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[Child loss, infanticide] In the wake of the Great Depression, Canadian John "Red" Pollard's family is financially ruined, and he is sent to live with a horse trainer. Years pass and Pollard becomes a jockey, but amateur boxing leaves him blind in one eye.

After their young son is killed in an automobile accident, Howard's wife leaves him. He obtains a divorce in Mexico, where Pollard is struggling to make his mark as a jockey.

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