Keeneland Holds Public Memorial For First Lady Of Thoroughbred Racing

Oct 9, 2017

The Keeneland Sales Pavilion was almost completely full this afternoon as friends, family and fans gathered to celebrate the life of Penny Chenery.

A memorial mural signed by hundreds of fans presented by the Kentucky Derby Museum was on display at Keeneland on Monday
Credit Samantha Lederman

At times poignant and emotional, it was also a time to remember her great achievements and her sense of humor. Best known as the owner of Secretariat, Penny was a vivacious, female owner in a male-dominated world, and an inspiration and mentor to many women.

There were stories shared by her children, Kate and John Tweedy, by her friend, fellow Triple Crown owner Sally Hill who owned Seattle Slew. Amy Zimmerman, who considers herself one of “Penny’s Girl’s," and to whom she says she owes her career in racing. Dell Hancock, of Claiborne Farm where Secretariat stood, and several others all demonstrated her strong character and joie de vivre.

Penny died in September of this year, and The Secretariat Foundation has designated a special Penny Chenery Foundation Memorial Fund on behalf of The Grayson Jockey Club Research Foundation, the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.