Hi there,

Welcome to issue #7 of Insider Access.

Released every 2 weeks, Insider Access showcases insider rumors and commentary in the worldwide harness racing industry.

Each issue includes an exclusive Stallion review not available anywhere else - this week we review Grinfromeartoear.

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Somebeachsome"where"? In the Southern Hemisphere

It is becoming harder and harder to ignore the difference in performance that the sons and daughters of Somebeachsomewhere deliver in the Southern hemisphere compared to their record breaking feats in the Northern Hemisphere.

One only has to look at his outstanding North American stats and then compare those numbers with what he is achieving down under to realize that the different hemispheres are like chalk and cheese.



Foals: 19

Winners: 7

$50,000 winners: 1

Winners/Foals: 36.84%

Stakes: $417,122


Foals: 49

Winners: 7

$50,000 winners: 0

Winners/Foals: 14.29%

Stakes: $83,518



Foals: 4

Winners: 2

$50,000 winners: 0

Winners/Foals: 50%

Stakes: $47,948


Foals: 4

Winners: 0

$50,000 winners: 0

Winners/Foals: 0%

Stakes: $3,024

That makes pretty ordinary reading especially in Australia where one horse, Whereibylong 1:56.8 has won $335,315 of Somebeachsomewhere's total stakes to date.

It is hard to find a rational explanation for the massive differential between the hemispheres but one frequently mentioned to us is the issue of frozen semen.

The first and only crop by Somebeachsomewhere conceived via fresh semen are presently weanlings down under. Surely this crop will fire and be extra special!

If that crop doesn't fire down under then the reality is Somebeachsomewhere may not have a future as a sire in the Southern Hemisphere.

What was the rush at Pocono Downs?

Kudos to the staff at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs for putting on two great weeks of racing action with their Sun Stakes. And Mother Nature also cooperated big time with ideal weather for racing both days. The interviews and commentary by George Anthony and Jay Bergman were first class and made for two great enjoyable evenings of watching world class harness racing.

BUT…what was the story with running the post times so close together? What was the big rush?

Yes the track had 16 races each night, but first post is at 6:36 pm and the way the races were ran off so fast there was barely time for the interviews with the winning connections after each of the stakes races, barely time for the pre-race interviews from the race paddock. The entire 16 race card was done by 11:10 pm. Why was it done in such a hurry?

Father’s Patrick’s race went off before 10 pm. It was a Saturday night and people usually stay up later than that. We feel this was a big mistake. People who are interested in the races want to hear from the trainer, driver and/or owners before and after the race and when you take that into consideration you barely left time to look at the odds or get in line to wager.

We think a lot of extra wagering dollars were lost due to the lack of time between races. This was one of the biggest race nights of the year, its Saturday night, drag it out a little. Or better yet, throw in the occasional overnight race between the stakes…You went from four overnights to seven straight stakes, three world records, one after the other without giving a fan or bettor a chance to reflect, watch a replay, listen to an interview or even catch their breath before the next race went off. There is a time and a place to run races off quickly and this was most certainly not one of them.

How fast can Sebastian K really go?

We saw North American history made Saturday night when Sebastian K broke the all age record for a one mile trotting race, going in a blazing 1:49. What a tremendous feat and now having just four starts since coming to the USA, Sebastian K has not only won all four times, but every mile has been under 1:51 and that feat has never been done before in the history of harness racing.

We must also put Sebastian K’s monster effort, and they are starting to call him “Godzilla” and the “Barefoot Wonder” in proper perspective.

The only other sub-1:50 trotting mile was Enough Talk’s 1:49.3 mile at Colonial Downs one-turn track back in 2008. Not many others have ever come close to that in North America. Why when we have really been breeding for speed in North America and not endurance nor stamina.

Why did it take a French bred stallion bred to a Swedish mare to get the job done and not a trotter bred in North America?

That is because, the French and the Swedes breed and race for distance and not sprint racing. A one mile race is common only in North America. Only Yonkers Raceway and a few other track ever have extra distance racing on a regular basis mainly for pacers and not trotters and won’t have faster trotters than the European’s for some time to come.

Jimmy Takter could have one with Father Patrick as we saw Saturday night at Pocono Downs and perhaps Trixton could be that good too, but that may be about it.

Sebastian K is sensational. He has the look, desire and most certainly the determination to trot in 1:48 either at the Meadowlands or perhaps Mohawk Raceway if the conditions are right and there may be no other horse in North America that can keep up with him. Whether is he parked-out first-over or on the front-end, he just trots away from every one he faces.

But there are quite a few trotters over in Europe that can. Ready Cash is that good, Timoko, who won the Elitloppet this year, is another, Commander Crowe and others from Europe, if brought over to North America and are given the time needed to adjust and not have to race the very next week, may be the only ones that could give Sebastian K a real battle.

Sebastian K is sired by Korean, who was a great European sprinter in his day with awesome speed. Sebastian K’s dam is Gabriella K who was bred in Sweden by Hambletonian winner Probe. Last year Sebastian K won $650,000 in Europe in just 11 starts with 6 wins. Yes, he is one of the best in the world.

Now if some of his comrades from Europe would come over here, not only would we see our track records for a mile (or European sprint) fall by the wayside every week, but the poor North America trotter would have to take a back seat and drop in class to make any money racing.

So how fast can Sebastian K go? It remains to be seen as for now he is just racing against the clock as no one has been able to keep up with him nor look him in the eye during a race. He has shown he can take off 33 days from racing and still beat the pants off anyone and he does it barefoot to boot!

As one owner of a competitor said about Sebastian K on Facebook after Saturday’s race, “I wish he would go home already.”

We don’t think that will happen anytime soon. Its easy pickings for Sebastian K right now so why go back to Europe. We had better start considering changing our training methods if we want to keep up with the Jimmy Takter’s and Ake Svanstedt’s of the world. We learned an awful lot in the early 1980’s when Sorin Nordin and then Per Eriksson first came to America and it’s time to learn some more.

Vindicated regarding Arya disqualification

Harnesslink felt vindicated recently when the Judicial Control Authority in New Zealand announced that they were to complete a thorough and comprehensive review of the process and the decision making in relation to the Arya disqualification on Harness Jewels day.

Harnesslink was convinced on Jewels day that the decision was fundamentally flawed and seemed to run counter to the evidence presented and said so publicly.

Nothing has come to light in the interim to change our opinion. When someone as reserved as Mark Purdon feels compelled to speak out in the forthright manner he did on Jewels day and subsequently in the weeks after the Jewels, one feels a touch uneasy about what has happened here.

When two of the three drivers involved in the incident have their evidence disregarded in the way that happened here, one has to question the competence of those involved.

What is pleasing about this whole messy affair is that the powers that be have acknowledge that there is a problem here and their subsequent attempts to address those problems.

Stallion Review - Grinfromeartoear


Continuing on with our stallion review series today we have produced an in depth review for the very good racehorse and stallion Grinfromeartoear p3;1:50.1 ($1,746,009).


By the legendary sire Artsplace who is widely recognized as one of the most influential sires to have ever stood at stud. His numbers are a benchmark for all sires coming after him. Artsplace has produced to date 1140 in 2:00, 676 in 1:55, 48 in 1:50 and 18 millionaires. Total stakes his progeny have earned is $172,114,276 up until the 28 of June 2014 and still growing daily. He has quickly become a great sire of sires and a great brood mare sire to boot.

His best colt performers are Art Major p4;1:48.4m ($2,273,217), Whosurbo p7;1:49s ($1,861,455), Grinfromeartoear p3;1;50.1 ($1,746,009), Sportswriter p3;1:48.3s ($1,649,411), Artiscape p3;1;49.3z ($1,469,461), Dream Away p3;1:50m ($1,342,071), Auturo p3;1:51.2f ($1,298,491), Stonebridge Regal p5;1:48.1m ($1,065,578), Astreos p3;1:49.3m ($1,062,594) and Modern Art p3;1:50.2m ($1,055,233)

His best filly performers are the great Glowing Report p5;1:49.2m ($2,328,052), Worldly Beauty p4;1:49.3m ($2,146,076), Galleria p4;1:49.1m ($1,814,453), Armbro Amoretto p3;1:50.1m ($1,604,459), Stienams Place p3;1:50.4m ($1,402,301), Arts Virtue p3;1:50.3m ($1,100,639) and Electrical Art p3;1:50.1m ($1,010,568)

The first dam of Grinfromeartoear is Smile Upon a daughter of Storm Damage who has left 10 foals for five winners with 4 in 1:55. Apart from Grinfromeartoear, she left little else of note although her daughters and grand-daughters have bred on leaving the likes of Its Not Luck p3;1:50.1m ($404,355), Perfect Swing p3;1:51.1f ($316,484), Too Many Dates 1:50.3 ($298,297) and Avenue Hanover 1:50.2 ($233,948).

The second dam is Blue Horizon p2;T1:58 ($3,911) a daughter of Meadow Skipper that left 15 foals for 9 winners with 6 in 1:55. Her best performers on the track were the colts Royal Match 42 wins, p3;1:53.1f ($401,854) and Panorama p3;1:53.2 ($379,910) and while her fillies were disappointing on the track, they more than made up for it when they went to stud. Blue Horizon's daughters and grand-daughters have left such talented types as Bettor's Edge 1:48.1 ($919,551), Activator 1:49.4 ($890,705), Shoobees Place 1:49.4 ($787,271), Cactus Creek 1:50 ($625,986), Distant Game 1:51.3 ($476,169), Desert Sign 1:50.1 ($438,450), Running Start 1:51.3 ($436,900) and All My Life 1:51.1 ($435,608).

The third dam of Grinfromeartoear is the Race Time mare Shifting Scene p2;1:59Q ($45,123) who has left 16 foals for 12 winners with 3 in 1:55. None of her winners were of much note on the track but her daughters and grand-daughters did an outstanding job at stud. I have only listed the ones that have won more than $400,000 but as you can see the list is huge. The best of them was probably Tell All p3;1:48.3 ($1,568,183) but Image of Dawn p3;1:50.4 ($1,267,372), Armbro Proposal 1:48.2 ($1,199,123) and Escapable Beaux 1:50.1 ($1,051,066) were little inferior. Others of note were JR Mint 1:49.3 ($924,131), Allthatgltrsisgold 1;49 ($758,864), Enroute 1:53.4 ($753,768), Indulge Me 1:52 ($675,165), Tea Party Princess 1:50.3 ($666,934), The Firepan 1:50.4 ($617,097), Take Flight 1:53.2 ($602,443), Gallant Yankee 1:50.3 ($552,930), On The Tee 1:53.1,($516,338), Stacked Deck 1:51.2 ($509,019), Summer Child 1:54.2 ($493,609), Happy Family 1:53.3 ($489,822), Lifetime Member 1:50.2 ($472,721), Mattazuma 1:51.2 ($451,162), Spin Out 1;52.3 ($427,274) and Lifesliltreasure 1:51.2 ($415,417).


The further you dig into this pedigree the better it gets. There are so many outstanding horses close up in this pedigree that it is hard to know where to start. What is obvious is that the three dams we have reviewed were no great shakes on the track but their performance as broodmares is truly outstanding.


Grinfromeartoear had a stellar two year old campaign, facing the starter nine times for six wins and a second and took a mark of 1:51.3 on his way to earning $735,135 in stakes. His best wins were in the two biggest races for two year old pacers. He won the $660,250 Woodrow Wilson Pace in 1:53 after taking his heat in his seasons best time of 1;51.3. His other major win was in the $600,000 Metro Pace in 1:52.4. which he won comfortably. If Grinfromeartoear had won the equivalent races today, his stake earnings would have topped the $1,000,000 mark at two.

1998 Woodrow Wilson

At three Grinfromeartoear played the ironhorse facing the starter 26 times for 12 wins, 5 seconds and 3 thirds and took a mark of 1:50.1 on his way to earning $1,010,834. Undoubtedly his best win was in the $588,000 Breeders Crown Final in 1:50.3 while he was also successful in the finals of both the $ 192,000 Tattersalls Pace and the $174,675 Matron Pace. His bankroll could have been so much bigger as he was unlucky in finishing second in the finals of both the $500,000 New Jersey Sires Stakes and the $347,000 Messenger Stakes. Grinfromeartoear was retired to stud with a record of 35 starts for 18 wins, six seconds and three thirds for stakes totaling $1,746,009. He took his lifetime mark of 1:50.1 at Lexington.

1999 Breeders Crown


A game and consistent racehorse who turned up every week and gave 100%. The standout two year old of his year but not quite so dominant at three. The second biggest stake winning son of the great Artsplace which gives a good idea of his quality.


1st Crop - Born in 2001 and numbered 128 foals. No world beaters in this crop but there were some lovely horses none the less. Geartogear p3;1:49.4f ($657,949) and Grin Some More p5;1:49.1s ($607,146) were the best two stakes wise.

Foals: 128

Winners: 84

$100,000: 27

Sub 1:50: 5

Average per starter: $77,028

Total Stakes: $8,318,995

2nd Crop - Born in 2002 and numbered 104 foals. Again there was no stars in this crop but several smart horses were produced. The two best performers were Banner Yankee p3;1:50.4s ($648,329) and Best Show In Town 1:53.1f ($516,012).

Foals: 104

Winners: 63

$100,000: 17

Sub 1:50: 2

Average per starter: $72,318

Total Stakes: $5,645,456

3rd Crop - Born in 2003 and numbered 96 foals. This is the crop that put Grinfromeartoear on the map. It included both Mister Big p4;1:47.4m ($4,143,492) and Mr Feelgood p5;1:49m just over a million in North America but went on to win $3,366,157 lifetime, and if Grinfromeartoear had been able to maintain the numbers he achieved with this crop he would still be shuttling to North America today.

Foals: 96

Winners: 60

$100,000: 20

Sub 1:50: 3

Average per starter: $142,945

Total Stakes: $10,434,988

4th Crop - Born in 2004 and numbered 116 foals. Bit of a letdown after the previous crop as his numbers show. Had a couple of high class horses but not at the same level as the prior crop. The best two performers from this crop were Transcending p8;1:48.2f ($884,505) and Clowns Smile p4;1:50s ($707,758).

Foals: 116

Winners: 72

$100,000: 12

Sub 1:50: 2

Average per starter: $67,030

Total Stakes: $5,764,616

5th Crop - Born in 2005 and numbered 104 foals. A better crop without having any standout horses. The numbers were an improvement especially the number of $100,000 winners. The two best horses from this crop were Hansome Prince p6;1:50.2f ($530,282) and Baby Boy Grin p5;1:53.2f ($439,648).

Foals: 104

Winners: 65

$100,000: 22

Sub 1:50: 0

Average per starter: $74,587

Total Stakes: $6,190,736

6th Crop - Born in 2006 and numbered 78 foals. The drop in the foal numbers reflected the below average numbers from one or two of his crops. Did manage to leave a real standout in Not Enough p3;1:49m ($1,389,925) but the problem was his next best horse was Cheap Motel p5;1:52s ($285,896).

Foals: 78

Winners: 46

$100,000: 11

Sub 1:50: 1

Average per starter: $76,390

Total Stakes: $4,277,849

7th Crop - Born in 2007 and numbered 62 foals. Even though there was a further reduction in the size of the crop it was actually the second best crop for Grinfromeartoear with numbers that were a lot better than he had been achieving. The two best horses from this crop were Tiz To Dream p3;1:50.2s ($702,578) and Grin For Money p4;1:49.4s ($494,432).

Foals: 62

Winners: 39

$100,000: 12

Sub 1:50: 1

Average per starter: $79,882

Total Stakes: $3,994,115

8th Crop -  Born in 2008 and numbered 71 foals. While the numbers were up slightly, the quality of the mares served was down dramatically. This crop was the nail in the coffin in the Northern Hemisphere. Once you drop the quality of mares this much, the result for any stallion is pretty much what happened here. The best two horses from this crop were Cajon Hot Shot p6;1:50.3f ($143,138) and Road Untraveled p5;1:49.1m (139,565).

Foals: 71

Winners: 38

$100,000: 4

Sub 1:50: 1

Average per starter: $32,738

Total Stakes: $1,473,219

9th Crop - Born in 2009 and numbered 54 foals. The smallest crop he sired in North America and his most average as well. The numbers are not flash and were further down on the previous crop which had been his poorest to that point. The best two winners from this crop were Smokin Bear p4;1:51.2s($140,816) and Jake Sully p2;1:53.2s ($137,810).

Foals: 54

Winners: 22

$100,000: 3

Sub 1:50: 1

Average per starter: $24,582

Total Stakes: $934,112


Foals: 814

Winners: 490

$100,000: 128

Sub 1:50: 16

Average per starter: $76,278

Total Stakes: $47,063,614


The first two crops were okay but then the third crop gave him a huge lift with two champions. Unfortunately Grinfromeartoear never kicked on from that like he should have. He showed he had the ability to sire champions but there was never enough of them. The other big issue was that his numbers never reached a high enough level with the exception of his third crop. The result of all that was a reduction in numbers and a big drop in the quality of the mares he served.


1st Crop  - Born in 2001 this crop was by frozen semen and numbered just 12 foals. This small crop set the platform for Grinfromeartoear to serve his huge books in later years. One standout in Make Me Smile 1:54.6 ($517,518) and one smart horse in Karloo Titan 1:57.6 ($104,091) announced his arrival in the southern hemisphere.

Foals: 12

Winners: 8

$100,000: 2

Sub 1:57: 1

% Winners to foals: 66.6%

2nd Crop - Born in 2002 this crop was by frozen semen and numbered just 14 foals. This small crop carried on the good work of the first crop. The best performer from this crop was Kyalla Dreamtime 1:56.8 ($136,673).

Foals: 14

Winners: 6


Sub 1:57: 1

% Winners to foals: 45.8%

3rd Crop - This crop born in 2006 was the first by fresh semen and numbered 138 foals. After his success with small numbers via frozen semen and a four year hiatus, this was his first big crop and arguably his best. His numbers from this crop are excellent and promised a lot more than he has delivered in subsequent years. Several performers stood out in this crop with Rocknrolla 1:57.1 ($287,351) and Grinjara 1:55.2 ($248,982) probably being the pick of them. Others to show up included Grinnersawinner 1:57 ($134,275), My Dandy 1:54.4 ($118,819), Swing Is The Thing 1:53 ($113,722) and Black Pontiac 1:55.2 ($112,372).

Foals: 138

Winners: 68

$100,000: 6

Sub 1:57: 14

% Winners to foals: 49%

4th Crop - This crop was born in 2007 and numbered 163 foals. This crop overall was a notch down on his previous one with his numbers down a few points on most fronts. The two best performers from this crop were Devilish Smile 1;57.6 ($277,066) and Saint Flash 1:56.1 ($203,896). Others of note included Global View 1:53.7 ($142,018), Giggling Girl 1:52.4 ($136,219), King Grin 1:56.7 ($105,770),  Lord Coburn 1:56.8 ($104,345) and Scot Bay 1:58.6 ($103,049).

Foals: 163

Winners: 59

$100,000: 7

Sub 1:57: 13

% Winners to foals: 36%

5th Crop - This crop was born in 2008 and numbered 147 foals. There was a really big drop off in performance with this crop. It failed to produce a horse of note even though it had size in its favour. The only horse to top $100,000 was Copagrin 1:54.7 ($138,592).

Foals: 147

Winners: 46

$100,000: 1

Sub 1:57: 9

% Winners to foals: 31%

6th Crop - This crop was born in 2009 and numbered 137 foals. The average results continued with this crop. Coming to the end of their four year old season and not one horse from this crop has won $100,000. While some of the stats were a slight improvement on the previous crop, overall it was below average

Foals: 137

Winners: 51

$100,000: 0

Sub 1:57: 10

% Winners to foals: 37%

7th Crop - This crop was born in 2010 and numbered 245 foals. This huge crop has been a touch disappointing. Coming to the end of their three year old season and only one has topped the $100,000 mark in Mister Jadore 1;57 ($201,889). His percentages also continue to lag well behind what his competition are achieving.

Foals: 245

Winners: 56

$100,000: 1

Sub 1:57: 7

% Winners to foals: 22%

8th Crop - This crop was born in 2011 and numbered 190 foals and are racing as 2 year olds this season. The decline has continued with this crop. Quite a few winners but not any of real note. His best stake earner from this crop to date is Whats Emma Got 2:00.9 ($23,295).

Foals: 190

Winners: 19

$100,000: 0

Sub 1:57: 0

% Winners to foals: 10%


Foals: 1046

Winners: 313

$100,000: 17

Sub 1:57: 55

% Winners to foals: 30%

Earnings per foal: $17,861

Total stakes: $9,627,211


Overall one would have to be disappointed with the results to date. Just like in North America, Grinfromeartoear started well enough but failed to kick on in Australia as he did up there. It is a rather telling stat that his best horse in Australia, Make Me Smile arrived in 2001 from a small crop of 12 and he hasn't produced anything close to that horse since even though he has served huge books of mares. One thing of interest is Make Me Smile is from a Panorama mare who of course is close up in Grinfromeartoear's maternal pedigree.


1st Crop - This crop was born in 2006 and numbered 51 foals. This crop was notable for producing the fourth millionaire for Grinfromeartoear in the form of the brilliant Smiling Shard 1:53.7 ($1,089,831). While the overall numbers are passable they are 20% below what the competition are achieving. The other outstanding horse from this crop apart from Smiling Shard was Pure Power 1:51 ($301,202).

Foals: 51

Winners: 18

$100,000: 2

Sub 1:57: 4

% Winners to foals: 35%

2nd Crop - This crop was born in 2007 and numbered 52 foals. This crop was a step down from the first.  It had similar numbers to the first crop but lacked any real quality individuals. The only horse to win $100,000 from this crop so far is Charge Forward 1:56 ($105,248).

Foals: 52

Winners: 18

$100,000: 1

Sub 1:57: 3

% Winners to foals: 36%

3rd Crop - This crop was born in 2008 and numbered 51 foals. This was another crop that was okay but not exceptional. The numbers were up in places compared with crops one and two and had a couple of smart horses in Pass Them By 1:53.6 ($175,081) and Smiling Star 1:55.5 ($106,205).

Foals: 51

Winners: 16

$100,000: 2

Sub 1:57: 7

% Winners to foals: 31%

4th Crop - This crop was born in 2009 and numbered 76 foals. On the back of the performances of the brilliant Smiling Shard from his first crop, Grinfromeartoear served a bigger book in year four. However as has happened before, his numbers go up and his performance as a sire drops off slightly. The numbers for this crop are just average as you can see below.

Foals: 76

Winners: 21

$100,000: 0

Sub 1:57: 1

% Winners to foals: 28%

5th Crop - This crop was born in 2010 and numbered 74 foals. The tail off in performance in his fourth crop didn't get any better with this crop. He has left enough individual winners but they seem unable in the main to win more than one or two races. One horse Destination Moon 1:59 mile rate (2200m) looked classic material winning four races quickly but was snapped up for North America.

Foals: 74

Winners: 19

$100,000: 0

Sub 1:57: 0

% Winners to foals: 26%

6th Crop - This crop was born in 2011 and numbered 33 foals. There was a big drop this year in foal numbers with this being his smallest crop so far in New Zealand. With the season all but over he has sired one 2 year old winner of one race.

Foals: 33

Winners: 1

$100,000: 0

Sub 1:57: 0

% Winners to foals: 3.33%


Foals: 337

Winners: 93

$100,000: 5

Sub 1:57: 15

% Winners to foals: 27%

Earnings per foal: $7,851



As Grinfromeartoear has done in both North America and Australia, he started reasonably strongly but then mirroring his performance in those two areas started a gradual decline with less winners and good horses. He did show his ability once again to leave that champion horse in Smiling Shard but his overall numbers are disappointing. The surprising thing is he still served 34 mares in the last breeding season. 


Right from the start he has proven that he could leave that very special horse. His very best horses have a real ability to race year after year with no great drop off in performance. Another one of the main attributes of the Grinfromeartoears is their toughness and their ability to rough it in races. With the maternal side of his family being so strong, one would expect his daughters to more than hold their own in the broodmare ranks.


The main one would have to be the lack of consistency across crops. The results from crops can vary wildly from season to season which makes it hard for the breeder. The percentages he has achieved are another major area of concern with them being roughly 20% off the leading sires available to breeders. A lot of trainers worldwide talking to us suggest soundness issues may be a contributing factor in his low percentage numbers compared to other sires.


A great racehorse with a great maternal family who has not become a great sire unfortunately. He does have the ability to leave a champion and has done so four times to date but he also has a tendency to go missing in action some seasons. The results from the Northern Hemisphere and Australasia would also suggest that he is very much a colt sire with very few of his superior racehorses being fillies. With his results from his last few crops in both Australia and New Zealand being just passable, his days as a commercial stallion may be numbered.



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