One thing that strikes me with horse racing movies is that it is almost impossible to tell a true story without jazzing it up. Thoroughbred yearling buyers and owners are for the most part loaded (although if you hear some owners speak, it is like they are all destitute and ready to rob a 7-11 to feed the kids) and it does not exactly make for a good underdog story.
Really, what kind of stories do we have in thoroughbred racing that a) can be a movie and b) do not have to have the facts 'changed'?
Let's try some plotlines:
- The Rachel Alexandra Story - Wine magnate Jess Jackson buys filly for a reported $10 million, or about 0.04% of his entire net worth. The gamble pays off, as his supermare wins the Preakness, Haskell and Woodward against all odds, however later on she is retired and does not make the whole ten million back. Because of it, Jess is only super-rich, instead of slightly more super-rich.
- Sheikh Mo's Money - The rags to riches story about horse racing dude Sheikh Mo, who was born really rich, but whose family and life hangs on the fluctuations with the price of oil. This story focuses on his oil hedging book whereby if he makes a mistake he will only have $30 million to spend on yearlings instead of $40 million. As a sub-plot, his real estate empire takes a hit as interest rates go up which glues the viewer to the screen wondering if it is caviar or fois gras for dinner, or if he has to go through the gut-wrenching decision to downgrade his personal jet from a 747 to an Airbus. It's a true popcorn cruncher.
- Zenyatta - How Itunes Almost Made Me Not Own Her - This is a story for the times. Jerry Moss, explains how the changing world of music almost made him not spend the $60k on Zenyatta. With Itunes and other digital fare dominating the scene, people like Jerry now make less money than they used to. The movie shows a parallel universe where he instead buys a few five claimers at Mountaineer, and he and Sting fill in for Nancy and Mark on the Mountain's simulcast show. The sub-plot is especially interesting - Andrew Beyer is the one who ends up with Zenyatta, and she goes 19 for 19, and makes her six-plus million. It showcases his internal struggle about owning and taking purse checks from what he considers a slow horse with sub-par speed figures.