A Sure Bet: Mine That Bird Movie, ’50-1′ Gets Release Date

by | 11.26.2013 | 3:14pm
Mine That Bird springs upset to win 2009 KY Derby

'50-1′, the movie based upon Mine That Bird's improbable victory in the 2009 Kentucky Derby, finally has a release date – March 21, 2014.

Jim Wilson, who directed the movie, will be self-distributing the film through his Ten Furlongs production company, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. Wilson also co-wrote the script, which chronicles Mine That Bird and his New Mexico-based connections on their journey to Churchill Downs in 2009.

The movie will have its world premiere at the KiMo Theatre in Albuquerque, N.M., on March 19, before being released on a limited basis two days later.

Read more in the Louisville Courier-Journal


  • Richard C

    Being released on a limited basis unfortunately means that many fans have no shot at seeing the film….unless a channel with a vested interest in sports/racing eventually steps up to air it (Hello – ESPN, FOX Sports, NBC Sports, etc.) or when the DVD is released.

    • nu-fan

      Actually, I hope that the movie does end up on TV. More people are likely to see it and, perhaps, it will motivate some to actually go to the races. Wouldn’t it be great if it did end up on a sports channel–and, if they could get Budweiser (and its Clydesdales) to sponsor the movie? Yes, I know: I’m dreaming!

      • Glimmerglass

        Eh, like that weak movie done on Ruffian? Folks seem to forget the ABC aired movie in 2007 done on the famed horse. It was terrible. Terrible. Did I say that? I’ll repeat – terrible. When trainer Frank Whiteley Jr. and jockey Jacinto Vasquez, both sue ABC/Dinsey/ESPN over the film it’s in trouble.

        I’m still baffled there is traction to make any movies focused on horses like MTB, with all due respect, aren’t stellar in any historical respect.

        Yet a text book iron-horse (and Champion) like Exterminator who would utterly crush *every horse* winning the HOY title in the last 20-years (and whose owner was as colorful as any owner in racing) gets nary a mention for a script.

        People honestly these days don’t known great racing from modest.

        • nu-fan

          You’re forgetting one thing: The movie isn’t necessarily interested in you, alone. They are looking at the general public who probably remembers Mine that Bird over Exterminator. Your arrogance speaks volumes when you decide for everyone else which movies, horses, etc. are the ones that should be or not be enjoyed.

          • Roisin

            Yes you are right on. And it is the Cinderella aspect that will appeal to people who do not follow racing closely.

          • nu-fan

            Roisin: Yes, it is very much like a Cinderella story, which should appeal to even those who do not follow horseracing. There are so many wonderful story lines to this particular win by Mine That Bird, a 50-1 odds horse that was purchased for very little money compared to the other wonderful horses in that race. The trainer who looked more like a cowboy compared to some of the other trainers who show up in expensive threads and with styled hair. And, of course, the jockey…. I remember seeing Calvin Borel on a late might show (think it was Letterman’s), and not having gotten interested in horseracing at that time, I was taken with the exuberance of that win by Mr. Borel and that he displayed that evening. (He took over the stage and screen.) Never tire of watching the overhead view of the last couple of furlongs of that race. Amazing to see. Hope that the movie includes some of the original footage. Can’t duplicate that experience with anything fabricated by the movie industry, But, perhaps, it may provide the incentive for those who haven’t gone to a race–as well as those who left it–to go to the races!

  • Ida Lee

    I think I’ve mentioned it before but I got to see the wonderful Mine That Bird this Summer when he was at the Kentucky Horse Park. We stayed behind after the tour and boy did he put on a show. Running with his tail and mane in the air…playing with his beach ball and other assorted toys…being groomed. TV does not do him justice. He’s very pretty and has charisma pouring out of every pore. He loves the attention and gives you plenty in return. I even got to pet him…he was so sweet. I cannot wait to see the movie…

    • Roisin

      Lucky you. It must have been a great and fun experience.

  • Kris

    Are they going to end the story after he winds the Derby? If they continue with his career following the Derby it will be one very boring movie.

    • GregS

      2nd to Rachel A in the Preakness and 3rd in the Belmont is boring? Gosh, I can’t imagine why this sport is dying!

      • Anton Chigurh

        3rd in the WV Derby. Just missed. A huge crowd turned out to see him run.

      • nu-fan

        Maybe, it is because the stories behind these horses (and horseracing, in general) are not made available to the general public. I wonder how many people–should they happen to be viewing a horse race–only see a bunch of horses running around an oval track? Perhaps, if the horseracing industry could enlist the help of directors like Ridley Scott, they can bring these races to life! (Well, at least, for the major races). It seems like horseracing is such an isolated industry and they tend to speak primarily only to those who are already following this sport. To get new fans, it may need someone from the outside to bring a different perspective to these races, the horses, the jockeys….

    • Barry Irwin

      You are a jerk

      • Kris

        Thank you, Barry for calling me a jerk. However, as a woman I would appreciate it if you would call me the B-word. Let me get something strait with you folks: The Bird’s story up till the Derby is a compelling one. He did run a great race in the Preakness but it’s all downhill from there. One doesn’t have to be employed as a script writer to see that running one bad race after another is and ending on a bad loss in the Classic would make for poor story-telling. I was being sincere when I wrote that they should end the story with his victory in the Derby.
        One thing I know, Barry, is that if I called you any name then Ray would send Discus after me. It must be nice being Barry Irwin. You see, I clarified my position, defended myself and didn’t hurl an insulting name at anyone.

        • Barry Irwin

          I apologize. On re-reading it, with your explanation in mind, I can see your point of view. I am so used to reading unkind, snarky remarks herein that I automatically lumped you in with that crowd. On first reading, it seemed that you were simply knocking the horse, which in my opinion would have been a mistake.

          • Don Reed

            I too make the same mistake. Barry put it nicely into words.

          • Kris

            After I re-read my original comment I realized that it could have been taken as snarky. I appreciate the apology, which is not always an easy thing to do. So, I also apologize to everyone for not explaining myself better. I am actually a big fan of the bird and was at Santa Anita for his run in the Goodwood and a bunch of us were rooting for the horse as he was on his way to the saddling enclosure. I rooted for the Bird in every post Derby race save for the BC Classic because me heart belongs to the Big Mare. I wish he’d finished second.

    • Roisin

      Great story, about a great little horse. The movie is about the 50-1 upset. Why so negative !!

    • nu-fan

      Kris: You may see the ending of his racing career as boring. I do not. I see a horse that is still alive, well (from the little I know) and appreciated by soooo many. That, to me, isn’t boring but, instead, very satisfying.

      • Kris

        My comment was addressing The Bird’s racing career post Derby and only in the context of a movie, I did not mean to infer that his retirement was boring. I imagined a movie showing what it took to get him to the Derby; all of the hard work that his connections put into the effort, with the movie culminating in his amazing Derby victory. Have you ever seen a close-up of the head-on? The hole that Calvin asked The BIrd to run through was so small that Calvin’s boot quite literally scrapped the rail. That’s drama and drama sells.

        • nu-fan

          Kris: Yes, I replay that video (from HRTV) often. And, yes, again,to how amazing to see the overheard view and liken it to threading a needle. So narrow. But so brilliant of a ride. That last furlong or so….Wow! Drama does sell and especially for those who do not have the experience of understanding the finer nuances of horseracing. This ride we can all understand and appreciate. While he did run another couple of very good races, his subsequent racing wasn’t going to live up to the win of the Kentucky Derby. But, for that one day, he was number one. And, that is pretty good in anyone’s book.

          • Kris

            The way I see it, Nu-Fan, if a horse is only going to win one big race in a career, then it might as well be the Kentucky Derby!

  • Anon

    Where has Mine That Bird been living these days? Still in New Mexico?

    • crookedstick

      Yes , he and Doc Blach live right next door to Valley Meat !

  • Barbara Wood

    Love him dearly. When I think of that trailer ride he made to even get there (Churchill), my heart just swells with pride for him. Marvelous son of Birdstone.
    Was able to visit him at the KY Derby Museum last summer in Louisville. He truly is a plain little brown horse, but what heart he displayed in all 3 TC races.

  • Barry Irwin

    The movie they need to make, according to my wife (and I totally agree with her) is the Mucho Macho Man movie. Aside from the incredible story of the humans and the horse, you’ve got all that crazy-ass music from The Village People. I am serious. Somebody needs to tell this tale.

    • south florida tom

      You’ve got the money,Barry. Get busy.

      • DinkyDiva

        Totally agree. Talk about a fairy tale story of horse, owner, trainer, and jockey. I would love it if Steve Haskin was in on the script. His story on MMM and Kathy was awesome!

        • Barry Irwin

          yeah, but it’s difficult for Jewish people to get their foot in the door in Hollywood.

    • Garrett Redmond

      The movie that should be made is the story of “NEVER CROSS”.
      Despite a devastating brain injury this horse was nursed back to health by his trainer,
      Pam Ross. A good veterinarian and round-the-clock nursing by Pam – a nurse by profession – brought this horse back to training. NEVER broke his maiden last year.
      Just had a chip removed and will be making another comeback! He is now at Turfway.
      This is the story to tell everyone the racing business has another lovely side instead of all the rotten stuff publicized every day.

    • Bottlecap44

      Good idea but Mucho Macho Man’s story is not finished yet since he is still racing. But I’m glad to see I’m not the only person who has that crazy song running through their head when I hear that horse’s name!

      • Barry Irwin

        The only negative on the whole MMM movie is that will be no live appearance by Randy Savage! I loved that guy’s voice.

  • Don Reed

    Good show. May it make a ton of money.

    Given their disposition to exploit everything, make sure Churchill Downs didn’t include in their 2014 KD Future book, released this week.

  • Ethel Henry

    Can’t wait to see this–just hope that ‘limited release’ includes my area!

  • mentdijinn

    Cant wait to see this #JimWilson produced the magnificent DANCES WITH WOLVES .. i am sure this is going to be just as amazing with the awesome cast #ChristianKane #SkeetUlrich #WilliamDevane… #ToddLowe #MadelineDeutch !! cant miss movie!! hope it get to see it!

  • Sandy Marowitz

    I love Jim Wilson and I love the story of Mine That Bird and can’t wait to see the movie “50 to 1” .. I’m hoping for a Philadelphia showing.

  • Jeannean

    This is awesome! My only complaint is that we have to wait until March to see “50 to 1.” I am hearing great things about this movie! I am already a big fan of Christian Kane and Skeet Ulrich, and Mine That Bird has already won my heart. I have also heard that Calvin Borel does an amazing job, so I am very excited to see this movie.

  • swaps52

    I look forward to seeing this. Hope it gets on TV. And it should have a dvd distribution.
    We will never see this happen again, not like this, since the new earnings rules would have kept MTB out of the Derby. And you have to think maybe he was one reason for the rules change.

  • swiss305

    Feature documentary will be released next year also on “Snowman” the eighty-dollar champion who won the Grand National after being bought off of a slaughter truck. I’m glad they dedided to do a documentary instead of dramatizing the story. I’m still reeling from the bad job on “Secretariat.”

    • nu-fan

      Just a point: Secretariat was a Disney film and not a documentary, but it did capture the national obsession, at that time, of this horse. I liked the film but knew that it was not going to do anything but capture the imaginations of the viewers. This movie was made for the general public, not for the horseracing population. It may have provided some incentive, to those who viewed it, to actually go to the races.

    • Black Helen

      Snowman was not even a registered horse, he didn’t race.
      He went on to become an Olympic Show Jumping Champion.
      Wonderful, true story.

      • Roisin

        Yes, I loved that story and could that horse jump !!!

  • Matt D.

    fellow posters, help me out here. I seem to remember that 1. jeff mullins scratched I Want Revenge because of a little heat in his leg the morning of the race 2. the guys in the booth were laughing about the fact that a Derby horse was vanned in from New Mexico. One of them happened to mention Rick’s Natural Star. Chip Woodley did the driving with a hip cast on his broken leg 3. the race announcer momentarily blew the stretch call. Finally just an opinion but at the time i was convinced that if local hero C. Bo-rail wasn’t the jock Mine That Bird would have been at least 75/1. Has my memory served me correctly? And yes, I too would like to see this movie.

    • Aan

      Thanks for some reality and a balance to the seemingly pointless negativity.

    • nu-fan

      Another great story line: Driving a van from New Mexico. How many of the other horses were flown in? Hope that this, too, is included in this movie!

      • Don Reed

        They should shoot a very short scene where the driver of the Mine That Bird van looks out and see the Field of Dreams characters doing the other way, returning from Boston.

    • Anon

      I think I also remember seeing in the HRTV mini documentary about the 2009 Derby that one of Todd Pletcher’s horses was scratched, I think Uncle Mo? And it showed one of the HRTV commentators saying that he told somebody that day about Mine That Bird- “If that horse wins, I will eat a racing form.” I hope that racing form tasted good buddy! Haha.

  • Fran

    Mine That Bird has such a wonderful story and considering the awesome cast of Christian Kane, Skeet Ulrich & William Devane, Jim Wilson definitely has a hit movie!

  • Jacquie Wallis

    I’m really looking forward to seeing this movie with Christian Kane, Skeet Ulrich and William Devane. Having Calvin Borel in the picture is a bonus. I just hope it shows in my area. Watching it on television (airing, or on DVD) is okay, but I would really like to see it on the ‘big screen’. :-)

  • AngelaFromAbilene

    A few things people fail to mention, remember or know about Mine That Bird: a) He was a $9500 F-T yearling purchase b) He was the 2008 Canandian 2 Year Old Champion c) Double Eagle & Buena Suerte paid $400,000 for a Champion. They bought a “made” horse and took him to the Derby, where he won under the radar. The “story” was that he was trained by an unknown and trailered from NM to KY instead of flown. Chip Wooley most assuredly did not train a Derby winner, other than on paper, as the horse was still benefitting from the training he received from Cotey and Mandella. IMHO, had Mine That Bird had competet training, He probably could have been another John Henry. However, he didretire to a wonderful farm where I’m sure the gelding will live the rest of his life very well cared for and revered by Dr. Blach.

    • santacruzchuck

      Almost five months had past between the time MTB left the Mandella barn and won the Kentucky Derby. So much time that when Richard Mandella saw MTB the week leading up to the Derby he didn’t recognize his former trainee. Fact of the matter is Calvin Borel as well as Chip Wooley and his crew are fully responsible for MTB’s win in the 135th Kentucky Derby Presented by YUM BRANDS!!!

  • Beth Kredel

    Can’t wait; March can’t come soon enough! Only hoping it opens close enough for me to see it!

  • maria

    Guess nobody has read the book by dororthy ours – Battleship – steeplechase son of Man O’War? Now that could be a movie as good as Seabuiscut. His owner, Marion DuPont, was a pioneer for women in the racing industry. She was also married to actor Randoph Scott, Go out and get the book – also goes into detail about the breeding of Man O’War and his offspring. and it’s all true!

  • Shyan Sharp

    I wonder if you will be able to buy it in stores does anyone know?

  • sandmarc

    Does anyone know where this movie is going to play? I’m dying to see it but so far no word of it coming to Colorado Springs. :(

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