“Mrs. John (Penny) Tweedy - 1973 N.Y. Turf Writers Award” Gorham Sterling Silver Platter from Penny Chenery
While Secretariat was a muse to turf writers during his historic 1973 Triple Crown campaign, his owner “Penny” Chenery Tweedy was his charming and irresistible spokesperson. A woman who proudly ignored the gender barriers of the sport as she took the reigns of Meadow Stable for her ailing father, Ms. Chenery was elegant, intelligent and articulate. Turf writer Bill Nack, who was covering the Secretariat team for Newsday at the time and later wrote Secretariat: The Making of a Champion, marveled at her natural ability to gracefully manage the press even while she and her team were under great pressure to succeed.
“Whenever she spoke to the press, and unlike many hardboots, Penny dressed up her sentences with interesting nouns and verbs, and she often delivered them in words of more than two syllables and they always made sense. She was bright, talkative, and often witty. And always accessible, whether it was to speak for Secretariat at a formal press conference or at an impromptu gathering after a workout. In consequence, the turf writers and broadcasters absolutely loved her.”
And loved her, they did. In fact, the New York Turf Writers recognized Ms. Chenery in 1973 with a special honor and commemorative platter. This Gorham sterling silver platter has the inscription, “Mrs. John B. (Penny) Tweedy ‘For Fostering Interest in Thoroughbred Racing’ 1973 N.Y. Turf Writers.” Measuring 10 inches in diameter, the platter has a decorative edge and is presented within its protective velvet sleeve denoting the esteemed New York silversmith firm James Robinson Inc. Lustrous in both its appearance but also in the way it represents the rise of the “First Lady of Racing,” this is a truly unique offering representing a proud and poignant moment in her involvement within the racing industry.