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It’s the time of the year for the annual spring dog sale, and I have three dogs currently for sale: Antelope, Jovi and Guinness.

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I have a couple of dogs that just came off Iditarod and are excellent candidates for stud for any distance musher looking to breed out to a proven bloodline this spring.

Solomon

Solomon is my main stud. He’s five, large but proven by consistently running — and finishing — on top five teams in the Iditarod and Yukon Quest over the last three years. He’s been a key player on my 3rd-place Yukon Quest team in 2009, and went on to finish with Jeff King that same year. He also ran with King in 2008, on both the Iditarod and All Alaska Sweepstakes. This year, Sebastian Schnuelle had Solomon on his team. This is what he had to say…

Solomon

Solomon is my best athlete

“Solomon is one of the best sled dogs I have ever run. It is his drive which makes him so special. Even after the toughest 100 mile run, he is still lunging to go. Doing the EKG work before Iditarod, the first thing they asked me was: ‘This dog never gets tired, does he?’ His drive combined with his size of 76 lbs made him one of the key dogs in my team.”

Yes, he weighs in at 76 pounds, but the five-year-old runs so smoothly and eats so well and has never had a single injury. I’m also seriously impressed with his puppies. I split five litters with Jeff King a couple of years ago, and spent this past winter running them as a single team, with a couple of older leaders. They completed the Knik 200 and Tustumena 200 without a single one being dropped. They ran well, several ran in lead (one for 100 miles in the T200) and — like their father — ate like pigs.

Solomon’s assets are his attitude and his appetite.

For those interested in bloodlines, his ancestors have a lot of Bill Cotter’s seminal dog Baileys on both sides, many times over. And his grandfather is a dog named Doc, who is the father of Lance Mackey‘s legendary stud, Zorro.

He’s available to stud for $600. He’s back home with me now in Kasilof.

Panther

Another dog that I like is another guy with a lot of Doc in his bloodlines — my lead dog, Panther. Panther is about 60 pounds and is quieter by nature. He’s very willing to run in lead, and his grandmother (on both sides) is my favorite leader from a few years ago, a dog named Kazan, who was a sister to Doc.

Panther

Panther is a solid leader

Kazan was a hard-driving leader and Panther takes after her. He can be up front for hundreds of miles. His father was one of Mitch Seavey‘s dogs from the bloodline that is the core of Seavey’s racing kennel.

He ran for me in the 2003 Yukon Quest, and he ran the Quest and Iditarod back-to-back with Zack Steer this year. Steer used Panther in lead from the start of the Quest until Pelly, and Panther led for him in rotation during the Iditarod as well. Steer said Panther sped up his team, almost to a fault.

I have 10-month-old pups out of Panther and another dog of mine, Adidas (who ran Quest with Steer and Iditarod with King two years ago), and they’re looking just right and doing fine for their age.

Stud fee for Panther is $500.

Bottom line

If you want a pure athletic bloodline grafted into your kennel, and want dogs with high attitude, friendly dispositions and insane appetites, Solomon is a great risk. But if you want a hard-nosed leader with speed, who also produces easy going and like-able pups, Panther is a good bet. Solomon has the better appetite; Panther is a serious lead dog.

Reach me by email, at kasilofdog@gmail.com.

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I’ve got a new forum for my race blog, with my take on what’s happening in the Yukon Quest and Iditarod, and maybe even Denali Doubles. Here’s the link…

http://drtims.com/blog/

A big thank you to Mike and Lori for the hard work handling the dogs and me over the past couple of weeks. They got worked over in this race, which requires a lot out of the handlers. And they turned this blog into a handlers’ blog, which by the way happened to spike way up in hits while they were making their posts.

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The Tustumena 200 exceeded my expectations. I just about finished without dropping a dog, had no injuries and finished third. Wow. In other words, the risk of racing 200 miles less than two weeks before the Yukon Quest may have paid off. It was a gamble. But right now, at least, I can’t see a down side.

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Mushers like myself participating in the Tustumena 200 this weekend should get to know the trail real well. At least we get about 4 inches of fresh snow to soften it up and make it sane.

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First we had the deep freeze, then exactly one day of perfect winter weather, and then the wind blew and the rain fell and our trails went to…

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I got a call from another musher yesterday who said there was a rumor that I might withdraw from the Yukon Quest. Not only is that not true, I’m getting more pumped every day.

I’m in the middle of packing food drops, tweaking the race sled and keeping the dogs active, fat and healthy. I’m looking forward to throwing myself into the 2009 Quest, body and soul.

More later on the incredibly lousy trail conditions around here, and our recent trip to “the edge of the world.”

What’s that saying about a photograph being worth a thousand words?

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Just a quick post to say we’re in the hills a lot these days, trying real hard not to get tired of the same old trails.

The goal right now is to have two distinct teams ready for the Sheep Mountain 150, Dec. 13. My team will be the core of my Yukon Quest dogs, at least what I think the top 12 are right now. My goal is to run them at a moderately fast pace — fast enough to test them but within their comfort zone.

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