Homestretch: No Better Time to Watch This Film

by Fran Jurga | 18 May 2009 | The Jurga Report

By now, everyone has heard about the wonderful finish of the 2009 Preakness Stakes on Saturday, when the flying filly, Rachel Alexandra, streaked over the finish line just ahead of the fast-closing gelding-from-outta-nowhere, Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird.

Ratings are up, interest in racing is up, and yet the issues remain. Mine That Bird’s trailer heading back to Kentucky from Maryland passed plenty of turnoffs for small tracks where there may be no tomorrow for some of the horses.

Bringing the public’s attention to programs that help off-the-track Thoroughbreds is the favorite cause of a growing legion of non-profits, artists, writers, filmmakers, photographers, and anyone with a blog or website that has an audience.

Some speak to the people in their own communities, others speak to the entire nation. Some shout in anger, some whisper in poetry. Filmmaker Sheri Bylander projects her thoughts on the screen or, this month, on your television, as her terrific documentary, Homestretch, airs on stations across the country.

Homestretch advocates the rehoming of Thoroughbreds as therapeutic projects for inmates at state prisons around the country, and takes you to a point where you might stop and wonder, “Who’s saving whom here?”

Click here to go the Homestretch web site, where you can download the air time schedule, order the DVD, and learn lots more.

Click here to read about the children’s book Black Diamond and Blake, by Deborah Blumenthal, the fictionalized story of the bond between an ex-racehorse and a prisoner, published this spring by Knopf.

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