Feature film about Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, an inspiring underdog tale of misfit cowboys and their long shot racehorse, stars Skeet Ulrich, Christian Kane, William Devane, Madelyn Deutch, Todd Lowe and jockey Calvin Borel.
HOLLYWOOD, CA — “50 to 1,” the new major motion picture about Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, opens theatrically in roll-out fashion beginning in New Mexico March 21, followed by Texas and Louisiana April 4, Oklahoma and Arkansas April 11, Tennessee and Kentucky April 18, and will then expand across the country, says producer, director, co-writer and racehorse owner Jim Wilson, Oscar®-winning producer of “Dances With Wolves.”
Wilson said dates in other states will be announced when they are finalized.
“We decided to open the film in New Mexico because it’s a New Mexico story,” Wilson said. “It’s about a very special group of people and their little racehorse who went up against impossible odds and ended up shocking the entire racing world with a victory like I’ve never seen before.”
The inspiring underdog film stars Skeet Ulrich (Jericho, “Scream,” “As Good As It Gets”), Christian Kane (Leverage, “Friday Night Lights,” “Secondhand Lions,” “Just Married”), William Devane (24, “The Dark Knight Rises,” “Hollow Man”), Todd Lowe (True Blood, “The Princess Diaries,” Gilmore Girls), newcomer Madelyn Deutch and real-life jockey Calvin Borel, who plays himself in the picture. Wilson and co-writer, co-producer Faith Conroy will join members of the cast at the film’s world premiere March 19 at the historic KiMo Theatre in downtown Albuquerque.
The film was shot at more than 30 locations in New Mexico – from Santa Fe to Las Cruces – and multiple locations in Kentucky and California, including Sunland Park, Churchill Downs and Santa Anita Park racetracks, where Mine That Bird actually raced.
“We even shot in the real barn and stall where Mine That Bird stayed at Churchill Downs,” Wilson said. The movie follows a fun-loving group of New Mexico cowboys who go on the journey of a lifetime when their crooked-footed racehorse qualifies for the Kentucky Derby. The cowboys face a series of mishaps on their way to Churchill Downs, becoming the ultimate underdogs in a final showdown with the world’s racing elite.
“I had been waiting for a great racehorse story for a very long time,” Wilson said, noting he had read numerous horse racing scripts throughout the years but never found what he was looking for. “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. This story had all the cinematic elements you could ask for. It’s been a real adventure and one I am proud to share with the world.”
Wilson won the Academy Award® for Best Picture for “Dances With Wolves,” which he produced. Other producing credits include “The Bodyguard,” “Wyatt Earp,” “Swing Vote,” “Mr. Brooks” and “Message In A Bottle.” Wilson’s previous directing credits include “Head Above Water,” “Whirlygirl” and the critically-acclaimed documentary about Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr., “Laffit: All About Winning.”
“This is a feel-good film,” Conroy said. “It’s a real romp, but it’s also a film with a great message of hope for dreamers of the world.”
Mine That Bird was born May 10, 2006, and began racing in 2008 in Canada, winning four of his first six starts. His career slumped after he was purchased by Mark Allen in the fall of 2008, going winless until his monumental upset at the 2009 Kentucky Derby at 50-to-1 odds. Mine That Bird continued his run for the Triple Crown that year, finishing second in the Preakness Stakes and third in the Belmont Stakes. He amassed $2,228,637 in earnings throughout his career but never won another race in nine starts after his win at the Kentucky Derby. Mine That Bird was retired from racing in November 2010 and currently lives with his owners at Allen’s Double Eagle Ranch in Roswell, New Mexico.
“His favorite pastime is eating peppermints,” Conroy said.
Cast and crew have been hard at work shooting the long awaited film “50 to 1″, a true story of the feisty team of cowboys who came together to send the long shot New Mexico horse, Mine that Bird all the way to an unforgettable win at the 2009 Kentucky Derby.
“50 to 1″, previously titled “Wild Ride”, has been filming in various New Mexico locations, including Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Sunland Park Racetrack and Albuquerque.
In fact if you happened through the valley at just the right time over the weekend, you may have caught a glimpse of some of the stars while ABQ filming was underway! Pictured above: Skeet Ulrich as Chip Woolley, Todd Lowe as Kelly Denninton and David Atkinson as Billy Woolley.
Now ready to wrap their stint here in NM, next-up for the whole production is Kentucky and the hallowed ground on which the “crooked-legged, little horse” from New Mexico scored his spectacular and historic Derby win!
“50 to 1″ is directed and produced by Jim Wilson, the Über producer behind such films as The Body Guard, Dances With Wolves, Message in a Bottle and Swing Vote.
The film also stars Christian Kane, William Devane and Madelyn Deutch.
Keep track of this New Mexico story as it’s being captured for the silver screen, here, here and here.
You can also get in on the Louisville, Kentucky shoot here!
The production is looking for grooms, jockeys, and men, women, and children of all ages and all races to appear in non-speaking roles in this feature film. These are all paid positions.
Filming is set to take place in the Las Cruces and El Paso areas in September.
Elizabeth Gabel the extras casting director for “The Lone Ranger,” “Cowboys & Aliens, “Terminator Salvation,” the Oscar®-winning “No Country for Old Men” and many more will be conducting the casting call.
For more information and to register or update a profile with EG Casting go to www.egcasting.com
“It is always a pleasure to return to New Mexico to make a film. I enjoy the crews, the locations and some old friends. On our new film we are hopscotching across the state. I am looking forward to it all,” -Jim Wilson, Producer/Director
As we’ve been following for you here, the sure to inspire feature film chronicling the amazing ride to the Kentucky Derby win for New Mexico’s Own Mine That Bird is set to begin production in NM.
Production Director Karen Koch says that 99% of the film’s crew will be New Mexican!
Official NMFO Press Release:
SANTA FE —New Mexico Film Office director Nick Maniatis announced today the independent feature film, “50 to 1” will begin production early September though early October. Principal photography will take place in and around Las Cruces, Sunland Park, Edgewood, Tijeras, Corrales, Bernalillo, Albuquerque, and Santa Fe. The production will employ at least one hundred (100) New Mexico crewmembers, (30) New Mexico actors and over five hundred and fifty (550) background players. Produced and directed by Jim Wilson (Dances With Wolves, Swing Vote, Wyatt Earp) he states, “It is always a pleasure to return to New Mexico to make a film. I produced Wyatt Earp almost twenty years ago, then came back to make Swing Vote. I enjoy the crews, the locations, and some old friends. On our new film we are hopscotching across the state, from Sunland Park to Las Cruces to Albuquerque. I am looking forward to it all.” Karen Koch, New Mexico native and the film’s Production Manager says, “The ninety-nine percent New Mexican crew is proud to tell this homegrown story and feature so positively the southern part of our State.” 50 to 1 is the true story of a New Mexico racehorse Mine That Bird who won the Kentucky Derby at 50 to 1 odds and the unlikely team of New Mexicans who believed it was possible.
From one Roswell, NM born phenom to another, the highly anticipated feature film about extraordinary 2009 Kentucky Derby Winner, Mine That Bird is headed for production.
“Wild Ride” tells the story of a misfit group of New Mexico cowboys who find themselves on the journey of a lifetime when they learn that their crooked-footed racehorse qualifies to run in the Kentucky Derby. Based on the true story of Mine That Bird, the cowboys must overcome impossible odds even before they reach Churchill Downs and the land of Kentucky’s blue bloods.
Dances With Wolves producer, Jim Wilson will direct the film which he co-wrote with Faith Conroy. The production is currently scheduled to get underway in New Mexico this September.
New Mexico’s Own Mine that Bird gets the graphic novel, big screen film and National Sweepstakes treatment.
Against all odds, the remarkable little horse from Roswell, New Mexico became the winner of the 2009, 135th Kentucky Derby. Picked to run dead last, with odds against him at 50:1, Mine That Bird’s victory is the second largest upset in Kentucky Derby history.
A new 48- page story is the first in a trilogy of graphic novels that depicts Mine That Bird’s life, challenges and victories. The books will also be the basis for an animated film. The animated film will be developed at New Mexico State University’s Creative Media Institute.
For those of you who’ve always dreamed of being a jockey, the Mine That Bird team is giving you a chance to do just that. You can register to win the “Be a Jockey for a Day” contest at www.minethatbird.com/pr.
The winner, and the winner’s companion, will be flown to Roswell, New Mexico. They will receive VIP treatment, which includes spending an entire day with Mine That Bird, and then chow down at the Double Eagle Ranch with the Bird’s down home cowboy owners for a big western style “cowboy bar-b-q”. If you’re the winner you’ll find out in person what it’s like to live the life of a horse-racing rancher, train a winner, and ride him to victory.
NM’s Own Mine That Bird is a fine specimen of breeding, athleticism and endurance, who wowed the world with his spectacular 50-1, 2009 Kentucky Derby run and win.
But it’s Black Hat donning, crutch wielding, slick talking MTB trainer Bennie Woolley who I may be most interested in seeing portrayed on the big screen.
If you don’t remember Wooley’s triumphant post race interviews where he shot off more than once that he was sick of being asked about personally driving MTB to KY for the event – then you didn’t see them.
And if the second tier storyline for the upcoming feature film about the Roswell reared, Mine That Bird doesn’t include the incessant harping unleashed on Woolley regarding that mode of transit and the insipid references to his crutches I will be gravely disappointed – it was every reporter all but putting “baby in the corner” every damn interview.
First tier has to be the awesomeness of the horse himself and third tier maybe the shank of being dropped by Judas for a dame in the Preakness which should’ve been MTB’s too!
You can watch the hot machine of fine tuned mind & muscle that is MTB take the race here – he looks particularly beautiful trotting after the race, you may want to watch it with the sound off as railyard (or whatever they call him) Borel gives his post game victory speech.
Any New-Mexico-productions-keep’em-coming…the film is slated to shoot here in 2011. Woot! Whinny! Nay!
Here is the AP press release regarding the upcoming production.