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In Old Santa Fe

In Old Santa Fe(1934)

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A handsome cowboy named Kentucky "Ken" Maynard and his scruffy, misogynistic sidekick, Cactus, meet Lila Miller when her car accidentally goes off the road. Lila's father Charlie owns the dude ranch where Ken and Cactus intend to enter their prize horse "Tarzan" in a gruelling canyon race. Two other men, Chandler and Tracy, have also arrived for the race. They are also plotting to blackmail Charlie, whom Chandler knows has a secret criminal past, for half of his gold mine and ranch operation earnings. Chandler hopes that his blackmail scheme will also force Charlie into granting him permission to marry Lila, who is showing a definite interest in Ken. Charlie refuses to be bullied, however, and claims he was innocent of the crime. Before the race, Chandler and Tracy goad the gambling-prone Cactus into a wager in which Tarzan will be the prize if Ken loses the race. Then, to assure their victory, Tracy sets up a trip-wire on the course, which wounds Tarzan and allows Tracy to win the race. However, after he finds the broken wire and begins to suspect foul play, Ken refuses to give up his horse to Chandler. Cactus, shamed by his foolish behavior, then vows to identify the saboteur, whose bootprints he has found in the ground near the wire. While they are investigating the race, the alcoholic Tracy double-crosses Chandler by robbing the ranch stagecoach that is carrying a shipment of Charlie's gold. During the robbery, the driver is killed, and Ken, who is trying to catch the bandits, is jailed for the crime after Tracy implicates him to the sheriff. With the help of Cactus and Tarzan, Ken escapes from jail and arrives at the ranch just as Chandler shoots Tracy. Again, Ken is suspected of the killing, but after Cactus arrives with proof that Tracy's boots match the prints found on the race course, Ken tricks Chandler into a confession by claiming he possesses a damning note left by Tracy. At the same time, the sheriff reveals to Chandler that Charlie came to him about the blackmail attempt and that, unknown to Chandler, whose real name is Monte Korber, Charlie had been pardoned of the earlier crime years before. With his reputation at last clear, Ken is free to court Lila, who has always loved him.