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Thread: Yukon Quest Predictions!

  1. #1
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Yukon Quest Predictions!

    I'm sure you are all aware who I am rooting for...
    BRENT SASS gets my vote!!!

    Here's my top 5 reasons why...
    #5 - He is rock solid and given the economy and the competitiveness of sponsorships, this is the year he will prove himself and earn himself a bib in next year's Iditarod.
    #4 - I find it no surprise that Lance dropped out...they had a nice little writeup in the paper "why" I commend him for knowing the limits of his dogs, but he's not the only front-runner that dropped.
    #3 - Brent ran the last 100+ miles of the Copper Basin with no rest and his dogs were ready to continue on to The Hub when he arrived at the finish at Wolverine Lodge; Brent knows the strength of his team and the vets know that Brent knows his dogs.
    #2 - Lots of "Old Timers" competing, but I don't think their wisdom can trump the stamina of Brent and his team; not to mention that Brent has gained a vast amount of knowledge in the few short years he's been on the trail.
    #1 - I'm not going all the way up to Squarebanks with a bunch of beer to celebrate a second place victory! ...though I'll celebrate just the same as long as he makes it home safely!

    Okay, let's hear you compete with that!

    Follow the Quest and Brent's blog on his site www.wildandfreealaska.com

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    Default quest

    Buck having run the race myself here goes my pick for the top 5, they could be in any order, kleeden, gatt, buser, little, schnulle! I talked to a buddy today he said brent stayed with him here in whitehorse and says hes the real deal, so wont surprise me if he does very well. quest for me is getting boring i know all the guys and with very few exceptions seems like the race never changes same guys in the top 5. can pick em every year.

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    Member mit's Avatar
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    Default

    I vote for the trail breakers!
    Tim

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default Buser's first

    Well, Martin is a new face, along with Jamaica showing up with a team.
    I wonder if they dug up old John Candy from the grave so he could coach the team,,,
    I have never been sure why the Yukon quest has never recieved the press like the other big race, but some that have done the Yukon say it can be a much tougher race.
    What are your thoughts?
    as far as who gets my vote?
    Well.. I want one of the ladies to win.. Robertia from Kasilof. Iris sutton from Fairbanks, Michelle Phillips from Yukon, Becca Moore from Willow AK, Yuka Honda, Nanana, kyla Boivin from White horse...
    It amazes me the number of women that do this. they are tough and they are dedicated.
    I work up here in Caribou hills, and I get to see some mushers around here that train. Many are women. they come up with there trucks full of dogs and sleds and gear, and go out in every weather..
    I have to say that every year during the Iditarod race, I am always hoping that Jonrowe Wins....
    When I see here in the top group, and they interview her, It just means alot to me that people like her are doing what they love to do and doing it well...
    I was never a big susan Butcher fan, but she was so darn tough...
    My favorite times of Iditarod were when Susan and Swenson were in the fight... Man that was good stuff back then..
    I always wanted Swenson to kick her butt... lol... in fact.. when Susan was diagnoised with cancer, and needed a donor, I called Rick and told him that he needed to get checked to see if he was a match with her.
    Because,,, those were the fiercest match's in all of sports in there heyday.
    He laughed,, and said he would wished he was a match... He did check to see if he could be of any help, even though they were very onery to one anouther...
    I think the Quest needs some good fights in order to get some press... they need to kinda fix the race so that it can be more battles to the finish.. this deal now where within a few days of the end of the race,, you pretty much know who is going to win.. and place..
    I think every one likes the close races..
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  5. #5
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default I'll play

    Quote Originally Posted by yukon254 View Post
    Buck having run the race myself here goes my pick for the top 5, they could be in any order, kleeden, gatt, buser, little, schnulle! I talked to a buddy today he said brent stayed with him here in whitehorse and says hes the real deal, so wont surprise me if he does very well. quest for me is getting boring i know all the guys and with very few exceptions seems like the race never changes same guys in the top 5. can pick em every year.
    Well yukon, I'll take your bet and (assuming Brent doesn't score in the top five) I'll up that to Sebastian taking the race. I was hurting bad with separated ribs when handling for Brent in the Copper Basin, on top of that I came down with infection in my lungs, Sebastian has a cabin not far from one of the checkpoints and he gave me directions and let me lay up there with a warm sleeping bag and the works! Being the man he is, he stayed with the rest of the mushers in the cramped quarters. And besides that, he is still sweating over missing his last race due to flight issues. He's got a good position coming in this one!

    After Schnuelle, I pick Gatt. He has been pushing for all he is worth lately and I would be surprised if he doesn't do extremely well in this one. I have my hesitations though as he has been finishing strong, but also seems to be maxed out when crossing the finish line; but then again, I supposed that's the way it ought to be!

    Little will put together a good race, but I look for him to slow towards the end after running hard the first half.

    I don't have a lot of faith in Buser finishing big. Don't get me wrong, I hold as much, if not more, respect for him as any musher. But I don't see his stamina keeping up with his wisdom and experience. I really hope I am wrong on this, but the last race I saw him in did not prove to me that he was having fun...hopefully it was just an off race for him and this will be better.

    I'm with Max on this one and I reserve my last slot for Michelle Phillips. She has run with the best of them and she is ever increasing her potential to finish big. I cheer her on every step of the way!

    Yukon, you have more experience with this stuff and I respect your guesses...but let's face it, the young gun is gonna win! And my guesses are on observation and more evidently great hopes and dreams!

    See ya on the river!
    Joshua

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    Default race

    Ive never done the iditarod, but know tons who have, the iditarod is a lot tougher in some ways quest tougher in others. Buck i didnt get in to see the start this year, but if i would have it would have made it easier to predict!! I judged the race for a few years after running it, and you can tell a lot from looking at a team before the race. Schnulle is good no doubt, he was doing 100 mile runs in Oct. I have trained/handled with kleeden/gatt for 15 years , this is a fact, there is not one musher out there as tough as kleeden period!! I mean it hes tough, his biggest problem is weight on his dogs, he keeps them to lean, it works for a 300 miler but not this race. So if the weather holds kleeden will be top 3 if it goes bad he will have trouble. Phillips??? shes my neibour.... not a real popular driver from an officials point of veiw, i know one guy who was race manager for a few years ( the best the quest ever had) and he told me because of her he wont have anything to do with the race again! she wants the trail to be perfect, and thats just not reasonable in this race. Buser dont ever count him out!! The reality is in this race most years experince trumps youth!

  7. #7

    Default Brent Sass

    It's great to see him doing so well. It's a bit strange to see him out doing this when not too long ago, I went to school with him at UAF, when he had just moved up here from Minnesota. He really took to the Alaska thing and hasn't looked back since. Never would have figured it from the start, but that just goes to show you can never tell for sure.

    I really hope he does well and looks like he's right in there again this year.

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    Default trail??

    Has anyone heard about the trail from eagle to circle?? seems like some are running low on dog power, sass is down to 11 as are some others?? Neff the crazy little cabbie is going to do well. When i said experience trumps youth, that was true, but i dont want to hear someone say Dalton, he has always done his own thing and is never very competitive yet has tons of experince!

  9. #9
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default

    Hey Yukon, just want you to know that I am not taking this too seriously. After rereading I may have come across as if I knew what I was talking about...definitely not the case!! Ha! I'm just recently new (within 3 or 4 years) to observing the sport and have never raced. 90% of what I have written as predictions is high hopes, 7% gut feeling and 3% educated guess work!

    Phillips...don't know a lot about her, but I have heard people say similar things about her. I guess the trail must be pretty good based on where she stands. <rolleyes> The trail is what it is and if I were competing I think my response would be that the sport is not for wussies and if you want a groomed trail, go find a back road. She has been somewhat more consistant in strong finishes lately, that's why I put her in there for a better finish. Who are the women you would like to see finish at the top?

    Buser...I would never count anyone out, just not my outlook on anything in life. I really hope he finishes strong. Wonderful family he has and an enjoyable man, no doubt.

    And your final piece is exactly what I would say when I have the wisdom, knowledge and age behind me! But for right now, Brent and I are the same age and I'll cheer for the veterans, but I'm still giving Brent my final blessing!

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    Default race

    Hey buck im not either! kinda fun to speculate tho! I have nothing against Phillips, my kids watch her kennel from time to time and i sold her boyfriend my team when i quit, i just dont like some things i hear, i was a race judge i know how it sucks to have a trouble maker around, there are so many things beyond anyones control you just do the best you can as should the mushers!! I would like to see more prize money get some new blood, its just to predictable. My youngest is in dawson now, she said kleeden is tired!! if the section from eagle to circle is bad, hes in for it!! Sass is too close!!

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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    I really wish for horrible conditions...that's when Brent and team is at their best! The only thing that I've seen slow him down considerably is punchy trail. Colder the better, wind blown sideways, etc...bring it on! I thought that the front runners were really pushing hard, kinda wonder what the over all stamina of the race is going to be. I notice some pacers in the back...we'll see.

    As it stands in relation to the past, top 5 at Dawson are the top 5 at the end... Guess that goes back to what you were saying about predicting the outcome. So what can they do to change that in the future? Obstacles?

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    Default money

    I would like to see more prize money, that would bring more top iditarod drivers and really change the race. i wouldnt want to see more checkpoints or major rule changes tho. Brent sounds like my kind of guy, I was lucky and got to be good friends with the late Bruce Johnson, he was my mentor when i first started with dogs, and bad weather was his friend! we live right on Tagish Lk. and in the middle of the night when it was -40 with a stiff wind here would come bruce!

  13. #13

    Default Sass

    Well, now that they are back on the trail after a nice break....

    Looks like Brent made the 2nd fastest run to 40-mile, making up 15 - 30 minutes on most of the guys ahead of him. Hard to tell for sure, though, with varied rest patterns. Will be interesting to see how things look after this long leg to Eagle.

  14. #14
    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Smile Pray for snow baby!

    Well, I guess my prediction for Gatt were a little off, but actually not. I really expected him to drop out of the Quest shortly after Mackey did for the same "said" reason.

    I'm just praying for snow so the Wild and Free team can perform at its best!

    Brent was running pace from the start. He's carried dogs for 90 miles in his sled. I look for him to lace up the running shoes here shortly!

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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default I see your

    guy is in the hunt Buck.
    in the top 5 or 6 last night..
    where is he today?
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Member BucknRut's Avatar
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    Default He's pushing hard!

    And sticking to his original plan...as far as I can tell.

    Brent has been on Sebastian's heels, a race tactic I suspect. As long as Sebastian knows Brent is right behind him, he is going to run like hell to keep in front of Brent and team. I think that Brent believes this will keep them (he and Sebastian) constantly gaining on Neff and Little.

    The good news is that it is supposed to snow, but it hasn't dropped as much as forecast. The bad news is that it is warm...really warm, in the 20s...way hotter then what we are hoping for. Big dogs, big ovens, extreme potential for overheating. I suspect he will rest in the sun as much as possible and run like crazy at night.

    Extremely fast race compared to past years (if I remember correctly, haven't looked at stats recently).

    Running 5th in his 4th running of the race...can't help but cheer for the young guy!

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    Just checking in from Circle real quick. I'm thinking Sebastian, Brent, and William Kleeden will be top 3. I think Hugh, though giving it a good shot, just doesn't have what it takes. There is always luck though, both good and bad, so it's anyone's game. Michell looked pretty good in Central when we stopped on our way through for lunch. I'm going out now to wait for Wayne to come in.
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    Default

    Thanks for the update Georganne!

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