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ANCHORAGE - Front-runners in the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race are taking a break in Cripple, the halfway point in the halfway point in the 1,100-mile trek to Nome.
Race marshal Mark Nordman says Dallas Seavey of Seward, John Baker of Kotzebue, four-time champion Martin Buser of Big Lake and Bruce Linton of Kasilof are expected to take their mandatory 24-hour layovers in Cripple.
Seavey won $3,000 in placer gold nuggets by arriving first early Thursday at the checkpoint.
Earlier, satellite tracking showed Baker, Buser and Linton leaving Cripple. But Jerry Miller with tracking company IonEarth says coordinates for Cripple were wrong and have since been corrected.
Nordman says Iditarod veteran Linwood Fiedler of Willow became the 7th musher to scratch, leaving a field of 64.