The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is confirming that longtime Saratoga Springs philanthropist and socialite Marylou Whitney has died at age 93. A fixture in Saratoga society and at the race course, Whitney lived on the sprawling Cady Hill property in the city, and owned thoroughbred racehorses. In August, Whitney was scheduled to be inducted in the Hall of Fame, where her husband John Hendrickson is president. Brian Bouyea is the Hall of Fame’s Communications Director.
"The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame extends its deepest condolences to the family of Marylou Whitney and her husband John Hendrickson," Bouyea said. "A kind-hearted friend to the museum, the sport of thoroughbred racing, and the Saratoga Springs community, Mrs. Whitney was a beloved and irreplaceable icon whose extraordinary legacy will have a lasting effect on future generations."
The New York Racing Association said in a statement, "Our hearts are broken, we are deeply saddened by the passing of Marylou Whitney at the age of 93," and called her the "Queen of Saratoga."
Saratoga Springs Mayor Meg Kelly called it a sad day for the Spa City.
“It’s a sad day and her legacy will live on. I mean, it’s really…people have to have time to absorb this because she’s touched so many lives in Saratoga Springs and beyond. It’s just a sad day,” Kelly said.
"An avid horsewoman and true lover of the sport, Mrs. Marylou Whitney was one of thoroughbred racing's greatest ambassadors. As owner of her eponymous stable, Marylou was a top breeder and a committed supporter of the thoroughbred industry, who delivered some of the most memorable moments in New York racing. Marylou's passion for racing was only matched by her love for the City of Saratoga Springs and her support for the backstretch community. Her generosity was unparalleled and the list of her contributions is endless. Saratoga would not be the destination it is today without the esteemed leadership, dedication and support of Marylou," said NYRA CEO & President Dave O'Rourke. "Marylou's love of this sport and city will have a lasting impact on generations to come. On behalf of the New York Racing Association, we offer our deepest condolences to her beloved husband John, and their family and friends."