Independent filmmakers John and Brad Hennegan, sons of a New York Racing Association placing judge, filmed 500 hours in 2006 during the Throughbred racing season leading up to the Kentucky Derby. The film was designed to “demystify the process,” according to an article by Nicole Lyn Pesce at nydailynews.com. The filmmaker brothers are donating a quarter of all ticket sales to benefit the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation that supports horse-related research to benefit all breeds of horses.
The documentary film followed six trainers and their horses to the film’s title, “The First Saturday in May,” the traditional date for the Kentuicky Derby.
One of the horses followed was Barbaro, who captured the hearts of horse lovers around the world in his struggle to overcome catastrophic injury after winning the 2006 Kentucky Derby.
The film also showcases the people surrounding the horses.
The film won awards at the Tribeca, Savannah, and Austin film festivals, according to the article.