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Marylou Whitney, philanthropist and Thoroughbred breeder, dies at age 93 at her home in Saratoga


Staff report

Marylou Whitney, legendary philanthropist and thoroughbred owner/breeder, died July 19 at her Cady Hill home in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., the New York Racing Association announced. No further details were provided.

She was 93.

She owned a horse farm in Lexington.

Marylou Whitney in the paddock at Churchill Downs. (Photo by Anne M. Eberhardt)

She carried on the legacy of one of Thoroughbred racing’s great dynasties after the death of her husband, C.V. “Sonny” Whitney, in 1992.

She won the 2004 Belmont Stakes with homebred Birdstone who sired Mine That Bird and Summer Bird and won the Kentucky Oaks in 2003 with Bird Town. In all, she won nine graded stakes and had more than 190 winners from 2000-2019.

Her husband dispersed his bloodstock before he died but his widow took the money she inherited and bought back all the bloodstock she could and maintained a boutique stable ever since.

She remarried, to John Hendrickson in 1997and he became president of Whitney Industries, the family’s lumber and gravel business. He is now president of the National Museum of Racing.

She received the Eclipse Award of Merit in 2011 and funded hospitals in Kentucky (including the Markey Cancer Center at UK, the Saratoga area and elsewhere.

She is survived by her husband and her five children, Louise Hosford, Frank Hosford, Henry Hosford, Heather Hosford, and Cornelia Whitney. Her first marriage to Frank Hosford ended in divorce.

There are no details on funeral arrangements.


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