DANCER'S IMAGE: THE CONTROVERSIAL 1968 KENTUCKY DERBY DISQUALIFICATION
This in-depth retrospective on one of Thoroughbred racing's landmark cases, recounts the machinations of the decision, along with revealing interviews with key people directly involved. The mystery is explored and intriguing facts surrounding this historical event are revealed with exclusive behind-the-scenes film footage.
DANCER'S IMAGE, ridden by Bobby Ussery, rallied from last to win the Derby, beating out Calumet Farms' FORWARD PASS, but was later disqualified, and placed 14th and last, when traces of the illegal substance Phenylbutazone, known commonly as "Bute," were found in his system - just 36 hours after the race was run.
That decision obviously rankled many at that time, including DANCER'S IMAGE's owner, Peter Fuller. In its wake it left a host of non-definitive speculation about the circumstances and any concrete explanations remain a mystery. Many of the unproven theories are outlined in this thorough expose'.
Prominent veterinarian Alex Harthill, whose long career included several other implications of improprieties, had given DANCER'S IMAGE a dose of "Bute" almost a week prior to the Derby which normally would not trigger the positive test.
The failed test spawned a host of conjecture, including: drug sample tampering, switched samples, wrong test results, possible favoritism to iconic Calumet Farms, and another very compelling hypothesis.
Prior to the Derby, Fuller contributed some of DANCER'S IMAGE's winnings to Coretta Scott King, the widow of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, which was not well-received by many Southerners. That led some to surmise that the positive test may have been a backlash to the donation and Fuller's general support of the civil rights movement.
Fuller vigorously fought to have the Derby decision overturned in court for the succeeding five years, but was ultimately unsuccessful. He died in 2012 at age 89.
The exhaustive research includes rare hardly seen archival film footage and interviews with many that have their own recollections surrounding the controversy, including: Joan Fuller, Abby Fuller, and Peter Fuller, Jr., the owner's wife, daughter, and son respectively; jockey Bobby Ussery; attorney Edward S. "Ned" Bonnie; noted sports writer Billy Reed, and author Milton C. Toby.
|Format(s) Available:||DVD And VHS|
|Category:||U.S. & Canadian Flat Racing|