By Mint Julep

Ron Turcotte Jockey: Two Kentucky Derby Wins

secretariat kentucky derby winner 1973

Ron Turcotte had an incredible career as a jockey, winning two historic Kentucky Derbies. He first rode Riva Ridge to victory in 1972 and then guided the legendary Secretariat to win in 1973. His exceptional skill and unwavering determination made him one of the most celebrated jockeys in horse racing history. This all led to his amazing Triple Crown triumph with Secretariat.

Early Life and Family Background

Ron Turcotte’s upbringing in Drummond, New Brunswick, vividly illustrates his resilience and determination. Growing up in a bustling household with 11 siblings taught him the value of hard work and perseverance from an early age. Making the decision to leave formal schooling at only 14 in order to work alongside his father as a lumberjack demonstrated his grit and sense of responsibility.

Turcotte’s experience as a lumberjack laid the groundwork for his future success on racetracks worldwide. The shift from cutting down trees to riding powerful racehorses may seem unexpected, but it was this change that propelled him into horse racing history books. His natural affinity for horses was evident even during those formative years, foreshadowing the remarkable career that lay ahead.

The influence of family ties and childhood memories seamlessly intertwined with Ron Turcotte’s love for horse racing not only shaped his impressive career but also highlighted his unwavering spirit. Despite encountering obstacles along the way – such as leaving school early and taking on physically demanding roles – Turcotte’s journey showcases how dedication can turn aspirations into reality; whether navigating dense forests or racing towards victory on thoroughbreds across prestigious tracks around the world.

Introduction to Racing

Ron Turcotte’s incredible journey in the world of horse racing showcases his unwavering determination and perseverance. He started working as a hot walker at Windfields Farm back in 1960, and quickly moved up the ranks to become an apprentice jockey. His exceptional talent was clear from the start, especially when he achieved his first major victory riding Northern Dancer, a renowned horse owned by Windfields Farm.

In 1972, Turcotte secured his first win at the prestigious Kentucky Derby while aboard Riva Ridge. This triumph not only established him as a top-tier jockey but also set the stage for what would later become one of the most iconic moments in horse racing history — winning the elusive Triple Crown.

Turcotte solidified his place among sports legends with his unforgettable Triple Crown victory riding Secretariat in 1973. Their remarkable partnership on track captivated audiences worldwide and continues to be celebrated even years after that historic day at Belmont Park.

Despite facing challenges due to a career-ending injury, Turcotte never lost hope or gave up. He turned adversity into advocacy by championing causes for individuals with disabilities, leaving an enduring impact on both the racing community and society as a whole. His legacy is a powerful reminder of resilience and kindness, inspiring people of all ages to pursue their dreams no matter what obstacles they may face.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Motivate upcoming generations

  2. Display outstanding abilities and talent

  3. Offer exciting entertainment

  4. Maintain a vibrant sports legacy


  1. Jockeys and horses face a high risk of injury

  2. The pressure to excel can result in unethical behavior

  3. Animals may be exploited for financial gain

  4. A culture that does not prioritize animal welfare may continue

Kentucky Derby Wins

Ron Turcotte was an incredible jockey who dominated the Kentucky Derby like no one else. He first won in 1972 riding Riva Ridge, showing off his amazing skills and finesse on the racetrack. The next year, Turcotte made history by guiding Secretariat to a mind-blowing win at Churchill Downs that smashed records. These victories cemented his status as one of the greatest jockeys of all time.

Picture this: the thunderous sound of hooves hitting the dirt track, the crowd going wild with excitement – that’s where Ron Turcotte shone brightest. With Riva Ridge, he expertly weaved through competitors to clinch victory, setting up an even more remarkable achievement with Secretariat. You could feel the connection between horse and rider as they surged forward, leaving their rivals in awe.

Turcotte’s back-to-back wins at the Kentucky Derby weren’t just about crossing a finish line; they were symbols of perseverance and dedication paying off under pressure. Every step towards those historic wins showcased his talent and determination to excel in one of horse racing’s most prestigious events. The memories from those races still resonate today, immortalizing Turcotte as a true champion.

Looking back on Ron Turcotte’s triumphs at the Kentucky Derby is nothing short of mesmerizing because he displayed sheer brilliance during those unforgettable moments on track. His accomplishments go beyond mere numbers; they embody a spirit of resilience and tenacity that can inspire generations – whether you’re a budding jockey or simply a fan captivated by sportsmanship done right! In each sprint toward victory, Turcotte epitomized what it means to chase greatness relentlessly against all odds – truly showcasing masterful athleticism paired with unwavering grit and determination.

Triple Crown Triumph

Ron Turcotte’s incredible victory in the Triple Crown race of 1973 was truly legendary. His partnership with the amazing Secretariat not only secured their spot in horse racing history but also captured the hearts of millions around the world. Their outstanding performance at the Belmont Stakes, where they outpaced their competitors by an astonishing 31 lengths, left spectators and fellow racers amazed. It showcased a remarkable blend of talent, determination, and perfect teamwork between jockey and horse that set them apart as true champions.

This win marked a major milestone for Ron Turcotte, solidifying his reputation as one of the greatest jockeys ever seen in this sport. His flawless handling of Secretariat through every turn and straight stretch highlighted his exceptional skill in communicating with his equine companion. The Triple Crown triumph wasn’t just about winning races; it reflected years of hard work, dedication, and unwavering passion for excelling at what he loved most – riding horses like no one else could.

Despite facing tough competition from talented riders throughout his career journey so far , Ron Turcotte’s success stood out brightly among all others as a symbol excellence ingrained into racing lore forevermore.. The bond formed between him and Secretariat went beyond mere collaboration; it embodied harmony between man and beast working together towards achieving greatness on the track – an unprecedented feat both then & now . Their story continues to motivate young riders who dream big fueled by relentless drive.

Looking back on Ron Turcotte’s remarkable rise from modest beginnings to conquering some of horse racing’s biggest events goes beyond being merely a tale sporting victories – it signifies resilience against all challenges when faced with life-altering obstacles such as those tragic accidents cutting short careers too soon . Despite this setback,Turcottes remains undaunted championing causes dear while tirelessly advocating for individuals living disabilities using various charitable efforts post-career retirement- proving genuine greatness extends well past any single raceday or track surface ; rather resides within someone enduringly impactful actions off-track too

Champion Racers: Birthplaces, Victories & Achievements

| Occupation | Born | Career wins |

Major Stakes Wins

Ron Turcotte, a jockey who possessed extraordinary talent and unwavering determination, made a lasting impact on the world of horse racing. By winning prestigious races such as the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes, he not only solidified his reputation as a top-tier rider but also motivated numerous young riders to pursue their dreams with courage.

Turcotte’s exceptional performances at the Kentucky Derby shine brightly in his remarkable career. His ability to guide horses to victory at Churchill Downs showcased a level of finesse and understanding of these animals that distinguished him from other jockeys. Each triumph was more than just a personal victory for Turcotte; it highlighted the special connection between horse and rider, illustrating the magic that occurs when teamwork blends with talent.

Despite encountering challenges following a severe injury during a race in 1978 that left him paralyzed from the waist down, Ron Turcotte never allowed this setback to dampen his spirits. Instead of focusing on what might have been, he used his resilience to become an advocate for individuals with disabilities – inspiring many both within and beyond the horse racing community. Through his foundation work and public appearances, Turcotte continues to spread hope and empowerment wherever he goes.

Reflecting on Ron Turcotte’s legacy today brings about admiration for how profoundly he influenced horse racing history. His name represents excellence, courage, and compassion – qualities that transcend sports boundaries while touching hearts worldwide. From achieving legendary victories at iconic racetracks to standing up as an advocate for inclusivity, Ron Turcotte will forever be remembered as a guiding light during challenging times – showing us all that true champions are defined not solely by their wins but by how they inspire others along life’s unpredictable journey.”

Awards and Recognition

Ron Turcotte had an incredible career as a jockey filled with thrilling wins on the racetrack and numerous awards recognizing his exceptional talent. In 1978, he received the prestigious Canadian Racing’s Man-of-the-Year award for his significant impact on horse racing in Canada and beyond. The following year, in 1979, he earned the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, showcasing his dedication to excellence and sportsmanship.

Turcotte’s outstanding achievements set him apart from other jockeys and earned him widespread praise within the racing world. His success at races like the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown solidified his place among horse racing legends. Beyond just winning races, Turcotte’s ability to connect with horses and fans alike made him legendary in equestrian history.

His legacy goes far beyond trophies; it embodies resilience that has inspired many worldwide. Despite a career-ending injury, Turcotte faced adversity gracefully while remaining passionate about horses and helping others overcome challenges. His advocacy for individuals with disabilities serves as a powerful example of turning personal struggles into positive change for society.

Reflecting on Ron Turcotte’s journey from humble beginnings to becoming a renowned name in horse racing lore reveals one clear truth: his influence spans generations, resonating deeply with those who admire courage, perseverance, and determination against all odds. Truly, Ron Turcotte is not only a champion jockey but also an iconic figure whose legacy will endure through time.”

Legendary Tales and Derby Triumphs of Ron Turcotte

  1. Ron Turcotte: A Jockey's Journey to Glory

  2. Ron Turcotte became a household name after winning the Kentucky Derby twice – first in 1972 on Riva Ridge and then again in 1973 riding Secretariat, setting an unbeaten record time that still stands today.

  3. Despite his triumphs, Turcotte's career took a tragic turn in 1978 when a devastating racing accident left him paralyzed from the waist down, cutting short what seemed like an unstoppable rise to fame. However, he continued contributing to horse racing as a trainer and advocate for jockeys with disabilities.

  4. The bond between Turcotte and Secretariat is nothing short of legendary; their breathtaking victory at the 1973 Kentucky Derby captured hearts worldwide. Their win by 2½ lengths remains etched as one of the most iconic moments in horse racing history.

  5. Before his life-changing injury, Turcotte was renowned for his exceptional skill and horsemanship, earning acclaim as one of his era's premier jockeys. His innate ability to understand horses and form connections played pivotal roles in propelling him towards success on the track.

  6. Ron Turcotte’s enduring legacy serves as an inspiration for aspiring jockeys and passionate fans alike across generations—showing that determination, dedication, passion are key ingredients essential for thriving within the fiercely competitive domain of horse racing.

Career-ending Injury

Ron Turcotte had a successful career that suddenly ended on July 13, 1978. During a race at Belmont Park, he fell off his horse Flag of Leyte Gulf and suffered a life-changing injury that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Despite this challenge, Ron Turcotte never lost his determination. He faced this new phase in his life with strength and courage. Although he could no longer compete as a jockey, his love for horses remained unwavering.

Turcotte’s impact went beyond the racetrack. Not only was he known as one of the greatest jockeys ever but also became an advocate for people with disabilities. His positive attitude and strong support for accessibility and inclusion in sports continue to inspire others today.

Induction Into Hall of Fame

Ron Turcotte became a legend in the horse racing world when he was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame back in 1979. His incredible accomplishments on the track, like winning big at the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown, made him stand out as one of the best jockeys ever. This honor showed just how skilled, dedicated, and determined Turcotte was to reach such high levels of success.

The following year, in 1980, Ron Turcotte got another well-deserved recognition when he entered Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame. This award not only honored his amazing talent as a jockey but also highlighted his lasting impact as a Canadian sports hero. Even though he faced tough times after getting hurt during a race in 1978 – an injury that ended his career – Turcotte never stopped loving horses or inspiring many with his strength and unwavering spirit.

Being part of these prestigious halls of fame is an ongoing tribute to Turcotte’s exceptional contributions to horse racing and sports history. He left more than just victories; he showed perseverance, courage, and true sportsmanship through it all. Ron Turcotte will always be remembered for not only being an outstanding rider but also for supporting people with disabilities through organizations like Disabled Jockeys Fund – proving that real champions shine both on and off the racetrack.

Advocacy for Disabilities

Ron Turcotte has dedicated himself to advocating for people with disabilities after his injury. He is actively involved in various initiatives that support injured riders, including founding the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund (PDJF). This organization offers assistance and resources to jockeys who are disabled.

Turcotte’s passion for creating change goes beyond just raising money; he also works hard to raise awareness about the struggles faced by individuals with disabilities. Using his influence and platform, he aims to bring positive changes within the racing community and beyond.

Through his advocacy work, Ron Turcotte has bridged gaps and broken barriers while paving the way for better support towards people living with disabilities. His resilience both on and off the track serves as an inspiration not only to fellow jockeys but anyone facing challenges or obstacles in their lives.

By championing causes related to disability rights, Turcotte demonstrates a depth of character that goes beyond his achievements as a jockey. He embodies qualities like perseverance, compassion, and unwavering spirit that continue to inspire others worldwide.

Ron Turcotte’s legacy extends far beyond his impressive wins at races like the Kentucky Derby; it lies in his tireless efforts toward advocacy which have made lasting impacts on many lives. As one of racing’s greatest figures rides into history books, it’s clear that generations will feel his impact through both victories on horseback and noble efforts off-track.

Legacy and Commemoration

In 2015, a statue honoring the incredible partnership between Ron Turcotte and Secretariat was revealed in Grand Falls, New Brunswick. The monument proudly captures Turcotte guiding Secretariat to victory with grace and skill on the racetrack. This serves as a timeless reminder of their unmatched success in horse racing.

Fans, fellow jockeys, and admirers from all over came together for the unveiling ceremony to pay tribute to this iconic duo that captured hearts worldwide. As people admired the bronze masterpiece, memories flooded back of those thrilling moments when Turcotte and Secretariat raced across finish lines in record-breaking style. Their legacy continues to inspire generations of aspiring jockeys and horse enthusiasts alike.

Beyond his wins on the track, Ron Turcotte has become an advocate for individuals with disabilities after his own career-ending injury. Despite facing adversity head-on following a tragic accident that left him paralyzed, Turcotte never lost his spirit or determination. He turned his passion for horses into helping others through therapeutic riding programs – showcasing awe-inspiring resilience.

Alongside Secretariat in bronze immortalization stands Ron Turcotte’s name forever etched in racing history books for his remarkable Triple Crown victories atop one of the greatest racehorses known to date. His achievements stand as proof of hard work, talent,and unwavering dedication – traits that define true champions both on and off the track.The statue represents more than past glories; it shines brightly towards future possibilities inspired byTurcott’es extraordinary journey

Every visitor who stops before this magnificent statue depicting RonTurcott’e astrideSecretariatahaschanceto reflecton greatnessachievedagainstall odds– atalewovenwith courage,s kill,and unyieldingperseverance.Their story goes beyond mere victories; it embodies hope,determination,and strong beliefin oneself.It’s not just metalor stone;it’sa living testamenttothe indomitable human spiritthat refuses togive up even whentheoddsaresimplyunfathomable.Turcottestandsnotjustasthesymbolofvictory,butasaparagonof resiliencethat beckons usto reachfor ourdreams,no matter how daunt ingthepath may seem.Hislegacywillforever gallopacrossthetimeless expanseof horseracinghistory,a brightstar guidingsuccessorsalongtheroad less traveledwith fortitudeandan unconquerable willtodare greatlyandsoaratop mountaintopswherelegacies arecarvedoutoftime itself


1. What were some of Ron Turcotte's most notable victories as a jockey?

Ron Turcotte won big races as a jockey, like the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown. These victories showed how talented he was in horse racing.

2. How many times did Ron Turcotte win the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown?

Ron Turcotte has won the Kentucky Derby three times and rode the legendary Secretariat to victory in the Triple Crown in 1973.

3. Can you describe the career-ending injury that Ron Turcotte suffered?

In 1978, Ron Turcotte suffered a career-ending injury in a horse racing accident at Belmont Park. The incident left him paralyzed from the waist down.

4. What has Ron Turcotte done to advocate for individuals with disabilities after his injury?

After Ron Turcotte got hurt and could no longer compete, he decided to help people with disabilities by working with different groups and charities. He uses his influence to motivate and support others.

5. How has Ron Turcotte's legacy influenced the world of horse racing?

Ron Turcotte made a lasting impact on the horse racing world as a top jockey and supporter of people with disabilities. His impressive victories at the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown, along with his strong determination in challenging times, continue to motivate and influence generations.

6. What qualities do you think made Ron Turcotte such a successful and revered jockey?

Ron Turcotte became a highly successful and respected jockey in horse racing history due to his exceptional riding abilities, unwavering determination, and strong bond with his horses.