September 27, 2021

Lynn Whiting, won Kentucky Derby with Lil E. Tee, dead at 77

Lynn Whiting's two best runners were Kentucky Derby (G1) winner Lil E. Tee and his sire, multiple Grade 1 winner At the Threshold (Churchill Downs photo)

Lynn Whiting, who 25 years ago this spring trained Lil E. Tee to an upset win in the 1992 Kentucky Derby (G1) for owner Cal Partee, died early Wednesday at the age of 77.

A native of Great Falls, Montana, and the son of former jockey and trainer Lyle Whiting, Lynn Whiting was a longtime resident of Barn 18 at Churchill Downs and raced primarily on the Kentucky circuit and at Oaklawn Park in the winter. Whiting had returned to work at Churchill only a couple of days before his death after going through hospital and rehabilitation care for a stroke he suffered over the winter in Arkansas.

A Pennsylvania-bred son of At the Threshold, who ran third in the 1984 Kentucky Derby for Partee and Whiting, Lil E. Tee was a private purchase for Partee at a cost of $200,000. Third in his stakes debut in the $100,000 Southwest at Oaklawn, Lil E. Tee then replicated the feat of his sire by winning the Jim Beam (G2), now known as the Spiral, at Turfway Park.

Second by a neck to Pine Bluff in the Arkansas Derby (G2) in his final Derby prep, Lil E. Tee rallied to win the Kentucky Derby by one length at odds of 16-1, giving Churchill’s all-time time leading jockey, Hall of Famer Pat Day, his only win in the Run for the Roses.

Lil E. Tee finished fifth to Pine Bluff in the Preakness (G1), and was retired after three starts at age four, when he won the Razorback H. (G2) and finished second in the Oaklawn H. (G1).

In addition to Lil E. Tee and multiple Grade 1 winner At the Threshold, Whiting’s other graded stakes winners included Phantom On Tour and Cat’s Career. Beginning in 1969 at Lincoln Downs, Whiting won 1,279 races and had stable earnings of more than $23.9 million.

Whiting is survived by his wife, Nell, and daughters Carrie and Lori. Funeral arrangements are pending.

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