CHRISTEN ME, 11, AND STILL WINNING AT YONKERS
By Jeff Scott
Former Kentuckiana Lodge superstar Christen Me has won the equivalent of $NZ2,824,048, and is closing in on $100,000 in yearly American earnings, despite his now 11-year-old veteran status.
The former dual Australasian Grand Circuit champion turned back the clock with a dashing $US20,000 Yonkers win on Tuesday (NZ time).
Christen Me, racing with his old zest in a full-blinded hood, left fast from the seven gate for driver Jordan Stratton, holding in 1:52.3 (fifths) for the mile, twice round the half-mile oval.
This was his fourth win of the year for trainer Lance Hudson, while he’s also had eight seconds and a third, from 25 starts in 2019, for $US96,055.
Christen Me was in his prime when as a six-year-old he won the 2014 $A750,000 Miracle Mile at Menangle, Australia, in a career best 1:49.1 for trainer Cran Dalgety, and driver Dexter Dunn.
The big Miracle Mile win avenged his defeat of 12 months earlier by Beautide in the major Australasian sprint.
Christen Me, although unable to win a NZ Cup (best in three attempts, finishing third to Terror To Love in 2013), won most of the other major Australasian Grand Circuit events.
He numbered wins in A G Hunter Cup, New Zealand Free-For-All, Victoria Cup and Auckland Cup, along with an Easter Cup at Addington, the Bendigo Pacing Cup, New Brighton Cup, Canterbury Classic, and a Maurice Holmes Vase at Addington.
Earlier at four, he emerged as the dominant age group in 2013, winning the 4YO Superstars Championship Taylor Mile, NZ Messenger, Harness Jewels 4YO Emerald (1:51.5), Hondo Grattan Stakes at Menangle (1:51.6) and Chariots Of Fire at Menangle (1:50.5).
Christen Me, sold and exported out of the Cran Dalgety barn in March, 2017, won $2.4 million from 32 wins in 68 starts in his Australasian racing.
He’s added anually to his tally State-side, but won only twice last year, the quickest in 1:50.4 (fifths), earning $US60,000.
In his latest win, he held fellow ex-Canterbury pacer, Provocative Prince, who won six of 44 NZ starts for trainer David Mitchell, and now races for the Peter Tritton stable.
Provocative Prince (9g Grinfromeartoear-Catherine Zeta), who has a 1:52.6 mile best in North America, has won twice in 17 starts for the year, for just under $40,000.
TEXICAN WINS & CLAIMED AGAIN
Meanwhile, fellow former Kentuckiana Lodge Group One winner Texican was claimed again for the second week running after winning again at Harrahs Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, last weekend.
The 2011 NZ Sires Stakes 3YO Final winner led from the eight barrier in a $US15,000 pace for $20,000 claimers and held by a neck in 1:52.2 (fifths), identical time as the previous week, for his 35th in in 171 starts.
Texican, who took his earnings past $NZ1 million racing for many years for the Peter Tritton stable in New York, has been allowed to extend his career in recent months by being entered in suitable claim races.
Also still racing competitively at 11, he’s now had his third stable change in as many weeks.
He won for the Vincent Fusco jun. stable on September 24, then won for the Darren Taneyhill stable on September 29.
This week he’s joined the Jenna Cornelison stable.