They're Off (1922)

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Francis Ford -- elder brother of director John Ford -- directed, wrote, and acted in this old-timey meller. But his isn't the only tour de force here -- the star, Peggy O'Day, had a dual role. Twin girls have been separated as babies; one of them, called Slats (O'Day), has grown up in the hills, while the other, Peggy (also O'Day), has grown up in luxury and married a Southern gentleman, Colonel Blake (Ford). Peggy is a bit bored by her life and wants to seek out adventure. When she goes up to the hills and meets Slats, her virtual double, she sees her chance. She has Slats impersonate her while she runs off with a theater troupe. Slats thinks the whole situation is fun until she encounters Jim, Colonel Blake's nasty half-brother. Blake is near bankruptcy and is depending on his horse to win the Derby to bring in the cash; Jim is just as determined to see the thoroughbred lose. Things get more complicated when Blake, who has been away, comes home. Since Peggy has died in a fire, Slats finds herself stuck with her identity. On the day of the race, Jim disables Blake's jockey, but Slats, a natural horsewoman, leaps on the steed and rides him to victory. Blake has already been told of Slats' true identity, and after Jim's arrest, the couple finds happiness together.