Kentucky Derby Winner Mine That Bird May Star in His Own Biopic
'Dances With Wolves' producer Jim Wilson is set to direct the film about the 50-to-1 longshot who won last year's race.
Mine That Bird, a 50-to-1 longshot that won the 2009 Kentucky Derby, may get to star in his own biopic.
Jim Wilson, the Academy Award-winning producer of Dances With Wolves, The Bodyguard and Wyatt Earp, will direct the film. Elizabeth Gaylynn Baker will serve as writer and producer, and Pieter Kroonenburg, the president of Kingsborough Pictures, will produce as well.
Among those being considered for roles are Mine That Bird himself and charismatic jockey Calvin Borel, who rode the horse to its thrilling victory for one of his three Kentucky Derby wins. (Mine That Bird already has a credit, appearing on Conan O'Brien's Tonight Show.)
Mine that Bird, who will run in this weekend's Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs, is owned by New Mexicans Mark Allen and Leonard Blach and was trained on their ranches in Roswell, N.M. (The owners' production entity is dubbed New Mexico Llc.)
Producers have committed to use New Mexico crews and talent whenever possible and to shoot the majority of the picture within the state. Preproduction is scheduled to begin in February.
Trainer Chip Woolley drove 21 hours straight to get Mine That Bird from New Mexico to Louisville for the Run for the Roses. The gelding was in last place for much of the race, but Borel maneuvered Mine That Bird along the rail on a rain-soaked track to take the lead.
The horse won by 6 3/4 lengths, the greatest margin of victory in the Derby since 1946. A $2 wager to win returned $103.20, giving Mine That Bird the second-biggest upset in Kentucky Derby history.
"His story reminds us to do what we love if we want to succeed," said Mine That Bird producer Price Hall. "The Bird has clearly inspired people wherever he has run, and time and again he has been called 'Everyman's Horse,' setting a great example for the small guy who can win against all odds if he just sets his mind to it."
Other producers include Tony Mark, Earl Robinson, Liz Servis, Nick Ward and Rick Morse.