Injury To Sass Clears Path For Repeat Victory
Allen Moore of Two Rivers, Alaska claimed his second straight title in the Yukon Quest sled dog race early Monday morning, reaching the finish line at Takhini Hot Springs near Whitehorse at 2:12 am Alaska Time with 11 dogs. Moore joins Hans Gatt and Lance Mackey as the only mushers to earn back to back titles in the long distance race across parts of Alaska and the Yukon Territory.
According to the Yukon Quest website, Moore's official time is 8 days, 14 hours, 21 minutes. This year's race was shortened from 1,000 miles to approximately 915 miles because of impassable trail in some areas.
The race took a serious turn on Sunday morning just as it seemed fans were in store for a dramatic finish. Brent Sass, who led for most of the race and still appeared to be in position to challenge Moore for the win, was injured in a fall and had to be assisted off the trail by Canadian Rangers. Both Sass and his dogs were brought into the race's final checkpoint of Braeburn, at which time Sass was taken to Whitehorse for further examination. Race officials said he was in stable condition.
Because of the injury to Sass, Hugh Neff is the musher to catch for the runner-up position. Two years ago, Neff defeated Moore by just 26 seconds to win the title in the closest Yukon Quest finish in history and finished runner-up to Moore last year. Neff departed Braeburn at 11:24 pm. Matt Hall, Cody Strathe, and John Schandelmeier were rounding out the top five positions late Sunday night.