Best Beyer: Faction Cat

• The week’s top Beyer speed figure in North America

108 Faction Cat

Tampa Bay Downs (Feb 22): Turf Dash (Listed), 5f, turf, 4yo+
Trainer: Georgina Baxter
Jockey: Albin Jimenez
Owner: Asterace Group LLC
Pedigree: 7yo ch g Wildcat Heir – Zooming By (Cimarron Secret)

Perhaps an unlikely contender this week for the second-best Beyer of the season, the seven-year-old gelding Faction Cat broke sharply before smashing up the track record over 5f on turf at Tampa Bay Downs.

The former claimer is clearly much improved in later life since joining Florida-based Brit Georgina Baxter, the daughter of former jockey Geoff Baxter.

Although Faction Cat was taking his career record to eight wins from 33 starts, seven of those have come in his last 12. Indeed, he didn’t even break his maiden for former connections until a claimer at Churchill Downs in the June of his four-year-old campaign, and then he went another 20 months before he next troubled the scorers.

All the 2020 Best Beyers!

Now, though, he is a stakes sprinter, having followed up victory in his prep race a month ago to hold off the favourite Justaholic by three-quarters of a length in a time of 53.97s – slashing 0.66s off the course record for a Beyer figure of 108. The runner-up, more than five clear of the third-placed horse, got a 106.

Baxter has a deserved reputation for her talents with sprinters. She also trains Pay Any Price, another veteran son of Wildcat Heir who set a US record over 5f at Gulfstream in 2017. After meeting trouble at the turn, the ten-year-old was last in the Tampa race.

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