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Justine Klaiber atop Apollitical Gold has made history in horse racing. The 25-year-old jockey and the Quarter Horse gelding won Grade 1, $1,104,550 Golden State Million Futurity at Los Alamitos Race Course. This cements Justine as the first woman jockey to win a million-dollar race at Los Alamitos.
In an interview with AQHA, Justine Klaiber said,“It’s been amazing. I’m grateful to have been able to ride all year long for Eddie Willis and be a part of the team. I couldn’t be here without him and all my friends and family supporting me. This is great. I just hope it keeps building. It just seems like every year it gets better and better. I show up for work every day and be glad to do what I love and work hard. It’s a lot of hard work. I don’t think any of it was given. We’ve all have worked for it. I think I was second or third leading rider at Fair Meadows and now I’m at Will Rogers Downs. I think I’ve won 31 races there so far for the meet with a couple of weeks left.”
Although most likely her favorite ride on Apollitical Gold, this is not Justine Klaiber’s first roe with the horse. “I broke (Apollitical Gold) last winter,” Justine said in an interview with AQHA. “I rode him at Remington. Eddie was at the trials in Oklahoma and asked me to come and ride him. Jimmy (Dean Brooks) stood him and Eddie said that he stood better than he ever stood. He definitely left on top. The horse felt great. He broke better than he has ever broken. He finished fantastic. I couldn’t have asked him to run any better. He always runs like that – straight – he always has a good finish. He is phenomenal horse, and he gives you the best trip he can every time. I am happy.”
Apollitical Gold was a longshot, with 23-1 odds in the race. The home-bred Oklahoma gelding is the result of 30 years of love, care and careful training from the Cox family and trainer Eddie Willis.
“My mom and dad have always had racing Quarter Horses,” Owner, Dr. Grant Cox reminiscent in his interview with AQHA. “They bought this horse’s great grandmother in 1977 and most of our horses have come from that mare.”
On Apollitical Gold, trainer Eddie Willis remarked, “(Apollitical Gold) has never not run a good race when we have run him. I tried not to do too much with him before this race. I galloped him once and schooled him once. He has been very focused.”
This is also a large milestone for Apollitical Gold. His career earnings now total $737,389.
Read more about Justine Klaiber and Apollitical Gold’s historic Golden State Million Futurity win from AQHA.
For more female horse racing power, check out Preakness Stakes’ Mare Power!