The Royal's five-gaited stake, the class that ends the nine-day show, was a horseman's dream come true for Trainer Lee Roby of Greenhill Stables.
Greenhill's Afire had won the gelding stake, and Daydream the mare stake. With two blue-ribbon winners, Roby had to decide which one to ride in the championship event. Afire was a tested campaigner, but Daydream, a blonde-tailed chestnut mare, was iffy. Several years ago she had foundered and had been turned out as a brood mare. Roby bought the 7-year-old mare for the same purpose, but then, as she seemed over her unsoundness, he started working her again. This year, though often uneven in her performance, she has been a mild sensation.
So now Roby had to choose. Stake night came and Roby stall-walked, making up his mind. Both horses were groomed, tacked and ready to show. At the last moment Roby decided to give the mare her chance at the championship, and Daydream lived up to her name, working with �lan and purpose. On her way up to receive the victor's blanket of red roses, however, she started acting like something less than a dream horse. In a fit of pique, she would not accept the winner's roses, and wouldn't even perform the hesitating, lofty slow gait which she can do so brilliantly. Possibly overcome by stage fright at her first major victory, she just wanted to get out and go home.