The Bookie's Dream

Creator: Elaine Partnow
Age rating: Everyone
Young horse trainer Roberto Esparza must buck a local Tong gang to make a Derby contender out of a fractious colt. Several furry friends come to his rescue, as does his bookie uncle–after his death! Funny, inspiring, and action-packed dramedy.
Project collaboration: Closed
Synopsis: A small time bookie and deli owner in L.A.’s Silver Lake district, Esteban Esparza dreams of winning the Kentucky Derby. His nephew Roberto is a great handler of horses, as was Roberto’s late dad. Esteban is in the midst of a turf war with Big Al Lee, owner of The Golden Dragon Bowling Alley. Just when Roberto finds the horse he believes he can train–and that his uncle can afford–Esteban has a confrontation with Big Al’s goons, and meets with his death.

Mourning his beloved uncle, Roberto finds himself outside the stable of Proud Pretender, the horse he can no longer take possession of because nobody knows where Esteban hid the cash to buy him. In the midst of his prayer Roberto hears a voice. It’s Esteban’s voice! And it seems to be coming from the horse! The voice tells him to dig up the third tomato plant from the end of Esteban’s tomato patch. There, lo and behold, is an old tin can loaded with cash. But finding the treasure is just the first step in Roberto's incredible adventure.

Proud Pretender, a fractious three-year old owned by the haughty Haskells, wealthiest owners at Santa Anita, is sold to Roberto. Their daughter Cindy loves the fractious colt and keeps her loyalty with the horse – and soon after, Roberto.

When Roberto discovers that local mobster Big Al and his thugs, Jig and BMT, were the cause of his uncle’s death, he takes his revenge. So certain is he of Proud Pretender’s chances of running in the Derby, he gets his pals to rake in bets from Big Al’s entourage on a “winter book” (betting on which dozen of the hundreds of horses nominated for the Derby will run); when they lose, it will cost them a million! If they lose!!

Up until Cindy came along, Roberto’s best friends were his dogs, Pisa, a gentle giant so-named for his propensity to lean, and Yo-Yo, an aptly named Jack Russell terrier, as well as Gabriel, a trained raven. These pals display a streak of heroism in a hilarious scene where the thugs who threatened Esteban try to get their winter book markers back from Roberto. Cindy helps save the day, too.

Proud Pretender is picked to run in the Kentucky Derby – but moments before the big race Esteban’s voice – and spirit – depart, leaving Proud Pretender sneezing and jittery.

Can the horse handler save the day? Tension, romance, hope and hilarity mark The Bookie’s Dream as a film that will delight audiences of all ages.

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