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Forbes' Firsters

 

Forbes’ Firsters is a series that takes a glance at the pedigrees and sales histories of select 2-year-olds who are making their debuts in maiden special weight races at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, or Saratoga Race Course. Many of history’s best horses have commenced their careers in New York, and Forbes’ Firsters will help fans find the stars of tomorrow as they head postward for the first time.

 

Forbes’ Firsters for Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Jon Forbes

 

Forbes’ Firsters for Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Race 3, All 2-year-olds, five furlongs, 2:22 p.m.

DINNER TIME (chestnut colt, Montbrook—Potluck Dinner, by Pentelicus) is a half-brother to Gourmet Dinner, who has won four stakes, including the 2010 Grade 3 Delta Downs Jackpot. Another half-sibling, the filly Gaston A., won a minor stakes at Calder Race Course. Their dam, who was unplaced in her lone start, has produced six winners from seven starters and is a half-sister to five-time stakes-winning sprinter Sea of Green and to Lady Gin, who captured three stakes, including the Bassinet at River Downs as a juvenile.

Owner: Our Sugar Bear Stable

Trainer: Bruce Brown

Jockey: Dylan Davis

Sales history: $75,000 OBS March 2-year-old (two furlongs in 22 2/5 seconds, video)

 

CAT FIFTYFIVE (gray/roan colt, Tale of the Cat—Chemise, by Secret Hello) is a half-brother to three stakes winners in Maryland: Coquettish, who won the restricted Maryland Juvenile Filly Championship; Miss Lombardi, victorious in the restricted Maryland Million Ladies; and Dress Gray, who took the open Smart Halo. Nine of Chemise’s 10 starters have won.

Owner: Matthew Schera

Trainer: James Lawrence II

Jockey: Jose Lezcano

Sales history: $185,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling

 

MACHINATION (bay colt, Yes It’s True—Sala de Oro, by Expelled) is a full-brother to Truth and Justice, who as a 2-year-old filly won the My Trusty Cat at Delta Downs, Sorority at Monmouth Park, and Presque Isle Debutante. A half-sister, Mr. Hall’s Opus, was second in last year’s Grade 3 Monmouth Oaks. Their dam won the Barbara Shinpoch at Emerald Downs as a juvenile and is a half-sister to multiple stakes winners Hall of Gold and No Turbulence. All eight of Sala de Oro’s starters have won.

Owner: George & Lori Hall

Trainer: Kelly Breen

Jockey: Joel Rosario

 

I SPENT IT (bay colt, Super Saver—Rateeba, by Sky Mesa) is the third foal out of his dam, whose lone previous starter was winless in five starts. Rateeba won a single race, a maiden event at Evangeline Downs, in 10 starts and is a half-sister to Cocky, who was second in the Grade 2 San Rafael; Eishin Le Mars, who placed in a pair of stakes in Japan; and Pert Lady, who produced multiple graded stakes-winning sprinter Zavata.

Owner: Alex & JoAnn Lieblong

Trainer: Anthony Dutrow

Jockey: Javier Castellano

Sales history: $65,000 Fasig-Tipton October yearling; $600,000 Fasig-Tipton Florida 2-year-old (one furlong in 9 4/5 seconds, video)

 

BATTLE RED (chestnut colt, Kitten’s Joy—Talking Treasure, by Catienus) is out of a dam who won five stakes for New York-breds: the Bouwerie, the Lady d’Accord, the New York Oaks, the Saratoga Dew, and the Fleet Indian. She has no winners from two previous starters.

Owner: Jake Ballis & Rashard Lewis

Trainer: Todd Pletcher

Jockey: John Velazquez

Sales history: $125,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga yearling; $270,000 Keeneland April 2-year-old (one furlong in 9 3/5 seconds, video)

 

TimeformUS Belmont Analysis: July 2

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Analysis for Wednesday July 2 at Belmont
 
Race 1:  Some interesting NY-bred juvenile fillies making their debuts here, so this may be a good race to watch closely for future reference, no matter who wins.  #3 Razia Sultana is a half to the graded stakes performer Samraat, winner of his first five career starts for this trainer, who is an ace in these 5-to-5.5-furlong dirt sprints with babies.  #2 Zo Zo and #4 She's Marvy were both six-figure purchases out of 2yo-in-training sales a few months back; Zo Zo looked solid working 10.1 in April and is from a strong Claiborne family on the dam side, while She's Marvy looked more green working 10.2 while on her wrong lead in March.  #5 Ten Penny Princess is a half to Lady Paradime, whose three career wins have all come routing, so she may want more ground than this, but her trainer does an excellent job with first-time starters. 
 
Selections:  3-2-5-4
 
 
Race 2:  #3 The Rhythmisright really had no excuse when defeated at a short price vs. just three others two starts back, but that was a 6.5-furlong race, and the horse he was outfinished by was winning his third straight off the claim by Michelle Nevin; caught up in a duel over a sloppy track that last one, he's projected to be on a clear lead this time. Not so sure that #6 John's Island won't be a better horse than The Rhythmisright when all is said and done, and he ran very well in the Mike Lee without much pace to close into, but he may be too far up against it once again today.  #2 Indy Tune rolled late from far back off a strong pace just six days ago, and outfinished #5 B Shanny; both were claimed out of that race for $20k.  
 
Selections:  3-6-4-2
 
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Race 3:  #2 Evolution debuts for a shrewd trainer and has pedigree, being a Speightstown out of a dam who was Grade 2-placed in her career and whose three wins all came sprinting on the dirt.  #6 I Spent It, another big-ticket Super Saver colt, was impressive in working a furlong in 9.4 on his own power before bringing $600k in March; attracts leading rider for debut.  #7 Battle Red figures ready for Pletcher, and he may not be a typical Kitten's Joy (whatever that is) after blitzing a furlong in 9.3 at Keeneland April; dam won multiple NY-bred stakes races over dirt en route to over $360k in earnings.  #5 Machination goes for a solid debut barn and has a pair of siblings who were debut winners for these connections.
 
Selections:  2-6-7-5
 
 
Race 4:  #7 Bridgetta is third back from her long layoff, and appears to be in a good situation trip-wise from her outside post, as she projects to be tracking shipper #3 Darn That Trip, who appears to be a little cheap and who has never won beyond 5.5 furlongs on dirt.  #2 Very Accomplished has done little wrong through four starts and did not get the best trip in the world when defeated as the favorite when last seen in April; wins both two-and three-starts back were convincing.  #8 Sheriffa is a logical contender but hasn't run fast enough yet if either, or both, of the top two brings her best, and couldn't  get to Bridgetta last time despite a good tracking trip as that one contested the pace.
 
Selections:  7-2-8-4
 
 
Race 5:  Appears to be a good spot for #5 Wild Kay at a short price, as she has run all of the fastest races, projects to be on a clear lead, and proved that she can run her race in NY when defeating similar earlier in the meet.  #2 Platinum Bombshell turns back after failing to hold early leads going longer in three of last four starts; trainer having a very good meet.  #6 Magma is a European import, but she's been much better on dirt since arriving stateside.  
 
Selections:  5-2-6-4
 
 
Race 6:  #7 Stableford made a promising stateside debut early in the meet, and he was way up against it from a dynamics standpoint last time when getting away at the back of the field and then taking a wide run into a race that was slow early, and very fast late; deserves another chance.
 
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#3 V. E. Day closed with a rush through the final 1/16 to track down the pace-setting favorite over a sloppy main track last time, but he has proven form over turf, and in fact ran better than it looks in both Gulfstream starts.  #2 Make a Decision is capable and may have simply needed that last one off the layoff.
 
Selections:  7-3-2-1
 
 
Race 7:  #7 Wellington Wizard couldn't make an impact late after a good trip vs. a tougher bunch of three-life claimers last time (that field was rated an 88 vs. today's 83), but he was first back from a layoff there and can be expected to improve with that one behind him; liked both of his dirt wins at Parx last year, despite his racing greenly there. #5 Magnificent Moon has been in good form since returning from an extended break as a 6yo earlier this year, and he drops back down to the right level after facing a much tougher group of starter allowance foes last month.  #2 Bridgeville was up late to prevail when cut back to a sprint last time; stretches back out, and figures to be a factor up front. #4 Citizen Wells is a deep closer taking a huge class drop for this after failing to come close in any of his last three starts dating back to last May; has run a few figures that would drown this field.  
 
Selections:  7-5-2-4
 
 
Race 8:  #5 Sensible Lady is 0-4 since being purchased by top connections, and perhaps she has lost a step as a 5yo, but she has still run well in some tough spots and will get one more chance while making her third start off the layoff.  #6 Cat Lore didn't run nearly as well as Sensible Lady despite finishing ahead of her at Woodbine last July; has ability, and she's been turned over to Clement since then, so we may see a different, and better, horse today.  #1 To My Valentine has run some impressive races sprinting on grass, and will try to put her pace advantage to good use.  
 
Selections:  5-6-1-3
 
 
Race 9:  Pace Projector indicates that a fast pace is on tap for this NY-bred maiden claimer on grass, and that may be a good thing for our choice, #9 Downgoesfrazier, who will be closing, and who endured a tough wide trip from off of a slower pace going long when last seen; has sprinted effectively on turf, which is no small thing.  
 
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#10 Vecino gets the biggest class drop of all, as he exits an open company MSW, and he was off of a very long layoff that day; ran well in there after contesting the pace, but faces a tough scenario here, as well.  #11 Bajan Sumer also drops, and based on his last race, when outfinished by a 96/1 shot for 3rd after a perfect trip, he needs it.  
 
Selections:  9-10-4-11
 
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TimeformUS Analysis for June 29

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Sunday, June 29

 
Race 1:  #2 Al's Gal finished a good second after a spot of trouble behind a repeat winner at Gulfstream, then came up here and finished gamely to close down a clear leader off the layoff; drops into the right spot after trying her luck going longer vs. better horses last time.  #4 Medaglia d'Argento caught a fast pace and took advantage to break her maiden on the class drop two back, then was surprisingly sent out to cut a legitimate pace last time, showing some versatility that will serve her well.  #3 Gondole makes 3yo debut off the layoff for a trainer who knows how to have them ready and is the most eligible in the field to improve.  
 
Selections:  2-4-3-6
 
 
Race 2:  Think Rudy may have made a nice claim (note his 98 trainer rating first off the claim) taking #6 Deadicated Deal for $25k last month, as that horse had been running well in the face of some tough scenarios since the start of the year; he was a no-show as the favorite behind a wire-to-wire winner last time, so that's a concern, but we'll expect the barn change to wake him up.  #2 Brendan G posted a long-overdue first when dropped in for $25k last time; has speed and the rail, so we'll see if he can shake free and go back to back.  #5 Ice Wagon turns back after posting new top speed figure when finishing well behind a big drop-down winner last time, and #7 Alysaro gets a drop back down in class after a solid try contesting the pace vs. tougher.  
 
Selections:  6-2-7-5
 
 
Race 3:  Short field but tough race with some new faces and some questionable locals.  We'll side with #5 Jonata again, as she drew well on the outside and has run the best recent figures; perfect-trip win last time.  #3 Nuffsaid Nuffsaid has held form over a long series of races, but has appeared to show some signs of wear and tear in last couple of starts; she's second back from a brief freshening for the sharpest of connections, so maybe we'll get one of her good ones, which would make her tough.  #1 Elena Strikes just isn't that good, but it's Pletcher and she's dropping out of a stakes try.
 
Selections:  5-3-1-2
 
 
Race 4:  #9 Spark to Ignite raced greenly throughout and spent much of the race in traffic after being pulled over behind horses early on in the running; Lasix on for second start, and he may have more ability than he got to show in his debut.  #5 Gran the Man appeared to be cranked up first time out but could only be second best to an experienced winner; tough if able to reproduce that effort second time.  #3 Tax Alex made a strong wide run from off the pace and then refused to change leads for the second consecutive race and gave way at the end when stepped up out of maiden claiming company last time; tough to take on top off his last two.  #2 Ten Large is a half to Make the Moment, a solid dirt sprinter who has put over $200k in the bank on this circuit to this point, and #6 Cuantos has a strong female family behind her, for either surface, as she starts out.  
 
Selections:  9-5-3-2
 
 
Race 5:  #10 First Whippoorwill has kept better company than this throughout her career, and ran a big race here off the layoff last year despite being unable to sustain her run after a four-wide trip; has to do it off the layoff again.  #4 Bargaining Table comes back to the level of her last win after trying some tougher competition last time, and has a recency edge on the new faces in the group.  #1 Poor Etiquette makes first start for Rick Violette and brings solid turf form up from Florida.  
 
Selections:  10-4-1-2
 
 
Race 6:  #2 Sacred Ground takes big drop in class in second start off the claim, and trainer Gary Gullo gets a strong 98 rating when dropping claimers down; will have to keep himself in range, as Pace Projector indicates that the flow will favor runners up close.  
 
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Pace Projector for Race 6 shows expected running positions after 1/2 mile, and suggests a scenario favoring early speed. Click here to buy TimeformUS PPs and get Pace Projector
for every race.
 
We'll see if #6 Seeker can take advantage of the pace scenario for the second consecutive time on dirt, as he parlayed an unchallenged lead into a wire-to-wire score two starts back.  Like the top one, #4 No Brakes holds competitive form but has little early speed and may be compromised by the way the race is run early. 
 
Selections:  2-6-4-5
 
 
Race 7:  #1 Hear the Footsteps cuts back after trying the top NY-bred turf horses in training in the Kingston, and we have always preferred him going shorter as opposed to longer; owns some of the best speed figures in the field, and can do better than his third-place finish behind #9 Spring to the Sky last month, which was his first off the layoff.  
 
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Spring to the Sky has a tendency to come up just short but is always around and he drops back down out of a tougher spot.  #5 The Brothers War is a use for us, as we think he reverts to closing tactics today, and this is a better distance for him.  #4 Marriedtothemusic is an unknown on turf, but he's fast and may be able to outrun the other speeds early in here (see Pace Projector).  #3 Morpheus had no chance to live up to expectations, being a half to the great Frankel, but he's been particularly disappointing since arriving stateside, and the presence of Marriedtothemusic doesn't help his chances.
 
Selections:  1-5-4-9
 
 
Race 8:  Excellent field assembled for the Grade 3 Victory Ride, with plenty of front-end speed.  #5 West Coast Chick didn't break that sharply, but was gunned to the lead to defeat a strong allowance field last time; has a good post and she's a talent that should not be overlooked.  We think #2 Miss Behaviour has a tough post, but may be among the best 3yo filly sprinters in the country, and she could easily be an undefeated dirt sprinter right now, if not for a terribly misjudged ride in the Sharp Cat stakes over this track and trip last year; looked good taking solid Miss Preakness field all the way with new top figure last month.  #4 Street Story has rallied from off the pace to win a pair of dirt sprints this year, and that style may play well in this field.  
 
Selections:  5-2-4-3
 
 
Race 9:  #2 Nanoon has plenty of turf pedigree as a half to the talented Front (5 wins and over $245k earned on turf, so far), and she found herself way too close to a solid pace in her debut; figures tighter for this, adds lasix, and will be a price.  
 
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#9 Lil' Zilla drops down for her 3yo debut, and she showed enough in a pair of starts last year to consider in here.  #7 Transplendid also takes a class drop as she returns from a layoff, and she has competitive races to get to, though she disappointed more than once last year. 
 
Selections:  2-9-7-10
 
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TimeformUS Analysis for June 28

TimeformUS Analyst Mike Beer

TimeformUS Belmont Analysis for Saturday, June 28

 
Race 1:  #5 Round made a promising debut last September when racing wide against a track that was carrying inside speed all day, staying on gamely to the end; returns with lasix on.  
 
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#2 Flat Jack turns back with blinkers on for second start off of a short break, and he ran TimeformUS Speed Figures in his last three sprint races that are competitive here.  #6 Pecorino is logical for Pletcher, but he exits a no-excuse loss at a short price out of town and may be over-bet again.
 
Selections:  5-2-6-3
 
 
Race 2:  #9 Tordita didn't take to grass last time, and is now cut in half, class-wise, by a trainer whose rating in this category suggests that he drops to win (91 rating with claimers down in class, as opposed to his overall rating of 66);  something similar to either of her two main track sprint efforts to date is going to make her tough in here.
 
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#5 Home to Carrowkeel is a first-time starter for a dangerous trainer, and she is a half-sister to both Please Impress (a 14-time winner who put over $250k in the bank) and Kilnockagain (a winner of four of her eight dirt sprints and a debut winner, as well).  #3 Naughty Matilda switches back to dirt while dropping down in class, and she has the kind of early speed that could make her dangerous in the right field.  #6 Untiltherewasyou offered nothing in her debut over grass but is a half-sister to several solid dirt performers.  
 
Selections:  9-5-3-6
 
 
Race 3:  #1 Chelsea Road and #6 Persnickity exit a strangely run race, where a longshot went to the lead on a seemingly too-fast pace, and yet managed to take the field all the way, with the closers unable to pose any threat in the stretch.  We liked them both in that race, and are having a tough time taking the race at face value, so we will give them another chance here.  #4 Harbingerofthings makes her third start off the layoff, and she was in way over her head on synthetic last time; has sprinted effectively on turf in the past.  
 
Selections:  1-6-4-2
 
 
Race 4:  The Mother Goose is #2 Untapable's race to lose, as she finds none of the other top 3yo fillies lining up to challenge her, and it may not have mattered even if she did.  Her three races so far this year put her at a different level than these, and if she shows up with something approaching her best, she is unlikely to lose.  #5 Aqua Regia is as honest as a horse can be, and she has consistently run TimeformUS Speed Figures that are second-best in the field.  #1 House Rules developed rapidly at Gulfstream over the winter while grabbing a couple of graded-stakes placings; didn't fire big in the Acorn, but is still eligible to improve.  #3 Princess Violet is a talented NY-bred sprinter who has found a tough spot in which to step up and stretch out, and #6 Stopchargingmaria, the only other stakes winner in the field outside of the favorite, is not fully committed to running here, but will be a clear-cut second choice if she does.
 
Selections:  2-5-1-3
 
 
Race 5:  #1 Acrostic didn't kick in with a big run while making her first start back from a long layoff, but she raced on steadily in what could be viewed as a good place to start; ran quite well in her lone NY start last year; projects to be in a good trip up with the pace from her inside post, and Castellano sticks.  #5 Winner's Legacy may be the horse to beat as she makes her second start of the year and drops down for Weaver (gets a strong 98 rating with horses going from MSW to maiden claiming), but her form has dropped off precipitously, and she wasn't ever that good to begin with.  #8 Shaikha has settled for minor awards so far at around this level, and she emerged from her last race, which was her first for this barn, with no excuse after a good trip.  
 
Selections:  1-5-8-7
 
 
Race 6:  Not much in the way of pace signed on for this 9-furlong turf event, so we'll see if anyone can take advantage of that.  The likeliest candidate for that figures to be #1 Lady's Lunar Luck, who took the best of the draw, but there are some progressive-looking fillies in this spot.  #7 Fashion Fund earned solid marks as a 2yo overseas, and she has run quite well both outs over here, carrying ground all the way while breaking her maiden at Keeneland, and then racing wide again when finishing close-up to next-out winners Walk Close (now 3-for-3 after winning a stakes race here last weekend) and Hillhouse High.  
 
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#11 Abbey Street didn't draw well on the outside and doesn't have much speed, but she improved with the trainer change two starts back, and then wound up completely blocked with nowhere to run last time.  Not sure what happened with #5 Lawn Party in the Wonder Again stakes, but she ran very well one start prior to that despite a tough wide trip from a far outside post.
 
Selections:  7-11-5-1
 
 
Race 7: We like #6 Pinball better as a dirt horse, and were surprised to see him lacking speed when switched back from turf last time; adds blinkers and lands in a spot where Pace Projector places him in a favorable trip on the pace and in the clear.  We'll give him a chance to bounce back at a price, and will also use #4 Big Business, who lost a heartbreaker to the streaking Zivo when well ahead of Pinball last time, as he also has speed to use to his advantage.  #7 Irsaal is the ML favorite, and has ability, but we fear he may be better on a wet track, and both #1 Capo Bastone and #2 Sailmate, while capable, need pace to be at their best, and may not get enough of it.
 
Selections:  6-4-7-2
 
 
Race 8:  #6 Green Mask received what was perhaps an overconfident ride when making his turf debut last time, but he was very impressive to win nonetheless, while posting a 100 TimeformUS Speed Figure; projects to be in a good spot early behind a stretch-out sprinter, #9 Glacken Too, who is trying turf for the first time.  #7 Cabo Cat fired another good one, sweeping around horses while four-wide through the turn and then battling gamely to the finish, but settled for second-best yet again behind the top one last time; may appreciate the presence of Glacken Too more than anyone else in the field.  #4 So Lonesome was impressive upon his return to NY last month, laying down a fast pace and continuing on gamely to prove much best that day; was a stakes winner last year from off the pace.
 
Selections:  6-7-4-8
 
 
Race 9:  The Grade 2 New York features an enticing match-up between two runners who figure to be major players in the top races for longer-distance turf females throughout the year: #1 Tannery and #2 Riposte.  Tannery managed to win only two of her first ten starts after arriving here from her native Ireland back in 2012. But she ran much better than the bare results would indicate.  One of those losses came in this race last year, when she was unable to work out a clear run after saving ground all the way.  She acquitted herself quite well vs. males in both the Sword Dancer and the Red Smith, and she became a Grade 1 winner when taking a strong edition of the E. P. Taylor last fall.  Her first start back as a 5yo resulted in a workmanlike victory at Monmouth over a distance shorter than her best. She figures to benefit greatly from having that run and from this stretch-out in distance.  
 
Her main rival is Riposte, a Juddmonte Farms import who exits a clear-cut victory in last month's Grade 2 Sheepshead Bay.  Riposte, like Tannery, had trouble finding the winner's circle after arriving stateside, but she emerged from each of her defeats with viable excuses (caught behind exceedingly slow paces in Florida, she then endured a brutal wide trip at Keeneland) and finally broke through once given more ground with which to work.  While she likely benefited from getting stretched back out in distance last time (she was a Group 2 winner over 1 1/2 miles in England), she also was given a heads-up ride by Joel Rosario, who went straight to the lead and controlled the race from start to finish.  
 
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There is truly little to separate these two talented runners. Their top TimeformUS Speed Figures fall closely in line, and, since they figure to be similar prices come post time, there is no real advantage to be found from a straight-up wagering perspective.  
 
The runner with the best chance to upset those two figures to be #3 Inimitable Romanee, who, after burning much money at the start of her career,  has turned things around with added distance, posting a trio of upsets in graded-stakes company from her last four starts.  She is facing much tougher competition today in the form of Tannery and Riposte, but she has the ability to pull any kind of trip in a race. She should not be completely dismissed. 
 
Selections:  1-2-3-6
 
 
Race 10:  Pace Projector indicates that this race will be run at a fast pace, which is perfect for #10 Majestic Raffy, who was sent into a premature wide run from off of a slow pace last time, only to get run down late by a perfect-trip winner; claimed by a going concern out of that strong effort, and gets a big rider change.  #12 Storm has won both of his turf starts by getting up either on or near the early lead and then finishing best of all through the stretch; won't be taking this field wire to wire from post 12, but he's talented and should have no problem making a run from somewhere off the pace, assuming he can get into position from his tough post.  #2 I Got Id wired a field with an easy lead last time, but he has run well from off the pace before, has upside, and drew a perfect post for this distance on the inner.
 
Selections:  10-12-2-4
 
 
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