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Ron Turcotte (2).jpg

Ron Turcotte

Occupation Jockey

Ronald Joseph Morel Turcotte (born July 22, 1941) is a Hall of Fame thoroughbred race horse jockey, best known for winning the 1973 U.S. Triple Crown with Secretariat.

Turcotte began his racing career in Toronto as a hot walker in 1959, but it wasn't long before he was wearing racing silks and posing for pictures in the winners circle. As an apprentice, he rode Northern Dancer to his first victory, but not until he rode Tom Rolfe to a victory in the 1965 Preakness Stakes would he gain prominence. He was soon working with Canadian trainer, Lucien Laurin, who would train Riva Ridge. Riva Ridge won the 1972 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes, with Turcotte as his jockey. A year later, Ron Turcotte became internationally famous when he rode Secretariat to win the Triple Crown, something that hadn't been done in 25 years. This made the first jockey to win back-to-back Kentucky Derby's since Jimmy Winkfield in 1902, and he is the only jockey to win five of six consecutive Triple Crown races. Turcotte was the leading North American Stakes-winning jockey in 1972 and 1973. He has voted the prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award that honors a rider whose career and personal conduct exemplifies the very best example of participants in the sport of thoroughbred racing.

However, Turcotte's career abruptly ended in 1978 after a fall from his horse (Flag of Leyte Gulf) at the start of a race at Belmont Park, leaving him a paraplegic. In 1979 he was inducted to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. He has voted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, and was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1980. In 1984, he also became the first recipient of the Avelino Gomez Memorial Award. 

Turcotte lives in his hometown of Grand Falls, New Brunswick, Canada, with his wife Gaetane and their four daughters. He is involved in the Permanently Disabled Jockey Fund (PDJF).

Major racing wins[]

  • Breeders' Stakes (1962)
  • Coronation Futurity Stakes (1963)
  • Toronto Autumn Cup (1963)
  • Canadian International Stakes (1964, 1971)
  • Kentucky Oaks (1965)
  • Sport Page Handicap (1966)
  • Suburban Handicap (1966)
  • Bernanrd Baruch Handicap (1967)
  • Tremont Stakes (1967)
  • Beldame Stakes (1970)
  • Diana Handicap (1970, 1971, 1976)
  • Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (1970, 1979)
  • Jockey Club Gold Cup (1970)
  • Withers Stakes (1970)
  • Alabama Stakes (1971)
  • Flash Stakes (1971)
  • Belmont Futurity Stakes (1971, 1972)
  • Champagne Stakes (1971)
  • Gotham Stakes (1971, 1973)
  • Laurel Futurity (1971, 1972)
  • Blue Grass Stakes (1972)
  • Coaching Club American Oaks (1972)
  • Florida Derby (1972)
  • Hopeful Stakes (1972)
  • Hollywood Derby (1972)
  • Manhattan Handicap (1972)
  • Monmouth Oaks (1972)
  • Sanford Stakes (1972)
  • Wood Memorial Stakes (1972)
  • Brooklyn Handicap (1973)
  • Excelsior Breeders' Cup Handicap (1973)
  • Man o'War Stakes (1973, 1974)
  • Matron Stakes (1973)
  • Travers Stakes (1973)
  • Dwyer Stakes (1974)
  • Edgemere Handicap (1974, 1976)
  • Santa Anita Handicap (1974)
  • Cornhusker Handicap (1975)
  • Queens County Handicap (1975)
  • American Derby (1976)
  • Aqueduct Handicap (1976)
  • Alcibiades Stakes (1977)
  • Arlington-Washington Lassie Stakes (1977)
  • Adirondack Stakes (1977)
  • Cup and Saucer Stakes (1977)
  • Schuylerville Stakes (1977)
  • Stars and Stripes Turf Handicap (1978)

American Clasic race wins:

Awards[]

  • Leading jockey at Woodbine Racetrack (1962, 1963)
  • United States Triple Crown (1973)
  • Canadian Racing's Man-of-the-Year (1978)
  • Big Sport of Turfdom Award (1978)
  • George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award (1979)
  • Avelino Gomez Memorial Award (1984)

Honours[]

  • New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame (1973)
  • Order of Canada (1974)
  • National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame (1979)
  • New York Sports Hall of Fame
  • Canada's Sports Hall of Fame (1980)
  • Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame (1980)
  • Hawthorne Racing Hall of Fame (1986)
  • Paul Harris Fellowship
  • Long Island Sports Hall of Fame (1990)

Significant horses[]

  • Arts and Letters
  • Crafty Lace
  • Dahlia
  • Damascus
  • Dark Mirage
  • Fanfreluche
  • Fort Marcy
  • Northern Dancer
  • Politely
  • Quadrangle
  • Riva Ridge
  • Secretariat
  • Shuvee
  • Tom Rolfe
  • Upper Case
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