Grasping his second bloody Mary of the day, one European guest at Saturday's Washington International luncheon at Laurel Race Track, took one look around and summed it up: "The only thing missing from this room today is beauty."
Money, however, was no problem. "There must be $2 billion in this room today," said OAS Secretary General Alejandro Orfila, as he leaned over a balcony surveying the European/American horse set gathered around the tables below. "Why just look at Nelson Bunker Hunt - the owner of Exceller - he must be worth $500 million himself."
Not to mention Greek shipping magnate Constantine Goulandris, who said that the $15,000 it took to fly his horse. Monsignor, from Paris was a mere drop in the tanker compared to his beast's insurance - $500,000 worth to the exact.
The luncheon was thrown by Laurel Race Trace owner John Schapiro and his wife, Eleanor, whose brother, former Sen. Joe Tydings (D-Md.), showed up even though "race tracks," he said, "are no places for politicians." Also there were equestrian socialities like Jacqueline Getty and Rose Marie Bogley, who sweated through the temperature afternoon in a Halston fur and suede coat. ("After what I paid for this I am keeping it on even if the temperature gets to 100 degrees.) Getty made sure everyone knew each time the band struck up "The Racing Song," a horse ditty whose lyrics she worte with investment banker Herbert Hutner. He is better known as the fourth or fifth husband of Zsa Zsa Gabor, a sequence even he had trouble remembering Saturday.
"I'll tell you," said Hutner as he dished up crabcakes and lobster newburg from the buffet table in Schapiro's elegant, private, glass-enclosed room overlooking the track, "I met Zsa Zsa two weeks after coming out of my 19-year marriage and three weeks later we were married."
What was it like being married to Zsa Zsa Gabor? "Well, I will tell you this much, she put on a special night-time makeup before we went to bed."
For Rep. Pete McCloskey (R-Calif.), who arrived with Tydings, the International was a first in what he said, "had been a week of firsts for me. Last Thursday I also saw my first symphony."
Anita Madden of Lexington, Ky., who describes herself as "the lady who puts on that intimate little party for 1,000 people on Kentucky Derby eve," showed up in a suede skirt, boots, gold see-through mesh blouse and leather jacket trimmed in rooster feathers, all designed by Susie Creamcheese of Las Vegas. Madden made a point of adjusting her rhinestone-monogrammed sunglasses before noting, "Horse people aren't as conservative as the people look here today. Why look at me, I bet you never would've guessed that I was into horses."