Remembering Iconic Hollywood Horse Racing Movies

When we talk about horse racing, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? – Probably the thrills of the race and the adrenaline rush as horses race down the finish line.

But what kept this sport alive for so many years?

Was it the excitement of the races? The betting? Or the love for these incredible creatures?

The answer is neither! Horse racing is a sport where we always hear about incredible stories. A story where the underdog managed to go against all odds and become a champion. Stories kept horse racing alive and relevant today.

Since horse racing is one of the oldest sports in the world, the sport has many stories to tell.

And what is the best way to tell stories? Of course. Movies!

Plus, movies are a great way to learn more about sport. They can even inspire you to create a betting strategy or familiarize yourself with horse racing terms and jargon. If you are not familiar with it, check out TwinSpires list of betting terms.

Even though there aren’t many movies about horse races, at least not as many compared to superhero movies, there are some that are true masterpieces. That’s why in today’s article we will highlight some of the best Hollywood horse racing movies that are worth the watch even for non-horse racing fans.


Seabiscuit, the champion racehorse, helped elevate the spirits of a country ravaged by the Great Depression in 1930s America.

This real story shows how Seabiscuit’s failing rider Red Pollard, unstable owner Charles Howard, and itinerant trainer Tom Smith work together to turn an unruly and temperamental horse into a champion.

True story of an outcast and underdog who overcomes all odds to become a champion. Nothing beats witnessing the passion in this footage, from those surrounding the horse to the audience applauding and yelling as triumph approaches.

The ‘Best Picture’ candidate told the tale of the famed racehorse’s return and starred Tobey Maguire, Jeff Bridges, Chris Cooper, Elizabeth Banks, and William H. Macy.

It’s an exhilarating, moving narrative of triumph that will pique the interest of any Kentucky Derby enthusiast.


Although Disney’s film on the great Thoroughbred racing horse Secretariat was not the finest in the world, it was a good depiction of Secretariat’s road to his Triple Crown victory.

This 2010 movie follows one of America’s best horses. It begins in the early days of Secretariat’s owner/breeder Penny Chenery, who returns to the family home in Virginia after the death of her mother to take over her sick father’s stables despite having no expertise with horses.

She had no idea she was about to start on a path that would lead to Secretariat winning the Triple Crown for the first time in 25 years. The film, which starred Diane Lane and John Malkovich, was a huge hit. It’s no surprise because the film is fantastic.

Many individuals who have watched US horse racing would tell you that Secretariat is one of if not the, best of all time. This horse won the Triple Crown in 1973, and his fame is reflected in this film.

Dream Horse

Another remarkable story of triumph over adversity. The movie tells the story of Dream Alliance’s biggest victory, from humble beginnings to Welsh National glory.

Dream Alliance, bred by a pub barmaid and nurtured on a South Wales allotment, survived major injuries to win the renowned Chepstow trophy.

A documentary called Dark Horse was created about the improbable win, but this big-screen adaptation starring Toni Collette and Damien Lewis was released in 2020. An absolutely amazing story.


Clifton Collins Jr., a veteran actor, gives his greatest performance yet in Jockey, which recounts the story of an elderly rider who strives to win one more race while educating a young guy claiming to be his son in the world of horse racing.

Collins offers his suffering jockey plenty of empathy, and the cinematography takes unprecedented steps by presenting horse races from the perspective of the rider.

Even though this movie didn’t gain a lot of attention when it first came out, it’s a great way to witness the Kentucky Derby through the eyes of its jockeys.


A genuine story that might have been written by the most creative Hollywood scriptwriter.

This film follows former rider Bob Champion as he battles testicular cancer while racing. Champion is recognized as a difficult individual for this alone, but he carried it to new heights when he won the 1981 Grand National.

They won the classic Aintree race in 1981 with Aldaniti, who had returned from a career-threatening injury. In this 1984 picture, John Hurt played Bob, with Edward Woodward, Jan Francis, and, of course, Aldaniti playing supporting parts. A fantastic, heartwarming film.

Phar Lap

The tale of New Zealand’s greatest champion, Phar Lap, who still dominated the world of horse racing is highlighted in this 1983 film. It follows the hardships and tribulations of Phar Lap, who dominated Australian racing, from his debut in Australia looking like a hybrid between a “sheepdog and a kangaroo” to his triumphs in the 1930 Melbourne Cup and ill-fated voyage to America.

This film has some well-known Australian performers, including Tom Burlinson and Richard Morgan, and features some fascinating characters.

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