Your Summer Task: The Movie Project (bump)


There is A LOT of good conversation and movie reviewing going on about the summer task. The Blood-Horse community has been watching videos, discussing, suggesting and it has been great. I have already discovered a few AMAZING movies I had not seen or heard of before. Here are the two reviews I have done (below) in case you missed the first blog post. Here is the link to on going conversations and original blog post. Feel free to comment there instead of here if you want.

 This post is more of a bump, so others that missed this the first time around can read.


On The Muscle:

Not just the best horse documentary I have ever seen, but one of the best documentaries I have ever seen...period. This statement coming from an avid war history buff who finds himself habitually watching military documentaries.


On The Muscle is a video that is over two hours long and divided into three parts. You follow Richard Mandella, his trainers, exercise riders and barn around the US in 2003.

If you are a fan of The Tin Man, Pleasantly Perfect, Reddatore, Alex Solis and many other horses, then you need to watch this movie.

On The Muscle covers predominantly the West Coast racing, with Mandella's barn based in California. You will visit Santa Anita, Del Mar, and many other tracks while  witnessing the Kentucky Derby, Breeders' Cup and several other stakes races.

The video follows the progression of horses already in training and watches the careers grow for Mandella's stars. Witness the arrival of 2YOs from Kentucky and witness their introduction to training. Learn how the horses train and see the skill required to understand a horse's personality, running style, health and limitations.

This movie taught me so much more about the ins and outs of a barn. Respect and admiration for the dedication of true horsemen has grown immensely. It was great to see how Mandella won four Breeders' Cup races in a single day, setting a record.

If you have ever wondered what the daily routines are or what it takes to be in this industry, see this movie. It is entertaining, highly educational, and family friendly.

I give this six out of five stars.


Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments:

Filled to the brim with history, statistics and lots of footage I have never seen before, and I have seen a lot of Derby footage.

The film was not just about the races, but the people, the farms, and the culture at the tracks. One of the largest stand outs for me to see was how the in-field use to be PACKED with people running from side to side, just to see the horses.

Watching various celebrities and stars that visited through the years was fun. Seeing how much international attention was given to various horses along the way, especially Secretariat of course.

I learned so much about various farms, especially Calumet. I knew how much Calumet meant to racing, but now I understand truly why. I learned about the golden age of racing and so much about the horses from WW2 and before.

I was lacking in history here and there from the early days of the Derby. I was super excited to meet Lord Darby and listen to his statements on the differences between Europe's Darby and the Kentucky Derby.

I give this four out of five stars, and highly recommend this movie to anyone wanting to learn about the Kentucky Derby. I never found myself bored.


On another note, I usually  put workouts and races of horses I love and follow at the bottom of posts. I will not be doing that any more on the blog. Instead, i will be Tweeting them on Twitter. So if you like that, then come find me at

 Usually I prelude such announcements with "Horse of Interest:"


Leave a Comment:


I knew you'd like "On the Muscle"!

17 Jul 2009 4:07 PM

Well, I will miss your listings of the horses you follow since I've enjoyed learning there was even a horse named Jedi Code, but I understand.  Next...where can we see On The Muscle?  I've managed to miss it every time they show it on HRTV, so is a dvd available somewhere?

17 Jul 2009 6:44 PM

Francis Goes to the Races - a must see!

17 Jul 2009 7:15 PM

Can I order it thru the Bloodhorse gift store?

17 Jul 2009 8:21 PM

"On the Muscle" is one of my most beloved DVD's period, whether movie or documentary (and I own Planet Earth as well, which is AWESOME). You really get into the film and the horses and people involved and can't help but feel an emotional urge of happiness watching Mandella win the four Breeders Cup races and his expressions.

Highly recommended every step of the way!

I also own "Kentucky Derby Greatest Moments", I just wish there was more information or at least they went over the horses a little more (it seemed a little rushed to me and lacking in several stories -- 130+ Derbies and I think they went over 30 moments?). Still good however, but not as good as "On the Muscle"!

17 Jul 2009 8:50 PM
Abbie Knowles

Both films sound great.  Will they be shown in England?

Hope all at The Bloodhorse are well.

God Bless

Best wishes


18 Jul 2009 9:31 PM

I LOVE On the Muscle. I agree it's a great documentary. I have yet to see Derby's Greatest Moments, though.

18 Jul 2009 9:53 PM

The rave reviews here and on the original thread for "On The Muscle" sent me looking for it on the 'net.  Found a new copy for <$20 & ordered it, now eagerly awaiting delivery!  I'm sure it will be a keeper.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying John Sherrif's YouTube channel.  He posts training & barn videos fairly regularly, naturally featuring the magnificent Zenyatta.  Here's the link:

19 Jul 2009 10:47 AM
Abbie Knowles

Have you seen any good movies other than racing ones?  I have.  Well on DVD.  Two Weeks Notice with Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock is very funny. Others too!  Am going to watch Hotel for Dogs soon! On DVD.

When does the Disney movie of Secretariat come out?  It will be brilliant but ones on Seattle Slew (USA), Cigar (USA), Dahlia (USA), Sea Pigeon,(USA) "Rags" (USA), Grand Canyon (NZ), Captain Christy (IRE), Tingle Creek (USA), Nijinsky (CAN) and The Minstrel (CAN) would be even better.

And when he has finished racing, which I hope wont be for some years yet, Sea the Stars.

One on Dubai Millennium would be far, far too heartbreaking!

God Bless


19 Jul 2009 7:37 PM

I watched On the Muscle on HRTV and then bought the DVD. I've watched it over and over, and always see something new. It really made me admire Richard Mandella.

20 Jul 2009 3:37 AM

TXS Horse Fan:  I will still comment from time to time on horses of interest =) I just will be sending out tweets for their workouts and race entries/results. So hopefully I can still give you a new horse or two =)It is nice to know that you found them interesting, so I'll have to be sure to continue giving you horses that have caught my attention.

Shelbie: I think we feel the same about the movies, good stuff.

sherpa: thanks for the link! The video of the morning wake up call was classic. I might have to post that in a blog.

20 Jul 2009 9:33 AM

On The Muscle:  Hey all! We usually do get copies in stock for the Holiday season and sell out of all of them. I am not sure when we will get more in stock, but we are currently out of stock. So definitely check back at from time to time, and I will give an update if I hear something.

20 Jul 2009 9:35 AM

Hey all. Thanks for all the nice comments about our documentary On the Muscle, and thank you Adam for your lovely review. The OTM DVD is available on our website, If you order directly from us, you are helping to support our next documentary, which is also horse-related.


Robin Rosenthal

20 Jul 2009 11:05 AM

I see there haven't been any posts here in several days so maybe noone will see this but... I thought of another race related movie that I enjoyed as a kid and again when I saw it a few years ago on cable, The Electric Horseman. Starring Robert Redford as a retired rodeo star who steals a retired racehorse (who is being used as a corporate sponsor, and being kept drugged and in poor conditions) and sets him free. Jane Fonda plays a reporter who gets involved.

Adam...I hope you will do a follow up blog on this topic so people can say how we liked the movies/docs that we hadn't seen before someone here turned us on to them. Thanks.

24 Jul 2009 1:35 AM
Soldier Course


Sounds like a good movie. I remember the title from back when, in the 1970s?? Hope my library has it. Hope this blog continues.

24 Jul 2009 4:07 PM

Wow, almost a month since the last comment.  Just some info about an upcoming (and eagerly awaited) movie - one of the horses tabbed to play Secretariat has just been announced.  Here is the link:

21 Aug 2009 12:25 PM

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