Results, Monday, Santa Anita, Race 2 — lost $750

Jockey Chantal Sutherland

In three of What a Rush’s first four races, he pushed the pace then faded away to finish no closer than four lengths from the winner. After a six-month layoff, trainer A.C. Avila dropped the 3-year-old gelding in class from maiden special weight to maiden $20,000.

By running against cheaper horses, What a Rush was able to sit closer to the lead, but he still lacked the toughness to gut out a close win. For example, What a Rush had a lead in deep stretch on Nov. 11, but faltered to finish third by a neck. When he came back on Dec 7, What a Rush was in second place a half length behind the leader in the stretch, but finished third again.

However, on Monday at Santa Anita, What a Rush put it all together. Instead of hustling to be on the pace, What a Rush broke midpack in the 10-horse field and was sitting in fourth as the runners entered the far turn. Jockey Chantal Sutherland had a ton of horse as she eased up the inside on the turn, cruising into third behind the leader #6 Street Titan and the second place horse #7 Siempre Mio.
 
But the stretch run had been where What a Rush had struggled in his career. In fact, in five of his most recent races, What a Rush ended up in a worse finishing position than before he entered the lane. What a Rush had competitive Beyer Speed Figures with the rest of Monday’s field and the 81 Beyer he ran on March 25 towered over any race run by the other horses. If What a Rush could roll another 81 Beyer, then he’d win by open lengths.
 
The main question, though — which was about to be answered as the field came off the turn — was had Avila and Sutherland taught What a Rush how to rate?  Would he pass horses in the stretch?
 
If not, then it was not sensible to run him at 6-1/2 furlongs. He belonged in shorter sprints. Well, in the end, it looked like What a Rush had learned a thing or two in his seven-race career. Entering the stretch, he was just two lengths back. But with Sutherland whipping and driving in midstretch, What a Rush blew by Street Titan at the sixteenth pole, then nailed Siempre Mio on the wire.
 
In my betting strategy, I downgraded What a Rush because I viewed him as an early-speed type, which I was trying to avoid because only 16 percent of horses on the lead have won at this class and distance. In a cruel twist, one of the animals that I decided to bet, Street Titan, had never gotten the lead in the 10 past performances showing in the form. Yet he and jockey Joe Talamo dashed to the front when the starting gate bell rang.
 
Street Titan went the first quarter in a quick 21.89 seconds and got to the half in 44.53. In deep stretch, Street Titan was cooked and faded to third. My other horse, #4 Zapeye, who was coming off a long layoff, never threatened and I was quickly down $750 in imaginary betting money.
 
To watch this race, go to www.calracing.com.
PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Warrens Two to One (CA) Maldonado-Alicea E Van Berg J 107.50 9
2 2 St. Valentino (CA) Delgadillo A Garcia O 39.00 4
3 3 Maybe Tuesday (CA) Flores E McCarthy S 22.10 5
4 4 Zapeye (KY) Bejarano R Eurton P 4.30 6
5 5 What a Rush (CA) Sutherland C Avila A 3.00 1
6 6 Street Titan (KY) Talamo J Mitchell M 2.00 3
7 7 Siempre Mio (CA) Quinonez A Wicker L 11.40 2
8 8 Three Time Dancer (CA) Castanon A Castaneda K 66.80 10
9 9 Directors Room (CA) Scott J Nettles K 60.90 8
10 10 Trando’s Tremor (CA) Pedroza M Pender M 3.30 7
 
Pgm Win Place Show
5 $8.00 $4.20 $3.00
7 $10.60 $6.20
6 $2.80
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Exacta paid $49.70 (5-7)
$1.00 Superfecta paid $920.70 (5-7-6-2)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $123.00 (5-7-6)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $14.20 (6-5)
Fractional Times
21.89, 44.53, 1:09.39, 1:15.89
 
 
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Monday, Santa Anita, Race 2 — post time 12:32 pm PST

 

Maiden King conquers So. Cal. maiden races

Maiden claiming, $20K, 6-1/2 furlongs, 3 yo’s and up

Possible overlays                    Morning line
#3 Maybe Tuesday                         8/1
#4 Zapeye                                           4/1
#5 What a Rush                                 4/1
#6 Street Titan                                  5/2
#10 Trando’s Tremor                     3/1
 
I am hoping that first-time starter #3 Maybe Tuesday is cold on the board and his odds drift into the 10-to-1 to 20-to-1 range. Then I won’t have to deal with him. These cagey connections bet their live horses and this gelding is a contender if less than 10-to-1, although I probably won’t take him anyway.

I think a mid-70’s Beyer Speed Figure will be necessary to win this contentious race. Coming off of a nine-month layoff, #4 Zapeye is trying dirt for the first time after not threatening in his three turf routes. Being a 3-year-old who was a May foal, Zapeye is definitely eligible to improve and my layoff information shows that horses who look like Zapeye have been outstanding bets at 7-to-2 to 5-to-1, but they tail off a bit up to 10-to-1. It’s interesting to note that this gelding is named for handicapper and breeding consultant Larry Zap, whose Twitter account @LarryZapeye states that he is known “as the Eye for being able to measure quality in Thoroughbred racehorses.”

Chantal Sutherland rode Zapeye in his first three races, but she moves to #5 What a Rush. Sired by Tribal Rule, What a Rush has plenty of early speed, which I believe is disadvantageous for this class at 6-1/2 furlongs. In fact, only 16 percent of these races are won by runners who get the lead at the quarter pole. However, by what I observed watching What a Rush’s last two tries, it appears that Sutherland and trainer A.C. Avila are working with the horse to throttle back his early energy. To me, this horse appears to fit better at 6 furlongs or shorter. However, What a Rush did run an 81 Beyer figure five races ago on March 25 and he’d be tough to catch if he ran like that on Monday.

Mike Mitchell trains #6 Street Titan. Need I say more?

Mitchell, who won with a gaudy 107 of 324 runners this year — or 33 percent, took over the training of Street Titan this Fall after Ian Wilkes and Roger Attfield made a combined 10 unsuccessful attempts with him to win higher class races in the Midwest and in Canada. The fact that Street Titan is making his 13th start doesn’t bother me at all. Sure, he’s failed 12 times, but all except one of these races were for maiden special weights and at least three of those races were on the grass. Mitchell started Street Titan twice in the last two months for higher-priced claiming tags and, after troubled trips in both starts, I upgraded the horse’s Beyer figures from 65 to 70 on Nov. 3 and 64 to 69 on Dec. 1. Street Titan needs to improve a length or two to win, but the Mitchell magic is due to kick in sooner rather than later.

Finally, #10 Trando’s Tremor began his career for Dan Hendricks on Sept. 2 when he was squeezed after the start at 5-1/2 furlongs to be 12 lengths behind, but then rallied well to miss by just 3-1/2 lengths. I upgraded the Beyer from 57 to 68 to account for what I estimated to be a 4-length loss. In that race, Michael Pender claimed Trando’s Tremor for $20K and then brought him back on Oct. 6 where the gelding pressed the pace from the 11 post at 6-1/2 furlongs to miss by just a half-length. In the 10 stall on Monday, Trando’s Tremor might suffer a wide trip.

My betting strategy: If the odds on #4 Zapeye fall between 7/2 and 5/1, then I will bet $500 to win on him and $250 to win on #6 Street Titan. If the odds on Zapeye, however, are 6/1 to 9/1 then I want just $100 to win on him and $700 to win on Street Titan. If Zapeye is less than 7/2, or 10/1 or more, I’ll bet nothing on him and $800 on Street Titan.

With Chantal gone, will NY’s Studart and Davis be celebrated as horse racing’s next hot female jockeys?

Jockey Chantal Sutherland head back to Canada

Jockey Chantal Sutherland heads back to Canada

After moving to Southern Calfornia in time for last year’s Oak Tree meet, jockey Chantal Sutherland is heading back to Toronto today where she’ll ride at Woodbine Racetrack.

Sutherland, who is slated to ride #4 Speedski in today’s eighth at SA, won 18 of her 154 mounts — or 12 percent — since the winter meet at Santa Anita began on Dec. 26. It’s a fair riding percentage, but Sutherland’s popularity soared far beyond her winning percentage, mainly because of her looks and her part in the “Jockeys” television show.

Sutherland, who was named one of People Magazine’s 100 Most Beautiful People in 2006, is dating jockey Mike Smith and their relationship was the one of the main focuses of “Jockeys,” a recently completed doc-u-drama on the Animal Planet network. Smith will remain riding in Southern California and the two plan to visit each other frequently.

As of March 29, Sutherland is ranked tenth in the jockey standings, but she was by far the most searched for jockey or trainer on the Maiden King website. From December until today, search terms including the name “Chantal Sutherland” were used 686 times all together by people who landed on this site.

And records suggest that many searchers were not looking for information on Sutherland’s riding record, as many terms were “Chantal Sutherland bathing suit,” “Chantal Sutherland pics,” Chantal Sutherland photos,” and “Chantal Sutherland nude.”

By contrast, the next most popular jockey is Joe Talamo who had only nine searches for his name. The most searched for trainer is Peter Eurton who had seven inquiries.

Internet searchers plug terms into search engines like Google and websites are listed that carry related stories. When Internet users click on a website, the owners of the site get a listing of what term was used to get to the site.

With Sutherland leaving the United States, and the television show “Jockeys” looking for a new venue, my choices as the favorites to be the next popular hot female jockeys are New York-based apprentices Jackie Davis and Maylan Studart.

Do you agree? (see below)

Results, Santa Anita Saturday Race 10 — won $200

cash-pile-royalty-free-stock-photoMaking her second lifetime start, #10 Pedo Veijo sat just off the pace before jockey Chantal Sutherland steered her through a seam at the top of the stretch and the filly sprinted by the leaders.

In her first race on Feb. 27, Pedo Viejo hesitated at the break to lose four lengths, but showed some ability while running. The slow start last time, and subsequently low 59 Beyer Speed Figure, was probably the reason Pedo Viejo was a better price than a similar-looking second time starter in the race, #9 Atta’ Girl.

During my betting, my plan was to make a small wager on the longer of the two between Pedo Viejo and Atta’s Girl, as long as their odds fell in the range of 2/1 to 5/1. But my main bet — the horse I really liked — was #14 Humane.

In her Feb. 5 debut, Humane had a horrible trip, but still almost won the race. On Saturday, she broke in midpack then swooped up six-wide entering the stretch with a major move, but it seemed that jockey Alex Solis was not encouraging her too much so she flattened out.

The best distance for this horse is likely 6-1/2 to 7 furlongs and I am sure she can run a Beyer Speed Figure in the mid-to-high 70s on her best day. This last race will merely darken Humane’s form, which should allow her odds to be a bit better when she finally does win.

At the window, I bet $350 on Humane at 5/1; $50 on speedster #5 Princess Quinn at 87/1 and $150 on the winner, Pedo Viejo at 4/1. I collected $750 after betting $550.

To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com.

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Mary the Princess (CA) Rios J Periban J 53.30 10
2 2 Stellar Day (KY) Bejarano R Kitchingman A 7.00 11
3 3 Hostile Reaction (CA) Stra K Martinez S 97.80 12
4 4 Victoriously (KY) Valdivia, Jr. J Sherman A 84.40 4
5 5 Princess Quinn (KY) Couton J Mendoza J 87.00 13
6 6 Lady Bradbury (KY) Talamo J Hess, Jr. R 35.10 2
7 7 Tuaca Parfait (CA) Quinonez A Bernstein D 16.00 5
8 8 Court Ballado (KY) Nakatani C Sherman A 40.40 8
9 9 Atta’ Girl (CA) Espinoza V Walsh K 3.40 3
10 10 Pedo Viejo (KY) Sutherland C Hendricks D 4.00 1
11 11 Evelyn (KY) Delgadillo A Vargas J 46.40 14
12 12 Irish Pepper (CA) Rosario J Sadler J 2.70 7
13 13 Lowtian (CA) Garcia M Velasquez D 54.00 9
14 14 Humane (CA) Solis A Meredith D 5.00 6
 
Pgm Win Place Show
10 $10.00 $6.00 $4.60
6 $24.60 $12.40
9 $3.40
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Consolation Pick 3 paid $29.90 (4-5-10)
$1.00 Exacta paid $143.90 (10-6)
$1.00 Pick 3 paid $132.40 (4-10-10)
$1.00 Pick 4 paid $242.20 (7-4-4/5/7/10/11/13-10)
$1.00 Place Pick All paid $10682.90 (10 OF 10)
$1.00 Super High Five paid $0.00 (NO WINNERS)
$1.00 Trifecta paid $891.90 (10-6-9)
$2.00 Daily Double paid $31.20 (10-10)
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $12211.40 (6-1/4-7-4-4/5/7/10/11
$2.00 Pick 6 paid $189.40 (6-1/4-7-4-4/5/7/10/11/1

Sutherland to leave Santa Anita for Woodbine in April

Jockey Chantal Sutherland got #8 Magna Cum Laude to break his maiden on his 16th try

Jockey Chantal Sutherland plans to ride full-time at Woodbine starting in April

Canadian native and Internet phenom Chantal Sutherland will leave Santa Anita to begin riding at Woodbine in Toronto when it opens April 4.

After Woodbine’s opening weekend, Sutherland will come back to Santa Anita and stay until the meet ends on April 19. Afterward, she will remain at Woodbine for the racing season, Sutherland told the the Daily Racing Form’s Steve Anderson.

However, Sutherland, 33, is thinking about riding full time in Southern California in the future.

“Eventually, I’d like to stay here,” she said. “I’d like to get a Derby horse or a Breeders’ Cup horse.”

Sutherland is one of the riders featured in the “Jockeys” reality show on the Animal Planet network. The show has increased Sutherland’s popularity and on Maiden King she is by far the most searched name.

Sutherland, who grew up in Toronto, won her first race at Woodbine on Oct. 9, 2000. In 2001 and 2002, Sutherland was voted the Sovereign Award as Canada’s top apprentice jockey. She was eligible to win the award for two years because time did not elapse on her 12-month apprenticeship when Woodbine was closed for the winter.

In 2002, Sutherland became one of Canada’s highest paid female athletes when her horses earned $5.7 million for their owners, according to Wikipedia. She rode in Canada until 2005 when she headed south to Florida and New York where Angel Cordero, Jr., Shane Sellers and Edgar Prado helped hone her skills. 

Last year, she was ranked third in the Woodbine jockey standings before starting to ride at Santa Anita’s Oak Tree meet in the fall. Through Thursday, Sutherland was 10th in the Santa Anita jockey standings with 15 wins on 112 mounts for a winning percentage of 13. 

Sutherland told the DRF the reason she’s going home is because she makes good money at Woodbine and has connections with several of leading owners and trainers.

“I have an opportunity to go back to Canada and the purses are so good,” she said.

TV’s “Jockeys” is a winning ride. But why muzzle Trevor?

The TV show  “Jockeys” is an exciting behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to ride top Thoroughbreds on the lucrative and ultra-competitive Southern California racing circuit.

I watched back-to-back half-hour episodes on Animal Planet Feb. 27 where the story focused on jockeys Joe Talamo, Brendon Meier, Alex Solis and Solis’ son, bloodstock agent Alex Solis II.

Being that Talamo, Meier and Solis II are all less than 24 years old, the program was obviously slanted toward youth, at least in these episodes. The first show entitled “May the Horse Be With You” opened with the narrator telling us that Talamo, who won the 2007 Eclipse Award as the nation’s top apprentice, was losing lots of races lately.

“I’m on a cold streak and you always want to win,” said the 19-year-old Louisiana native. “I really want to win one today.”

Reckless riding

Talamo was then shown, in three consecutive races, losing control of his horses as they swerved into the path of other runners. To display how damaging a horse fall can be, the producers showed footage of jockey Mike Smith getting tossed from a horse in 1998. Smith, who almost died from the accident, was in a body cast for a month, he said.

The jockeys on the program all seem to get along well, but they don’t take riding mistakes lightly. Bad rides can easily lead to crippling injuries or death. 

After Talamo’s reckless incidents, one jockey put a white message board above Talamo’s locker, drew a racing oval and added a zig-zagged line throughout the oval. Above the drawing read: “Talamo’s path to the winner’s circle.”  And another sign written by a rival above Talamo’s locker read, “What goes around comes around.”

Talamo summoned to stewards

When a horse impedes another, the jockey goes before three stewards who serve as the judge and jury for riders. They review the race replays and the rider explains what happened. If the stewards think the jockey was at fault, they are suspended for a few days and can’t make any money.

Jockeys are paid 10 percent of the owners share of the purse for winning a race, and 5 percent for second and third. Purses generally start at about $15,000 in Southern California for maiden claiming races and dramatically increase to millions of dollars for stakes races. The winning owner gets 60 percent of the purse, second place is 20 percent and third pays 10 percent.

So, riders make $900 for winning  a race with a $15,000 purse and $60,000 if they win a $1 million stakes. Not bad for a couple of minutes work, but they spend hours every morning exercising horses and cultivating trainer relationships. Also, jockey booking agents take 20-25 percent of the rider’s pay.

Talamo met with the stewards and they watched his races together. The panel, who told Talamo they have no tolerance for careless riding, expected quicker reactions from Talamo when his horses were swerving during his races. 

However, Talamo was riding inexperienced and sometimes unpredictable 2-year-old horses, so the stewards didn’t penalize him. “I think it’s fair to say that he was very close to suspension,” said steward Scott Cheney. “He could have acted a little bit faster.”

Smith takes Talamo under his wing

Viewers learn that these jockeys try to beat each other every day, but after the races they go out to dinner together, workout together and socialize with each other. During one scene, a table full of jockeys — at least the ones older than 21 — were sipping wine during dinner at an upscale restaurant. (And I thought all these guys drank was water and ate nothing more than a  peanut or two a day.)

The conversation turned to how young jockeys are getting mounts on good horses today, whereas 10 or 20 years ago they would have to pay their dues first.

“It takes a long time to get good,” said Mike Smith, who won the 2005 Kentucky Derby aboard Giacomo. “You ain’t that good Joe. You aren’t going to get that good until you are in your 30’s” 

In another scene, Smith had a party at his house and the wine glasses were full again. Gary Stevens attended and Talamo was amazed that he’d watched Stevens in the movie “Seabiscuit” just three years ago, and now he was hanging out at parties with him.

When Smith started riding, the veterans helped him out. So, Smith now advises Talamo and works out with him. They were shown jogging on the Santa Anita track. Afterward, he told Talamo to work hard and let trainers and owners know that he wants opportunities to ride good horses. But when given the the chance, he better make the most of it, Smith added.

“One good horse will make you famous,” Smith told Talamo.

Alex Solis II, 23, bloodstock agent

At the beginning of the second half hour, entitled “Hands Down,” viewers are introduced to Alex Solis II, a 23-year-old bloodstock agent. Solis II, who was involved with the aquisition of Sham Stakes winner The Pamplemousse, purchases horses and solicits investors to buy shares in his runners.

If a bloodstock agent makes a good buy and the runner wins a stakes race, then the horse could be worth millions of dollars as a breeder. But pick the wrong horse, and investors can lose lots of money.

Apprentice can’t seem to get started

Minutes into the second half hour, viewers also meet Brandon Meier — an apprentice jockey who won 58 races in three months at Arlington Park. Meier, 20, is the son of jockey Randy Meier, who is the all-time leading rider at Sportsman’s Park and Hawthorne. But Brandon is having trouble getting mounts at Santa Anita.

The stewards keep a close eye on new riders like Meier and many trainers won’t use inexperienced jockeys, even though they get a 5-pound weight break.

“I use apprentices,” said trainer Bob Baffert. “But if you have a high profile horse, you want a veteran rider.”

In a dramatic moment, Meier finally got a mount that had a strong chance to win. His horse looked so good that, while jockey Jon Court was sitting around in the jockey’s room, he bet Aaron Gryder a Gatorade that Meier’s horse would defeat the one Talamo was riding.

Meier, who was on One Time at Band Camp, had the lead in the stretch, but Return of the King with Talamo came rolling home in the stretch to nail him by a nose.

To make matters worse, Meier drifted out in the lane, so he was summoned to the stewards office the next day for an explanation. Luckily, Meier didn’t get suspended.

Alex Solis rides for son

One of Solis II’s horses, Lavender Sky, was ready to run and his father Alex Solis was looking forward to riding this classy animal, who trainer Dan Hendricks estimated to be worth at least $500,000.

“Normally your kids want to do great for you,” said jockey Solis, who is also the regular rider for The Pamplemousse. “I want to do great for him.”

But Solis couldn’t get Lavender Sky to run and she finished dead last.

“Too many good jockeys”

In a couple of scenes, Meier’s girlfriend was pressuring him to come back to Arlington Park. Meier told her that if business didn’t pick up at Santa Anita then he’d think about making a move.

Journeyman jockeys either catch on or move on. And for Meier, business didn’t pick up, so he decided that after three weeks he’d had enough. He  packed up his truck, said his goodbyes, and was off to the Churchill Downs/Keeneland circuit where he had some contacts.

“There are not enough horses and too many good jockeys here,” Meier said.

Show does Trevor no justice

To horseplayers at simulcast centers watching races on TV screens, every horse looks like every other horse and the jockeys all look the same too. What a show like “Jockeys” does, is to put a human face on the game while shining a light on various racing interactions and subtleties.

But one thing I do not like about this show are the ridiculous race calls by track announcer Trevor Denman, which sound like they’re straight from an outdated video game. Denman has become one of America’s all-time great race callers because of the excitment and drama he adds that almost nobody can match. But on “Jockeys” he speaks in a monotone with lots of dead air while using riders names instead of horses names.

The show does him no justice.

Otherwise, for fans of horse racing and competitive sports, “Jockeys” is a winning ride.

“Jockeys” airs at 9 p.m Pacific Time Friday on Animal Planet. On March 6, the first half-hour “Legend of the Fallen” is about retired jockeys risking it all in one last comeback race. Also, Chantal Sutherland faces a difficult decision. The second half hour “Go Big or Go Home” sees 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin arriving at Santa Anita for the Breeders’ Cup. 

Results, Santa Anita Sunday Race 6 — lost $100

Winner #12 Jilona was trained by Beau Greely and bred by the owner John Greely, Beau's father.

Winner #12 Jilona was trained by Beau Greely and bred by the owner John Greely, Beau's father.

In November and December, #12 Jilona ran in two maiden special weight sprints for 2-year-olds where she was able to keep up with the early leaders for a half a mile.

In those races, Jilona showed that she had a superior quarter mile burst of speed to any of the runners going in this $32,000 maiden claimer. On Sunday, Jilona broke sharply then settled a few lengths off of leader #6 Betterthanfiction.

Coming into the stretch, Chantal Sutherland’s three-length lead on Betterthanfiction had dwindled to one, and Jilona was coming hard with a four-wide move. Jilona took over with an eighth of a mile to the wire and held off #4 She’s All Rev’d Up.

For betting purposes, I was waiting for 3-to-1 on Jilona, but she ended up going off at 5-to-2. I had four horses that I was considering, but only one of them went off in my odds range. So, I ended up with $100 on #13 Stormy Runaway at 31-to-1 based on her huge middle move in her last race.

To watch a replay of this race, go to www.calracing.com

PGM PP# NAME JOCKEY TRAINER ODDS FN
1 1 Tuaca Parfait (CA) Quinonez A Bernstein D 5.70 4
2 2 Warrens Risk Taker (CA) Valdivia, Jr. J Lewis C 26.30 11
3 3 Red Alarm (KY) Bejarano R Dominguez C 18.00 5
4 4 She’s All Rev’d Up (CA) Rios J Sadler J 3.30 2
6 5 Betterthanfiction (KY) Sutherland C Hajek I 3.50 3
7 6 Racing Rachel (FL) Smith M Miller P 9.50 10
9 7 Juliesdiorbracelet (CA) Nakatani C Abrams B 18.90 9
10 8 Retsina Code (KY) Solis A Bell, II T 44.00 6
11 9 Tan Tan (FL) Potts C Rosales R 56.40 7
12 10 Jilona (KY) Baze T Greely C 2.50 1
13 11 Stormy Runaway (CA) Stra K Zucker H 31.60 8
SCR Kentucky Nectar (KY) Talamo J O’Neill D
SCR Brahmzee (KY) Garcia M Baffert B
 
Pgm Win Place Show
12 $7.00 $3.80 $2.60
4 $3.80 $2.60
6 $2.80
 
Exotic Payoffs
$1.00 Consolation Pick 3 paid $27.30 (3-2-8

 

  
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