The Markeys spent only a few months of the year at Calumet, the rest of the time staying at houses in La Gorce Island, Fla., and Saratoga Springs, N.Y., or traveling in Europe. Among their friends was Aly Khan, who was often addressed as "Aly, darling" by members of the international set—from that salutation came the name Alydar, the last great Calumet horse to run for the Markeys.
Enthralled by the Admiral and their glittering life together, Lucille distanced herself from her first husband's family. She was outraged in the late '70s when Warren Jr. was sent to prison for income-tax evasion.
As family ties declined in the '60s, so too did Calumet's fortunes. Plain Ben Jones retired in 1960 and died the following year. In 1964, Bull Lea died, and Jimmy Jones left Calumet to take a job at Monmouth Park, in New Jersey. But in 1968, Calumet briefly made headlines when the farm's Forward Pass, who had finished second to Dancer's Image in the Kentucky Derby, was declared the race's winner when a then illegal medication was detected in postrace testing of Dancer's Image.
Calumet's fortunes turned upward again in 1976, when Lucille Markey hired John Veitch as Calumet's trainer. Veitch recalls, "The only thing she ever told me, in the way of a direct order, was that neither Warren Jr. nor any of his family were allowed to have anything to do with her horses." Under Veitch, Calumet provided its final moments of glory for the Markeys. In 1978 the farm earned more than $1 million for the first time since 1957, as Alydar finished second to Affirmed in each of the Triple Crown races.
Warren Jr. died before the 1978 Preakness, at the age of 58. Lucille Markey did not attend his funeral in Lexington, and she made it clear to Calumet personnel that she didn't want them to attend the funeral, either.
But as her own health began to fade, Lucille Markey realized that J.T Lundy, the husband of her granddaughter Lucille (usually called Cindy) would assume control of Calumet. Markey's daughter-in-law Bertha was not enough of a horsewoman to handle the day-to-day administration of the farm, and none of Bertha's four children—Warren III, Thomas, Lucille and Courtenay—had shown much interest in the horse business.
Markey hated the idea of Lundy's being in charge. In the late '70s, she almost sold the farm to Will Farish, a Texan and friend of a politician named George Bush. "We thought it was a fait accompli," says Glass. However, Markey eventually backed out.
The Admiral died in 1980 and Lucille followed two years later. Her funeral was arranged by Glass, not by the Wright heirs. "I remember J.T. [Lundy] calling me up," says Glass, "and saying that since I had handled everything else, I might as well handle the funeral."
Lundy had married Markey's granddaughter when Cindy was still in high school. A short man with unruly black hair and a country twang, Lundy was a little too good ol' boy for Lucille Markey. He also made no secret of his desire to run Calumet someday. As his friend Lyle Robey recalls, "He dreamed of it from the first day. I remember him sitting in his house and going over reams of paper, studying all the Calumet pedigrees."
Despite Lundy's aspirations, Markey prohibited him from setting foot on Calumet property after he offended her while having lunch with Markey and the Admiral one day. A former farm employee recalls being told by Markey that when she asked Lundy how he could afford a farm he had just purchased, Lundy said, "Well, when you die, Cindy will have plenty of money."