A day at the races basically rips off a classic Capra.
This is an elegant looking programmer with everything but panache. It's not just the presence of Raymond Walburn that reminded me of both 1934's "Broadway Bill" and its 1950 remake, "Riding High", but the story of how an outsider to the horse racing industry became involved and creates a champion. Formula and repetitive, this lacks the heart of Capra's classic. Wendy Barrie and William Gargan really have no spark as the new horse owner and its trainer, although character performances by Walburn, Alma Kruger (as Walburn's no-nonsense wife) and Willie Best (as the slow thinking but amusingly witted groomer) add amusement. The film drags in many spots, and while Barrie is beautiful, she's not really leading lady material. In fact, other than different hair color, she's practically indistinguishable from Binnie Barnes who plays her rival in the film. This tries to go under the impression that just because the leading character is involved in a sporting event of some kind, that means that the audience will always root for them to win. This was one time when I really didn't care.
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