Olah passed away in March at the age of 79 and is greatly missed by everyone who had the pleasure of meeting the 4-foot-8-inch tall, 90-pound lifetime racetracker.
"Little Louie" was both well respected as a colors man and well liked as a person.
"Louie was a great little guy; I knew him for 40 years or more," said Assistant Clerk of Scales Eddie Brown. "He rode races, and did the colors for over 40 years and did them well. He had colors put away that nobody could find."
As the colors man, or the person in charge of making sure that the right owners' silks -or "colors" - go to the right jockey on the right horse in the right race, Olah was always available to explain what it took to organize some 4,000 silks at Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack.
"He was the best color man in the country by far," said veteran valet Harry Rice. "Colors that didn't run for 10 or 15 years, people would just tell him and he would remember the colors and know exactly where they were. If he put them over to the side, he knew exactly where the bundle was."
No matter what, Olah would always maintain his affable disposition.
"[He was] happy, always laughing, smiling, singing 'La-La-La,'" Rice said. "When he'd go down the hall, everybody would know it was him. He just enjoyed his job so much."
Because of his size, or lack of it, Olah was an easy target for good-natured teasing. He never got angry.
"Nothing bothered him - we always picked on him and the reason we picked on him was because we loved him," Brown said. "He took a lot of abuse every day, but he just did his work and right up to the time when he passed away he was 'Little Louie' all the time."
Added Rice: "I used to tease him up here that he used to have a side job standing on lawns, where he could wear your colors and park cars. He was a little fella, so he was like a human jockey statue." Jean-Luc Samyn, at 51 the oldest active jockey among the regular New York colony, also fondly remembers Olah.
"Whenever he would hand us the bill for getting our pants cleaned, we would ask for some ID, a social security number," Samyn said. "He would never give it to us, though, he would just turn around and walk away. It was a funny little game we would all play. All kidding aside, he was an incredible man, having to deal with all those colors. He was a good man."
Olah's replacement, Walter Arce, owes all his expertise to his lost friend.
"Well, what can I say? He was the best guy," said Arce. "He taught me everything I do now."
Tim Kelly, NYRA Clerk of Scales, summed up Louis Olah in a few poignant words: "He was a giant in a small body."