50 to 1 Movie- The Mine That Bird Story

50 to 1 Movie Set for Premier

50 to 1 MovieAs a horse racing fan, any movie that remotely involves horse racing within its plot makes me happy, but 50 to 1 has me counting down the days until I can watch it! In case you missed it somewhere along the way, the 50 to 1 movie about Mine That Bird and his rise to glory in the 2009 Kentucky Derby is schedule to hit the big screen in March. Besides the obvious fact that we will get to ‘relive” Mine That Bird’s magnificent road to the Derby, there are many aspects about this movie that I am excited about. For starters, Christian Kane will be playing the role of Mark Allen in the film. If you are unfamiliar with Kane’s work, then you know that this role was made for him. I’ve been a fan of his since the TV show Angel (try not to laugh, but Buffy and Angel were high on my watch list at one time, a guilty pleasure I can’t deny, lol). More recently Kane was involved in the hit TV show Leverage. At any rate, the Dallas native will be well suited for his role, which will only enhance the success of this film. Skeet Ulrich will be playing Chip Woolley, another added bonus to this film. Ulrich is best known for his roles in Scream, The Craft and the TV Show, Jericho. As an added bonus, Calvin Borel will be playing himself in the movie. Below is the 50 to 1 movie trailer.

The 50 to 1 movie was directed, co-written and produced by racehorse owner, Jim Wilson. Wilson is responsible for producing such film hits as Swing Vote, Message in a Bottle, The Bodyguard, Wyatt Earp and won a Best Picture Oscar for Dances With Wolves. Wilson’s Ten Furlongs is distributing the movie. He also produced a documentary about jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr. When asked about the reasons for making 50 to 1, Wilson had this to say-


“I had been waiting for a great racehorse story for a very long time, but when I watched what unfolded at the 2009 Kentucky Derby, I was stunned. I’ve always been a fan of true underdog stories and after meeting the owners, trainer and finally Bird himself, I was hooked.”


Horse Racing Movies- What’s Next?

I’ve thought on this topic before, but with the upcoming release of the 50 to 1 movie, I thought I’d wrap up this post with a few ideas on what Hollywood should tackle for its next big horse racing movie. We’ve seen PharlapRuffian, Seabiscuit and Secretariat. With Mine That Bird being added to the mix, there are several others I would like to see coming to the big screen that I think would be great successes and bring more awareness of our sport to the general public.

Man o' WarMan o’ War– Still racking my brains why this one hasn’t been done yet! The original Big Red is ready for his big movie debut and it is long overdue. I mean really, we’re talking about a legend that was a sports icon during his time and competed with the likes of Babe Ruth as a top sports celebrity in the Roaring 20’s! He’s actually listed in as an actor who played himself in several film shorts. He’s really at the heart of racing and you could even include the big race between him and Sir Barton. Big budget film aching to be made, in my opinion.

George WoolfOkay, okay. I know. He was in Seabiscuit and was even played by Gary Stevens. BUT- the Iceman’s life story would make for such a great film.  His mother had been a trick rider in a circus and his father rode in rodeos, so you could easily start with a background story that would adapt well to a movie and invest movie-goers in the film. Emphasis could be put on his struggles with type 1 diabetes during a time when very little was known about insulin and even how that might have played a part in his fatal fall at Santa Anita in 1946. “Horses are in my blood,” George Woolf once said. “I’ll be with them until I die.” Who Knows? Maybe Stevens would be up for playing the role again.


Col. M. Lewis Clark, Jr.Churchill Downs– I would love to see a movie adaptation surrounding the early history of Churchill Downs and Col. M. Lewis Clark, Jr.’s hand in it. Clark was the grandson of explorer, William Clark (of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.) which lends many interesting and film-worthy facts that could be incorporated into the story. Churchill Downs became Clark Jr’s life and obsession. As the track manager, he pioneered racing rules and standards that are still in use today and was a leader in creating the stakes system as we know it. But his bad temper and tendency to look down on people makes for a great character flaw within the film. He was even known to pull a gun on people who didn’t show him the proper respect. This of course led to several altercations, one of which resulted with him getting shot in the chest, but he recovered. Eventually he would turn the gun on himself in 1899. Sad story, perhaps, but could also highlight the success and growth of the track.

Jim Dandy– Want a “feel-good” movie about an underdog? Jim Dandy won the Grand Union Hotel Stakes at 50 to 1 on a muddy day at Saratoga and followed that up a year later with his greatest victory in the 1930’s Travers at a reported 100 to 1 over Triple Crown champ Gallant Fox! I say a “reported” 100 to 1, but others have stated it was as high as 500 to 1 and put some bookies out of business. The movie could chronicle his racing career as well as his bond with trainer, John McKee who stayed with the horse until McKee’s death just prior to Jim Dandy retiring. People love a longshot and there aren’t many that could live up to the odds Jim Dandy overcame.

Of course there are literally thousands of stories in the Sport of Kings that would translate well on the big screen. Take a minute and tell us what stories you think should be made into movies in the comments section below. We want to know what you think!




The following two tabs change content below.
Mike Jr, eldest son of Mike Lane Sr, is co-lead author at and was raised on thoroughbred horse racing and handicapping. Although father and son often butt heads on their selections, they both have much love and admiration for the sport. Mike Jr. brings a new, fresh perspective to horse racing and is often in search of new angles to try.

Latest posts by Mike Lane Jr (see all)

7 Responses to “50 to 1 Movie- The Mine That Bird Story”

  1. Mary E Brewer says:

    This is a great! this is a great story.. the movie is going to be a great #feelgoodflick.. Christian Kane my favorite actor/singer has two songs in the movie too it is a must see movie for me! thank you for sharing this!

  2. Robin says:

    Great write up, thank you for sharing the trailer too! One thing that you didn’t mention is that Christian Kane, Skeet Ulrich, Jim Wilson and Faith Conroy are all getting on a tour bus and bringing the movie to the fans, other cast members will join as their schedules allow and Mine That Bird will be at select destinations along the way! Check out their website at for more details!

    • I was not aware of that! That is awesome- definitely a plus for the fans!

      • Robin says:

        It is really exciting and such a novel way to roll out a movie . . . the tour bus will follow the initial route taken from New Mexico to the Derby then they plan to “criss-cross” the US; where they stop is dependent on demand so they are asking fans to email them at with their name, city, state and zip in the subject line, so they can see where the highest demand is. So if you want to see the movie and tour in your area make sure to send in an email! Thank you again for sharing info and the trailer for #50to1!

  3. Yvette says:

    Heart warming tale? Horses? Christian Kane? I will NOT miss this movie!! Thanks for the article!

  4. Jeannean Sword says:

    This is a really great article! Thank you for sharing it with us. I too have been waiting and waiting for 50 to 1 to come out. I have never been this excited about a movie! I have to admit that the major reason I am this excited is because I get to see Christian Kane on the big screen. He is such an amazing actor – and singer for that matter. In fact, two of his songs are in the movie, so his fans will be thrilled. I cannot wait!!!

Leave a Reply