Toledo and Hybrid Eclipse Prove Too Tough in Caesar’s Wish

July 2, 2022

Jockey Toledo Won Stakes Earlier Saturday at Delaware Park

LAUREL, Md. – Jockey Jevian Toledo was the author of three perfect trips Saturday afternoon, two on the horses he rode to stakes victories in different states and one in the car to get him back and forth.

Two and a half hours after guiding Whereshetoldmetogo to a popular triumph in the Alapocas Run at Delaware Park, Toledo was aboard for an even more lopsided score on Hybrid Eclipse in the $100,000 Caesar’s Wish at Laurel Park.

The 1 1/16-mile Caesar’s Wish for fillies and mares 3 and up co-headlined a 10-race program with the $100,000 Concern for 3-year-olds sprinting seven furlongs. They are the first of 11 stakes worth $1.05 million in purses run every other Saturday during the month of July at Laurel.

Toledo, Maryland’s three-time overall riding champion including 2021, made the 90-minute trip from Delaware to Laurel in time to ride Hybrid Eclipse, a 4-year-old daughter of Paynter racing second time for trainer Brittany Russell. They teamed up together to run third in the June 8 Obeah at Delaware.

It was the first career stakes win for Hybrid Eclipse ($7.40), who tracked favorite The Grass Is Blue along the rail through an opening quarter-mile in 23.72 seconds until scooting through a seam inside to take over the top spot after a half in 47.22. The Grass Is Blue ranged up alongside Hybrid Eclipse midway around the turn but Toledo set his mount down for a drive to the wire once straightened for home and they opened up to win by 3 ¾ lengths in 1:37.13 over a fast main track.

“To be honest, I wasn’t going to break forward. If they let me go in front, I’d take the lead. If somebody wanted to go, I’d settle in behind,” Toledo said. “I broke and nobody wanted to go. I went and [The Grass Is Blue] kind of stayed away from me and never really put on pressure, so that kind of worked out really good.”

The Grass Is Blue was a decisive second, 3 ¾ lengths ahead of Glowsity in third. It was 5 ½ lengths back to Grade 2 winner Wholebodemeister in fourth followed by Big Cheeks, Bess and Stand for the Flag. Edie Meeny Miny Mo was scratched.

“Coming to the quarter pole [my filly] was kind of even, and when I asked her in the stretch she switched leads and just took off,” Toledo said. “I felt [The Grass Is Blue] right there but in the last part my filly just kept going and got the job done.”

Hybrid Eclipse had made her nine previous starts for New York-based trainer Linda Rice that included three trips to Laurel, two of them wins, the most recent a one-mile optional claimer Feb. 22. She didn’t run again until the Obeah, which followed off-the-board prior stakes tries in the 2021 Comely (G3) at Aqueduct and Weber City Miss at Laurel.

“It was just a situation where they wanted to get her in the Mid-Atlantic, to be honest, rather than ship her from New York, so I was the lucky pick, I suppose,” Russell, who also trains Whereshetoldmetogo, said. “She’s a lovely filly. She’s been great to have around. She trains well. She’s a total sweetheart and she goes to work every day.”

The Caesar’s Wish debuted in 1978 at old Bowie Race Course and was held at both Pimlico and Laurel before it was renamed the Beyond the Wire for 2018. It honors the Maryland-bred mare that won 11 of 16 starts over two seasons including the 1978 Mother Goose (G1) and Black-Eyed Susan (G2) and 1977 Demoiselle (G2) and Villager (G3). Her winning time in the Mother Goose broke Hall of Famer Ruffian’s stakes record and stood until 1994.

David Joseph/Maryland Jockey Club
Photo by Maryland Jockey Club

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