Press Releases

Shakin Thunder Wins the Big Sky Smile Stakes

Storming into the winner’s circle, Shakin Thunder won the Big Sky Smile Stakes May 19 in Miles City, Montana. Bred and owned by Rance Savage of Worden, Montana, the 4-year-old sorrel overo gelding is by Habitual Flyer and out of Lotta Shakin.

Shakin Thunder

Pedigree Bracket

Habitual Flyer

2nd Gen Bracket

Special Effort AQHA 3rd Gen Bracket Raise Your Glass (TB)
Go Effortlessly
Venice Song AQHA 3rd Gen Bracket R. Smith (TB)
Gin And Jet
Lotta Shakin

2nd Gen Bracket

Royal Shake Em AQHA 3rd Gen Bracket Royal Quick Dash
Shake Em Six
Lotta Tea AQHA 3rd Gen Bracket Hemp Meyers
Native Tea

Shakin Thunder ran the 300 yards in :15.75 seconds, good for a speed index of 93. Cashing in on $2,565 at Big Sky Smile, the gelding brought his lifetime earnings to $22,902. Shakin Thunder is trained by Lisa Kistler and was ridden by Dan Kistler.

Finishing second was TS Big Boy, a 2009 black tobiano gelding by Darkelly AQHA and out of Easy Folly Too. The gelding ran in :15.89 seconds, good for $1,188, under the training of Mike Taylor. Jockey Ryan Sanchez was in the irons. TS Big Boy was bred by Terry Hillman and owned by Bruce Hillman, both of Montpelier, Idaho.

Another Mike Taylor-trained horse, Sheza Country Q Dee, was third across the finish line, racing in :16.18 seconds. The 3-year-old bay solid mare is owned and bred by Y. Clevish and Ray & Wendy Norgaard of Arlee, Montana. Sheza Country Q Dee earned a speed index of 79 with jockey Judd Rasmussen.

Other horses competing at Big Sky Smiles Stakes were Bojangles Special, Jodys Flight and Brother Strategy. Deflash was scratched from the race.

More about Paint Horse racing
Horse racing has long been one of America’s favorite spectator sports and Paints have become one of the hottest tickets in the horse racing industry.

Since 1966, when APHA officially recognized the sport, Paint racing has made major strides forward. In that inaugural year, 17 starters ran for $1,290 in just two states—Texas and Oklahoma. In 2011, more than 450 starters competed in 369 APHA-recognized races for record purses totaling more than $3.8 million.

A total of 16 states now feature Paint racing, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Paint Horses also race in Canada.

For more information on Paint Horse racing, contact APHA’s racing department at (817) 222-6444, email, or visit