March 08, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) The Latest on the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (all times local):

7:15 p.m.

There's a familiar name atop the standings of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday evening.

Two-time winner Mitch Seavey was the first musher to leave the checkpoint in McGrath, Alaska. He spent no time there whatsoever to get back onto the trail with his team of 15 dogs.

In second place is his son, three-time winner and defending champion Dallas Seavey, who had yet to leave McGrath.

The only other musher into this checkpoint is Wade Marrs.

Brent Sass was in fourth place, and Noah Burmeister was in fifth. Both are en route to McGrath.

Lead changes are common during the early part of the nearly 1,000-mile race. Eighty-five mushers started the Iditarod on Sunday in Willow, Alaska. Three have since scratched.

The winner is expected in the old Gold Rush town of Nome, on the Bering Sea coast, sometime early next week.

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3:30 p.m.

Brent Sass blew through the checkpoint in Nikolai to assume first place in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race on Tuesday.

Sass stayed only six minutes in Nikolai, an Athabascan village with less than 90 residents.

Sass, who was disqualified from last year's Iditarod for using an iPod Touch that is capable of wireless communications, had about a 20-minute advantage over the second-place musher, Noah Burmeister.

Also out of Nikolai are the defending champion, Dallas Seavey; Dallas' father, Mitch Seavey; Wade Marrs; Pete Kaiser; and Aliy Zirkle (AL'-ee ZUR'-kul).

Eighty-five mushers began the nearly 1,000-mile race on Sunday in Willow, Alaska. Three mushers have since scratched. The winner is expected to reach Nome sometime early next week.

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Nicolas Petit has taken the early lead in the 2016 Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

Petit is the first musher in to Nikolai. He reached the village at 8:41 a.m. Tuesday, passing four-time champion and previous leader Lance Mackey.

Mackey left the Rohn checkpoint just before 7 p.m. Monday.

Reigning champ and three-time winner Dallas Seavey left Rohn an hour and 8 minutes after Mackey at 7:44 p.m.

Aliy Zirkle (AL'-ee ZUR'-kul), Mitch Seavey and Paul Gebhardt followed Seavey.

Tuesday is the third day of the 1,000-mile race to Nome.

The competitive portion of the race with 85 teams began Sunday in Willow.

The winner is expected to reach the finish line about nine days after the start of the race.

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This story has been corrected to reflect what day Mackey left Rohn.

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