Yukon Quest 2016: Sass holds lead, 1 musher drops out

Yukon Quest champ Brent Sass still holds a slight lead on day 3 of the sled dog race from Fairbanks, Alaska, to Whitehorse.

2015 champ Brent Sass still out front on Day 3 of sled dog race

Twenty-two mushers are still in the race as of Monday. (Julien Schroder/Yukon Quest)

Last year's Yukon Quest champ Brent Sass continues to lead the pack on Day Three of the 2016 race. Sass was the first musher to leave the checkpoint at Slaven's Roadhouse in Alaska, on Monday afternoon.

He's trailed by several other race veterans, including former champion Allen Moore who was second in the standings, as of Monday afternoon. Yukoner Ed Hopkins, who finished third last year, was fifth on Monday.

Feeding a dog at the Two Rivers checkpoint. The next mandatory stop for mushers is a four hour layover at Eagle, Alaska. (Julien Schroder/Yukon Quest)

Rounding out the top five Monday were two more race veterans, Hugh Neff (another former Quest winner) in third, and Matt Hall in fourth.

One musher has already withdrawn from the race, narrowing this year's field to 22 competitors. J. Jay Levy scratched on Sunday afternoon, "for the well-being of her team," race officials said.

Another musher, Canadian Hank DeBruin, called for help on the trail Monday because of an "unforeseen issue" with one of his dogs, race officials said. The dog was taken back to the Circle checkpoint and is reportedly in stable condition. DeBruin will continue the race.  

The next mandatory stop for mushers is at the checkpoint at Eagle, Alaska. All racers have to stay there at least four hours before again hitting the trail.

The race began Saturday morning in Fairbanks, Alaska. The first mushers are expected to arrive at the finish line in Whitehorse by early next week.  

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