View Full Version : PBS Documentary 'Thoroughbred' May 5 debut

May. 3, 2011, 12:52 PM
I believe the Kentucky PBS stations did get an early airing of this 1 1/2-hr documentary, but Thur May 5th will be the national release:


Think First Saturday In May and On The Muscle with its following of the development of a thoroughbred race horse.

From foaling barn to finish line, Thoroughbred follows a year in the life of this storied horse, showcasing the beauty of the breed, revealing the people whose lives revolve around the racing industry, and exploring the history and traditions of the Thoroughbred world.

Directed by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Paul Wagner and narrated by Emmy®-winning actress Kathryn Walker, Thoroughbred captures the flurry of activity trackside and "backside," the serenity of Kentucky's horse farms, and the riches of Dubai's racing operations.

"The film takes you into the hidden world of the Thoroughbred — the places, the people, the history and culture of America's oldest sport," says producer/director Paul Wagner. "Although Thoroughbred focuses on a year of racing, breeding and sales leading up to the 2009 Kentucky Derby, our hope is that we've created a timeless film, as relevant in 10 years as it is today."

Check here to see when your PBS station will be airing it:


Hunter's Rest
May. 7, 2011, 07:03 AM
Who saw it?
I liked it. Well done. A little 'scattered' but great pieces.

May. 7, 2011, 09:32 AM
Saw it last evening on KET. It was nice, I always enjoy watching beautiful horses in beautiful places. Arthur Hancock's comment that the sales ring has become the Derby winners circle for many was both poignant and prophetic, in my opinion.

May. 7, 2011, 10:08 AM
Saw it this AM. thanks for mentioning it in the Derby thread Glimmer. It was on at 3:30 AM, I set my alarm and when it went off, decided I wasn't getting up. Well, I never roll over and go back to sleep so got up. Missed the first 5 minutes, but so glad I watched.

Some funny stories. I hope they air it again. It was great.

Fairview Horse Center
May. 7, 2011, 10:38 AM
I missed it. :( I believe the brother of one of my boarders produced it, or directed it, ?? Can't remember what he said.

May. 7, 2011, 11:57 AM
I liked it. Well done. A little 'scattered' but great pieces.

Agreed. It wasn't as logical in its progressive presentation as I'd expect. Also the graphics were a bit tiny on the video. However I did enjoy it as well.

May. 7, 2011, 02:39 PM
I expected it to be terrible, and even with some of the necessary explanations of terms etc from the narrator, my husband and I really enjoyed it! They mixed enough of the old with the new to give a good flavor of what racing is. They even addressed the changes from the old guard (pride and tradition) vs the new (business and passion). The story of Kentucky Derby starter, General Quarters, really drew me in as it did in 2009 when he ran - love that old man and to see the teards after the race and his wife comforting him brought tears to my eyes.

Worth a watch in my book!

May. 8, 2011, 06:46 PM
I know that John Veitch is not a terribly popular guy, however I did like his recollections of first showing up at Calumet in what was unquestionably still their era of being "the" stable.

May. 8, 2011, 08:04 PM
I missed it. :( I believe the brother of one of my boarders produced it, or directed it, ?? Can't remember what he said.

Look around on pbs.com, they are selling DVD's of the program :)

May. 9, 2011, 07:08 PM
NYT May 4, 2011 "Q. and A. With Director of ‘Thoroughbred’" (http://therail.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/04/q-and-a-with-director-of-thoroughbred/)

Q. One of your subjects, the trainer Jeff Mullins, had a drug violation during your film. How did that affect the film?

A. It was almost on camera. We had chosen the horse I Want Revenge because we liked the horse and the horse looked like he might be the favorite for the Derby. The fact that Jeff Mullins was training him, we had heard some things about him, that he had had some issues and that particularly in California he had been accused of different infractions.

I thought, Let’s take it as it is and not try and hide the fact, let’s point out that he had this violation the day that we were filming. And I think the narration says the good news is it didn’t affect I Want Revenge. It’s not clear, perhaps he was about to administer the same medication, I think it was like a cough medicine, that he gave the other horse to I Want Revenge. I don’t know. But I just felt we’re not going to hide the fact that it happened, and in a way it enriches the story. We’re not trying to make everybody out to be a good guy.

If we'll all recall Mullins attempted to administer something to Gato So Win while he was in the detention barn for the Bay Shore Stakes. To which NYRA what like WTF, dude, don't you get what detention means? (http://www.drf.com/news/nyra-may-sanction-mullins) and the outcome resulted in Mullins being banned from racing in NY for six-months (http://blog.timesunion.com/horseracing/mullins-i-want-revenge-cant-race-in-new-york-for-six-months/3458/).

And news today (May 9, 2011) that Mullins ordered to serve (http://www.drf.com/news/mullins-ordered-serve-70-days-california-horse-racing-board) 70 days by California Horse Racing Board.

Mullins’s suspension is scheduled to begin on June 1, and would run until Aug. 10, lasting through the second half of the Hollywood Park spring-summer meeting and for about half of the Del Mar meeting, which begins on July 20.

May. 9, 2011, 08:33 PM
I really enjoyed "Thoroughbred". Recorded it and it's in my 'save' file. There was a brief interview with a track vet and they were checking a horse prior to the race. The vet x-rayed what I call "chestnuts", but they used a different name entirely. Anybody else see that part?

May. 12, 2011, 08:47 PM
Night eyes. They are also used for identification and synonymous with "chestnuts."

May. 12, 2011, 09:04 PM
I saw it May 5th and really liked it....