Business Brisk at Fasig-Tipton

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Sales-topping hip 348 | Fasig-Tipton photo

By Jessica Martini & Christie DeBernardis

LEXINGTON, Ky – The Fasig-Tipton July Selected Yearlings Sale started off slowly, but gained momentum throughout the day before concluding with figures up across the board Tuesday in Lexington. Bloodstock agent David Ingordo, bidding on behalf of Al Rashid Stable, purchased the auction’s highest-priced offering when he signed the ticket at $520,000 for a colt by Flatter (hip 348). The second-last yearling to go through the ring, the bay was consigned by Lane’s End on behalf of Summer Wind Equine.

“Overall, we’re very, very pleased with the results today,” said Fasig-Tipton President Boyd Browning. “I think we saw a continuation of the marketplace we’ve seen in recent years. There was tremendous competition for quality offerings and fortunately we had plenty of quality offerings in the catalogue this year from start to finish.”

In all, 196 yearlings sold Tuesday for $19,762,500. The average of $100,829 was up 7.7%, while the median increased 7.1% to $75,000. The buy-back rate was 30.5%. It was 29.5% last year when 172 horses grossed $16,107,000 for an average of $93,645 and a median of $75,000.

“You’ve got to be thrilled when your gross is up by 23% and the average is up and the median is up and the RNA rate is the same,” Browning said. “The RNA rate is always a little higher in July than you would like because they’ve got opportunities. They have other options to go to October, whether it be here in Kentucky or in Timonium. But I thought the market adapted pretty quickly. The first page was a little rough in terms of the results, but there was pretty quick adaptation by both buyers and sellers alike.”

In all 24 horses sold for $200,000 or more. A year ago 18 yearlings reached that level. The top 13 lots Tuesday were all purchased by unique buying interests.

“On the upper-end horses, there was lots of competition,” Browning said. “It wasn’t just one or two people locked in. There was widespread competition throughout. So I would categorize it as a very successful start to the 2018 yearling sales season. I think it’s going to continue to be very strong throughout at the upper end of the marketplace. The cautionary tale is if you have a horse who doesn’t meet most of the criteria, it’s still going to be difficult and you’re going to have to be cognizant and realistic about the horse that you’re presenting for sale.”

Aron Wellman’s Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners got into the fray Tuesday, paying $275,000 for a filly by Palace Malice. Wellman agreed competition was stiff for the quality offerings.

“The market is bullish,” Wellman said. “It is not slowing down. If you want to buy the horses you want to buy, you better be prepared to go in there guns blazing. Typically, the market tends to get stronger and stronger into Saratoga and into Keeneland September. We are not afraid to strike early because a filly of this quality could bring in excess of what we just paid for her here [at later sales].”

Still consignors saw a drop-off in demand underneath those top-level horses. Pat Castello, whose Paramount Sales sold the day’s third-highest priced offering, a $370,000 son of Violence, said, “It is a little bit polarized. It is a little tough in the middle market.”

Late Fireworks for Flatter Colt

Fasig-Tipton saved the best for second to last during Tuesday’s July Selected Yearlings Sale with a Flatter colt (hip 348) earning the day’s top honors when selling to new owner Fahad Ibrahim Khalid Al-Rashid’s Al Rashid Stable for $520,000.

“Anytime you give in that range, you are obviously stretching a little bit, but, for us, he was good value because I think in September it is going to be so competitive for this kind of horse,” said bloodstock agent David Ingordo, who is the exclusive buyer for Al Rashid Stable. “I think we got a pretty good buy, considering the pedigree, the looks, the breeder and what we knew about him. We were very happy.”

Bred by Jane Lyon’s Summer Wind Farm, the Jan. 29 foal, currently named Silvertonguedevil, is out of No Curfew (Curlin), a daughter of SW and GSP Misty Hour (Miswaki). Misty Hour also produced MGSW India (Hennessy), the dam of SW and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Kareena (Medaglia d’Oro) and Japanese Group 1 winner Mozu Ascot (Frankel {GB}); and blue-hen and SW Pilfer (Deputy Minister), mother of Grade I-winning full-siblings To Honor and Serve (Bernardini) and Angela Renee.

“We go around and spend a lot of time looking on the farms,” Ingordo said. “I had seen this colt going around with the Lane’s End team on their inspections, so I knew a lot about him. He was well raised. This is as good a colt as we are going to see this year. He just happened to be in the July sale and we thought we better try to get him.”

Ingordo bought a few horses for Al-Rashid at the 2-year-old sales and this was their first foray into the yearling market. Their focus is on winning the Classics and major American dirt races.

“It is a new entity from a prominent Kuwaiti businessman and real estate developer,” Ingordo said. “He is just getting involved in the United States. He and Al Rashid Group USA CEO Bill Klisli dipped a toe in the 2-year-old sales and he has a plan to buy some good athletes and good individuals with pedigrees that he can hopefully retire to be stallions one day or turn into broodmares. He is going to have several trainers, one on the East Coast, one on the West Coast and one in middle America.”

The horseman continued, “Their goal is to establish one of the top racing stables in the United States and see where it goes from there. These guys are very astute businessmen. They understand the market. They have studied the game. They are new to it, but they have a plan.” @CDeBernardisTDN

Summer Wind Makes a Splash at Their First July Sale

Jane Lyon’s Summer Wind Farm usually sells their yearlings at Fasig Tipton’s Saratoga Sale or the Keeneland September Sale, but they decided to give Fasig’s July Sale a try this year and hit a home run with their lone offering, a Flatter colt who topped the sale at $520,000.

“I am going to give [the late] Bill Graves a little shout out here because the first time Bill saw this horse, he said, ‘We need to sell this horse in July,” said an emotional Bobby Spalding, who became Summer Wind’s General Manager in December. “That is probably the only reason why we are here. And, of course, Jane was nice enough to enter because she has never [sold in the July sale] before. It is a good sale for a mature horse.”

Spalding continued, “The pedigree speaks for itself and he is by Flatter, who, of course, has [champion] West Coast out there. He was a very clean-vetting horse, which helps, as you know. He was very, very popular. He was shown over 200 times. We hope he goes on.”

Lyon was anxious as the horse entered the ring and bidding went on, but was the picture of a proud mother when the hammer fell. The hulking bay colt is out of her homebred Curlin mare No Curfew, a daughter of Misty Hour, who is a mare near and dear to the breeder’s heart.

The now-retired mare has produced the likes of MGSW India and SW Pilfer, who have both gone on to be very productive broodmares. India still resides at Summer Wind.

“We are so happy and very, very excited,” Lyon said with a glowing smile. “This is a homebred mare, which makes this very special. There is nothing like it. I am sure most of you don’t have grandchildren, but if you do, it is the same feeling as having a colt like that. I have three daughters out of the mare Misty Hour, who was a Christmas gift to me by my husband [the late Frank Lyon] as a 2-year-old and now it ended up like this, so it is pretty exciting.”

The Arkansas native continued, “I am glad he will go to a good place that is an end user and he will have every opportunity to do what he is capable of doing. That is all you can hope for. Hopefully he will be a stakes horse.”

No Curfew’s first foal is the 3-year-old filly Night Owl, a $160,000 KEESEP buy, who races for Klaravich Stable and Chad Brown. She has won her last two starts, most recently capturing a Monmouth Park allowance May 28. The 8-year-old mare’s juvenile colt named Semoum (Bernardini), who was a $400,000 KEESEP purchase, broke his maiden at Ripon June 21 and is entered Friday in a nursery handicap at Ascot over six furlongs.

“She just produces good foals,” Spalding said. “The mare has a really good Union Rags colt [born Jan. 31].”

@CDeBernardisTDN

Lieblong Doubles Down on Strong Mandate

Alex and JoAnn Lieblong, who have a high-priced juvenile son of Strong Mandate set to debut at the upcoming Saratoga meet, added another prospect by the young Three Chimneys stallion to the stable when going to $435,000 to secure hip 231, a daughter of Fly the Flag (Giant’s Causeway), Tuesday at Fasig-Tipton.

“I really liked the Strong Mandate and I liked her family, out of a Giant’s Causeway mare,” Alex Lieblong said. “If she can do something, she’s going to have some pretty good value. She looked the part.”

Lieblong purchased Justice of War (Strong Mandate) (hip 144) for $550,000 after the colt worked a furlong in :10 flat at this year’s OBS April sale.

“He should start in Saratoga, fingers crossed,” Lieblong said of the juvenile. “He has been a very straightforward horse.”

Strong Mandate captured the 2013 GI Hopeful S. at Saratoga and Lieblong acknowledged the stallion’s precociousness appealed to him.

“For Strong Mandate to do what he did at Saratoga at an early age and being by Tiznow, that kind of caught me,” he said. “Usually a Tiznow will get a little bit better. We’ll see.”

The filly was Lieblong’s first purchase of the July sale, but he wasted little time in acquiring another yearling at the one-day auction. He went to $200,000 to secure a filly (hip 233) by Shackleford from the Bluewater Sales consignment.

“I wasn’t going to come [to the sale],” Lieblong said. “But there wasn’t anything going on today, so I said, ‘Well, we’ll come up here.'”

Consigned to the July sale by Denali Stud, Hip 231 was bred by WinStar Farm, which purchased Fly the Flag with the filly in utero for $90,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November sale.

“We were just looking in November,” WinStar’s Elliott Walden said. “And we like young fillies with pedigree, so she kind of fit what we were trying to breed to some of our younger stallions.”

Fly the Flag is out of multiple Grade I winner My Flag (Easy Goer) and is a half-sister to champion Storm Flag Flying (Storm Cat).

“We actually bred [Fly the Flag] to Distorted Humor hoping to get a filly because it’s a good filly family,” Walden said. “And we got one, so she has a Distorted Humor filly on the ground.”

Walden credited WinStar General Manager David Hanley with targeting the Strong Mandate filly at the July sale.

“She was a lovely filly,” Walden said. “She was a big, strong filly from day one. David thought she’d stand out in this sale and he was right.” @JessMartiniTDN

Colt Makes Sense for Godolphin

Godolphin acquired a colt by Street Sense late in Tuesday’s Fasig-Tipton July sale, going to $350,000 to acquire the yearling from the consignment of Michael and Julia O’Quinn. The bay colt (hip 312), by a stallion who stands at Darley, is out of the mare Mahkama (Bernardini), who was purchased by Sheikh Mohammed’s operation for $270,000 as a Keeneland September yearling in 2010. The yearling is a close relative of Yulong Warrior (Street Cry {Ire}), the 11 1/2-length winner of the Listed Al Bastakiya S. at Meydan this past March. His dam, a daughter of Rahy Rose (Rahy), is a half to graded stakes winner Summer Raven (Summer Squall), who produced multiple graded stakes winner Lewis Bay (Bernardini), and graded stakes winners Misconnect (Unbridled’s Song) and Winslow Homer (Unbridled’s Song).

“He is a good son of Street Sense with a great female family that we know well,” said Godolphin’s Dan Pride. “He fits in the group that we are trying to add to our racing stable, so we are excited. Sheikh Mohammed is supporting us with an opportunity to add a colt to the racing stable.”

The yearling was the only horse consigned to the July sale by the husband-and-wife team of Michael and Julia O’Quinn. Based in Ocala, the couple purchased the colt for $140,000 at this year’s Fasig-Tipton February Sale.

Young Strikes Early for Palace Malice Filly

Bloodstock agent Steve Young, who closed out Monday night’s Horses of Racing Age Sale with a bang when purchasing Alter Moon (Alternation), the second to last hip through the ring for $675,000, made his presence felt early in Tuesday’s Yearling Sale, going to $250,000 for a filly from the first crop of GI Met Mile and GI Belmont S. winner Palace Malice (Curlin).

“I have a lot of respect for Palace Malice as a racehorse,” said Young, who purchased the filly on behalf of an undisclosed client. “He was a sound, quick summer 2-year-old that had the quality to go on and win the Belmont. I don’t think there are a lot of horses in the modern day that go 5/8ths in :56 and go on to win the Belmont. I think he has the chance to be a very good sire.”

Out of Passe (Dixie Union), Hip 9 is a half-sister to MSW and MGISP ‘TDN Rising Star’ Wonder Gal (Tiz Wonderful). She also hails from the family of GI Belmont Derby hero Force the Pass (Speightstown) and MGSW Social Queen (Dynaformer).

“She is from a two-turn, pace, distance family,” Young said. “With no disrespect to other horses, I think she is the nicest filly in the sale. She is very special.”

Consigned by Jim Perrone’s Perrone Sales, the bay filly was bred in New York by Bill and Jane Moriarty’s Apache Farm, who also bred MSW and MGSP Quezon (Tiz Wonderful). Click here for a feature on Apache Farm.

“We are extremely happy,” Perrone said. “The folks that bred the horse at Apache Farm are just so good at what they do and so good to work for. We just enjoy the heck out of them. They get more pleasure out of it than anybody I’ve ever seen, which gives my wife Karen and I pleasure too. It is just so great.”

@CDeBernardisTDN

Palace Malice Proves Popular at Fasig July

Yearlings from the first crop of Classic winner Palace Malice (Curlin) proved quite popular at the Newtown Paddocks Tuesday, including a filly (hip 60) who brought $275,000 from Aron Wellman’s Eclipse Thoroughbreds.

“She’s a gorgeous filly with so much presence,” said Wellman, who was seated behind bloodstock agent Jacob West as he did the bidding on Eclipse’s behalf. “She’s so smart, has a great walk and a ton of athleticism. She had a great scope. She was our filly of the sale hands down. We only had eyes for her to start of the day. We were laser focused on this filly. She will definitely go to Todd Pletcher.”

Trained by Pletcher, Palace Malice won the 2013 GI Belmont S. and the 2014 GI Met Mile, as well as four other graded events, for Dogwood Stables. He stands at Three Chimneys Farm for $25,000 and is represented by his first yearlings this term. Just 51 hips earlier in the sale, another daughter of Palace Malice (hip 9) summoned $250,000 from bloodstock agent Steve Young.

“I really like what I see so far [from Palace Malice],” said Wellman. “I was very fortunate to be peripherally attached to his career, vicariously through our association with Dogwood Stable. He was very close to us without being principles in him. I am excited about his first crop of yearlings to come to market and we have really liked what we’ve seen. They seem to come in all shapes and sizes, but they look like sturdy individuals with a ton of athleticism and the ones I’ve seen seem to be very smart individuals.”

Breeder Machmer Hall’s Carrie Brogden, who is also a partner in the filly’s consignor Select Sales, expressed similar sentiments about Palace Malice.

“I was a huge fan of him as a racehorse and we breed our mares very carefully,” Brogden said. “We have two here in our consignment that are pretty nice. I felt he needed a pretty mare that was correct in the front–the same thing you would breed to his grandpa Smart Strike. We try to match our mares physically very carefully. We are very happy. He is throwing a lot of quality. He was just an incredible racehorse. We can’t wait to see what happens with her. She went to great people and I hope she runs like she looks.”

The second foal out of the Dixie Union mare Southern Belle, Hip 60 hails from the family of MGSW Holy Helena (Ghostzapper) and GSW ‘TDN Rising Star’ Holy Boss (Street Boss). Purchased for just $10,500 at the 2014 Keeneland November Sale, Southern Belle has a 2-year-old filly named She’s With It (Justin Phillip), who brought $45,000 at Keeneland September, and a Dialed In filly born earlier this term.

“She had 14 vets so I knew she was super popular,” Brogden said. “She was bought by dear friends and clients. Her reserve was $89,000. That was a homebred out of a mare we bought on a whim as a broodmare prospect, but I have always been a fan of Dixie Union. Everything worked out well. She vetted great and had a great mind. She didn’t get tired, didn’t turn a hair, showed great.”

Palace Malice was represented by four sold from five through the ring for gross receipts of $750,000 (average $187,500)

@CDeBernardisTDN

Into Mischief Colt Destined for Resale

A colt by Into Mischief will be expected to make a return trip through the sales ring next spring after Scott and Evan Dilworth signed the ticket at $300,000 on the pinhooking prospect during Tuesday’s July sale.

“He’s well balanced,” Scott Dilworth said of hip 273. “The Into Mischiefs are very popular, they run. We’re going to a 2-year-old sale with him and we think we’ll do well with him.”

The colt, consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, was bred by Gary Broad. He is out of stakes winner and Grade I placed Indian Gracey (Indian Ocean).

The Dilworths have had notable success pinhooking pricey prospects, having purchased in partnership a War Front colt for $560,000 at the 2016 Keeneland November sale and reselling him for $1.1 million at last year’s Keeneland September sale. But Scott Dilworth said the July sale offered plenty of opportunities across the board.

“I think you can buy a middle-priced horse out of this sale and do well with him,” Dilworth said. “There are good horses here at all price ranges.” @JessMartiniTDN

Patience Pays off for McDonald

When Reiley McDonald sent his homebred daughter of Morning Line through the sales ring at Keeneland this past January, he was content to take her home again after she failed to meet her reserve at $29,000. McDonald rerouted the filly to the Fasig-Tipton July Yearling Sale and she (hip 126) duly rewarded the decision when selling for $205,000 to Ken McPeek as agent for C&H Diamond Racing.

“I liked her way too much to sell her then for what she was going to bring in January,” McDonald said. “She was really late in the sale. I think I had her in the wrong place in the sale and she fell through the cracks. She was big and kind of leggy and I knew she needed more time to grow into herself. So I took her home and she turned into as pretty a filly as was in the sale, I thought. She was extremely athletic with a beautiful head, neck and shoulder, and great depth of girth.”

McDonald’s Athens Woods purchased Woodford County (Indian Charlie), with this Morning Line filly in utero, for $12,500 at the 2016 Keeneland November sale. But that wasn’t his first introduction to the mare.

“I bought the mare carrying this filly, but I had at one point bought the mare with a partner to pinhook as a yearling,” McDonald said. “So I knew her very well. She didn’t get to run. She blew a suspensory, but was a very, very fast filly who had the second fastest time of her year at the south Florida 2-year-old sale. It was a little inside information, but her mother was quite beautiful and this filly looked just like her.”

Woodford County produced a colt by Maclean’s Music this year.

Athens Woods has been represented by success on the racetrack this year with the 2-year-old Athens Queen (Majestic Warrior), who won the Astoria S. in McDonald’s colors in June.

@JessMartiniTDN

More Mischief for Crupi

J.J. Crupi, bidding on behalf of Vinnie Viola’s St Elias, went to $300,000 to secure a colt by Into Mischief early in Tuesday’s Fasig-Tipton July Yearling Sale. Hip 52 is out of stakes placed Silverest (Congrats) and from the family of Peace Rules and Corfu.

“We’ve had luck with Into Mischief,” Crupi said. “We sold Audible and Engage. So we’ve been very lucky with him. And we’re going to continue the luck.”

Crupi purchased Audible for $175,000 at the Fasig-Tipton New York-bred Yearling Sale in 2016 and pinhooked him for $500,000 at last year’s Fasig-Tipton Gulfstream Sale. The colt went on to win this year’s GI Florida Derby. Engage was a $200,000 purchase at the 2016 Keeneland September Yearling sale before bringing $550,000 at OBS March the following spring. He won last year’s GIII Futurity and was most recently second in the GII Woody Stephens S.

This youngster was acquired to race, according to Crupi. “He’ll go to Todd Pletcher,” he said.

The bay yearling, consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, was bred by Henley Farms and Jeff, Teresa and Marilyn Little. Jeff Little purchassed Silverest for $70,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November sale.

Later in Tuesday’s auction, Crupi acquired a filly by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah for $200,000 privately after the yearling (hip 131) failed to sell through the ring.

“It’s a hell of a horse sale,” Crupi said. “It’s competitive for the horses that are very, very correct. The pedigree might be a little light, but they’ll make their own pedigree if they can run. And when you get to Keeneland, you’re going to have to pay twice as much for them. I’ve been blown out of the water a couple of times.” @JessMartiniTDN

Newcomers ‘Take Charge’ At Fasig July

New owners Al LaRose and Greg Bach wanted to make a splash at their first Thoroughbred auction and did just that when trainer Ken McPeek went to $250,000 on their behalf to acquire a Will Take Charge filly (hip 253).

“We just got out of the trucking business last year,” La Rose said. “We started the business 37 years ago and we decided to get into the horse racing business. A friend of mine has some partnerships with Kenny [McPeek] and he introduced us before the [GI Kentucky] Derby.”

He continued, “This is our first sale. We have parts of eight now. Five on our own and three partnerships.”

Bach chimed in, saying, “We’ve been business partners for 37 years and we have been friends since sixth grade. We are looking to make a splash here.”

Out of the Dynaformer mare Hamsin, hip 253 hails from the family of MGISW Dynaforce (Dynaformer), MGSW & MGISP Willcox Inn (Harlan’s Holiday) and GSW Western Ransom (Red Ransom).

“I thought she was the best Will Take Charge I’ve seen,” McPeek said. “I was fortunate to be around him a lot when he was in training with [D. Wanye] Lukas and of course I trained his mother [Take Charge Lady]. She is a beautiful filly and did everything right from the moment I saw her.”

Bred by Castle Park Farm, AF Thoroughbreds and John Karakourtis, the chestnut was consigned by Gainesway on behalf of Tami Bobo, who bought the filly for $55,000 at Keeneland November.

“We loved the filly when we bought her,” Bobo said. “I expected her to do well. She is a great feel and I wish them the best of luck with her. I believe she has a good future ahead of her.”

Champion Will Take Charge is represented by his first 2-year-olds this year, but has proved quite popular at both yearling and juvenile sales.

“I love Will Take Charge,” Bobo said. “I bought Take Charge Indy as a yearling, so I am big believer in the whole family. That is why I kind of gravitate to these horses.”

@CDeBernardisTDN

Bayern Filly Stands out for Venosa

A yearling filly from the first crop of GI Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Bayern (Offlee Wild) proved popular in the Fasig-Tipton sales ring Tuesday when bringing a final bid of $210,000 from Steve Venosa’s SGV Thoroughbreds. Consigned by breeder Woodford Thoroughbreds, the dark bay filly (hip 267) is out of stakes placed Hot Roots (Indian Charlie), a half-sister to GI Kentucky Derby runner-up Commanding Curve (Master Command).

“I looked at her and fell in love with her,” Venosa said of the yearling’s appeal. “Bayern was a tremendous racehorse and I love Indian Charlie mares.”

Bayern, who stood the 2018 season for $15,000 at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms, had a first-crop weanling average of $89,705 in 2017. His top-priced weanling was a $220,000 colt.

“I’ve heard really good things about him,” Venosa said of the young stallion. “But before I even looked at her page, I knew I was buying this horse no matter what she brought. She was just that type of horse.”

Venosa is confident of the filly’s future success.

“Wherever she goes, she’s a runner,” he said.

Woodford Thoroughbreds purchased Hot Roots, in foal to Into Mischief, for $185,000 at the 2014 Keeneland November sale. Her Into Mischief colt sold for $200,000 at the 2016 Keeneland September sale. The mare produced a filly by Constitution this year. @JessMartiniTDN

Quick Start to Yearling Sales for Graves

The Fasig-Tipton July Sale wasn’t an hour long when Brian Graves recorded his first pinhooking score of the young yearling sales season as a filly by Warrior’s Reward, purchased for $7,500 at last year’s Keeneland November sale, sold to Hartley/

DeRenzo Thoroughbreds for $160,000. The Lexington horseman was back quickly, selling a filly by Strong Mandate, purchased for $25,000 at Fasig-Tipton November, for $190,000 to Gold Square LLC.

Graves credited his late father Bill, who passed away in May, with the decision to purchase the Strong Mandate filly last November.

“It was my dad. He really liked this filly,” Graves said of hip 87, who is out of Timetobegone (Vindication). “He liked her for the sale and there weren’t a lot of people who wanted to buy her. He still believed in her and he told me we should buy her, so I did. And he was right. She turned out beautiful and she sold really well.”

Of the Warrior’s Reward filly (hip 24), Graves said, “She was a filly that I liked a lot. I found her on the last day of the Keeneland sale and I think people had just gotten cold and gone home.”

Graves admitted he was surprised he was able to acquire the filly, out of Pure Desire (Gold Legend), for a relative bargain.

“That day, I was thinking she would cost more money,” he said. “I was doing double back flips when she only brought $7,500. I was really happy. I was e-mailing, taking pictures of her and I was taking everyone down to see her. I just really thought she was lovely.”

While the yearling sales season has just begun, Graves is expecting there will be high demand for the right horses.

“I think there is a strong demand for quality horses,” he said. “When I say quality, I mean a quality physical. If you have a little pedigree to go with it, I think it will be competitive.” @JessMartiniTDN

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