The tumultuous world of horse-racing provides the backdrop of this drama. Directed by Raoul Walsh, Salty O'Rourke features the exploits of luckless gambler Salty O'Rourke (Alan Ladd) and his pal Smitty (William Demarest), who are indebted to a bookie and deeply in need of a fast dollar. Desperate to score some cash, Salty and Smitty pool their money and buy a bargain race horse. The horse's cheap price tag was due to the fact that it can only be ridden by one jockey, who unfortunately has been banned from riding on US tracks. The jockey, Johnny Cates (Stanley Clements), agrees to use the birth certificate of his adolescent brother in order to fool the race track officials. It looks like this tactic will work, but his "young" age prompts the requirement that he attend a track-sponsored school. The blow is softened somewhat when Johnny's (Clements) teacher is the beautiful Barbara Brooks (Gail Russell). Unfortunately, Salty falls for her Ms. Brooks as well, leaving Johnny determined to throw the race in revenge.
by Tracie Cooper synopsis