Jevian Toledo tabbed as jockey of the week

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 Jevian Toledo, Maryland’s overall 2021 champion jockey and recently crowned Laurel Park’s Winter Meet champion, won three races at Laurel Park on Saturday including two stakes races.

The achievement led a panel of racing experts to vote Toledo Jockey of the Week for April 11 through April 17. The award honors jockeys who are members of the Jockeys’ Guild, the organization which represents more than 1050 active, retired and permanently disabled jockeys in the United States.

Saturday’s Spring Stakes Spectacular card at Laurel featured four stakes races worth $450,000. After winning a Maiden Special Weight for trainer Brittany Russell, Toledo was aboard Disco Pharoah, a 4-year-old son of American Pharoah for trainer Raymond Handal in the Frank Whiteley Stakes. Off a step slow in the field of seven, Toledo moved Disco Pharoah three-wide down the backstretch. Entering the far turn, Disco Pharoah took command and kicked clear to win by 3-1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:23.64 for the seven furlongs.

“He stepped back a little when the gates opened,” said Toledo. “He broke a little slow, but I put him on the outside. When I asked him he exploded…he just took off.”  “He’s a really nice horse.”

In the Heavenly Cause Stakes at one mile, trainer Mike Stidham give a leg up to Toledo on Pennybaker, a 4-year-old filly making her first start in the United States after four consecutive victories in France.  The pair broke well from post 11 and raced four-wide down the backstretch.  Around the turn, Toledo moved three-wide and Pennybaker went straight to the front to easily win by 6-3/4 lengths in 1:37.39.

[Pennybaker’s impressive win earned her notice as “One to Watch” going forward. Click to learn more.]

Toledo aboard Pennybaker. Photo Jerry Dzierwinski.

Considered one of Maryland’s elite riders, the 27-year-old Toledo rode 30 winners in his native Puerto Rico before moving his tack state-side in 2013 to ride primarily at Maryland racetracks. He recorded his 1,000th career win on July 24, 2020 at Laurel Park where he has won eight career riding titles.

Toledo currently sits atop the standings of Laurel Park’s Spring meet which began April 1. His statistics for the week were 11-4-1-3 with total purse earnings of $211,463.

Other nominees for Jockey of the Week were Junior Alvarado who tied for number of wins with eight, Harry Hernandez who also posted eight wins, Jose L. Ortiz who won the Grade I Jenny Wiley and Luis Saez who won the Grade I Maker’s Mark.