The First Saturday in May
Kentucky Derby contenders
For anyone who cares deeply about horse racing, The FirstSaturday in May is not a cryptic calendar reference, but the year’s most anticipated red-letter day. It’s the annual running of the Kentucky Derby, only the first of American racing’s Triple Crown but more storied than any other equine contest.
John and Brad Hennegan set out the statistics at the start of their
documentary, focused on the 2006
The First Saturday in May is the story of six trainers, each dreaming of raising the glittering cup of victory should his horse be first across the finish line. They are a diverse if white-male lot, including a muggy-voiced Southerner, a fast-talking New Yorker and a man paralyzed from the waist down from MS. They are united in their love of racing. Success can bring great financial rewards, yet being part of the sport is as much a passion as a profession.
Horse racing was a sport of kings in many cultures and an air of aristocracy continues at the major American competitions. The men look sharp in bespoke suits and the women go for Southern belle dresses and big brimmed hats. Along with the people, the Hennegan brothers show us the animals, affectionate creatures with those whom they trust. Their trainers often treat the horses with the fondness of favorite house pets.
at a snappy pace with solid cinematography and editing, The First Saturday in May follows horses and trainers through a
series of preliminary races whose winners will compete in