08/10/2004 11:00PM

A Shaky Start is big favorite


EDMONTON, Alberta - A Shaky Start, topweighted at 124 pounds, looms as the heavy favorite when she takes on six rivals here in Friday's $40,000 Madamoiselle at 1 1/16 miles.

Leanne Painter will ride A Shaky Start, who will be seeking her third stakes victory of the campaign after taking the Marc Jenkins Memorial at Stampede Park and the John Patrick here July 23.

Two of her three defeats this year were to Alberta's 2003 horse of the year, Raylene, who now is racing at Woodbine, and the other was to Sly Lady, whose career was ended by an injury suffered in the Patrick.

The second highweight at 119 pounds is Northern Neechitoo, who drew the rail with Quincy Welch aboard.

Northern Neechitoo has won an allowance but finished behind A Shaky Start in each of their four meetings this year.

S.L. Charmer, with Shannon Beauregard to ride, won an optional claimer and was fifth to A Shaky Start in the Patrick in her only stakes try.

Both Northern Neechitoo and S.L. Charmer are trained by Floyd Arthur but will race as separate betting interests.

Remiewaterbluz, an invader from Winnipeg trained by Clayton Gray, has two victories on her home track this year, including the La Verendrye.

Craig Faine rides A Ray of Magic, who was Alberta's champion mare in 2002.