She has made more than $300,000 this year, does not travel without her personal escort and drinks Guinness Stout by the pint.
One of the many luminaries who are here for today's second Breeders' Cup at Aqueduct, she arrived from Britain on Sunday night and since has been admired, pointed at and discussed as if she were a member of the royal family.
She's Pebbles, one of Europe's finest racehorses and the likely favorite in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf, which precedes the card's centerpiece, the $3 million Classic.
In the past two years, trainer Clive Brittain has pampered Pebbles, a 4-year-old filly, in the interest of success.
"She had a bit of a temperament problem as a 2-year-old," Brittain said. "She was quite excitable. We tried all sorts of remedies. Finally, we decided we needed a horse to go out and mind her."
So he called upon stablemate Come On The Blues. The 6-year-old gelding leads her to the paddock before her races, then greets her on her return to the barn.
Come On The Blues will compete in Aqueduct's Shergar Stakes Sunday.
Brittain is so convinced of Come On The Blues' positive influence that he made an unusual appeal to Aqueduct officials, requesting that the gelding be allowed to escort Pebbles to the gate for today's 1 1/2-mile race. His request was granted.
Brittain's methods may appear extreme, but this is a fact: since 1984, Pebbles has five victories and three seconds in eight races.
Owned by Sheik Mohammed al Maktoum, a member of the ruling family of Dubai, Pebbles has defeated some of Europe's most talented males. In Britain's Coral Eclipse Stakes in July, Steve Cauthen rode her to a two-length victory over Arc de Triomphe winner Rainbow Quest. In her most recent start, the Dubai Champion Stakes at Newmarket, she defeated Slip Anchor by four lengths under jockey Pat Eddery, who is scheduled to ride her again today.
Bill Watts, trainer of Budweiser Million winner Teleprompter, witnessed Pebbles' Dubai victory. "It had to be seen to be believed," Watts said. "She just walked over the best horses in Europe."
Teleprompter is one of several foreign-bred horses considered good enough to thwart Pebbles' attempt at the $900,000 winner's share. Others include Strawberry Road II, Shernazar, Greinton and Lashkari, who won the 1984 Breeders' Cup Turf at odds of 53-1.
Greinton leads the 14-horse field with 1985 earnings of $1.06 million, but he has not won a race this year outside of California. Charlie Whittingham, Greinton's trainer and co-owner, spent $240,000 to enter him today.
Greinton originally was scheduled to run in the Classic, but Wittingham reconsidered when early weather forecasts called for rain. "He's useless on an off track," Whittingham said.
The revised forecast says rain is not likely.
European horses handle soft turf better than their American counterparts, but James Brown, Pebbles' assistant trainer, said the filly's come-from-behind style is not altered by course conditions.
In her stable yesterday morning, Pebbles appeared content though deprived of some of the comforts of home.
In Britain, she gets six eggs mixed in her feed along with a pint of draught Guinness. Here, she has to settle for 12-ounce bottles.