50 to 1: New movie about the cowboy connections of Mine That Bird

Rhonda here on May 4, 2015: “50 to 1” is now for rent or purchase on DVD or video stream.

At Churchill Downs in 2009, jockey Calvin Borel pointed his famous-in-Canada gelding at gap near the rail. Mine That Bird dove for it, knifing between the rail and a pack of favorites to win the Kentucky Derby at 50 – 1.

Their story will be seen in the movie “50 to 1,” scheduled for a spring release. (2014, if you find this post later.) Perhaps it will come to a theater near you?

Good pedigree

Like Mine That Bird himself (a Birdstone colt out of a Smart Strike mare), this indie film has a great pedigree. I’ll list the cast and crew members who have connections I can find with horses.

Producer/Director/Writer Jim Wilson did a bunch of movies with Kevin Costner like “The Bodyguard” and “Dances With Wolves,” for which they won a passel of Oscars. Wilson also has owned racehorses since 1992. Mostly claimers, according to this post on America’s Best Racing, and they’ve won some allowance races, but nothing like the Derby.

Co-Producer/writer Faith Conroy may have been born in New Jersey, but she’s a daughter of the West. You’ll also enjoy reading about her and Wilson’s ex-racer Wilsy’s Wonder.

Skeet Ulrich (“Law & Order: LA;” “Into the West;” “Ride with the Devil;” “Jericho” ) stars as Mine That Bird trainer Chip Woolley, famous for his crutches, mustache and black cowboy hat.

Christian Kane (“Leverage;” “Into the West”) plays horse owner Mark Allen.

Madelyn Deutch (“Major Cupcake;” “Like a Country Song;” “Christmas Twister”) gets some saddle time as an exercise rider. (The website cites her equestrian skills. You know we horse girls want details, publicity team.)

William Devane (“The Dark Knight Rises;” “Payback,” “Knots Landing”) plays Mine That Bird’s co-owner Leonard “Doc” Blach, an equine vet. Devane owns an equestrian development outside Palm Springs with a racetrack and polo fields. Here are photos of his Deer Creek Ranch.

Sunday Rest plays Mine That Bird. He ran four races at Arizona’s Turf Paradise Race Course and was in training for the chuckwagon race at the Calgary Stampede when horse trainer Bill Lawrence plucked him out of the harness and into the spotlight.

Calvin Borel. Yes. If you saw the video that leads off this blog post – and if you can’t, click on the link for the 50 to 1 official trailer – you know it’s him. The three-time Kentucky Derby winner and Hall of Fame jockey is portraying himself. Honestly, who else could play Calvin?

(BTW, if I missed someone connected to 50 to 1 with some real-life equestrian connections, please let me know in the comments.)

David and Goliath story

New Mexico cowboys vs the Ralph Laurened gentry. A trainer on crutches driving his Kentucky Derby contender across country in a pickup truck and horse trailer. Jack Daniels vs mint juleps in silver cups.

The Secretariat movie took a more reverential tone. “50 t0 1” will show the raucous, hardscrabble roots of Mine That Bird’s Derby connections. Less “Thou Shalt Fly Without Wings” and more “Caddyshack.”

Where can we see it?

Granted, as I write this at the end of February, the 50 to 1 website lists only a handful of showings, but don’t let that scare you. 50 to 1’s Facebook page is updated more frequently than the website.

For example, as of this writing, a slew of 50 to 1 showings in Texas has just been added to the website, but you can’t find the page directly from the site’s homepage. The only reason why I found it was because I went to 50 to 1’s Facebook page.

The America’s Best Racing article tells us showings of this independent film will move east, just like Mine That Bird’s trailer ride to Churchill Downs.

Just come farther east than Churchill, will ya? 😉 We on the East Coast like movies horses, fun and cowboys, too.


More Mine That Bird

A little imagining what went on in the TV truck when the 50 – 1 horse shot under the wire

Steve Haskin’s article in The Blood Horse about the Mine That Bird story







  • Linda Warren
    March 6, 2014

    This looks like a wonderful family movie around staring wonderful actors including Skeet Ulrich and Christian Kane everybody should check out this movie

    • Rhonda Lane
      March 6, 2014

      Looks good, doesn’t it, Linda? I think, however, it’ll take an effort to find. That said, every horse movie is worth the effort to find. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  • Fran Baker
    March 6, 2014

    Very excited about seeing 50 To 1, love horses, movies about horses, cowboys and I am on the East Coast!! Yes…I agree “every horse movie is worth the effort to find”, especially one with such an amazing cast and director. Thank you for the great article!

  • Jacquie
    March 6, 2014

    I’m looking forward to seeing ’50 to 1′. With the cast of, Christian Kane, Skeet Ulrich and William Devane and a movie about a horse; how could you go wrong?! Although, I hope Canada doesn’t have to wait ’til after the ‘tour’ wraps up, otherwise it could be May before I get to see this film.

    • Rhonda Lane
      March 6, 2014

      I also live off-the-beaten-path for this movie, Jacquie. 🙂 Still, because of Mine That Bird’s record in Canada, I think they should make an effort to get the movie there, although I suspect the movie’s more about his life in the states. Too bad that tour with the cast is mostly focused on the area between New Mexico and Churchill Downs, though. C’est la vie! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  • Nancy Callahan
    March 6, 2014

    Christian’s parents were involved in rodeos…(i.e. Barrel Racing and Bareback or Saddle bronc riding, I think) ***Per interviews

    • Rhonda Lane
      March 6, 2014

      Didn’t know that, Nancy. Thanks for letting us know. And thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  • Susan Ladigo
    March 6, 2014

    So excited to see this movie. Anything with Christine Kane it is a winner in my book and then to add horses, it’s a win-win situation.

  • Jo DeAngelo
    March 6, 2014

    I can’t wait to see the wonderful actor/singer Christian Kane!

  • Mary E Brewer
    March 6, 2014

    Thanks so much for sharing this! very excited about seeing this #feelgoodflick and the #50to1Tour is such an unique approach to
    promoting a movie.. hoping to meet #ChristianKane at the tour
    he is my favorite actor/singer… in New Orleans, LA at the
    Louisiana Derby Day!! ?

  • Megan
    March 6, 2014

    I’m looking forward to seeing ’50 to 1?. With the cast of, Christian Kane, Skeet Ulrich and William Devane and a movie about a horse; how could you go wrong?! Its a great family movie as well about a horse u defeated unbelievable odds to become ther next champion race horse I recommend u and ur family go and check out this movie u will not be disappointed now tht I can guarantee..

    • Rhonda Lane
      March 6, 2014

      Thanks, Megan! I’m looking forward to seeing it, too!

      BTW, a big “Welcome” to all you Christian Kane and Skeet Ulrich fans! Thanks, Jo and Susan, for stopping by and saying “hi.”

  • Sandy Marowitz
    March 6, 2014

    Great article! Can’t wait to see this movie with such an amazing cast! Christian Kane, Skeet Ulrich, William Devane, Calvin Borel and Sunday Rest!!!

  • Jeannean Sword
    March 6, 2014

    Thanks for all the information about “50 to 1.” I am really excited to see this movie on the big screen. Christian Kane and Skeet Ulrich are two of my favorite actors, so this is going to be awesome!

  • Carol Preflatish
    March 7, 2014

    I can’t wait to see Christian Kane in this movie. He’s such a wonderful actor and singer. There’s so much more to him than the shows and movies that you listed. I also can’t believe you left out the TV show Jericho that Skeet Urich stared in. Great show that had a huge fan base. Thanks for posting about the movie. I’m so looking forward to see it and also to meeting the cast on their cross country tour.

    • Rhonda Lane
      March 7, 2014

      Hi, Carol – Yikes! My bad big time in omitting Jericho. I’ll go back and add it to the text above. That’s the beauty of blogging, the ability to update. BTW, those of us off the route of the cross country tour are jealous you’ll get to meet the cast. 🙂 Enjoy the movie! Thanks for stopping by and saying “hi.”

  • Rhonda Lane
    March 7, 2014

    Hi, Jeannean – “50 to 1” is going to be a blast. Thanks for stopping by and chiming in.

  • Rhonda Lane
    March 7, 2014

    Hi, Sandy – We’re all looking forward to this movie. Thanks for stopping by and chiming in.

  • Rhonda Lane
    March 7, 2014

    Hi, Mary – Here’s hoping your Louisiana Derby dreams come true! Actually, having cast members show up at the Derby prep races would be smart marketing for the movie, especially if they could get on TV. Anyway, I can’t wait to see this movie, too. Thanks for stopping by and saying “hi.”

  • nita adkison
    April 12, 2014

    rio theatre center texas 75935 936 598 9656 how do we book this movie to play at our theatre ? please call

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