Jevian Toledo
Jevian Toledo accepts congratulations from trainer John Salzman, Jr. after a 2018 win. Photo by Jim McCue.

Pedro Nazario’s M. J.’s Lady slipped through an opening on the inside at the top of the stretch and held off Ski Bunny approaching the wire to give jockey Jevian Toledo his 1,000th career victory Friday at Laurel Park.

Making her third career start, all since mid-June, M. J.’s Lady ($12) ran one mile in 1:40.60 for the milestone win. It gave Toledo a sweep of Friday’s maiden special weight events for fillies and mares 3 and up, also taking Race 3 with Dontletsweetfoolya ($6.80) for No. 999.

He becomes the second rider this year to reach 1,000 wins at Laurel following his close friend, Victor Carrasco, who did it Jan. 26. Carrasco, the champion apprentice of 2013, is currently sidelined for six weeks with a fractured right elbow.

“Whenever you win a race, you feel happy. When you win a thousand, you feel amazing like all the hard work pays off,” Toledo said. “I just feel blessed. I have to thank God. Without him, we wouldn’t be here. I have to thank the owners, trainers, grooms, exercise riders, hotwalkers, my agent – everybody does a great job.”

Toledo leads all riders at Laurel’s summer meet in mounts (124) and purse earnings ($578,122) and is third behind Sheldon Russell (20) and Trevor McCarthy (15) in wins. Russell, like Toledo represented by agent Marty Leonard, is out 4-6 weeks with a broken wrist.

M. J.’s Lady had only one horse beat through a half-mile as Peachy Between Us set fractions of 23.27 and 46.98 seconds. Toledo moved the 3-year-old daughter of First Dude between horses on the far turn, shifted down to the rail for running room once straightened for home, wrested the lead from Ski Bunny inside the eighth pole and edged clear to win by three-quarters of a length.

“In the beginning my filly give me everything that she had and I feel comfortable how I was going. By the three-eighths pole, she grabbed the bit and I said I think I have a good chance to hit the board,” Toledo said. “To be honest, at the three-eighths I didn’t feel I was going to win the race, but coming to the stretch when I found the hole on the inside, she passed the other horses and kept going.”

A native of Puerto Rico, where Carrasco, Manny Franco and Jorge Vargas Jr. were among his classmates at the famed Escuela Vocacional Hipica jockey school, Toledo won 33 races before coming to the U.S. in the spring of 2013. He earned his first domestic win June 8, 2013 aboard Peaceadaaction at Pimlico Race Course.

He led all Maryland riders in wins in 2015 and 2017 and ranked second in 2016, finishing third in 2018 and fifth in 2014 and 2019. Toledo owns five meet titles at Laurel, the most recent coming at its 2018 summer stand.

Toledo won graded-stakes with Divisidero in the 2018 Arlington Handicap (G3) and Miss Behaviour in the 2014 Charles Town Oaks (G3) and has also regularly ridden multiple stakes winners O Dionysus, Sonny Inspired, Las Setas, Name Changer and Talk Show Man.

NOTES Jockey Feargal Lynch, injured on Thursday, took off his half-dozen Friday mounts. He is named on five more Saturday horses, and his agent said he’s day to day… Jockeys Xavier Perez and Charlie Marquez each won twice on the Laurel Friday card…