Cat, the gelding was bred in Florida by CVS Sales Company. Monday's race was the first for Tour of the Cat since finishing sixth in the Smile Sprint Handicap (gr. III) on July 12.

" He came out of the Smile (July 12) full of mucus," said winning trainer Myra Mora, noting she did not know when the gelding would make his next start. "He hadn't shown any signs before the race, but he was sick."

(Chart, Equibase)