Long Live the ‘Queen of Saratoga,’ Marylou Whitney

Saratoga's biggest benefactor may be gone, but she'll never be forgotten.

Marylou Whitney, Saratoga's greatest benefactor, playing the ponies at Saratoga Race Course in 1977. (Keeneland Library Thoroughbred Times Collection)

And just when you thought the Saratoga racing season would kick off with little to no mention of the late great, Marylou Whitney, you came upon this story. Two years after her passing, the Spa City is preparing for the first full “real” Saratoga season (one with in-person fans) without Marylou. 

Sam Grossman, the bugler who plays the “Call to the Post,” at Saratoga, remembers running into Whitney at charity events. “She always came over and thanked me,” he says. “Here I am, at some godforsaken place a 9pm at night, still in my costume, and she always came over and thanked me. She was nice all the time.”

Though the Queen of Saratoga may be gone, her legacy lives on in that kindness she showed so many Saratogians, whether it be the track bugler or you. You are missed, Marylou.

Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore is the director of content at Saratoga Living and Capital Region Living.


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