Leonard Lusky of Secretariat.com, spokesman for the Turcotte family, said that Turcotte suffered a fracture in each leg when the van he was driving hit an icy patch on a road near his home in New Brunswick and flipped on its side. A family friend was a passenger in the vehicle and suffered minor injuries.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police Constable Yannick Pelletier said the accident occurred about 9:45 a.m. near Four Falls. He said the snow-covered roads were slippery at the time and the accident is under investigation.
Turcotte is best known as the rider of the great Secretariat, who swept the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes in 1973 to become the first Triple Crown winner since 1948. Turcotte also won the 1972 Derby and Belmont aboard Riva Ridge.
Secretariat’s rise to superstardom was made into the Disney movie “Secretariat,” released in 2010. The movie told the story of how Penny Chenery took over Meadow Stable and hired trainer Lucien Laurin, who then called on Turcotte to ride the horse known as “Big Red.”
Turcotte won more than 3,000 races during his career, which ended in 1978 when the jockey tumbled from his horse at the start of a race at Belmont Park was paralized.
Turcotte has appeared at many Triple Crown events in recent years, including last year when California Chrome won the Derby and Preakness but came up short in the Belmont.
Lusky said that Ron is in good spirits and still has his sense of humor, noting that the jockey who rode Secretariat throughout his legendary 1973 Triple Crown campaign, asked attending physician for one blue cast and one white cast, the renown silk colors of Secretariat’s Meadow Stable.
The family appreciates the well wishes and concern of fans and the Thoroughbred racing community but asks for privacy at this time. Further information about Mr. Turcotte’s condition will be released through Secretariat.com as it becomes available. Mr. Turcotte’s existing scheduled appearances and signings have been cancelled at this time.
Tags: Babe Hanford, Belmont Park, Belmont Stakes, Big Red, California Chrome, car accident, Carl Hanford, Hall of Fame, jockey, Keentucky Derby Tours, Kelso, Kentucky Derby, Kentucky Derby winning jockey, Lucien Laurin, Meadow Stable, Preakness, Riva Ridge, Ron Turcotte, Secretariat, trainer, Triple Crown