Extras / Film: Must Watch Movies About Horse Racing Before The Kentucky Derby

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by Jim Allen on March 20, 2023

in Extras,Film

In little less than three months, several horse racing players and fans alike would begin putting on their paraphernalia in preparation for the Kentucky Derby. Held every year in spring at Churchill Downs, this sporting event is exhilarating and full of pomp.

With it being an annual rite, one might think that there would be a constant reduction in the number of viewers as each year passes.

However, contrary to what you may think, experience has proven that the derby is usually packed full of viewers attending live year in and year out. Additionally, those who are unable to attend live tune in to watch the big races or get minute-by-minute updates on TwinSpires, a popular horse racing blog.

Many have confirmed that their passion for watching horse racing competitions stemmed from seeing movies relating to the sport. And with horse racing being an ever-flowing stream of movie ideas, the best movies are inspired by real-life or fictional stories of great racehorses. A couple of movies that you thus need to watch before the derby are discussed below.

Secretariat (2010)

Featuring John Malkovich and Diane Lane, Secretariat is a biographical drama telling the tales of Penny Chenery. Penny, who is both a full-time housewife and mother, honors her father’s last wish of inheriting his Meadow Stables down in Virginia.

Although Penny has had no initial encounters with raising and feeding horses, she uses the same care she gave to her children in fostering horses. This way, she displays her innate talent and strength in this business. And with the help of a retired horse trainer, she succeeded in breeding the first horse in twenty-five years to win the Triple Crown.

While the ending of the movie is quite predictable, the journey and process make the watch worthwhile. It is power-packed and full of suspense, thus, making it a must-watch.

National Velvet (1944)

This is a classic movie that tells the story of horses and horse racing. Although it is very old, it has stood the test of time and holds its own against more recent movies. The National Velvet is definitely a must-see for all movie fans.

National Velvet begins with Mi Taylor, who, after traveling all the roads in the Kingdom as given to him, steps into the household of the Browns. Here, he meets Velvet, the Browns’ daughter who loves horses and who just won a steed in a town lottery. Mi’s not-so-short stay in this quiet English house in the countryside cues his interest in training the horse in preparation for the Grand National, the nation’s major racing event.

Dream Horse (2020)

Inspired by a true story of the famous racehorse, Dream Alliance, known for being a misfit and cared for by a bartender, this movie features Toni Collette. And with a casting such as that, one can only expect that the movie will play out well. The movie shows Jan Vokes, the bartender living in a little Welsh town with no prior experience with horses and with little to no money.

However, Jan is determined to breed Dream so he can someday compete with other horses. With so much determination and convincing, Jan cajoles her neighbors into raising funds and succeeds in raising the horse. All of this struggle becomes fruitful in the end when Dream reaches the Welsh Grand National and shows himself a true champion.

It is a great story that portrays the benefits of good friends as well as surrounding oneself with kind-hearted people. In addition, this 2020 movie shows that you can achieve some things that may seem impossible with enough determination.

photo by Jacob Jolibois from Unsplash

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