Sunday, September 28, 2008

DVD Review: On the Muscle

The Turk, being a bookworm, likes to read and learn. The library is stocked with horse racing history, horse and trainer biographies, and handicapping how to's. I have a collection of interesting DVD's as well, and in between races I thought I'd hit the highlights of my collection.

A DVD I thoroughly enjoyed is "On The Muscle: A year inside a thoroughbred racing stable" by Pony Highway Productions. It is an insider's look into Richard Mandella's barn from January through the Breeders Cup. The ups and downs, the hard work behind the scenes, the travel, the injuries, everything that you might imagine but never see is on display. The film covers the 2002 racing season and features Reddatore, The Tin Man, Pleasantly Perfect, Kudos, Ile de France, and a few others.

Mandella's style is very old barn. He's got a mid sized stable that he is close to each and every day and he is the trainer in the classic sense of the word. The other star is Becky Witzman, Mandella's assistant trainer. She oozes charisma and plays quite the compliment to Mandella's stoic figure.

I felt like a real insider watching this documentary. The interaction with the breeders, the owners, the horse agents, the track staff, the hot walkers, the exercise riders, and everything else really painted a more complete picture for me on what's involved to bring me my favorite athletes.

You can find the DVD sellers fairly easily. I bought it direct from Pony Highway. Now if I can get the Mandella Stein that was given away on opening day of the Oak Tree. I keep blowing the ebay auctions.

I rate 5 bails of hay.

I've posted the Breeders Cup Classic race from 2003 that highlights Pleasantly Perfect. Enjoy!

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