Filming "Thoroughbred" at Churchill Downs last spring: far right, director Paul Wagner.

Filming "Thoroughbred" at Churchill Downs last spring: far right, director Paul Wagner.

Anne M. Eberhardt

KET's 'Thoroughbred' Airs March 8

Paul Wagner-directed production was filmed on last year's Triple Crown trail.

Kentucky Educational Television is set to release “Thoroughbred,” a film about the Thoroughbred industry and the people who breed, sell, and race them. The KET production, directed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Wagner, airs March 8 at 8 p.m. EST (7 p.m. CST) as part of TeleFund 2010. Airing time on other PBS stations will be announced at a later date.

Filming took place in Central Kentucky, Louisville, New York, and Dubai and chronicles several horses and connections as they hopefully work their way toward the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

It opens at Aqueduct where viewers are introduced to an eclectic community of grooms, jockeys, trainers, and owners. These characters are joined by gamblers, breeders, and journalists, who give viewers a glimpse into the world of Thoroughbred racing. The excitement at Aqueduct reaches a fever pitch with a thrilling come-from-behind win for I Want Revenge  in the Wood Memorial Stakes (gr. I).

The program also travels to Three Chimneys Farm near Midway, Ky., where 2001 Horse of the Year Point Given is bred to Cerise, owned by Stone Farm’s Arthur Hancock. Throughout the program, Hancock discusses his family’s history of breeding and racing Thoroughbreds.

In Dubai, the origins of the Thoroughbred are explored as it follows Sheikh Mohammed during racing at Nad al Sheba. The film also accompanies Sheikh Mohammad back to Kentucky to Keeneland’s September yearling sale.

“Although it focuses on the year of racing, breeding, and sales leading up to the 2009 Kentucky Derby, our hope is that we’ve created a timeless film, as relevant in 10 years as it is today,” Wagner said.

To view a trailer of “Thoroughbred,” click here.

Wagner won an Oscar for best short documentary film and an Emmy Award for best documentary director for the 1984 film, "The Stone Carvers."

“Thoroughbred” is funded in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Alltech, Keeneland Association, and KET’s Endowment for Kentucky Productions, including: American Electric Power Foundation/Kentucky Power, the late Hilary J. Boone Jr., Mrs. W.L. Lyons Brown, Brown-Forman, Mr. and Mrs. Alex G. Campbell, Carrie Cinnamond, Cralle Foundation, Thomas P. and the late Clara Dupree Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Oakley and Eva Farris, Mr. and Mrs. Owsley Brown Frazier, Mr. and Mrs. John R. Hall, Harper Industries, Laura E. Heddleson, Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Heuser, Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, Humana Foundation, Marshall Charitable Foundation, the late George and Mrs. Ellen Rieveschl, Allen R. Carter Strickler, and the Warren Rosenthal Foundation.