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The controversy surfaced when Turcotte wrote to Rick Porter, who posted the ex-jockey’s comments online. Porter owned the ill-fated Eight Belles, the filly that was euthanized on the track after breaking both of her front legs following a second-place finish in the 2008 Derby.

Turcotte wrote that Churchill Downs management knew in advance that he would be at the Derby the past two years, “yet never made an effort to offer one shred of hospitality or professional courtesy.”

Turcotte said he enjoys meeting with race fans, but said the “inaction” by Churchill had tarnished his memories of the track.

“Being confined to a wheelchair since my racing accident in 1978, it is no easy feat to maneuver through the crowds that attend the Derby festivities,” he wrote. “It becomes a nearly impossible task when there is virtually no assistance from the track.”

Porter wrote in an online posting about his own difficulties in obtaining tickets to watch one of his horses race at Churchill Downs on Friday, and in getting Derby tickets last year for four World War II veterans who were part of the D-Day invasion.

“What is wrong with this management group?” Porter wrote. “No wonder racing is on the decline.”