Documentary Marks 40th Anniversary Of Triple Crown Win

SecretariatSecretariat and Ron Turcotte. Photo by Bob CoglianeseCanadian horse racing legend Ron Turcotte made his triumphant return to the Kentucky Derby, the first leg in his 1973 U.S. Triple Crown victory with Secretariat, for the world premiere of Phil Comeau’s National Film Board of Canada (NFB) documentary Secretariat’s Jockey, Ron Turcotte during Kentucky Derby Week at the Baxter Theatre in Louisville, Ky., on May 2.

The Canadian premiere of Secretariat’s Jockey, Ron Turcotte will be screened in its French version in Turcotte’s home province of New Brunswick on May 29 at the Capitol Theatre in Moncton and the following night on May 30 at the Grand Cinema 3 in Grand Falls (both English and French versions will screen). Turcotte and Comeau will be present at both screenings, which will be free and open to the public. People attending these events will also have the first chance to purchase a DVD of the film and souvenir mini-posters, and get signed autographs.

Produced by the NFB’s Maryse Chapdelaine, this touching film follows Turcotte as he returns to the people and places that have marked his storied life. It provides an insider’s view of horse racing as well as an intimate glimpse of this resilient and legendary jockey, whose marvelled 16-year career ended in 1978 when a fall left him paraplegic.

As of May 31, following the film’s Canadian launch, consumers will be able to order a DVD or download the film at the NFB’s online store. Visit for all details.

About the film

Few jockeys have won America’s Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing. Only three have won in the last 65 years. Ron Turcotte is one of them. In 1973, this legendary jockey from New Brunswick rode Secretariat-the greatest racehorse of all time-to victory in the three most prestigious races in the United States. But a fall in 1978 left Turcotte a paraplegic and put an end to an illustrious 16-year career of over 3,000 victories.

With 2013 marking the 40th anniversary of Secretariat’s Triple Crown victory, Secretariat’s Jockey, Ron Turcotte tells the remarkable story of a living legend in the sport of horse racing. As Turcotte returns to the people and places that marked his life, we get a rare behind-the-scenes glimpse at the excesses and dangers of the horse racing world. Comeau’s film also features never-before-seen shots of Secretariat and appearances by Triple Crown winners Steve Cauthen and Jean Cruguet, as well as Penny Chenery, Secretariat’s owner.

About the filmmaker

Director-screenwriter Phil Comeau has received 35 awards from festivals in North America and Europe. His recent feature film, Frédéric Back, grandeur nature, received two People’s Choice Awards. Comeau directed his first film in 1977 with the NFB, and then, in 1994, he directed the first Acadian independent feature-length fiction film, Jerome’s Secret, co-produced by the NFB. Over the course of his career, Comeau has directed such fiction series as and La Sagouine. He is a Member of the Order of Canada, a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in France, and was named to the Ordre des francophones d’Amérique in Quebec City.

About the NFB

The National Film Board of Canada is a world leader in groundbreaking interactive works, social-issue documentaries and auteur animation, engaging audiences with innovative and immersive experiences. The NFB has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 6 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. To access acclaimed NFB content, visit or download its apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV.