A baby zebra gets separated from a traveling circus in a small Kentucky town. It's eventually discovered by horse trainer Nolan Walsh (Bruce Greenwood) and his daughter, Channing (Hayden Panettiere), who falls in love with the animal. She calls him Stripes (Frankie Muniz) and keeps him as a pet. Though Nolan has forbidden Channing from racing ever since her mother was killed in an accident, her ambition is undiminished. With the help of her new pet, she's convinced that her goal can be realized.