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New Racing Film Upcoming


Published: October 19, 2011 2:39 pm ET

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Many people in the horse racing industry are anxiously awaiting the television show 'Luck' to debut on HBO in the coming months, but until then a trip out to the silver screen to take in some racing action may just be what the doctor ordered.

'And They're Off,' a thoroughbred racing mockumentary directed by Rob Schiller, follows underachieving trainer Dusty Sanders (Sean Astin) as he looks to prove his critics wrong.

Astin (Lord of the Rings, Rudy, The Goonies) is joined by a slew of familiar faces in the 90-minute comedy, including Cheri Oteri (Liar Liar, Saturday Night Live), Kevin Nealon (Weeds, Saturday Night Live) and famed thoroughbred conditioner Bob Baffert, among others.

The trailer for the film --- an official selection at the 2011 Hollywood Film Festival --- starts out by stating, 'In the world of thoroughbred racing there are countless stories of greatness. This is not one of them.' The tagline for the film reads, 'He was so far behind, he thought he was in first.'

The production notes for the film show that writer/producer Alan Grossbard clearly knows what the horse racing industry is all about --- more than the average observer may think.

"I got involved in thoroughbred racing eleven years ago and quickly saw what a thrilling and beautiful sport it is," Grossbard wrote. "With all its beauty and elegance, I also realized that it is filled with slightly crazy people, myself included. It was this realization that inspired me to write the screenplay for 'And They're Off.'"

Grossbard explained much more about the racing industry in the notes, and summed up a lot of what those in the industry know already.

"Every work environment has its own unusual cast of characters, but the world of horse racing has a unique collection of owners, trainers, jockeys, grooms, fans and handicappers, all with big dreams of striking it rich and owning a winning horse -- each and every day. It's a quality of sometimes misguided confidence that I thought was ripe for humour. So, I set out to create funny, odd, but real characters that we could laugh at and root for all at the same time; people who believe in the American dream and go for it --- and keep going even when the dream comes up short. Not everybody will get to the Kentucky Derby… but that doesn't mean some other race can't be your own personal Kentucky Derby. That was the story I wanted to tell."

And They're Off is set to hit theatres Friday, October 28.

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