From Kyle Hopkins in Ruby --
Lance Mackey is 57 miles behind Iditarod leader Mitch Seavey. His go-to sled dog, Maple, is in heat and driving the rest of the team bonkers. Even the zipper on his jumpsuit is broken.
The Mackey comeback, it seems, will have to wait another year.
“I had similar issues last year. I’m down on dogs again,” Mackey said. “I had a ... breeding frenzy from the starting line that basically wore my dog team out.”
A fifth Iditarod victory is out of the question, he said. “Not even close.”
Mackey blames himself. Maybe he should have dropped Maple, a favored lead dog, early in the race. There were other leaders, he said. Instead, his team dogs chewed at harnesses during stops and refused to snack, distracted by Maple.
Who does Mackey think will win instead? You’d be surprised.
“If I had to put my money on a darkhorse, I’d say Sigrid. Her teams looks incredible. Pete Kaiser looks pretty interesting. I hate to say Dallas Seavey. I really do, because he’s not my favorite guy.”
(Mackey, who's not known for pulling punches, says he thinks Dallas is “cocky and obnoxious.”)
Conversely, Mackey said Aliy Zirkle would be “the perfect person” to represent the sport with a win, but suspects the musher may fade late in the race.