(Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO)


The First Saturday in May

Genre: Documentary; Director: Brad Hennegan, John Hennegan; Runtime (in minutes): 100; MPAA Rating: Unrated; Distributor: Truly Indie

When this ambling doc — about aspirants to the 2006 Kentucky Derby — opens to the musical strains of Stephen Foster, viewers may expect a lazy ode to mint juleps and pie. But The First Saturday in May soon digs in its heels with acute portraits of six trainers, including a paralyzed ex-cyclist in California and an MS-stricken Lexington native who works for the royal family of Dubai. Unlike the contenders in Spellbound and most other tourney-charting films, these men can only watch from the stands, adding a sting of helplessness to the pressures of winning and losing. B

Originally posted April 17 2008 — 12:00 AM EDT

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