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Racing Lady

Racing Lady(1937)

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Coaxed by his daughter Ruth, Tom Martin, a former world-class racehorse breeder and trainer, agrees to enter his mare Pepper Mary in a Southern California county fair race. Because Pepper Mary is the betting favorite, the trainer of rival horse Vindictive tries unsuccessfully to bribe Tom to throw the race. During the race, the jockey of Vindictive deliberately slams into Pepper Mary and causes her and her black jockey Johnny to fall. Pepper Mary suffers a career-ending injury, but Ruth dedicates herself to training Pepper Mary's filly Katydid and soon develops her into a fine racer. As Ruth prepares Katydid for her first official race, she attracts the attention of Steve Wendel, an automobile manufacturer and the owner of a prestigious stable. Assured by Gilbert, his press agent, that Ruth's status as America's only woman horse trainer will boost his automobile sales, Steve asks Ruth to join his horse training staff. Ruth turns him down, stating that the only horse she wants to train is Katydid, and enters her horse in a "claiming" race at Santa Anita. Although Katydid wins handily, Steve "claims" Katydid and refuses to sell her back to Ruth. Trapped, Ruth agrees to join Steve's stable staff, whose motto is "a winner or nothing," and soon makes the rounds of the racing circuit in America and Europe. After her successful tour, Ruth, who has fallen in love with Steve, returns to California a sophisticated young woman. When Ruth tells Tom that she is considering scratching Katydid from a big Santa Anita race because she doubts whether the horse will win, Tom lectures her on the value of sportsmanship. Humbled by her father's words, Ruth argues with Steve to keep Katydid in the race, but he refuses. The next day, Ruth discovers Katydid missing and accuses Steve of stealing her to keep her out of the race. Just before the race, Brass, Ruth's stable helper, telephones her with information regarding Katydid's whereabouts, and Ruth retrieves the horse in time to compete. After Katydid wins, Ruth learns that another, envious Wendel trainer had kidnapped Katydid and that it was Steve who had telephoned Brass. Vindicated, Steve embraces Ruth.