Which Horse Racing Movies Received More Awards?

Diane Lane, Nelsan Ellis, Otto Thorwarth, and John Malkovich in Secretariat. Courtesy of Disney.

Now even though there are a lot fewer horse racing movies than superhero movies, most horse racing enthusiasts and movie experts would agree that those that were released, most of them were incredible!

Horse racing is a sport that features incredible stories, and astonishing moments that are perfect for a film. Over the years, we’ve seen a dozen of horse racing movies each of them highlighting a unique chapter of horse racing’s industry.

From big underdog stories that rose to the top to movies about betting and incredible horses that left a huge mark on the industry.

But, which one should you watch?

Well, you can start by watching the horse racing movies that received the most awards. Not that being an awarded movie always means that you’ll like it, but it is a good starting point to narrow down your choice. So, which are the most awarded horse racing movies of all time?

Seabiscuit (2003)

This is one of the best films to watch if you love horse racing. It is a story about an underdog horse in the middle of the Depression-era, that managed to lift the spirits of all people and give them something to look for.

Seabiscuit (2003) was a standout film in the horse racing genre, earning numerous accolades and nominations for its portrayal of the legendary racehorse. At the 76th Academy Awards, Seabiscuit received several nominations, including Best Picture, Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. Despite its multiple nominations, the film did not secure a win in any of these categories.

In addition to its Oscar nominations, Seabiscuit was also recognized at the American Society of Cinematographers Awards, where it won for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Theatrical Releases. The film’s music also received recognition, winning at the ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards for Top Box Office Films.

It is without a doubt one of the most awarded horse racing movies of all time. Even traditional action and thriller franchises have a tough time receiving as many rewards as Seabiscuit.

Secretariat (2010)

Here we have Disney in charge, which highlights the incredible story of the 1973 Triple Crown winner, and his owner, Penny Chenery. Secretariat was truly one-of-a-kind horse that managed to set record times on the Kentucky Derby (short of 2 minutes) that still cannot be beaten. It was a horse with an exceptionally big heart (literally) and incredible power that left the competition far behind.

We would love to see such a dominant performance on the Kentucky Derby. This is something we’ve never seen for a long time. If we had a horse with similar characteristics to Secretariat, it would be a clear betting choice for all the people who wagered.

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“Secretariat” received the Christopher Award for Feature Film and was nominated for the ESPY Award for Best Sports Movie. It also won the MovieGuide Award for Best Film for Mature Audiences.

Even though this movie received some awards, it’s not that special considering that Disney was behind the movie.

Phar Lap (1983)

This is another movie made around an Australian horse racing legend, that rose high during the Great Depression leaving a big mark on the horse racing industry. After all, in order for its name to survive for that long, and still be included in console horse racing games, suggests that we are talking about a highly successful horse.

The film Phar Lap won the AACTA Award for Best Original Music Score in 1983, recognizing Bruce Rowland’s contribution to the film’s soundtrack. This accolade is part of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards, which celebrate excellence in the film and television industry.

Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story (2005)

Here we have a rather different movie compared to the others we covered so far, in terms of style and how it’s made. This is not strictly a biography, but it is inspired by the true story of Mariah’s Storm.

It is a heartwarming story of a father and daughter who nurse an injured racehorse back to health. Something that we love to see in today’s horse racing industry.

Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story received a Critics’ Choice Award nomination for Best Family Film. Additionally, it was nominated for an ESPY Award for Best Sports Movie and a Blimp Award at the Kids’ Choice Awards, USA 2006, for Dakota Fanning as Favorite Movie Actress. Fanning won the Young Artist Award for Best Performance in a Feature Film (Comedy or Drama) – Leading Young Actress and Best Family Feature Film – Drama.

The Black Stallion (1979)

This is an adaptation of Walter Farley’s classic novel, and it highlights the story of a boy and a horse who are stranded on a desert island. However, their incredible bond and strong will get them rescued and straight to the racetrack.

It is quite a fascinating story and a perfect watch if you don’t mind older movies.

The Black Stallion received the Special Achievement Academy Award in 1980 and the National Society of Film Critics Award. The film also received 2 Oscar nominations one for Best Supporting Actor, and the other one for Best Film Editing.

50 to 1 (2014)

This is the latest film in our selection and covers quite an interesting modern-day horse racing story. It highlights the story of Mine That Bird, who managed to win the Kentucky Derby in 2009 with 50-1 odds.

We all love a story about an underdog, and this one hit really hard, especially if you love horse racing betting. It is a story about a dream long shot, both on the racetrack and in life.

Unfortunately, 50 to 1 didn’t get any awards and did quite poorly at the box office. But it is still a great movie to watch.