50 to 1

In the comedic, almost slapstick 50 To 1, new horse trainer Chip Woolley is sent by his wealthier friend and employer to scope out a potential acquisition; young gelding Mine that Bird. At first, the horse seems like a bad bet; he’s “crooked footed” and walks funny. No matter, says the buyer, because he walked funny as a kid, and had to wear braces on his legs.

But Mine that Bird doesn’t live up to his potential right away, and financial problems plague Chip. To top it all off, Chip breaks his leg badly in a car accident and spends the rest of the movie on crutches. When Mine that Bird unexpectedly qualifies for the Kentucky Derby, the team looks ragtag indeed. Chip even finds himself excluded from the Derby Ball, and his employer openly takes someone else’s place setting and chair to set it up for him. All that prevents 50 to 1 from being one long disability movie trope, in which the presence of a disabled person on a team marks them as the underdog, is the fact that it actually happened that way.


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