• Thoroughbred Racing
  • 1974
  • Athlete

Ronald Turcotte

From Woodbine to Aqueduct, from Churchill Downs to Pimlico and Belmont Park, Ron Turcotte is one of the great names in the history of horse racing in Canada and the United States. Over a period of just 11 years, he became one of the best-known jockeys in the world and a master of his profession. He was known as the “bettor’s best friend” because he rode more than 2,000 horses to victory and, in so doing, sent thousands of racing fans to the windows to collect their winnings! In 1973, this native of Grand Falls and his many admirers experienced one of the greatest moments in horse racing. Within a period of just 35 days, Ron Turcotte won the coveted Triple Crown with impressive first-place finishes at the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and the Belmont Stakes aboard Secretariat, also known as “Big Red,” thereby also earning his place in horse racing history.

Inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame on January 5, 1974

Quick Facts

  • Acclaimed Top Jockey in Canada in 1962 and 1963
  • Passed the million dollar mark in earnings in 1964; passed the two million dollar mark in earnings in 1971
  • Won the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes with Riva Ridge in 1972
  • Won the Triple Crown (Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes) aboard Secretariat in 1973
  • Became the first jockey to win back-to-back Kentucky Derbies since 1902
  • Career ended prematurely in 1978 when he broke his sternum and two vertebrae during a race
  • Member of the Order of Canada in 1974
  • Inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1980
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