Cast & Crew
To Scattergood Baines's general store in the small New England town of Coldriver comes young Helen Van Pelt, whose father Bertram was a humble plumber until inventing a cleaning machine that made him wealthy. The family's recently acquired wealth has fueled the social ambitions of Helen's mother Minerva, who has invited Phillip Dane, son of a prominent Boston family, to visit. When Martin Knox, the highly respected owner of the local horsebreeding farm, is killed during a harness race, the Knoxes' heavily mortgaged farm is put on the auction block. Deciding that it would boost her family's social standing to own a horse farm, Mrs. Van Pelt urges her husband to buy the property. Scattergood, who was fond of Martin and takes a fatherly interest in his son Dan, offers to send the boy to college if he will forget about horses. Dan accepts Scattergood's offer and reluctantly gives up his dream of establishing a prosperous horse farm until Toby, a groom at the farm, tells Dan that his favorite horse, Starlight, is sick. Dan goes to visit the horse, and upon seeing the steed once more, realizes that horse breeding is in his blood and decides to buy back Starlight from Van Pelt and enter him in the upcoming Governor's Race. Although Dan works like a demon at odd jobs to save money, he has earned only half the purchase price by the time the race nears. With only two weeks before the race, Dan visits Van Pelt and offers him $100 as a down payment on the horse. When Phillip learns of the deal, he insists on driving Starlight and begins to whip the horse. Upon learning of Phillip's abuse, Dan goes to the farm to confront him, and the two boys fight. After Mrs. Van Pelt orders Dan off her property, he decides to steal the horse, but is caught and jailed. Coming to Dan's aid, Scattergood loans him the money to buy the horse and convinces the snobby Mrs. Van Pelt to sell Starlight and the stables back to the boy. Soon after, Phillip receives a telegram from his mother, announcing that she is planning to attend the Governor's Race. Because the Van Pelts no longer own a horse to run in the sweepstakes, Phillip's mother brings her trotter from Boston for Phillip to drive in the race. Dan and Starlight beat Phillip and his fancy horse and win $5,000 in prize money, which will enable Dan to buy back his family's farm. When Mrs. Van Pelt reneges on her agreement to sell the farm, Scattergood delivers a truckload of hogs to the Van Pelts' front yard and slyly announces that he will build a hog farm and slaughterhouse on his adjoining property unless the Van Pelts honor their agreement with Dan. Emboldened by Scattergood's tactics, the henpecked Van Pelt tells off his wife and accepts Scattergood's terms.
The working titles of this film were Scattergood at the Races and Pride of the Turf. Actor Arthur Aylesworth's name was misspelled in the credits as "Arthur Eylesworth" and Frances Carson's name was misspelled as "Frances Carsen." According to a pre-production news item in Hollywood Reporter, the harness race scenes were shot at the Riverside Race Track in Riverside, CA. This was the fourth film in the "Scattergood Baines" series. For additional information on the series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry above for Scattergood Baines.