Trainer Lynn Whiting Passes Away

Profile Picture: D.S. Williamson

D.S. Williamson

April 22nd, 2017

In the Sport of Kings it's easy to forget that the backbone of the thoroughbred industry resides in the everyday jockey, owner, groom, groundskeeper, and trainer. Horseplayers get so caught up in the greatness of individual equine and human athletes, the grandiosity of meets like Royal Ascott and events like the Breeders' Cup, that we forget that every day human beings and horses do their job at racetracks all across the world.

Lynn Whiting, who passed away at the age of 77 on April 19 due to complications from a stroke, just did his job. Oh, Whiting had great success. Whiting won plenty of stakes races. But, he wasn't one of those trainers who wanted or relished the spotlight. He just loved training horses.

Per Equibase stats published on the Paulick Report, Whiting won 1,279 races from 6,113 starts. He started training in 1968. He won a Kentucky Derby. He also won the Arlington Classic and the the American Derby, both Grade 1 races, with At the Threshhold in 1984. Also in 1984, Whiting trained Big Pistol to a winning score in the Haskell Invitational, one of the most prestigious Grade 1 races for 3-year-olds.

Check out three of trainer Lynn Whiting's greatest hits.

1992 Kentucky Derby, Lil E. Tee

Sired by At the Threshhold, Whiting convinced owner W. Cal Partee to purchase Lil E. Tee for $200,000 as a 2-year-old. Lil E. Tee had won the Jim Beam Stakes, now called the Spiral Stakes, at Turfway Park. He had finished second in the Arkansas Derby before heading to the Kentucky Derby.

Going off at close to 17 to 1, Lil E. Tee, even with brilliant jockey Pat Day aboard, was supposed to finish behind Pine Bluff, My Luck Runs North, Technology, West By West, Thyer, Ecstatic Ride, Sir Pinder, Pistols and Roses, Snappy Landing and Disposal. He was also supposed to finish well behind French superstar Arazi who went off at 4 to 5 to win the Run for the Roses even though he had been hanging out in Europe for the entire year.

Arazi made a menacing move. But, his move was way too soon. Pat Day was patient on Lil E. Tee. No doubt that the 1992 Kentucky Derby was Lynn Whiting's biggest win.

2013 Oaklawn Handicap, Cyber Secret

Right before the quarter-pole, it sure looked like Fort Larned was going to run right by Cyber Secret. Why not? Fort Larned had won the Whitney Invitational and the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2012. What chance did Cyber Secret have to hold off a Classic winner? Cyber Secret won his fourth straight race at the Arkansas track with his Oaklawn Handicap score. Whiting knew exactly how to get the best out of the son of Broken Vow.

2015 Perryville Stakes, Hebbronville

I love this race. Sure, the Perryville isn't one of those races that most horseplayers are going to remember. But, what I love about it is that Lynn Whiting was 75-years-old when Hebbronville won the Perryville Stakes in 2015. Not only that, Hebbronville went off at 8 to 1. He also got the rail draw in the 6 furlong sprint. Whiting had Hebbronville prepared to pull off the big upset over Bayerd, Lewy's Vaporizer, and Lord Commander, all of whom left the gate at much lower odds than Hebbronville.

Rest in peace, Lynn Whiting. You will be missed.