Factual error: Two men are trying to start a John Deere Model D tractor, which backfires, startling the horse. The wrong sound effect is used; it sounds like a V8 engine being turned over by an electric starter. The tractor's flywheel, on the left side, is shown stationary. Turning the flywheel by hand is the usual starting procedure for a JD tractor of '30s vintage. For over 40 years John Deere tractors used a two-cylinder engine, which make a distinctive popping exhaust sound. The movie is right on one thing, JD tractors could backfire.
Factual error: Pollard did not lose his sight in a fight, as the film suggests. He lost it when he was galloping a horse for exercise and a horse going in the opposite direction kicked up a clod of dirt that struck him at the base of skull and knocked out the cerebellum on his left lobe. (right side, left lobe).
Factual error: When they are heading east to race with War Admiral, there is a scene at the Los Angeles Union Station. This is in 1938; the station was not opened until the following year. (01:20:00)
Factual error: When Frankie Howard died he was not alone - he had two friends with him who were either thrown clear or managed to get clear after the crash. Also, it was not his father that was the first one on the scene. Frankie's friends headed off and summoned a man called Doc (I can't remember his surname) with limited medical knowledge he used for the local lumberjacks.
Factual error: In the final race, one of the horse's saddle pad flips up in the wind and reveals a synthetic-type foam rubber lining. This was unavailable in 1938.
Factual error: During the times where Red is in the hospital, they show Red several times with a cotton blanket with a certain type of weaving they didn't use until the 1960's. In the 30's they were still using single weave blankets. Kind of hard to explain, but older nurses could tell you.princesskelli
Factual error: During the end credits, some newspaper typesetting material is shown. The type should be shown in reverse with the letters backwards. However, the type is not reversed and you can read the words. (02:07:50)
Factual error: In the shot with Howard and Red riding in the thirties vintage Buick, Howard flicks on the car radio, and the sound is instant. In those days, car radios were vacuum tube type, and needed several seconds to warm up before you would hear anything. (01:57:35)