Fiddlers Patriot Takes Jim McKay Turf Sprint Stakes

BALTIMORE, 05-18-12 –James F. Olson & R.A. Hill Stable’s Fiddlers Patriot pressed the pacesetter from the start before drawing clear in the stretch to capture in the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint at Pimlico Race Course.

John Velazquez was at the controls as the son of Proud Citizen made his 2012 debut for trainer George Weaver.  Super Chunky, who also raced close to the pace, finished 2 ¼ lengths back in second, while pacesetter Ju Jitsu Jax settled for third.

Defending champ Ben’s Cat, the race favorite,  broke slowly and closed from far back to finish fifth.

Fiddlers Patriot completed the five-furlong distance in 56.12 and paid $10.60.

Jim McKay Turf Sprint Stakes Quotes

George Weaver (winning trainer, Fiddlers Patriot)– “I was a little bit timid about running this horse five-eighths. Sometimes going five-eighths you have to run and gun the whole way. I know he has good early speed, but I was a little bit reluctant to run five-eighths. He was ready to run and we thought we’d run today and at least know if he does handle five-eighths. Now we have a lot more options.”

John Velazquez (winning jockey, Fiddlers Patriot)– “The last few times I rode him it had rained and the turf was soft. He was bouncing around. I know he’s a quick horse. Today he broke well and saved ground. I followed the speed around the turn and let him go turning for home. We had a perfect trip.”

Sheldon Russell (jockey, beaten favorite, Ben’s Cat) –“He didn’t break as sharp as I would have liked. We were badly bumped on the turn. These big runners are always a concern because speed is holding strong on the turf. He galloped out strong.”