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MANALAPAN, NJ - December 11, 2018 - The New Jersey Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee advanced the proposed legislation on Monday by a vote of 13 - 0. The proposed legislation will provide a $20 million subsidy to New Jersey's horse racing industry, to be divided equally between the Thoroughbred and Standardbred industries. The state's funding would benefit not just racetracks but everyone involved in racing. "The horse racing industry has had a long road to recovery, and we feel this purse supplement money, as well as the ability to enter into agreements with sports book operators at the racetracks, would provide a necessary shot of adrenaline into the horse racing industry," AJ Sabath, a lobbyist representing the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey, told the committee before the vote. The SBOANJ and TrotPac have been and will continue to work with AJ Sabath on behalf of New Jersey horsemen and women to see this legislation through to the end. The full story is below. Lawmakers want to give horse racing industry $100M state subsidy By Ryan Hutchins  TRENTON, NJ - Lawmakers want to give a $20 million annual subsidy to New Jersey's horse racing industry, restoring state support for the first time since former Gov. Chris Christie redirected casino gambling revenue back to Atlantic City early this decade. The proposed legislation, NJ S2992 (18R), which advanced out of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee on Monday by a vote of 13-0, comes just four months after it became legal for the tracks to offer sports betting. Supporters of the bill say the subsidy, which would come from the state's general fund and be divided equally between the Thoroughbred and the Standardbred industries, would benefit not just racetracks but everyone involved in racing — from jockeys to those working on equine farms. The bill also requires agreements with sports book operators that ensure some of that revenue will be shared with the breeders and owners. "The horse racing industry has had a long road to recovery, and we feel this purse supplement money as well as the ability to enter into agreements with sports book operators at the racetracks would provide a necessary shot of adrenaline into the horse racing industry," AJ Sabath, a lobbyist representing the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey, told the committee before the vote. The legislation is sponsored by state Sens. Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth) and Paul Sarlo (D-Bergen), the budget chairman and big booster of the industry. The bill would provide the annual subsidy for five years, starting this fiscal year, funneling the $100 million through the New Jersey Racing Commission and requiring the funds be used for purse subsidies and track operations. The money would benefit the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport and Freehold Raceway. Monmouth Park and Meadowlands both have sports books on site. Representatives for Freehold said the track's operators are talking to potential sports betting partners. The struggling horse racing industry has been counting on sports betting to pull it back from the edge, especially after Christie in 2011 stripped it of a similar-sized subsidy paid by casinos. Now, the horse racing sector hasn't done that bad; through October, Meadowlands Racetrack had won $15.2 million and Monmouth Park Racetrack had taken in $7.5 million. But supporters of the bill say the state needs to make sure that benefit trickles down to those who don't own or operate the tracks. "This will be a huge help for the horse racing industry that is an important part of New Jersey's heritage and culture and a key source of jobs and economic activity," Gopal said in a statement. "There are tens of thousands of jobs impacted directly or indirectly by the racing industry, including the long-term survival of Monmouth Racetrack." To view online click here.    : From Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

FREEHOLD, NJ — December 10, 2018 — With sports betting up and running at the  Meadowlands and Monmouth Park, it appears that Freehold Raceway is ready to join the action. According to Christopher McErlean, vice president at Penn National - which co-owns the track, “We are in negotiations with vendors for both retail and online, and we hope to have a decision by the end of the month.” Freehold plans to follow the Meadowlands and Monmouth Park sports betting set up by having one vendor handle both in house and online operations. The goal is to have a vendor by December 31 but that does not mean that everything will be up and running by NFL playoff weekend.  Freehold is watching how things have been playing out in New Jersey and is approaching sports betting for the long game. For more information on Freehold Raceway and sports betting read the Full Article https://www.njonlinegambling.com/freehold-raceway-sports-betting-coming/?fbclid=IwAR2oSOUmxbaM5g-roryVbFAQU1fn_nd9zcfRAj7RiaiQh1MIQePyosinjSQU8 From Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

EAST RUToHERFORD, NJ - The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey debuted their Garden State Trot for harness racing 2-year-olds on Saturday (Nov 10) night at the Meadowlands. Battenberg started the night off winning the $50,000 purse in the first race for 2-year-old colt and geldings. Driver Corey Callahan left from post position six to take the lead for every call of the mile. The Joe Holloway trainee nosed out at strong charging Hudson River to stop the clock in 1:56.1. This marks lifetime win number two for the son of Trixton. Owners Crawford Farms Racing and Val D’Or Farms have enjoyed earnings of $66,446 from the New Jersey Bred colt. Hudson River finished a close second with No Drama Please coming in third. The filly trotters took over the stakes action in the third race, battling it out for the $55,000 purse. Andrew McCarthy and Noel Daley teamed up to upset the odds on favorite with Princess Deo. The Trixton filly took the lead in the stretch and held off the competition to win in 1:56.2. This is the fillies third lifetime win earning $173,046 for her owners Deo Volente Farms LLC, Noel Daley, Thomas Pontone and John Fodera. Princess Deo was also bred by Deo Volente Farms LLC of Flemington, NJ. Evident Beauty finished second and Golden Tricks rounded out the trifecta. The SBOANJ applauds it’s Board of Directors Mike Gulotta, owner of Deo Volente Farms, and Thomas Pontone for their continued support and dedication to New Jersey racing. Wishing them them much success in the future. Live racing resumes Friday November 16, 2018 at the Meadowlands with a post time of 7:15 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

FREEHOLD, NJ - October 29, 2018 - Freehold Raceway hosted the $15,000 New Jersey Futurity for 3-year-old trotters, sponsored by the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. The feature race was held before the regularly scheduled card on Saturday (Oct 27). U Need Stones won the $15,000 purse for trainer Ron Bue rke. Driver George Brennan sent the 3-year-old gelding from post position number two to the front, to lead the competition every step of the way in 2:01.1. The son of Wishing Stone captured lifetime win number eight and earnings of over $150,000 for his owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Lawrence Karr, and Phillip Collura. Samis Rolin Stone finished second. Freehold resumes live racing on Friday, November 2, 2018, with a post time of 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

FREEHOLD, NJ - October 22, 2018 - This weekend three $50,000 New Jersey Standardbred Development Fund finals were held at Freehold Raceway. Apollo's Creed kicked off the sires stakes action, taking the NJSDF final for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Andy Miller sent the Erv Miller trainee to the front, from post position number three, and lead every call of the mile to stop the clock in 1:58.2. This is lifetime win number five for the son of Muscle Hill. Boosting his earnings to $55,840 for owners Ron Michelon, Daniel Plouffe and J&T Silva Stables LLC. U Need Stones finished second with Allindotime coming in third. The second NJSDF final held on Friday was for 3-year-old filly trotters. Take A Wish trained by Dawn Anderson won in similar fashion to the colts. Driver Steve Smith left from the three hole and lead every step of the way in 1:59.0. This is win number two for the Wishing Stone filly. She has earned $81,845 for her New Jersey based owners Dawn Anderson and Mark Schollstrom. Diamondstone Us came in second with Chapreress finishing third. On Saturday, Thor De Vie took the NJSDF final for 3-year-old colt and gelding pacers. Jason Bartlett drove the odds on favorite to the winners circle in 1:55.3 for trainer Ed Hart. This is win number 12 for the So Surreal gelding. Iluvtomakemoney finished second with Fordham Sixty Two coming in third. Freehold resumes live racing Friday October 26, 2018 featuring the New Jersey Futurity for 3-year-old trotters with a post time of 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

FREEHOLD, NJ - The Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey's annual board of director's meeting and election was held on Friday (Oct 19) at Freehold Raceway. The committee summary reports were given by board of directors. Mike Gulotta reported that the Pension Funds are benefiting from the change of investment managers with returns better than expected and funds in line with benchmarks. Chris Ryder reported that racing days in New Jersey are still in negotiations however, he is hopeful that 2019 race dates will be similar to the 2018 dates. He also reported that the Benevolent Fund has assisted many members and horsemen with health issues and funeral assistance. Mike Klau reported that over 400 mares were bred in New Jersey this season. Insurance committee head Anthony Romano announced that there will not be any changes to insurance benefits and no increases to premiums for members in 2019. Anthony Perretti reported that TrotPac is continuing to build important relationships with Legislators to help raise awareness to the need for alternative revenue to support our industry and to help push the $20 million dollar appropriation bill through. The board of director election results were announced from the 360 ballots that were received. Mike Gulotta and Richard Meirs were each re-elected in the breeder category as they ran unopposed. Thomas Pontone and Dennis Lane were both running for one spot in the owner category. Incumbent Thomas Pontone will continue to represent the owners as board of director. The driver/trainer category had two open seats available this election. The nominees were incumbents Chris Ryder and Thomas Luchento, and new comers Linda Toscano and Ray Baynes. Chris Ryder and Linda Toscano were elected to fill the two positions. The SBOANJ would like to thank all members who ran and voted in this years election. It is important to have members involved in all aspects of the election. We would also like to thank all those that attended the meeting especially Mr. Taylor Palmer, one of the original founders of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

MANALAPAN, NJ -- October 11, 2018 -- The following message is from Mark Ford, President of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey.  "Contrary to our ongoing dialogue with the Meadowlands, we were not given any notice and were as much surprised as anyone to read their release indicating that they were putting in for a 68 day meet with a significant reduction of added-money events. We found this particularly disappointing in that we have been working very hard with various legislators and did feel that we had made progress in getting some assistance from the state. That said, a 68 day meet at the Meadowlands in 2019, which does violate their contract with the SBOA regarding a minimum amount of days, is clearly unacceptable and we will address that immediately." by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ   

James "Jimmy" Scott Murray, 60, of Chesterfield, NJ, passed away on September 29th, 2018 at his home. There will be a celebration of life held at The Chesterfield Inn on October 13th, 2018 at 1:00PM. Jimmy was born in Lewiston, Maine to Elizabeth “Betty” and John Murray on July 14th, 1958. He went to high school at East Bridgewater High School in East Bridgewater, Massachusetts. He worked most recently as Second Trainer for Ron Coyne Harness Racing Stable, along with various others throughout the years. He loved harness racing, watching his beloved New England Patriots, cooking, watching the Three Stooges, music, and mostly being with family and friends. He had an incredible sense of humor and the ability to make everyone around him laugh and feel loved. He was an amazing horseman and was an all-around animal lover. There is no doubt he is still raising trouble with his brothers Greg and John carrying out practical jokes and bringing laughs to everyone. Jimmy is survived by his mother Elizabeth Murray, George Bartlett, Susan Murray, and Valerie Murray: children, Julie Dimakis, Jamie Lendon, Chris Lendon, Sarah Rogers, Stephanie Murray and Shawn Herrick: brothers, Dan Murray, Joe Murray, and Jason Murray. He is preceded in death by his father John Murray, brother Greg Murray, and brother John Murray Jr: and many friends and family that loved him dearly. In lieu of flowers please consider making a memorial donation in Jimmy’s name to either The Standardbred Retirement Foundation or The New Jersey Standardbred Owners Association (Benevolent Fund). The family wishes to extend their gratitude to Knott's Colonial Funeral Home for all their help! The Chesterfield Inn 633 Chesterfield Arneytown Rd Chesterfield, NJ 08515 Standardbred Retirement Foundation 42 Arneytown-Hornerstown Rd Cream Ridge, NJ 08514 609-738-3255 SBOANJ  Benevolent Fund 64 Route 33 Manalapan, NJ 07726 732-462-2357 by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

FREEHOLD, NJ -- October 8, 2018 -- Freehold Raceway hosted two divisions of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey's Homegrown Pace for 2-year-olds on Saturday (Oct 6). The first division of the Homegrown Pace for 2-year-old pacing fillies was held as a non-betting race before the regularly scheduled card.   The Mark Harder trainee Surreality captured the $21,000 purse in 1:56.4. George Brennan and Surreality left from the rail position to lead the way every step of the mile. This is win number six and boosts her lifetime earnings to $83,361 for owners Joseph Jannuzzelli, Mark Harder and Dawn Colucci all New Jersey natives. Hurrikane Lori Ann finished second with Miss Raggedy Ann coming in third. The second division was for the 2-year-old colt and gelding pacers with a purse of $25,000. This division was won by odds-on favorite Hurrikane Emperor for trainer John McDermott Jr. Driver Dan Dube sent the Hurrikane Kingcole colt out of the gait to take the lead and never relinquish it stopping the clock in 1:55.1.   Hurrikane Emperor continued his winning ways for owners Jonathan Klee Racing, Kuhen Racing LLC, Pegasis Investment Group and George Viemo banking $226,900 in lifetime earnings.   Hurrikane Emperor is also a dual sires stakes winner as he won the KYSS Final and the NJSS Final earlier this year. Trente Deo was second with Cool Your Heels finishing third. Live racing resumes at Freehold Raceway on Friday, October 12, 2018, with a post time of 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

FREEHOLD, NJ  - October 5, 2018 -  Freehold Raceway hosted the SBOANJ sponsored New Jersey Futurity #53 and a leg of the New Jersey Standardbred Development Fund. The non-betting $22,500 New Jersey Futurity #53 for 2-year-old trotters was won by the Ron Burke trainee Cheap Tricks. Joe Bongiorno steered the trotting colt to victory in 2:04.3. This is the first-lifetime win for the son of Trixton, he has earned $42,612 for his owners Burke Racing Stable LLC, Phillip Collura, J&T Silva-Pumel &Libby and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. No Drama Please finished second. The first leg of the NJSDF for 3-year-old filly trotters took place in the third race. The odds on favorite Chaperess nosed out the competition for trainer Trond Smedshammer. Driven by George Brennan Chaperess inching past the leader in the stretch to stop the clock in 1:59.3. The daughter of Chapter Seven earned her seventh-lifetime win and $78,898 for her owner Purple Haze Stables LLC. Diamondstone Us finished second with Michando coming in third. Freehold resumes racing Saturday, October 6, with the SBOANJ sponsored Home Grown Pace #1 for 2-year-olds, post time 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ 

FREEHOLD, NJ -  September 28, 2018 - Today Freehold Raceway hosted the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey sponsored Helen Smith Final for 3-year-old harness racing trotting fillies and an NJSDF Final for 2-year-olds. The $20,000 Helen Smith Final was held before the regularly scheduled racing card as a non-betting race. Samis Rolin Stone sat a pocket trip and nosed out the competition in 2:00.2 for trainer Dewayne Minor. This is lifetime win number three for the Wishing Stone filly owned by Daniel Lengacher. Diamondstone Us finished a close second for trainer Noel Daley. The 2-year-old trotting colt, No Drama Please was the winner of the $50,000 NJSDF Final. Leaving from post position number one, the odds-on favorite lead every call of the mile to win in 2:00.3 for trainer Julie Miller. The Trixton colt notched win number three and $71,732 in lifetime earnings for owner Stroy Inc. Gerris Trix finished second while Warrior One come in third. Freehold resumes live racing Saturday, September 29, 2018, with the featured Renaissance Final for 2-year-old fillies, post time of 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

MANALAPAN, NJ -- September 27, 2018 -- The trainer and co-owners of the New Jersey-sired stallion Hurrikane Kingcole enjoyed much success with him as a racehorse and now as a sire. In 2012, Hurrikane Kingcole paced 1:48.1 at Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs to equal the then world record for a three-year-old on a five-eighths-mile track. Then in 2015 after going 2 for 2 on the season and posting a 1:49.4 win he suffered a broken splint bone and was retired to stud. On Sunday (Sept 16) at the Red Mile Hurrikane Emperor, son of Hurrikane Kingcole, became a two-state champion for McDermott, Klee, Kuhen and their partners. Already a winner of the New Jersey Sires Stakes final, the John McDermott trainee captured the $250,000 KYSS final for 2-year-old pacing Colts at The Red Mile. Leading every step of the way, Hurrikane Emperor held off the competition to win in a blistering 1:49.3. Jonathan Klee said, "This is a great win for New Jersey breeding, he is now a dual sire stakes champ and has posted the fastest 2-year-old time to date." This win earns Hurrikane Emperor his sixth win in eight starts and brings his earnings to $214,400 for breeder and co-owner Jonathan Klee Racing. He is also owned by Kuhen Racing, Pegasis Investment Group, and Lind Racing Stable. McDermott, Klee, Kuhen, and partners have also had success with the Hurrikane Kingcole filly Hurrikane Empress, a full sister to Hurrikane Emperor who won a leg of the KYSS for 3-year-old pacing fillies. As a 2-year-old, Hurrikane Empress was a NJSS champion and the winner of the New Jersey Futurity and Renaissance Final. To date, the filly has eight wins and earnings of over $180,000. McDermott, Klee, Kuhen, and partners are doing an amazing job with their New Jersey-sired horses. The trio has worked hard committing time and money to the New Jersey breeding program and are getting the results they deserve. by Courtney Stafford for the SBOANJ

FREEHOLD, NJ - Freehold Raceway hosted two of the $50,000 New Jersey Sire Stakes Standardbred Development Fund Finals for 2-year-olds harness racing trotters and pacers. On Friday (Sept 21), the 2-year-old filly trotters competed for the $50,000 purse in race number four. Jimmy Takter's filly Flos Conch Shack lead the way, after avoiding a breaking Golden Tricks, to stop the clock in 2:00.2. This makes lifetime win number two for the daughter of Father Patrick, her other win coming in the first leg of the series. The New Jersey-sired filly has now earned $29,850 her owner John Fielding. Trelanney finished second with Big Weezy coming in third. Saturday, (Sept 22) the NJSDF final for 2-year-old colt pacers went to Michael Hall's Trente Deo in 1:57.0. Trente Deo left from post position number four to make the front by the first quarter and was able to nose out odds-on favorite Downtown Cruiser at the wire. Trente Deo, bred by Deo Volente Farms, LLC, has earned $59,316 for owners Michael Hall, David Hamm, and CTC Stable. Downtown Cruiser came in second with Just Plain Loco finished out the trifecta. More stakes action Friday, September 29, 2018, when Freehold resumes racing with a post time of 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ 

FREEHOLD, NJ -  September 16, 2018 - Freehold Raceway hosted two more harness racing legs of the NJSDF and one final over the weekend. The $7,500 second leg for 2-year-old colt trotters took place on Friday (Sept 14), while Saturday (Sept 15) held the second leg for 2-year-old pacing colts and the NJSDF final for 2-year-old pacing fillies. The second leg for the 2-year-old trotting colts was won by Bordogna for Julie Miller. Bordogna defeated his competition in 2:01.1 from post position four. The Trixton colt earned his sixth-lifetime win and increased his earnings to $11,375 for his owners Rick Huffman, Caroll Huffman, Larry Mather and Alan Eden. Apocalypse came in second with Holiday Hangover finishing third. Saturday (Sept 15) Freehold held the 7th annual Open Space Pace with the featured $50,000 NJSDF final for 2-year-old filly pacers. Odds on favorite Surreality left from the two hole to take the lead and never looked back, stopping the clock in 1:56.2. Trained by Mark Harder finished her New Jersey series off with a win and a second in the two legs and a big win in the final. Notching win number 5 and lifetime earnings of $64,625 for owners Joseph Jannuzzelli, Mark Harder and Dawn Colucci. Hurrikane Lori Ann finished second with Surrealism coming in third. Later in the card, another odds-on favorite Trente Deo won the second leg of the NJSDF for 2-year-old colt pacers. The Michael Hall trainee nosed out Mark Witha K to stop the clock in 1:58.0. The Captaintreacherous colt earned his second-lifetime win and $34,316 in earnings his owners Michael Hall, David Hamm, and CTC Stable. Downtown Cruiser finished off the trifecta. Live racing resumes Friday, September 21 with a post time of 12:30 pm. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ  

Above statement made by Mark Ford, President of the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey. MANALAPAN, NJ -- September 7, 2018 -- There was a time in New Jersey when the best of the best came to compete at Freehold Raceway on Labor Day. It was not long ago, but seemed a distant memory Monday when the track was closed because of a lack of entries. In an announcement regarding the decision to close on Labor Day, Freehold General Manager Howard Bruno said, “Overall, it is increasingly difficult for us to compete in a market where we have the lowest purse structure in the region.” The statement is not hyperbole, it is fact. For more than a decade, New Jersey’s racing industry has suffered while horsemen in neighboring states have enjoyed increased purses thanks to casino-enhanced funding. Monday’s closure of Freehold illustrates the erosion of New Jersey’s standing in sport – once the envy of the industry — and the seriousness of the situation. A year ago, the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle ran a story titled “How VLTs saved NY horse racing.” According to the story, New York’s seven harness racing tracks saw purses escalate from $35 million to $118 million since 2003. The average purse per race went from about $4,000 to $11,000 over the 14 years — putting New York among the top five in the nation.  “The figures have been extraordinary at some tracks: Batavia Downs’ purses grew from $1.8 million to $5.5 million; from $4 million to $18 million at Saratoga harness; and from $20 million to nearly $63 million at Yonkers,” the story stated. The average purse per race this past Saturday at Freehold was less than $5,000. Tracks in New York and Pennsylvania could be found offering averages — at a minimum — of 46 percent more than Freehold, up to the $30,000 average Yonkers offered for eight non-stakes races that night. A decade ago on Labor Day, Freehold hosted a card that included the prestigious Cane Pace and other top stakes. Freehold was home to the Cane Pace from 1998 through 2010, when the track gave up hosting the race because of purse-funding issues. It is clear the industry needs to see purses augmented in the absence of racinos and the ability to compete with neighboring states on a level playing field. Without it, the state’s billion-dollar equine industry will likely suffer the loss of thousands of jobs and tens of thousands of acres in open space while the state loses tens of millions of dollars in revenues. State Assemblyman John Burzichelli, D-Gloucester, told NJOnlineGambling last week, “The challenges faced by horse racing lead to an erosion of the ancillary [equine] economy — breeding, horse farms, and so on. That warrants our attention, because once a horse farm goes away, it never comes back. Nobody tears down a condo development to build a horse farm.” The Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey implores the state’s legislators to consider the magnitude of any decision regarding the enhancement of purses and preservation of the equine industry in the Garden State. Time is running out. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

FREEHOLD, NJ -  Freehold Racing hosted another harness racing weekend of New Jersey stakes races. On Friday (Aug 31) the first leg of the 2-year-old colt trotters NJ Standard Development Fund with a purse of $7,500, while the 3-year-old open NJ Futurity went on Saturday (Sept 1). No Drama Please took the first leg of the NJSDF for 2-year-old colt trotters in 1:58.3 for trainer Julie Miller. The Yankee Glide colt, bred by TLP Stable of New Jersey, notched win number two for owner Stroy Inc. American Dream Boy finished second with Cheap Tricks in third. The second division went to Nick Drennan trainee Warrior One, the odds-on favorite in 2:01.0. The son of Father Patrick earned his first-lifetime win for owners Joseph Davine, Brad Shackman and Drennan Stable LLC. Gerris Trix was a close second with The Light In Me third. The New Jersey Futurity for 3-year-old pacers with a purse of $15,475 was won on Saturday (Sept 1) by Hypnotic Tale. The Hypnotic Blue Chip mare is owned by Ronald Mario and trained by Ross Croghan. Melanie's Fran was second with Dream Police Woman coming in third. by Courtney Stafford, for the SBOANJ

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