Three generations of Whitneys honored
Marylou Whitney is the happiest nonagenarian ever. Not that there’s much to feel bad about: She’s rich, has an adoring much-younger husband, is possessed of jewelry that would make both Mr. Van Cleef and Mr. Arpels weep with envy, and is beloved by the citizens of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., who consider her their queen.
But there was a tear or two at the Racing Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony last month as three Whitneys — her late husband, his father and his grandfather — were named Pillars of the Turf.
William Collins Whitney, grandfather of Marylou’s late husband, Cornelius C.V. “Sonny” Whitney, purchased the Saratoga Race Course in 1900 and resuscitated the expiring Victorian lady, and, with August Belmont II, created Belmont Park.
Sonny’s father, Harry Payne Whitney, won the Kentucky Derby twice as well as the Preakness and Belmont four times each.
He was the top breeder in the country by earnings 11 times and the nation’s top owner by earnings eight times.
Sonny Whitney, who won two Belmont Stakes and three Travers, co-founded the Racing Museum and served as its first president. He served a director at Churchill Downs and, in 1984, he received an Eclipse Award of Merit, the lifetime achievement award in the field.
“He loved the sport and people in it,” Marylou Whitney told the Saratogian. “Thank you for honoring Sonny’s memory.”
Name, please — A spot on Quest magazine’s “400” list didn’t guarantee admission to Thursday night’s party at Doubles in NYC.
Quest publisher — and Palm Beach resident — Chris Meigher tightened up the guest list, which, he told the New
York Post’s Richard Johnson, had become unwieldy.
“We had some actual dead people on the list,” Meigher said, “and others who kind of wormed their way on who didn’t belong.”
Well, that sounds like a truly Palm Beach guest list to us!
Meigher graciously declined to name names, saying only “We did some consolidating . ... We had to make room for younger people.”
OK, now it doesn’t sound like a truly Palm Beach guest list.
Heard — that the American Humane Association dispatched two of its Lois Pope Red Star Rescue Trucks to North Carolina to lead the water rescue efforts of pets trapped by flood waters
... that Mary Koch, daughter of Julia and David Koch, will be among the young American women presented to international society at the Le Bal des Debutantes in Paris on Nov. 24.
Seen — Diana Ecclestone and Janet Cafaro at the black-tie dinner dance highlighting the American Friends of Versailles’ Paris weekend.