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Sled dog racing: Seavey seeking Iditarod three-peat

Two-time defending champion Dallas Seavey pulled out of the Shaktoolik checkpoint Sunday morning with a 58-minute lead over Brent Sass as Alaska’s 2016 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race moved within a couple hundred miles of the finish.

Seavey, of Willow, Alaska, left Shaktoolik, 754 miles into the 975-mile race, at 10:27 a.m. Alaska time, headed for the Koyuk checkpoint 50 miles away.

Sass, of Eureka, Alaska, who had led the previous day, left at 11:25 a.m.

Aliy Zirkle of Two Rivers, Alaska,  the Iditarod runner-up in 2012, 2013 and 2014, was third out of Shaktoolik. Two-time winner Mitch Seavey, Dallas’ father, was first into Shaktoolik but stayed 2 hours and 53 minutes at the checkpoint and returned the trail in fourth place.

Nathan Schroeder of Warba had moved up to 24th place by the time he left the Kaltag checkpoint Sunday afternoon on the way to Unalakleet. The four-time John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon champion had moved up 10 spots in a two-day span.

Seventy-seven of 85 mushers remained on the trail as of Sunday night.

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