2019 September 22

Trainer, Ben Crane (Kurt Russel), influenced by his daughter, Cale (Dakota Fanning), buys a filly after she breaks a leg during a race. Ben loses his job and counts on breeding the filly as a way to make money as he struggles to support his family and keep his horse farm. The breeding plan falls apart when the mare is discovered to be infertile. Ben is distant from both his father (Kris Kristofferson) and his daughter. (I've never totally understood why they had such strained relationships.)

Rehabilitating the horse, Soñador, brings the whole family together. Soñador is eventually able to race again. The plot is rather predictable, but the relationships between the characters, including the groom and jockey, are strong and pull you into the story. Has a very positive message.

dreamer movie review


Some language, jokes about teaser pony at the breeding farm.

Dreamer on Amazon

Ratings are 1 to 5 (1=worst, 5=best)

My Rating for the Movie: 4
Equine Realism: 4
MPAA Rating: PG
Time (minutes): 106
Year: 2005

The movie horse's name is Soñador, which means dreamer in Spanish. The movie was inspired by the story of the racehorse, Mariah's Storm (born April 1, 1991, in Kentucky). Mariah's Storm was owned by Thunderhead Farms and trained by Don and Donnie Von Hemel, a father and son team.

The filly broke her front left cannon bone while running in the Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland Race Course in 1993. She recovered and went on to race again, but never at the level depicted in the Dreamer movie.

After she recovered, Mariah's Storm won the Arlington Oaks in 1994, the Arlington Matron Stakes (1995), Turfway Breeders' Cup Stakes (1995), and the Falls City Handicap at Churchill Downs (1995). Her career earnings were $724,894.

When her racing career ended, Mariah's Storm became a successful broodmare, producing six colts in a row from 1997 to 2002. Seven fillies followed the colts, in the years (2005 to 2015). Her most famous colt was Giant's Causeway who had a successful racing career in Europe.

mariahs storm dreamer horse

Interestingly, the actor, Freddy Rodriguez, who played the jocky, Manny, knew nothing about horses before the movie and was allergic to them. Rodriquez learned to ride and rode in several scenes, but not the high-speed ones where stunt doubles were used.

Dakota Fanning (Cale) also knew little about horses before the movie. She learned a lot before and during the filming and came to love horses. After the filming was completed, Kurt Russell gave her a palomino Quarter Horse, Goldie.

The Dreamer theme song was written and performed by Christian musician, Bethany Dillon, who was about seventeen at the time. Bethany's father was the counselor for one of the foster girls I had. So, you can see what a close connection I have to the Dreamer movie. :)

Love woke me up this morning
With a memory
Love came and whispered a story
That awakened a dream

Imagine a beautiful castle
And a beautiful king
He left the comfort of his throne
To fight for victory

I am a dreamer
Take me higher
Open the sky up
Start a fire
I believe
Even if it's just a dream

Love woke me up this morning
And I ran to see
The king in the winners' circle
On the horse he won for me

I am a dreamer
Take me higher... 

Only a king would do anything
To protect the kingdom

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