Resilience Earns Spot in G1 Kentucky Derby with Wood Memorial Win

by Keith McCalmont for

Emily Bushnell and Ric Waldman’s Resilience, under perfect handling by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, punched his ticket for the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby with a prominent score in Saturday’s Grade 2, $750,000 Wood Memorial presented by Resorts World Casino, at Aqueduct Racetrack.

“His mother won going a mile and an eighth and he’s getting better,” Gargan added. “So, I’m excited to have two for the Derby, both by Good Magic.”

Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Resilience, who added blinkers following a fourth-place finish last out in the Grade 2 Risen Star at Fair Grounds, picked up the maximum allotment of 100-50-25-15-10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points available to the top-five finishers in the nine-furlong test for sophomores.

Mott credited his local assistant, Leana Willaford, along with a heady ride by Velazquez, for the improved performance.

“He ran very well. Leana did a great job with him. It was a similar trip to what we were hoping for. The blinkers didn’t hurt, did they,” said Mott, who won the 2019 Wood Memorial with Tacitus.

Bred in Kentucky by Pam and Martin Wygod, the regally-bred Into Mischief colt has a strong turf pedigree out of the winning Smart Strike mare Meadowsweet, who is a half-sister to the Grade 1 and multiple graded stakes-winning Storm Cat progeny Courageous Cat and After Market – all three are out of the multiple Grade 1-winning Rahy mare Tranquility Lake. Jalil, a Group 2-winner on dirt, is also by Storm Cat and out of Tranquility Lake.

Emily Bushnell, daughter of Marty and Pam Wygod, was full of praise for the entire team.

“We’re just so excited. He showed up, and Bill has done such an amazing job with him. Johnny rode him perfectly, and we’re just so happy,” Bushnell said. “I feel so lucky to be part of this incredible horse. He has brought my family’s breeding program full circle. My father’s dedication and love for the thoroughbred industry has spanned multiple years and Resilience is the product of a broodmare line he has nurtured and it is so exciting to see him succeed at this level.”

Resilience broke alertly from the inside post and saved ground into the first turn as the Eric Cancel-piloted longshot Evening News marked the opening quarter-mile in 23.45 seconds over the fast main track with 80-1 shot Lonesome Boy in third under Adam Bowman.

Evening News maintained his lead over Lonesome Boy down the backstretch as Velazquez angled Resilience to the outside in third position with Grade 3 Gotham-winner Deterministic saving ground in fourth under Joel Rosario after a half-mile in 47.49. Evening News showed the way through three-quarters in 1:12.31 and was enveloped by a swarm of rivals through the final turn as Resilience vaulted to the lead with Society Man looming one to watch under Luis Rivera, Jr.

Resilience stayed on strong down the lane as Society Man chased and closers Protective and Grade 3 Withers-winner Uncle Heavy, who was off a step slow, began to make up ground. But there was no reeling in a runaway Resilience, who bested Society Man by 2 1/4-lengths at the wire in a final time of 1:50.28. It was a further 1 1/2-lengths back to Protective in third with Lonesome Boy and Uncle Heavy claiming the remaining Kentucky Derby points. Elysian Meadows, Tuscan Sky, Deterministic, Evening News, Merit and Gettysburg Address rounded out the order of finish. El Grande O was scratched prior to the start.

The Dexter Haddock-ridden Deposition fell when squeezed while trying to make a move between Uncle Heavy and Protective in mid-stretch and unseated his rider. Dr. Sarah Hinchliffe, NYRA’s Veterinary Department Director, reported that Deposition stood up under his own power and walked onto the equine ambulance and was transported to the Cornell Ruffian Equine Specialists clinic for further evaluation. Haddock was transported to local hospital for further evaluation.

Jockey John Velazquez, Jr. Discusses the Win

Velazquez picked up his fifth Wood Memorial win following past success with Eskendereya [2010], Verrazano [2013], Outwork [2016] and Vino Rosso [2018]. The veteran rider, who won the Grade 1 Florida Derby last weekend with Fierceness, said Resilience improved once he found clear racing room.

“We broke really well, which was what we wanted to do. He got a little bit aggressive, more than I wanted to in the first part. Then I put him out and he kind of relaxed better on the outside of horses,” Velazquez said. “The reason we put blinkers on is because he’s kind of hesitant in passing the horses. So, I kind of engaged him a little bit early to see if he’d pass horses and he passed them. Then I was like ‘Oh man I might’ve broken a little too soon.’ Then he just kept me busy down the lane.”

Velazquez, who guided Resilience to a fourth-out maiden score on New Year’s Day at Gulfstream Park along with his last out Risen Star effort on February 17, said the addition of blinkers was key.

“Very nice horse,” Velazquez said. “The second time I rode him, he kind of got shy away from the horses coming out and didn’t want to pass, then all of a sudden everybody passed him at the sixteenth pole. Then I said, ‘maybe blinkers will keep him smart and focused and running’ and it did today, so this is where to do it.”

Resilience banked $400,000 in victory to improve his record to 6-2-1-1 for total purse earnings of $494,630. He returned $11 for a $2 win ticket.

An emotional Rivera, Jr. was full of praise for the Danny Gargan-trained runner-up Society Man, who he guided to a fourth-out maiden win last month at the Big A.

“It means a lot. I don’t have words to explain this. We’re going on the road to the Kentucky Derby and it’s awesome,” Rivera, Jr. said. “I don’t even know how to explain it. He ran beautiful. I didn’t expect him to be that close, but the pace was a little bit easy so I got to be closer and I didn’t expect to be there. He put me in a perfect spot the whole race and whenever I asked him to go, he exploded. The horse that won was a better horse, but still, my horse showed a lot.”

Gargan sent out Dornoch, a full-brother to last year’s Kentucky Derby-winner Mage, to a fourth-place finish in Saturday’s Grade 1 Blue Grass at Keeneland. The veteran conditioner said he was overwhelmed by the effort from Society Man, a Good Magic chestnut out of the stakes-placed Colonel John mare You Cheated.

“What a race he ran. I was super proud of him, and I thought for a minute he was going to get there,” Gargan said. “He’s learning and getting better, and obviously we’re going to look at the Derby with him. 50 [points] gets you in usually. We couldn’t be more excited.

Live racing resumes  with a first post at 1:20 p.m. Eastern.

America’s Day at the Races will present daily coverage and analysis of the spring meet at Aqueduct Racetrack on the networks of FOX Sports. For the complete broadcast schedule, visit

Large Kentucky Derby Pools along with Mandatory Derby Pick-6 Payout

The Highlight of a Tremendous KY Derby Week

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Friday, April 23, 2021) – Large pools and a mandatory Kentucky Derby Day payout in the newly named Derby City 6 (formerly Single 6 Jackpot) highlight a spectacular wagering menu for the 38-day Spring Meet that begins Saturday at Churchill Downs.

The 20-cent Derby City 6, a jackpot wager where bettors must correctly tab the only winning combination to take down the entirety of the pool, handled more than $1.06 million in 2019. The 15-percent low takeout bet will begin Saturday and if multiple winning combinations correctly select six winners, 90 percent of the daily pool gets paid, while 10 percent will carryover to the next day. If no one correctly selects all six winners, the entirety of the day’s pool will carryover to the next day.

Along with the Derby City 6, the return of the two-day Oaks/Derby Pick 6 will also be a top wager. The $2 minimum bet (2019 handle: $479,561) spans six Grade I events across Kentucky Oaks and Derby Days. The bet begins on Oaks Day with the $500,000 La Troienne (GI) and the $1.25 million Longines Kentucky Oaks (GI). It continues Kentucky Derby Day with the $500,000 Derby City Distaff presented by Kendall-Jackson Winery (GI), $500,000 Churchill Downs presented by Ford (GI), $1 million Old Forester Bourbon Turf Classic (GI) and the $3 million Kentucky Derby presented by Woodford Reserve (GI).

• DAILY DOUBLE and SUPER HIGH-5 wagers are
$1 minimum straight bets.
• On Oaks Day and Derby Day – SUPERFECTA is
a $1.00 minimum wager
• TRIFECTA, PICK-3, PICK-4 and PICK-5 wagers
are $.50 minimum straight bets
• The DERBY CITY- 6 is a $.20 minimum wager
• EXACTAS are a $2.00 minimum straight bet
with $1.00 boxes and wheels
• The special OAKS DAY/DERBY DAY PICK-6 is a
$2.00 minimum wager and will be a separate
event from the regular Oaks Day card

There will be four Pick 5 and Pick 4 wagers on Kentucky Derby Day. The third Pick 5 (2019 handle: $3,980,809) and third Pick 4 (2019 handle: $4,091,771) will feature an all-stakes sequence and culminate in the Kentucky Derby.

Superfecta wagers will once again return to a $1 minimum on Kentucky Derby and Oaks days but will be a 10-cent minimum on all other days.

For the full wagering menu and list of daily post times for KY Derby 2021.

Triple Crowns all over the world

by Art Parker

Operating on a new schedule, The American Triple Crown of 2020 has recorded only one event. The Belmont Stakes, usually run at 1 ½ miles and usually the last of the Triple Crown races, was held on June 20, 2020.

Tiz the Law, trained by Barclay Tagg, won the 1 1/8 miles journey without difficulty and stamped himself as the top three year old in the nation. The Kentucky Derby will be September 5th, and the Preakness will be October 3rd.

There is no official Filly Triple Crown for fillies. There was a version that featured the big filly races the same day as the Triple Crown races. Those races, all on the dirt, are: (A) Kentucky Oaks, run over 1 1⁄8 miles at Churchill Downs, (B) Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, run over 1 1⁄8 miles at Pimlico Race Course, and (C)  Acorn Stakes, run over 1 mile at Belmont Park.

Davona Dale won the three races in 1979, and she is the only filly with this accomplishment.

Due to the change in the Triple Crown schedule in 2020 only the Acorn Stakes has been run thus far. The Bob Baffert trained Gamine was an impressive winner by 18 lengths setting a stakes record.

Canada also has a Triple Crown for Canadian bred thoroughbreds. The races are: (A) The Queen’s Plate, run over 1 ¼ miles on the main track at Woodbine, (B) The Prince of Wales Stakes run over 1 3/16th miles on the main track at Fort Erie, and (C) The Breeders Stakes run over 1 1/2 miles on the turf at Woodbine. There have been a dozen winners of the Canadian Triple Crown and the last winner was Wando in 2003. The Canadian Triple Crown is getting a late start in 2020. The Queen’s Plate will September 12th, The Prince of Wales will be September 29th and The Breeder’s Stakes October 24th.

Across the pond in Great Britain, a Triple Crown dates back to the mid-1800s. The races of the English Triple Crown, all on turf are: (A) The 2,000 Guineas Stakes, run over a mile at Newmarket Racecourse in Newmarket, Suffolk, (B) The Epsom Derby, run over 1½ miles at Epsom Downs Racecourse in Epsom, Surrey, and (C) The St. Leger Stakes, run over 1 ¾ miles at Town Moor in Doncaster, Yorkshire.

Fifteen horses have captured the English Triple Crown. The most recent – and only winner since World War II – was Northern Dancer’s much heralded son Nijinsky II, in 1970. Since Nijinsky only Nashwan (1989), Sea the Stars (2009), and Camelot (2012) have won both the Guineas and the Derby. Between Reference Point in 1987 and Camelot in 2012, no Derby winner has entered the St. Leger.

Only the Guineas has been run thus far in 2020. The winner was Kameko, who was bred at Calumet Farm and sired by Kitten’s Joy. The Epsom Derby will be July 4th and the St. Leger will be September 12th.

The Irish Triple Crown races are all on the turf and all run at the Curragh. The races are: (A) The Irish 2,000 Guineas is run over one mile, (B) The Irish Derby is run over 1 ½ miles, and (C) The Irish St. Leger, which open to older horses also, is run over 1 ¾ miles. Only two horses have won the Irish Triple Crown – Museum in 1935 and Windsor Slipper in 1942. The 2020 Irish Derby has been held and the winner was Santiago, who collected trainer Aidan O’Brien’s 14th Irish Derby win. O’Brien took the Guineas with Peaceful. The Irish St. Leger is scheduled for September 13th.

The French Triple Crown races, all on turf, are: (A) Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) is run over a mile at Longchamp, (B) Prix du Jockey Club is run at approximately 1 ¼ miles at Chantilly, and ( C ) Grand Prix de Paris is run 1 ½ miles at Longchamp. Only two horses have won the French Triple Crown – Zut in 1879 and Perth in 1899.

Victor Ludorum won the Guineas on May 11. and the race was held at Deauville since Longchamp was closed due to COVID-19. The Prix du Jockey Club will be July 5th. The Grand Prix de Paris will be July 14th.

The Australian Triple Crown races are all on the turf. The races are: (A) The Randwick Guineas run over one mile at Randwick Race Course, (B) Rosehill Guineas run over 1 ¼ miles at Rosehill Gardens Race Course and (C) the Australian Derby run over 1 ½ miles.

The Australian Triple Crown is complete for 2020. Shadow Hero was victorious in the Randwick Guineas. Castelvecchio captured the Rosehill Guineas and Quick Thinker won the Derby.

The Japanese Triple Crown races are all on the turf. The races are (A) The Satsuki Sho (Japanese 2000 Guineas) run over 1 ¼ miles at Nakayama Racecourse, (B) The Tokyo Yushun (Japanese Derby – ) run over 1 ¼ miles at Tokyo Racecourse and (C) The Kikuka Sho (Japanese St.Leger) run over 1 7/8 miles, at Kyoto Racecourse. Seven horses have won the Japanese Triple Crown. The last winner of the Japanese Triple Crown was Orfevre in 2011.

The Japanese Triple Crown could easily be captured in 2020. Contrail has won both the 2020 Guineas and the 2020 Derby. The Japanese St. Leger is all that remains and that will be October 25th

Why You Shouldn’t Miss the Kentucky Derby

Nyquist KY Derby 2016If you’re a horse race fan or bettor, there’s no chance you haven’t heard about the Kentucky Derby. One of the greatest horse racing events of the season, the Kentucky Derby is watched by millions. Huge amounts of money are bet on the event each year and it’s also a race with some of the biggest payouts in history.


Of course, not everything is about betting. The Kentucky Derby is one of the oldest horse races in the world and as such, it is brimming with tradition. Legendary winners such as Secretariat have graced the track which is regularly visited by the rich and famous. All in all, there are plenty of reasons why you should never miss the Kentucky Derby.


A Bettor’s Dream

We already mentioned that the Kentucky Derby is one of the biggest betting events in horse racing and in general. Unlike Saratoga which is primarily a handicap event (learn how to beat it here –, millions are placed on exotic bets at the Kentucky Derby every year, with large prizes paid out as well. To see the best online bookies that offer odds on the Kentucky Derby, visit All the bookies at the site are properly licensed and regulated and offer exciting odds for the greatest horse race of them all. If you want to take your chances on the Kentucky Derby, pay them a visit.


Favorites Tend to do Well

Although the favorite doesn’t always win, that’s not the case with the Kentucky Derby. Favorites at the famous race tend to do well, with the last 6 races won by the betting favorite before the race. If you’re a bettor invested in the world of horse racing, the Kentucky Derby is a great pick. Now that you know that favorites tend to do well at the race, you can plan your bets with ease.


Lifestyle of the Rich and the Famous

Horse races don’t go more lavish than the Kentucky Derby. Regularly visited by the rich and famous, the list of Kentucky Derby guests includes Hollywood actors, directors, sports legends, and even members of the Royal Family. A few years back, actors Jeff and Beau Bridges were on the stands for the race, while Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, the late Muhammad Ali, and NFL legend Eli Manning have also been among the guests.


Here’s a list of the biggest celebrities at the 2019 Kentucky Derby –


One of the Oldest Races Around

The Grade I stakes race was inaugurated in 1875. This makes it one of the oldest races in the world and as such, it has a rich history and tradition. Commonly known as the “Run for the Roses” and “the most exciting two minutes in sports”, the Kentucky Derby is home to interesting traditions. The most-loved tradition has to be the crowd singing “My Old Kentucky Home” which sounds amazing every year.


Stunning Payouts

The Kentucky Derby is one of the horse races that regularly hand out amazing prizes. Most recently, an anonymous bettor won $78K on a measly $8 bet at the 2019 Derby. This isn’t the first time for a Kentucky Derby to pay out such amazing wins. There have been plenty of unlikely Kentucky Derby winners, and you can bet that there have been bettors that have beaten the odds as well.

Donerail still holds the record for highest paying winner ever – the horse brought one lucky bettor $185 on a $2 bet at odds of 91-1. There have been plenty 50/1 winners as well, with Mine That Bird’s win in 2009 the subject of a movie aptly named “50 to 1”.

Nilsen’s KY Derby Analysis with Wagering Strategies

Two Options Available

Derby 144 Analysis with Wagering Strategies & Spot Plays by Rich Nilsen

Get the complete analysis of the 2018 Kentucky Derby card with Nilsen’s professional selections for the big race.  Nilsen covers all 14 races on Derby Day and includes his written analysis on all 20 starters in the Run for the Roses!  Along with exacta and trifecta strategies for the KY Derby, Nilsen has three spot plays with wagers on the day.

As always this is a tremendous betting card, one of the best of year!

Rich Nilsen is the winner of 6 major handicapping tournament and a 14-time qualifier to the $3 million National Horseplayers Championship (NHC).  There are a lot of pretenders out there.  Get affordable, expert advice for this year’s amazing KY Derby card.

This sheet contains:

  • Top selections for all 14 races
  • Sophisticated Pace Scenario for all 14 races
  • 3 Spot Plays (Best Bets) on the undercard w/ wagering strategies
  • In-depth Analysis of the Kentucky Derby with comments on all 20 starters.
  • Two Value plays keyed in Exacta and Trifecta strategies.

Get all 14 races on the Churchill Downs’ card.  Download now for only $15.97 to any device.
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But that’s not all.  You can also get analysis for Kentucky Oaks Day which includes wagering strategies for the Oaks and 2 Spot Plays with wagers.  Nilsen covers all the stakes races on the card beginning with the G2 Eight Belles Stakes!  SIX Stakes races and 9 races in all!

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Rich Nilsen handicapperTestimonials

“Hey Rich.. Thanks for putting me on Tapwrit !! I liked him and Gormley and Irish War Cry… I had Tapwrit straight & the exacta.  Tapwrit & Gormley both had “dream trips”, But Gormley didnt want to go that far… Hey !! let’s give some love to Disco Partner for his new North  American record for 6 panels. I had him straight  and also knocked down the exacta of 2-4 for $42.00… Hope you had a good day & made some cash!  Thanks Again, ” ~ Wayne M.

“Rich, thanks for your terrific analysis of the Gulfstream Park [Rainbow Six 3/31/18].  I was able to hit the Pick 6 [paid $9,018 for twenty cents!].   Anyone out there who bets horses would be well advised to download your sheet on every major race day… thanks again for a job well done.” ~ Evan C.

“Great job, Rich!” ~ Jeff S.

“Rich: nice job Travers Day! Thanks to Arrogate, you gave me a good day. How in the world did you land on him? I suspect you’re doing some kind of voodoo pace analysis. If you ever decide to give lessons or a seminar, let me know.” ~ Kelley S.

Revisiting a KY Derby Dark Horse

handicapper Justin Dewby Justin Dew

Word on the street is that this ‘dark horse’ earned a Thorograph number just a half-point slower than Magnum Moon in the G1 Arkansas Derby. This isn’t surprising considering how wide Solomini was throughout the race. So if you like Magnum Moon (and I don’t), or if you think Solomini is a fighter who will handles the distance (and I do), then perhaps you need to give another look to the “other Baffert horse” in the Kentucky Derby field.

In a previous post, we discussed how well Solomini has run against some of the more highly-regarded horses in this crop. But for a quick refresher…

He finished in front of Bolt d’Oro in the Breeders’ Cup…

He finished in front of McKinzie and Instilled Regard in the race at Los Al….

Off the layoff, he managed to run 2nd to the fitter Magnum Moon while encountering some trouble in the Rebel…

And he did what he did in the Arkansas Derby (see above).

Also, even though I’m not a fan of Combatant, it’s worth noting that Solomini was passed by Combatant in both of the Oaklawn preps, but Solomini came back and re-passed him both times. I’m not saying that demonstrates extreme talent, but it does show he isn’t a quitter.

If there is a negative with regard to Solomini, it’s that he hasn’t ever wowed us and it’s no guarantee that he has made the necessary jump from age 2 to age 3 that it usually takes to be competitive in the Kentucky Derby. That said, I get the feeling that if they take him a little further back in the Kentucky Derby, he might be able to make a sustained run and surprise some people. And we’ll almost certainly see odds of 20-1 or higher. He’s an intriguing longshot in my book. And he’ll be on most of my tickets.

Betting at Keeneland or on the Kentucky Derby? See what goes into setting the odds.

Man studying racing paper trackside before races.

Betting at Keeneland or on the Kentucky Derby? See what goes into setting the odds.

Lexington Herald Leader Full coverage

Source: Betting at Keeneland or on the Kentucky Derby? See what goes into setting the odds.

Medaglia d’Oro holds solid Kentucky Derby cards

Handicapper Art ParkerBy ART PARKER

His greatest runners have been fillies. Names such as Songbird, Rachel Alexandra and last year’s Alabama winner Elate. The successful sire, Medaglia d’Oro, has two of the current Kentucky Derby favorites and their prospects look good.

Bolt D’Oro leads most Kentucky Derby polls as the top three year old in the nation. He is a true blue blood coming from a dam by the great A.P. Indy. You put the dam side along with his sire, which is El Prado, and you have the makings of a classic champion. The most impressive part of his sire line contains names such as Sadler’s Wells and Northern Dancer. One thing about Bolt d’Oro – distance should be no problem.

Bolt d’Oro won the San Felipe Stakes, the biggest three year old race on the west coast prior to the Santa Anita Derby. It is important to note that Bolt d’Oro didn’t make it to the finish line first, that honor belonged to McKinzie, a Bob Baffert trainee that many considered to be the top Derby prospect in the nation. Bolt d’Oro won with a controversial disqualification. If he and McKinzie both return in the Santa Anita Derby the issue of superiority should be resolved, at least until the first Saturday in May.

As of now Bolt d’Oro is atop the Derby list and his pedigree makes him a genuine classic distance horse.

copyright DarbyAmerica

On the east coast another son of Medaglia d’Oro captured a Kentucky Derby prep the same day Bolt d’Oro was victorious in California. Enticed, a colt with the cool one word name, romped in the Gotham Stakes at Aqueduct. Enticed left the impression that he was a plodder and had to be encouraged to go. When he did get down to business in the Aqueduct stretch, he turned the Gotham into an easy win.

Enticed has strong ties to A.P. Indy on the dam side since his broodmare sire is former Horse of the Year Mineshaft. His dam was no slouch either. It’s Tricky defeated two-time Champion Royal Delta and Oaks winner Plum Pretty in the Grade 1 Coaching Club of America Oaks over 9 furlongs.

Medaglia d’Oro has been a great sire and he was also a great runner. His record from 17 starts is 8-7-0. He won The Travers Stakes and The Whitney at Saratoga as well as the Strub Stakes, the Oaklawn Handicap and the Donn Handicap. He finished second in the Pacific Classic and the Belmont Stakes and twice finished in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Dubai World Cup.

Medaglia d’Oro currently has a lofty stud fee $250,000.

Now 19 years old, Medaglia d’Oro only needs a winner on the first Saturday in May in Louisville to round out a great stud career. In 2018 he looks to be at the Derby poker table holding some strong cards. His popularity as a prospective Derby winning sire was displayed in the November future sire pool when he was heavily bet to 5-1.

Is Horse Racing Dead? Kentucky Derby Day Handle Hit Record Amounts

churchill downs ky derby dayWith wagering above $200 million for the first time and a top-10 crowd on Kentucky Derby Day, Louisville-based Churchill Downs Inc. expects to add between $4-6 million in increased profitability, the company announced earlier this month.

Source: Kentucky Derby and Derby Day Handle Hit Record Highs

Can New Jersey-bred in the Kentucky Derby actually win? Bet on it

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Regret and Cavalcade, the names are faint echoes, hallmarks of a time in American thoroughbred racing when New Jersey was a lot more than a casual pit stop in the breeding business. They were the only Jersey-breds ever to win the Kentucky Derby — Regret in 1915, Cavalcade in 1934. They were to…

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