Lucien Laurin was a French-Canadian jockey born on the 18th of March 1912 in Joliette, Quebec, Canada. He has also been memorialized in the Hall of Fame for being an excellent thoroughbred horse trainer. Lucien's career as a jockey in thoroughbred horse racing took off in 1929 in Montreal, Quebec. Laurin took part in hundreds of races with a total of 161 race wins. Then in 1942 he decided to take on another part of the industry and began working as a trainer in New England. For over forty-five years he continued to train, this took him to the very summit of horse racing success.
Two different stables took Lucien on as trainer and it worked to their benefit. He trained a horse named Quill, a two-year old filly, who became the 1958 champion. Many of his other horses were equally successful winning many vital Stake races, together with the 1966 Belmont Stakes.
His son Roger Laurin also worked as a trainer and was connected to the Meadow Stable until he was offered work that he could not refuse. At that point he suggested that they get a hold of his father to see if he might leave retirement and help them on a temporary basis. The Chenery family did just this and Lucien Laurin started working for them in 1971. At this stage they were not doing well and were having financial difficulties.
This soon became a thing of the past when their colt, Riva Ridge, was given the title of Champion making over $500,000 for that same year. It was not long before Laurin and the Meadow Stable became the number one stable in racing with many vital wins at the Stakes races as well as five of the six Triple Crown races in 1972 and 1973. With fellow French-Canadian jockey Ron Turcotte and under the care of Lucien Laurin, Riva Ridge was victorious at both the 1972 Belmont Stakes and the Kentucky Derby.
For 1972 Lucien Laurin was given a prestigious award named the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Eclipse Award for the most outstanding trainer in North America. Apart from that he was probably best known for his training of the incredible Secretariat who was considered the greatest racehorse ever. Secretariat was voted as horse of the year and Champion Two Year Old Colt for 1972 as well as the first ever Triple Crown winner in over twenty-five years.
Four years later Lucien Laurin retired again, but again came out of retirement in 1983 as part owner of Evergreen Stable and trainer. Overall Laurin trained as many as 36 stakes winners, and was memorialized in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame as well as being inducted in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1977. Lucien Laurin passed away at the ripe old age of 88 on the 26th of June 2000 at Key Largo, Florida when complications arose after having surgery to sort out a fractured hip.