Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Editorials

March 20, 2014

Now on film

Mine That Bird's improbably Derby win subject of new movie

ASHLAND — Filmmakers are hoping to ride Mine That Bird — one of the most unlikely thoroughbreds to ever win the Kentucky Derby — into success at the box office in much the same way as earlier film versions of the racing careers of Seabiscuit and Secretariat did for their producers.

Instead of being named for the horse, the film about Mine That Bird is named “50-1” after the long odds given the little known horse prior to the start of the 2009 Kentucky Derby,

The film tells of the improbable journey of Mine That Bird from southern New Mexico to the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle.  The movie had its world premiere Wednesday in Albuquerque and the cast and crew will spend the next month weaving their way across the country until they reach Kentucky, with Mine That Bird scheduled to make appearances along the way.

There is no queston that the story of Mine That Bird — a little horse with an unsightly gait — is an incredible one. Cowboy hat-wearing trainer Chip Woolley loaded the gelding in a trailer, hitched it to back of his pickup truck in 2009, and drove 1,500 miles to the Kentucky Derby, arriving largely unnoticed.

During the race, an inspired ride on the rail by jockey Calvin Borel produced one of the greatest upsets in 135 years of America’s most famous horse race. With 50-1 odds, Mine That Bird pulled away in the stretch to post a 6 3/4-length victory on the sloppy track.

No one-race wonder, Mine That Bird went on to finish second in the Preakness Stakes and third in the Belmont Stakes.  

The film stars Skeet Ulrich as Woolley, Christian Kane as Allen, Todd Lowe, William Devane, Madelyn Deutch and Borel as himself.

With a small budget odf $8,5 million and no big name stars, “50-1” may be something of a long shot for becoming a box often hit, but in many ways the story of Mine That Bird is even more incredible than the stories about Seabiscuit and Secretariat.

It’s just that “50-1” does not have stars like Tobey Maguire in “Seabiscuit” and Diane Lane in “Secretariat.”  But it has a great story, and that may be enough.

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