Stanley is not the pet he was last year. He stands a hulking 16.2 hands and looks as if he's flexing his muscles even when standing still. "He thinks he's Cool Hand Luke, no doubt about it," says Riley, who plans to enter Casual Lies in the Smile Stakes at Santa Anita, an undercard sprint on Breeders' Cup day, Nov. 6. "He still likes to be petted, but not very often."
Even though Stanley has earned $780,991, Riley still has moments when she wonders if the experience was worth it or whether she should have sold him when he was a hot item. Then she remembers the letter from 16-year-old Stacy.
You made a terrific decision in keeping your horse. Selling Casual Lies would be like selling your dream....
"The public liked us, they liked the story, the American dream come true," Riley says. "The truth is, Stanley never need do one other thing for me. He's given me a lifetime of memories."