The odds were not in their favor! At least that is how it was in 2009 when jockey Calvin Borel took thoroughbred gelding Mind That Bird to the rail at Churchill Downs for a monumental upset in horse racing history.
The recent movie release, '50 to 1' tells the story of a couple of thoroughbred racing industry misfits – a crooked-footed horse, and his owner and his trainer - winning the 2009 Kentucky Derby against all odds. The PG-13 movie runs 150 minutes, and was produced and directed by filmmaker, and equestrian owner, Jim Wilson. Wilson weaves the light-hearted, true-story about trainer Bennie L. “Chip” Wooley, played by Skeet Ulrich, hauling the 2006 thoroughbred Mine That Bird (Birdsong X Mining My Own) across country to the Churchill Downs pay window. The movie results in a rare feel-good film with a spotlight on perseverance and triumph.
Mine That Bird is most certainly best known for his monumental upset for winning the 2009 Kentucky Derby with jockey Calvin Borel in the irons. The famous jockey played an unusual role in the movie; he played himself. Borel got to relive the rail skimming ride of the longshot's run to victory on an equine-actor lookalike named Sunday Rest. A family movie with a last laugh sort of upset, the film walks viewers through the 50 to 1 Derby odds and shows the 5’5” jockey at his best.
'50 to 1' is a solid bet this season for any horse-loving movie watcher. It is a great entertainment wager for those that enjoy infectious characters, come-from-behind victories and monumental possibilities.
An added bonus: Wilson actually used some of the NBC live footage from the May 2, 2009, victory in the movie.
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