JC / Railbird

Turning Away Turcotte

Turcotte talks with a young fan in the Belmont paddock (2012).

Hall of Fame jockey Ron Turcotte, in a wheelchair since an on-track accident at Belmont Park in 1978, shares some stories of his own about Churchill Downs:

In 2012, despite being the subject of a National Film Board of Canada documentary being filmed at Churchill Downs, I was denied any parking assistance by the track. If not for the gracious actions of the film crew who had no other choice but to pay Churchill Downs $500 to allow me the “privilege” of on-site parking in a handicapped accessible spot, I am not sure what would have happened. In 2013, despite strong lobbying on my behalf by the Kentucky Derby Museum who hosted my appearance, I once again received no parking accommodation from Churchill Downs and ultimately was forced to park in an off-track neighborhood lot across Central Avenue. Making matters worse, I was then informed that Churchill Downs policy restricted my access to the Museum grounds only, preventing me from even being able to watch the race I had won twice.

Oh, who’s Turcotte? Just the guy who won the Triple Crown with Secretariat. I’m trying to imagine another sport treating one of its legends shabbily.

“Enough is enough,” tweets owner Steve Zorn. “CDI is embarrassing the game.”

If there’s a Triple Crown season tagline this year, “enough is enough” is it.