Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO
April 17, 2008 at 04:00 AM EDT

The First Saturday in May

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
100 minutes
Limited Release Date
04/18/08
director
Brad Hennegan, John Hennegan
distributor
Truly Indie
genre
Documentary
We gave it a B

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

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