Robert F. (Bob) Flynn, a mainstay of the New York Racing Association’s racing office for 18 years before becoming the executive director of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) and a member of the NYRA board of trustees, died Saturday, November 9, 2019 in Melville, NY after a long illness. He was 65 years old.
“He was an incredible guy and he just loved the game,” said his longtime friend Peter McGivney, the general manager of the National Steeplechase Association and a former NYRA racing office colleague. “He loved being at the track and being around people who appreciated horse racing. Everyone loved him.”
Flynn, a proud son of the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan, attended LaSalle Academy. He later received both a Bachelor of Arts degree and an MBA in finance from Fordham University.
He was hired by NYRA racing secretary Tommy Trotter as a clerk in the racing office in 1976 and spent 18 years there, the last six as assistant racing secretary.
Flynn was appointed as the executive director of the New York division of the HBPA (later renamed the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association) in 1994. He served in that capacity until 2007.
He also served on the NYRA board of trustees for approximately 18 months during that time.
Immensely well-liked and highly regarded by horsemen, elected officials and media, Flynn received the New York Turf Writers Association’s “Red Smith Good Guy Award” in 2003.
Flynn is survived by his wife, Judy. A wake will be held Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at Cassidy Funeral Home, 156 Willis Avenue, Mineola, NY from 2-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at Corpus Christi Church, 155 Garfield Avenue in Mineola Wednesday, November 13, 2019 at a time to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Flynn’s name to the Sid Jacobson Jewish Community Center’s “Let’s Do Lunch” program, which provides physical, intellectual and social stimulation for individuals with young onset dementia, including frontotemporal degeneration. The center is located at 300 Forest Drive, East Hills, NY 11548.