Day At The Track

Christen Me N wins North America debut

01:38 AM 16 May 2017 NZST
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Christen Me N
Christen Me N
Carys Monteath Photo

The wait was finally over. The long-awaited debut of The Wonder from Down Under happened Sunday, in front of a sizable and vocal harness racing crowd at Harrah's Philadelphia.

Christen Me N, the eleven time group one winner, and New Zealand's 2015 harness horse of the year, qualified impressively two weeks ago over the Philly oval. He did so in a 1:53.4 clocking, under minimal urging. Today's test was a non-winners of $21,100 in their last 5 starts, going for a purse of $17,500.

His debut wasn't without drama however, as the 9-year-old gelded son of Christian Cullen-Splendid Dreams interfered with Scott Rocks before the start, causing a recall. Trainer Jo Ann Looney-King took little time to ponder an equipment change for his next start. "We probably wont be putting anymore murphy blinds on him for starters," Looney-King said after the race.

As the wings folded, Christen Me N (Tim Tetrick) settled into an early fifth, as Always At My Place (Joe Bongiorno) was sent hard to the lead. As they approached 3/8ths, the 32-time winner edged to the outside, where he traveled uncovered to the 5/8ths marker. The Josh Green trainee Poisonous (Brett Miller) angled off the cones from the 3 hole, towing Christian Me N into striking range. Tetrick bailed on cover at the 1/8thpole, sweeping past for the victory under minimal urging in a time of 1:51 flat. The official margin of victory was a head. Poisonous fought gamely for place, while Scott Rocks (George Napolitano Jr) was third. He paid $6.20 to win.

Christen Me N


"Tim (Tetrick) loves him at this point, and we are pleased," Looney-King continued. "When you get a horse from the other side of the world, there is a certain amount of uncertainty, so now we can continue on." As far as the future is concerned, the husband/wife team are excited. "We are looking forward to having a lot of fun with him and butting heads with the big boys in the future."

The future may arrive in two weeks time, as Christian Me N has been invited to the Ben Stafford Jr. Memorial for aged pacers, which will take place on Sunday, May 28th at Harrah's Philadelphia. The purse for that event is $150,000.

Michael Bozich

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