A Shaky Start earned her name when she was orphaned as a foal just after she was born on April 8, 2000. It was a cold, spring day and things didn’t look promising for the tired, cold and hungry little filly. But fortune shone on Shaky that day, when a mare at a nearby farm passed a stillborn foal, and Shaky had a mother to give her a start in life. Almost as if she had a debt to repay, Shaky went on to be the largest money earning Alberta-bred Thoroughbred mare to date.


Bred by Al and Bunny Noren and out of Encino’s Pride by Brass Minister, A Shaky Start was purchased at the CTHS Summer Yearling Sale by trainer Al Strumecki and associates Jan and Gary Kropp for $4,700. Going to the post for the first time as a 2-year old, she had the second shaky start of her life when she hit the gate during the start and the jockey pulled her up to ensure her safety. Showing her resilience once again, Shaky didn’t look back, and over the next three years ran 26 times, with 12 wins, 5 shows and 3 placings, for total career earnings of $440,000. During her 3-year old year, she won 6 of 9 starts, including four stakes races, and was the only Alberta-based horse to beat the Canadian Derby champ Raylene. At the 2003 Thoroughbred Night of Champions, Shaky was awarded “Champion Alberta-bred” for her year’s success.

Shaky was the pride of trainer Al Strumecki’s barn and he claims you couldn’t have found a nicer horse. She was all business when it was time to go to work but then sweet as can be as soon as the race was over. Perhaps a song written about Shaky’s uncertain start in life sums it up best, “If you guide me from heaven, then I’ll run for two, I’ll run for me, and I’ll run for you.” And run she did indeed.


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