Sports Illustrated Studios & Spyglass Prepping Documentary On Julie Krone, Only Female Jockey To Win A Triple Crown Race; Larissa Bills Directing

EXCLUSIVE: Sports Illustrated Studios, a division of Authentic Studios, and Spyglass Media Group are partnering to produce a documentary on the life of Julie Krone, the most accomplished female jockey of all time and the only woman to ever win a Triple Crown race.

Larissa Bills, director and producer of Apple TV+’s recent docuseries The Super Models, is attached to direct and produce. The documentary will highlight Krone’s groundbreaking racing accolades as she earned her place as the first woman elected to the Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., alongside her personal battles and triumphs.

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Born in 1963, five years before women were legally allowed to race thoroughbreds, the only way for Krone to break into the male-dominated sport was to curse louder, fight harder, and ride faster than her competitors. She reached the pinnacle of the sport in 1993 when she became the first and still the only woman to win a Triple Crown, riding Colonial Affair to victory in the 1993 Belmont Stakes.

Later, she was awarded an ESPY as 1993 Female Athlete of the Year. However, 1993 also would become the most difficult time in Julie’s career when she was thrown during a race and trampled by another horse. The extensive injuries left her fighting for her life, let alone a continuation of her singular career.

After nine months of painful rehabilitation, Krone returned to the saddle in 1994. Her career would continue for another decade, marked by more highlights aboard fast horses as well as physical and emotional challenges on the ground. In 2003, she became the first woman to win a Breeders’ Cup race on the championship day of thoroughbred racing before another injury ended her career in 2004. Krone amassed more than 3,700 wins across her career.

Said Colin Smeeton, President of Authentic Studios, in a statement to Deadline, “We are thrilled to bring Julie’s incredible story to audiences across the world. Her resilience, skill, and passion have left an indelible mark on the sport of horse racing and serve as an inspiration to athletes everywhere.”

Observed Gary Barber, Spyglass’s Chairman & CEO, “Not only is Julie one of the greatest jockeys in horse racing, she also shattered expectations and broke down barriers for all women in Thoroughbred racing. We are lucky to have Larissa at the helm, as a passionate horse enthusiast herself, to illuminate Julie’s story for the world. On a personal level, I feel fortunate to collaborate on this documentary, combining my love of film and Thoroughbred racing.”

Twice gracing the cover of Sports Illustrated, Krone said that “to have my story in the hands of such wonderful artists as Larissa Bills and Gary Barber is a dream come true. I look forward to sharing their vision of my adventures in racing and my life-long love affair with horses.”

Added Bills, “I am honored to bring Julie’s story to the screen. Her courage and athleticism on the track was truly groundbreaking. I feel so much of her success was built on her sensitive and soulful relationship with these magnificent equine athletes. The documentary is a great opportunity to explore this dynamic and I’m grateful to Authentic Studios and Spyglass for recognizing Julie’s place in the pantheon of great sports stories.”

A producer and director with over two decades of experience in documentary film and television, Bills most recently co-directed and produced the four-part Apple TV+ docuseries The Super Models with Roger Ross Williams. Prior to that, she received a DGA Award nomination for her work on the six-part docuseries On Pointe – A Season in the School of American Ballet for Disney+. Previously, she also produced a number of documentaries for HBO over a 12 year span, culminating in 2019 with the feature documentary Finding the Way Home, which focused on child deinstitutionalization efforts around the world. Other work includes projects for The New York Times, Discovery, VH1, Lifetime, and A&E.

Spyglass has most recently seen the release of titles including George Clooney’s The Boys in the Boat, Eli Roth’s Thanksgiving and Scream VI, among others. Also behind the iconic fashion competition series Project Runway, the company’s upcoming slate includes the high school comedy Incoming from writer-directors Dave and John Chernin.

In addition to Sports Illustrated Studios, labels under the umbrella of global media company Authentic Studios include Shaquille O’Neal’s Jersey Legends, David Beckham’s Studio 99, and Authentic Productions. Other Authentic projects currently in various stages of productions include an Untitled Allen Iverson documentary and docuseries The Money Game for Prime Video, and the Shaquille O’Neal and Gina Rodriguez-hosted game show Lucky 13 for ABC.

Bills is represented by CAA.

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