09/18/2007 12:00AM

Martha Gerry, Forego's owner, dies

EmailMartha Farish Gerry, the owner and breeder of the Hall of Fame horse Forego and who was named an Exemplar of Racing in August, died on Monday in New York City at the age of 88, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame announced Tuesday. Gerry was the chairman emeritus of the museum.

A daughter of William Stamps Farish, the founder of Humble Oil, Gerry bred and owned Thoroughbreds for 65 years under the stable name Lazy F Ranch. She was a member of The Jockey Club - one of three women who were the first women to be elected to the organization, in 1983 - and a longtime trustee of the New York Racing Association.

Forego, a gelding, was Gerry's most successful and popular horse. A son of Forli, in 1974 he won the first of three consecutive Horse of the Year awards. Also in that year, Forego won the Eclipse Award for sprinter and older male, and was named outstanding older male every year until 1977.

This August, Gerry was the sixth person and first woman to be named an Exemplar of Racing, an award she accepted at the Hall of Fame ceremonies in Saratoga Springs. The museum had not named an Exemplar since 1991.

"For decades, Martha was a respected leader and a generous supporter," said Joseph E. Aulisi, the museum's acting director, in a statement. "She always stepped forward to help the museum in any time of need. Always."

Gerry's husband of 63 years, Edward Herriman Gerry, died in 2003 at the age of 88.