updated 05/17/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 05/17/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT
With such a fast-traveling crowd, there was as much action off the track as on: Racing doyenne Marylou Whitney, widow of Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, celebrated with Joan Rivers, Susan Lucci and 250 other high-profile horseplayers at an upscale Derby Eve soiree at Whitney's expansive Lexington farm. In Louisville former Doublemint Twin Tricia Barnstable Brown hosted her fifth annual Diamond Derby, a name-heavy benefit that drew a crowd of 550, raised $75,000 for the American Diabetes Association and featured an impromptu concert by Roseanne's John Goodman. But even as Goodman sweated through "Blue Suede Shoes," his mind was clearly on the horses. "I'm going to bet heavily and lose heavily," he said proudly. "It's the American way."