Three gen­er­a­tions of Whit­neys hon­ored

Palm Beach Daily News - - BUSINESS -

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.



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