Marylou Whitney, known by many as the “Queen of Saratoga,” passed away on July 19th but her legacy lives on in the Capital Region. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced the construction of a new pavilion at the Saratoga Race Course in honor of this special woman and her many contributions to the local area.
The Marylou Whitney Pavilion on the Oklahoma Backstretch will replace the temporary tent used by Whitney and her husband John Hendrickson. It’s expected to be completed by July 2020 and will hold up to 400 people.
Whitney supported many local charities and the Saratoga Race Course backstretch workers. In recent years she and her husband sponsored a series of functions for the backstretch workers, including hosting Sunday dinners in a temporary tent each racing season.
“Marylou was the heart, the spirit, the personality, the mystique, the beauty, and the charisma that represents the best of New York’s horseracing industry,” Cuomo said in a statement.
In addition to her support of the race track, Whitney is also credited with co-founding the National Museum of Dance & Hall of Fame, and she and Hendrickson were part of the group of founders of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.