'Good, Bad, and Ugly' Of Maryland Horse Farm Shown in TV Series

The show opens with a drumbeat, a horse running, and the words: "In the world of the thoroughbred, one thing you can count on is the unexpected."

The show is "Thoroughbred," a 13-part series about life at Bonita Farm, the Boniface family's pride and joy in Maryland -- home to Deputed Testamony, winner of the 1983 Preakness.

The first 30-minute episode begins at 8 p.m. (ET) Tuesday (April 3) on the cable channel Animal Planet. Subsequent episodes will be televised Tuesdays at that hour through June 19 (and also at 7 p.m. Saturdays).

"Thoroughbred" is a tonic for the horse industry. With the business of racing often so polarized by mistrust, politics and in-fighting, pull up a chair and watch this show and remember why you fell in love with horses in the first place.

"It gives me goose bumps to think how well they can show off Bonita Farm and horse racing," Joan Boniface said of the film crews that followed the family for 1 1/2 years.

Joan's husband Bill, the patriarch, steals every scene he's in, of course. But the show also stars the Boniface sons (Billy, John and Kevin) in every aspect of the business: training, racing, foaling breaking, Horses get hurt. Horses get loved. People get rewarded for heartache and hard work.

"There were not many weeks during the year and a half they didn't spend some time here," Bill Boniface said. "They spent a god-awful amount of time here. They got the squabbles and everything.

"It's the good, the bad and the ugly. It's real life. "Thoroughbred" features the kind of music and images that make you cry. In the process it tells the story of horse racing through the interesting, photogenic, passionate and entertaining Boniface family.

Upon agreeing to open the family business to television, Bill Boniface said: "In the end we're going to have either the greatest home movie or something the industry can be proud of. I think the latter will be the case."