OCEANPORT – Governor Chris Christie drew a long and sharp series of boos and jeers from a crowd of more than 50,000 spectators as he appeared in the winner’s circle to present a trophy to American Pharoah, the Triple Crown-winning horse that claimed victory at the Haskell Invitational.
The jeers for Christie lasted the entire length of the Republican governor’s Monmouth Park presentation and they were called “staggering in their intensity.”
The Asbury Park Press attributed the critical reception to Christie’s “well-documented lack of support for New Jersey’s struggling horse racing industry in favor of Atlantic City’s casinos.” Four Atlantic City’s casinos have shut down during his tenure and overall gambling revenue is significantly lower than when he assumed office in 2010.
Christie’s perception “as an increasingly absentee governor as he runs for president” was also said to contribute to the cantankerous crowd. .
“Racing has all kinds of challenges and opportunities 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,” Christie said during the award presentation.
“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,” remarked the Asbury Park Press.
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