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    Not able to grab tickets to this year’s derby or oaks?  Don’t worry about it, as always Bob Costas will be pontificating about the plight of the equine industry this year on NBC.  And more than that, as the world’s attention turns to Louisville derby related programming is all over the place, here’s a quick synopsis of some of that.

    May 6

    Versus Network

    The cable network has been running classic Derbies through the years and will continue to do so Friday afternoon, in fact in many ways the station known for showing big guys beating the begeezus out of one another has become the in-depth derby network this week. Their classic derby analysis Friday will be leading up to their coverage of the Oaks at five.

    May 7

    Versus Network

    Starting at 11 a.m. Versus will be out at Churchill Downs with analysis and the airing of the day’s prior races. 


    Versus will hand the baton off to their network brethren at four for NBC’s “Red Carpet Special,” this leading to coverage of the big event at five.

    Of course, if you need to get in the Derby mood you can check out any of these horse racing classic movies- one for each decade from the 1930’s till today here goes.

    All In

    From 1936 this comedy parallels modern Louisville actually in a lot of ways, believe it or not.  An average guy inherits a bunch of racing horses, what follows is a debate between him and his mom about if gambling would be a positive option.  Plus, the guy owns a wrestling company (OVW anyone?). 

    The Gentlemen from Arizona

    From 1940 this light hearted comic/romance is centered around an ensemble cast around a local race track.

    April Love

    In 1957 this dramatic film told the story of a tough kid who moves to Kentucky where he finds solace in both a racehorse and a significant other.

    Ride a Northbound Horse

    From the often written about year of 1969 Ride a Northbound Horse was one of the first campy Disney family westerns, this one hinging around an orphan (shocking for these kinds of movies, I know) who’s life begins to take a turn when he comes across a cowboy and his two racehorses. 

    Run for the Roses

    This drama from 1978 centers around a young Kentucky boy who gets his wish of a horse and despite it being injured he raises it to compete in the Kentucky Derby.

    The Longshot

    This slapstick comedy from 1986 stars Tim Conway, Harvey Korman, Jack Weston, and Ted Wass as a bunch of losers who stake their entire fortune on a horse race and I really like to say this phrase, wackiness ensues. 

    Black Beauty

    Based on the classic novel Black Beauty from 1994 tells the inspirational story of the famed horse and the people that surround her.


    Quite possibly the most profitable movie on this list, 2003’s Seabiscuit is the story of another legendary racing horse and the odds against it.

    War Horse

    Debuting during this year’s Christmas season War Horse will be the newest Steven Spielberg offering centering around a young man and his horse.

    Photo: G. Jones/Associated Press

    Dave Rose's picture

    About Dave Rose

    Recently, I completed a Masters degree in Education and have been writing for for over a year now, prior to that I published a humor book for young adults titled Wearing Socks with Sandals, a book about getting through high school, college, and all of the requisite problems that present themselves during that time. Currently, I spend much of my time in classroom settings as well as writing in various areas. Of course, I’m a big sports fan and love music and film, and love finding new stuff around Louisville.

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