Minnesota native leads Iditarod sled dog race across Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) A musher who was disqualified in last year's Iditarod is in the lead Friday of this year's 1,000-mile (1,600-kilometer) race across Alaska.

Brent Sass is a 36-year-old Minnesota native who now lives in Eureka, Alaska. He was the first musher to leave the checkpoint in Ruby, about 480 miles from the finish line in Nome.

He was disqualified last year when officials said the iPod Touch he uses to listen to music on the trail could have been used to connect wirelessly at checkpoints.

Aliy (AL'-ee) Zirkle is still looking for her first Iditarod win after finishing in the top five the last four years. She's the only other musher out of Ruby, but left nearly three hours after Sass.

The race started Sunday near Anchorage with 85 mushers. Five have since scratched.

The winner is expected in Nome early next week.

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