Quebec musher grabs Open North American lead with a scorching run in Fairbanks

Anny Malo of Quebec shattered the track record to grab command of the 75th Open North American sled dog race Friday in Fairbanks.

Malo and her team of 16 sprint dogs made the 20.4-mile run in 61 minutes, 21.8 seconds, taking more than a minute off the previous record.

She holds a huge lead over Buddy Streeper, the six-time North American champ from British Columbia who drove a team of 18 dogs to the day’s second-fastest time, 63:04.3. Quebec’s Erick Laforce drove 14 dogs to the third-place time in 63:41.7.

The first Alaskan was Ricky Taylor of Fairbanks, fourth in 65:31.

This year’s race is being held in memory of mushing great Gareth Wright, a two-time Open North America champion, a three-time Fur Rondy champion and one of the sport’s top breeders. Wright’s racing career spanned six decades, from 1947-1990. He died in 2019.

Racing continues Saturday and Sunday.