01/29/2012 1:20PM

HBO's 'Luck' breaks from the gate - learn who's who, discuss the pilot

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Daily Racing Form coverage of HBO's new horse racing drama "Luck," which has its premiere tonight after offering a sneak peek at the pilot episode back in December:

Bill Christine: New drama 'Luck' reveals racing as Milch sees it

“Every word that you hear will have gone through my typewriter,” Milch said of “Luck.” That was a figure of speech. Actually, he writes without a typewriter or a computer − he writes everything out in longhand.

As he pushed the envelope, Milch knew that what somebody called his “love letter to the game” wasn’t going to be roundly received by even those inside the game.

“There are bound to be some people who will have misgivings,” he said. Read more »

Andrew Beyer: Milch's 'Luck' rises above typical television fare

This is not the typical Hollywood depiction of horse racing’s beauty, though “Luck,” which makes its debut Sunday at 9 p.m., is a collaboration of two Hollywood heavyweights, director Michael Mann (“Miami Vice,” “The Insider”) and creator/writer David Milch (“Hill Street Blues,” “Deadwood.”) While Mann oversaw the camera work that yielded striking depictions of horses and racing action, Milch brought to life the hard-edged aspects of the sport. He had been preparing for this assignment for most of his 66 years. Read more »

Trainer Julio Canani and actor John Ortiz

Trainer Julio Canani (left) at Santa Anita with actor John Ortiz, who plays the Canani-inspired trainer Turo Escalante on "Luck." Photo: Benoit & Associates.

'Luck' cast of characters and real-life inspirations

Those hoping to get lucky in 'Luck' include Chester "Ace" Bernstein, played by Dustin Hoffman. After three years in prison, Bernstein has big plans--revenge, buying Santa Anita, winning some big races with an expensive horse from Ireland. Bill Christine reveals some of the real-life racing figures who inspired Milch's creations. Full character guide »

Review: HBO's 'Luck' gets down and dirty at the track

A trainer hides a horse off a two-year layoff and puts him over at 12-1. A trio of degenerates gets a hustler to bankroll an $864 pick six ticket and takes down the whole pool. A high-level mob associate gets out of the clink and instructs his aide de camp to check up on his colicky, $2 million horse, whose true ownership is hidden. A longshot breaks down and is euthanized on the track while comforted by his bug-boy jock. And a gruff old trainer mutters to his promising new charge that the horse’s “daddy” was killed.

And that was just the first hour.

Welcome to the sinister world of “Luck.” Full review by DRF's Matt Hegarty »

Most importantly, what did you think of the show? Have your say in the comments and discuss the pilot episode.