Horse Racing

     The Great Mike                                 Kentucky Blue Streak              The Great Dan Patch

Most Horse Racing Movies consist of an unrecognized fast horse, compromised by injury or circumstances, but overcome by hard work and sacrifice.  The movies all tell the same story and the same issues, but with different places,different times, but the same type of people.

The coverage of horse racing is a unique sporting event, and there are a lot of issues regarding gambling, drugs, animal safety, and jockey safety. 

Horse Racing Melodramas are bigger than life stories.  Some of the stories are based on fact. The Horse Racing Movies on this site use this formula.

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1.  Kentucky Blue Streak (1935) – Ed Nugent:

Eddie Nugent is the reporter. Frank "Junior" Coglan is the jockey, and he even did his own riding, which is a surprise. Very watch able actor. Nugent would have a long career behind the camera. Coglan would have a long military career and then return to film work in character parts.

2.  Long Shot, The (1939) – Gordon Jones:

A racetrack melodrama, The Long Shot features Marsha Hunt and Gordon Jones as trainers of a thoroughbred horse. Despite the rivalries of their parents, the couple prepares to jointly enter the Santa Anita handicap. The odds are against their entry, but Hunt and Jones have every confidence of winning. Just before the starting bugle, gangsters intrude, demanding that the trainers throw the Big Race.

3.  That Gang of Mine (1940) – Bobby Jordan:

A street kid (Bobby Jordan) has dreams of becoming a jockey. He gets his chance when he and his gang discover a poor old man who has a championship race horse. The man agrees to let the boy ride his horse in a race, but first the gang must get enough money to pay for the race's entry fees.

4.  Great Mike, The (1944)  Carl Switzer:

Story of a boy and his horse. Mike is the horse and is owned by Speck (Carl "Alfalfa" Switzer) and his best friend Jimmy (Robert "Buzz" Henry), together they have a paper route, on which they deliver papers to customers via a wagon pulled by Mike. Recently a horse track has been built in the area and attracts horse breeder and racer Colonel Whiteny (Pierre Watkin). He takes out a subscription for delivery and meets Mike and Speck & Jimmy. Clever Jimmy talks both the Colonel and Speck into taking on the Colonel's pure bred race horses at the track with comedic results.

5.  The Great Dan Patch (1949) – Dennis O’Keefe:

Story of the legendary trotting horse Dan Patch.

Chemist David Palmer (Dennis O’Keefe) comes back to his hometown in Indiana to get married to his girlfriend Ruth, a schoolteacher. He finds his father excited about the harness racing potential of a new mare that he's just traded for. When the mare is injured while winning her first race, David's father uses her for breeding, and she has a colt named Dan Patch, who proves exceptionally fast. Meanwhile, Ruth becomes increasingly frustrated with David's continued interest in horses, and with his friendship with his father's trainer and the trainer's daughter.

6.  Born to the Saddle (1951) – Chuck Courtey:

Bent on revenge for the death of his father and the theft of their ranch, young Bill Walton (Chuck Courtney) rides into town seeking the aid of his uncle. As he rides into town, he takes a bullet meant for gambler Matt Daggett (Donald Woods) and across the street lies his uncle, victim of the gambler's gun. Dagget looks on Bill as 'good luck' and nurses him back to health and gives him the job of training "Blue Chip", the fastest quarter horse in the west, for a big race. Bill doesn't know that Dagget plans to fix the race and put his own money on another horse at heavy odds.

7.  Racing Blood (1936) - Frankie Darro & Kane Richmond:
Frankie Darro buys a broken-down horse and turns him into a racing winner, despite the racketeers who try to fix the races and put him out of business

 

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