Ron Turcotte was in ”great spirits” March 13 and gabbing on the phone with fellow jockeys while recovering in a hospital after breaking his legs earlier this week in a one-vehicle crash.
A spokesman for the retired jockey, who rode Secretariat to the 1973 Triple Crown, had no update on Turcotte’s condition, but said there are no plans to release him from the hospital anytime soon.
Turcotte, who has been paralyzed from the waist down after a riding spill in 1978, was injured when the van he was driving hit an icy patch and flipped on its side on the Trans-Canada Highway near his home in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, police said.
”I spoke to Ron for some time today and he is in great spirits,” spokesman Leonard Lusky told The Associated Press in an email Friday. ”Many of his fellow legendary jockey pals have called and that always cheers him up anyway, shooting the bull with them just like they did 40 years ago on the track.”
Among the callers, Lusky said, were fellow Hall of Famers Pat Day and Eddie Maple. Lusky added that he recently passed on well wishes to Turcotte from Secretariat’s owner Penny Chenery and fellow Triple Crown-winner riders Jean Cruguet and Steve Cauthen.
”He remains upbeat, and very grateful and flattered by all the public support,” Lusky said of the 73-year-old.