50 To 1 starring Skeet Ulrich, Christian Kane, and William Devane
“A misfit group of New Mexico cowboys find themselves on the journey of a lifetime when their crooked-footed racehorse qualifies for the Kentucky Derby. Based on the inspiring true story of Mine That Bird, the cowboys face a series of mishaps on their way to Churchill Downs, becoming the ultimate underdogs in a final showdown with the world’s racing elite.” – Synopsis from the official 50 to 1 website.
Here are three things you should know about me: I love horse racing, I love underdogs, and sports movies are my guilty pleasure. So it really comes as no surprise that I really enjoyed this movie. It’s part horse movie, part underdog sports movie, and part buddy comedy.
To be completely upfront, this story does not focus on the horse but on his trainer Chip Wooley and the unbelievable way they got to the Kentucky Derby. It’s actually my one complaint about the movie: they don’t really focus on the racing at all! They not only change a far amount to fit the story, but they gloss over the racing and training aspect to the point where you wonder if Chip actually did anything to train Mine That Bird.
But all that being said, and maybe it’s because I know the story so well and don’t need the background, I really enjoyed it. The story is never too serious and knows how to take a joke. And more then that, when they do focus on the horse and the racing, they do a good job. I was especially impressed with the way they seamlessly transitioned between real footage from the real Kentucky Derby and their own footage. They also did a good job of “faking” all the paddock scenes and making it look like you’re at the big races.
So if you like underdog sports movies or if you like horse racing movies, give this one a shot. If nothing else, the story is pretty incredible.