“America’s Grandest Race Course”

Last March, I was standing at Gulfstream Park watching morning workouts when I got a phone call from a woman named Patricia Lane. She was, she said, producing a documentary on Saratoga for the racing sesquicentennial, and she wondered whether I might be interested in being interviewed for it. Thrilled and nervous, I sat with…

Racing movies: Lads and Jockeys

They are little boys with big dreams. So little that the pitchforks they wield in pre-dawn darkness are bigger than they are; so little that they can barely push the wheelbarrows loaded with manure from the stalls they’ve mucked; so little that when they get off a horse, they are asked whether the tack is…

Lacking Charisma

We poor starved racing fans are so eager for mainstream coverage of our sport that we grasp eagerly at whatever crumbs the media want to throw us. Occasional coverage on live TV? Thank you! An HBO series on life at the racetrack? Oh, you are too kind. A documentary by the Worldwide Leader in Sports?…

Thoroughbred: Born To Run

Paul Wagner describes his documentary Thoroughbred: Born To Run as “horse racing 101.” He set out to make a film for people who, as he put it, “maybe watch the Derby, and that’s all they know about racing.” He planned a movie that would show various elements of the industry, that would explain racing and…

Review: Lost in the Fog, the movie

Last night Lost in the Fog showed at the Saratoga Film Forum in its first non-film festival engagement. Fresh off receiving the audience award for best documentary at the 2008 CineVegas film festival, the film played to a nice-sized audience, some members of which were racing fans and some of whom, it seemed, had never…

Lost in the Fog: the movie

I first became aware of Lost in the Fog on a dreary January afternoon at Aqueduct. There to watch the Sunshine Millions simulcast, I was with a friend who told me about this amazing sprinter, the talk of the West Coast, coming off wins at Golden Gate and Turf Paradise. We were a little skeptical,…