Turcotte and Servis Share Triple Crown Stories

Turcotte and Servis Share Triple Crown Stories
Photo: Rick Samuels
Smarty Jones trainer John Servis, right, greets Secretariat jockey Ron Turcotte Saturday morning.
An early morning meeting between Smarty Jones' trainer John Servis and Secretariat's jockey Ron Turcotte provided a touch of history as Belmont Stakes (gr. I) day dawned Saturday.

Servis had been holding the shank for Smarty Jones' bath, then walked to t he railing surrounding Barn 5 to greet Turcotte, who won the Triple Crown aboard 'Big Red' in 1973.

Sporting a "We Need More Secretariats" hat, Turcotte wished Servis well and the trainer reported, "So far, so good."

Turcotte sought to assure the trainer by him telling him he thought Smarty Jones would win the Visa Triple Crown Challenge. "I hope you're a good handicapper," Servis said with a laugh.

The two then discussed various scenarios, and Servis told Turcotte, whose mount won the Belmont by 31 lengths, "I don't care if I win by a nose. If he wins by 31 lengths, the jockey (Stewart Elliott) and I are gonna get in a little scuffle."

Turcotte, who is paralyzed from injuries sustained in a riding accident and is confined to a wheelchair, and Servis then posed for photographers before the trainer returned to the barn to prepare for the long day ahead.

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