CHRISTIE BOOED LONG AND LOUD IN HASKELL WINNER’S CIRCLE

It is so obvious that Chris Christie wanted to be in a picture with a winner — just like his man crush on Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones — that the crowd left him have it for his lack of support for Jersey racing!

By Peter Gleason

For Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor and alleged candidate for the Republican nomination for president, this should have been a lay-up.

After two years of fending off accusations relating to Bridgegate and falling to subterranean levels in the GOP presidential polls, this was going to be a Sunday afternoon by the Jersey Shore.

Then the more than 50,000 people at Monmouth spotted Christie as he entered the winner’s circle to congratulate the owners of American Pharoah for winning the Haskell Invitational.

Christie was heartily booed at length as he presented the Haskell trophy to the Triple Crown-winning horse’s handlers.

The jeers for Christie, which lasted the entire length of his presentation, reflected his well-documented lack of support for New Jersey’s struggling horse racing industry in favor of Atlantic City’s casinos.

Views of Christie as an increasingly absentee governor as he runs for president surely factored into the reception as well.

“Racing has all kinds of challenges and opportunities,” Christie told the Asbury Park Press in the winner’s circle, “and I am confident we have the right team in place to be able to take advantage of the opportunities and handle whatever challenges lie ahead.”

For Christie, chalk it up as a lost opportunity. Monmouth Park’s big moment won’t appear in a campaign ad — at least not one of his — anytime soon.

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