Two more Iditarod dogs dead near Nome

March 20, 2009 

Two more dogs have perished in this year's Iditarod, bringing the total to five with more than 20 mushers still on the 1,000-mile trail from Willow to Nome.

A 5-year-old male named Maynard in the team of Warren Palfrey of Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, died less than 20 miles from Nome late Thursday.

Hours later, an 8-year-old male named Omen in the team of Rick Larson died between Elim and White Mountain.

The Iditarod said necropsies would be conducted in an effort to determine the cause of death.

Palrey finished 19th, one spot behind four-time champion Martin Buser, late Thursday with 14 dogs in harness. Only four-time champion Jeff King of Denali Park and champion Lance Mackey, who crossed the finish line with 15, had more animals at the finish line.

A month ago, Palfrey was ninth in the Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race from Whitehorse to Fairbanks.

On Friday, Larson was still in White Mountain, about 75 miles from Nome, in 39th place.

Earlier in the race, two dogs in the team of Lou Packer died near Iditarod, and a 6-year-old dog in the team of North Pole musher Jeff Holt died between the checkpoints of Rainy Pass and Rohn.

Holt, a 48-year-old former teacher who entered The Last Great Race not for the competition but for the adventure, later scratched in Grayling.

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