ON THE MUSCLE: A YEAR INSIDE A THOROUGHBRED RACING STABLE
With unprecedented access to all areas of Santa Anita Park, Hollywood Park and Del Mar Racecourse, the filmmakers reveal a self-contained world that few people see, and most misunderstand. The viewer will be taken behind-the-scenes to secure areas such as the saddling paddock, receiving barn and stable areas where most often are restricted areas not accessible to fans. The three segments are organized chronologically, extending from the Southern California circuit to some of the biggest events in racing including the Kentucky Oaks and two Breeders' Cup World Championships.
The daily life and activities of the barn and its people is the constant backdrop from which the stories of six horse characters emerge, competing at racing's highest level. Rich with life lessons and dramas big and small, the programs culminate in a breathtaking, historic triumph at the 2003 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
Though this documentary weaves together the tales of the top equine performers in MANDELLA's barn, it is the path of PLEASANTLY PERFECT for his general nosiness during filming - that is its most captivating storyline. While the camera closely followed the careers of his more-heralded stable mates early on, PLEASANTLY PERFECT ultimately emerges as a key character toward the end of the film. It is there that the vicissitudes of his Fall 2002 campaign, from the thrill of his smashing win in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (Gr. II) to the letdown of his exclusion from the 2002 Breeders' Cup Classic (Gr. I), are vividly portrayed. That PLEASANTLY PERFECT returned and shook off his Breeders' Cup woes October of 2003 gives this feature an ideal epilogue. After a year of dramatic setbacks fit for "Seabiscuit," our hero horse, PLEASANTLY PERFECT, caps off the day by winning the $4 million Breeders' Cup Classic. A more perfect ending could not have been scripted!
The documentary also focuses on several other of MANDELLA's star attractions including Grade I winners KUDOS, THE TIN MAN, JOHAR, ILE DE FRANCE, BRISQUETTE, GOT KOKO and REDATTORE. Footage follows KUDOS through a win in the 2002 Oaklawn Handicap (Gr. I), the discovery of an ankle chip weeks later, and then season-ending surgery to repair the injury.
Jockey, JULIE KRONE's progression leading up to her comeback from retirement Fall of 2001 is also followed as well as stories from other fellow Southern California-based jockeys ALEX SOLIS and MIKE SMITH.
So many other neat racing-related stories are also included that were encountered in the filming of this feature that the hardest thing for the producers was the editing process...trying to decide what fascinating story to keep or cut.
This feature is nothing less than brilliant...RICHARD MANDELLA's four Breeders' Cup wins in 2003 is one of the greatest training achievements of all time. This documentary opens a window into a rich and colorful world of people and horses doing something extraordinary together - from the intricacies of breeding to starting the yearlings, from planning the morning workouts to assessing the results, from instructing the jockeys in the walking ring to the intensity of the race itself. It will be as if the viewer himself were privileged to spend a year training and racing high-performance athletes.
Come along for a ride that will take you to sales rings, breeding farms, research facilities and major national and international races. This carefully crafted drama brings the unpredictable and humbling arena of Thoroughbred racing to viewers worldwide.
|Format(s) Available:||DVD And VHS|
|Category:||U.S. & Canadian Flat Racing|