Race fans enjoyed picture perfect weather on Friday at Saratoga Race Course and spirits were high as friends gathered for Marylou Whitney’s annual Opening Day Luncheon inside the At-the-Rail Pavilion.
The luncheon, which has now been taking place every Opening Day for well over 60 years, serves as a reunion of sorts with friends catching up and sharing stories of the past year as well as swapping bits of exciting info about the upcoming race meeting.
Horse owner and philanthropist Marylou looked resplendent seated with husband John Hendrickson, who was looking smart wearing a traditional seersucker suit. Marylou, always a fan of ‘tailored with a flair’, opened her season in THEIA by Don O’Neill in a beautiful deep coral jacquard from Saratoga Trunk, looking every inch the Grand Dame of Saratoga. She seemed to have set the tone for the color of the day as many other ladies also chose rich pinks and corals for their first day of the season attire.
Marylou and John’s table was buzzing with friends the entire luncheon, and spotted chatting we saw Jane Wait, Maureen and Ed Lewi, and Marlene and Mike Okby. A hush only fell amongst guests as the first race went off, but the merriment quickly ensued and table hopping was at a high as we saw Marylou’s daughter Heather Mabee looking fabulous in black and white, Charles Wait, his son Charles Wait Jr. there with wife Natalie, Bob and Mary Alice Lee as well as Bob’s mother Brenda, Scott Johnson and wife Julie, Terry Lee, Mike and Linda Toohey, Nancy and Mike Ingersoll, Gloria and Joe Dalton, Julie Bonacio, Lisa Torani, Ray Martin, Todd Shimkus, Marcia White, Mayor Joanne Yepsen, and Brien and Cindy Hollowood.
Also seen were Senator Kathy Marchione, NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay, Dogwood Stable’s Cot and Anne Campbell, Jack Knowlton, Saratoga Hospital President and CEO Angelo Calbone with wife Kate, Patty and Vince Riggi, Samantha Bosshart, Virginia Kraft Payson, Jo Ann and Paul Oreffice, Beverly R. Steinman, Stanley Petter and Mimi Cooper.
As the horses entered the track in front of the pavilion, guests enjoyed a fully stocked buffet and toasted to the first day of another fantastic season in Saratoga.