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Crazy Over Horses

Crazy Over Horses(1951)

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When they learn stable owner Flynn owes their friend, soda shop owner Louie Dumbrowsky, $250, the Bowery Boys gang--Slip Mahoney, Sach, Whitey, Butch and Chuck--offer to collect the two-year-old debt. At Sunnybrook Hunting and Riding Club, the mild-mannered Flynn explains that business is bad and he cannot pay, while Flynn's attractive daughter Terry, who is grooming a racehorse outside, distracts the gang. Flynn prevails upon them to accept "my girl," as payment for the debt, describing her as fit, sound and pretty. The gang assumes Flynn is trading his daughter, but when they go outside to look at the merchandise, Flynn introduces them to Terry and the racehorse, My Girl, clearing up the confusion. Doc, who is responsible for the horse, has not paid room and board for My Girl in six months and it is Flynn's legal right to sell her. The boys accept the deal and Sach rides "My Girl" to the soda shop, where Louie is perturbed about the gang returning with a horse instead of money. Back at the riding club, gangster Weepin' Willie arrives to collect My Girl, and Flynn gives him Louie's address. At the racetrack Willie informs Duke, the horseracing racket leader, that Doc, his employee, took off with the board money and My Girl has been sold to Louie to pay off the debt. Duke's plan is to replace Tarzana, who has just finished last in a race and has suffered a series of losses, with look-a-like horse My Girl, a sure bet at 20 to 1 odds. Duke, Willie and henchman Swifty go to the soda shop and offer $500 for the horse, but when Slip finds out that they are willing to pay up to $1,000, he concludes the horse is a "gimmick" in a racehorse racket and refuses to sell. Later that night after the boys have left, Willie knocks at the soda shop door and distracts Louie while Duke and Swifty exchange Tarzana for My Girl. Later at his office Duke calls J. T. Randal, whose large bet rides on the My Girl ruse, telling him the "trouble" has been straightened out. The next morning the boys arrive back at the shop and find that the normally even-tempered My Girl has left the backroom in a shambles, and, she even attacks Sach, who had earlier befriended her. The gang takes the horse to Sunnybrook, and Terry and Flynn ascertain that, though she has the same markings, the horse is not My Girl, as she refuses to do Terry's handkerchief trick. Back at the shop Louie tells the gang about Willie's suspicious behavior the previous evening, and Slip assumes the horses have been switched and decides to switch them back. When the gang brings Tarzana to the racetrack stables, and are about to make the switch, however, a police officer approaches. Sach and Whitey distract him, but the horses switch places in the stall and Sach takes Tarzana by mistake. Back at Flynn's, the handkerchief trick fails again and Slip is furious and kicks Sach out of the gang. The gang then drives to the racetrack stables and makes the switch, returning later to the riding club, where Terry confirms that they have the correct horse. Slip decides to run My Girl in the same race as Tarzana, thinking she will win. The gang leaves for the shop, and Sach, unaware that the switch has already taken place, decides he will prove his worth to the gang by making the switch himself. Wearing blackface, he takes My Girl to the racetrack stables and approaches the black groom who is walking Tarzana. While distracting him with antics, Sach switches the horses, bringing Tarzana back to the riding club. When the boys arrive back at the stable with Louie, Sach proudly announces his accomplishment, and Slip decides the only way to keep Sach out of trouble is to allow him back in the gang. That night the gang has secured the fee and the stall, but still need the right horse. Sach finds Willie, and following a plan devised by Slip, secretly admits that the gang switched horses, forcing Willie to go back to Duke and tell him they need to switch again. After dark, Duke, Willie and Swifty make the switch back. The next day My Girl wins the race in a photo finish with coaxing from her jockey, Sach. Duke tries to make a quick exit from town, but he and Randal are caught by the police and are taken away. Later at the soda shop, Louie throws a party for the heroes. Slip thanks Sach for his help and Sach returns the gratitude with a cream pie in Slip's face.