powered by AFI
According to documents in the Twentieth Century-Fox Produced Scripts Collection and Twentieth Century-Fox Records of the Legal Department, located at the UCLA Arts-Special Collections Library, The Homestretch was originally planned as a remake of the studio's 1936 release To Mary-With Love (see AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.4669). In early November 1944, writer Eleanore Griffin submitted an outline for the film which transposed the arena of the story from the business world to show business. At a story conference later that same month, studio head Darryl F. Zanuck proposed switching the arena to horse racing. In April 1945, credited scenarist Wanda Tuchock submitted a story line for The Homestretch, which closely resembled the final script. Tuchock's story bore little resemblance to To Mary-With Love although two character names, "Jock Wallace" and "Kitty Brant," were retained. When the studio submitted the final screenplay to Richard Sherman, the author of the original story of To Mary-With Love, he agreed that the works were not similar and declined credit on The Homestretch.
In October 1945, a Hollywood Reporter news item indicated that Fred MacMurray would probably star in the picture and an early May 1946 Hollywood Reporter news item announced that Linda Darnell would be the female lead. According to studio production files, racing footage was shot at Hollywood Park throughout May 1946. According to a studio press release, the original budget was set at $2,400,000 but, as production progressed, the shooting schedule was expanded to incorporate added love scenes between Wilde and O'Hara. These added scenes increased the budget by $175,000. The release also states that of the eighty-five days of shooting, thirty-five were spent at nearby locations, including the Santa Anita racetrack in Arcadia; Hollywood Park; "Ric-Su-Dar"-Darryl F. Zanuck's ranch on Havenhurst Blvd. in Encino; the Riviera Country Club; and Busch Gardens in Pasadena, where the studio built a race track and stables. As indicated in production files, a few color stock shots from foreign race tracks, as well as color footage of the Coronation of King George VI in Great Britain, were incorporated into the film. A radio version of The Homestretch was broadcast on Lux Radio Theatre on May 17, 1948 and starred Cornel Wilde and Maureen O'Hara.