Dave Lynett’s name appeared many times through the years on this website and in the pages of The Saratoga Special.
Retired from the Saratoga County Department of Social Services, Lynett later embarked on a second career as a clocker with the New York Racing Association at the Oklahoma Training Track in his native Saratoga Springs. But that’s not why we quoted him so much.
Never in those stories was Lynett asked to comment on this or that horse’s breeze, not that he wouldn’t have offered if asked. We quoted Lynett because he was our kind of guy: quiet, unassuming, an ally and most importantly, someone who loved the game.
A few summers ago, after stopping by the Oklahoma clocker’s stand to chew the fat with Dave, Brian, David and others hanging around late one the morning, Sean Clancy and I drove off in our golf cart to tackle another task.
“Your man Dave, how’s he spell his last name?” Sean asked, then received my answer. “He’s a good guy. Part of the quilt.”
Racing lost part of its quilt Monday when Lynett passed away unexpectedly at the age of 77.
We’ll miss seeing him at his post in the Oklahoma clocker’s stand, or wherever NYRA put him for the meet. I’ll especially miss him come mid-April, when the Oklahoma comes to life. One of the few guarantees in racing was spotting Lynett’s blue Honda Civic parked next to the stand. I’ll miss it again come November, if I can rally and make it out for the last day of offseason training. And I’ll most certainly miss a reminder of both days, like the one he gave in 2016 that appeared in Here & There – April 22.
“Do not forget. This Friday is opening day. It is a ritual for you to be there
opening day and closing day at the training track for the beginning
of the Saratoga season. See you Friday.”
We all missed the Oklahoma during early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when training was delayed in upstate New York for a few months.
Our team wrote a series of pieces that spring related to the halt or delayed racing. The original concept was to catch up with folks involved in racing that suddenly weren’t involved in racing, and started with the simple question, “What were you doing on what would have been opening day?”
Lynett agreed to be featured and I’m thankful for our springtime conversation, through the phone and not in person. The story titled “Springtime Slowdown” appeared April 15, the usual opening day of offseason training. Looking back, Lynett’s comments summed up everything we all went through.
“I’m pretty bored to you know what,” Lynett said. “I’m trying to find something to watch on TV. There’s no sports on. At least there’s racing Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday now, so at least there’s something to watch.”
Here’s hoping wherever you are now Dave, that’s there’s plenty of racing.
And some other pieces where we quoted Dave: