Iditapod: The champ has scratched. Long live the champ.

Brent Sass speaks with checker and Iditarod veteran Lev Shvarts in Iditarod on March 9, 2023. (Ben Matheson/Alaska Public Media)

Reigning Iditarod champion Brent Sass has scratched from this year’s race, due to what race officials described as “periodontal health” issues. So 31 teams remained in the race Saturday, and in this episode we hear from the chase pack-turned lead pack about how they were feeling about heading up the Yukon River, plus more from the top rookies in this year’s race. We have a powerhouse Dog of the Day with a funny, uh, pungent name, and a listener question about sled dog breeds that led us to the famous poodle musher.

Select audio compliments of Iditarod Insider

RELATED: Reigning Iditarod champ Brent Sass drops out of race over health concerns

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Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him Read more about Caseyhere

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