Canada’s greatest racing horse still an influence in the sport of kings
“He was a great horse,” says Ron Turcotte, a giant among Canadian jockeys, and the man who rode Secretariat to the 1973 Triple Crown and in the early ’60s guided Northern Dancer — the greatest Canadian racehorse who ever lived — to his first career victory.
“I remember that race. I remember we were dogging it with the other horses. I wasn’t supposed to tap him [with the whip]. But I did — and he just took off.
“We won that race by eight lengths. He was a bold horse. Brave. He could handle anything. The grass. The mud. Anything.
“Northern Dancer could do it all.”
In the beginning, nobody expected he would. Northern Dancer was the little Canadian horse that nobody wanted, the little Canadian horse that grew up to be an international racing legend.