05/18/2012 4:01PM

Pimlico: Fiddlers Patriot fires in Jim McKay Turf Sprint


BALTIMORE – Fiddlers Patriot needs to be nursed along because of quarter cracks, according to trainer George Weaver, but when he's good, he's very good. He fired fresh off a layoff on Friday at Pimlico to win the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint for older horses, experiencing the thrill of victory, not the agony of the feet, in the race named for the late host of "ABC's Wide of Sports."

Fiddlers Patriot ($10.60), starting from the outside post in a field of 10, engaged front-runner Ju Jitsu Jax on the far turn of the five-furlong race, then powered clear down the stretch to win by 2 1/4 lengths over Super Chunky, with Ju Jitsu Jax fading to third, another 1 1/4 lengths behind Super Chunky.

John Velazquez was aboard Fiddlers Patriot, who covered five furlongs on firm turf in 56.12 seconds.

The McKay was the first start since October for Fiddlers Patriot, who made just four starts last year and four starts in 2010.

"He gets quarter cracks. He has foot problems. You can't run him 10 or 12 times a year," Weaver said. "Sprinters need a lot of time to recover. When you lead them over, you have to make it count."

Fiddlers Patriot, 6, a gelding, has won six times in 13 starts. Weaver trains him for James Olson and the R.A. Hill Stable of Raymond Hill.