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‘Iditarod’ docu plays up Sarah Palin

VP candidate introduced Alaskan sled race

Making cable nonfiction programming stand out amid the fall hubbub is always tough, but the Discovery Channel seems to have lucked into a nice little hook for the Oct. 14 premiere of its six-part series “Toughest Race on Earth: Iditarod.”

Caught on camera introducing the 1,150-mile sled-dog race from Anchorage to Nome is none other than Alaska’s hottest celebrity: VP candidate Sarah Palin.

“This is Alaska’s Super Bowl, and of course Sarah Palin was there,” says a Discovery spokeswoman. “This was, of course, back in March before she was a candidate for vice president.”

Discovery wouldn’t say whether it’ll attempt to capitalize on Palin’s swift ascendance to promote the show. But with other Discovery programming based in nearby northern environs — the channel’s “Deadliest Catch,” for example, is set on the Bering Sea — having a little pop-culture buzz on Alaska right now can only help ratings.

“Alaska’s usually not on anybody’s mind, but this puts it on a world stage,” says the rep.