12/11/2011 12:45AM

HBO's "Luck" sneak preview - questions and answers

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Racing fans will get a sneak peak at HBO's new original series, "Luck," when the pilot airs this Sunday night at 10 p.m. ET/PT, right after the season 2 finale of "Boardwalk Empire." The first season will consist of nine episodes, beginning on Jan. 29, 2012.

Luck was filmed on location at Santa Anita Park and focuses on characters from the horse racing scene. Dustin Hoffman makes his television debut as gambler Ace Bernstein, while Nick Nolte plays an old-school horse trainer. Michael Mann of "Miami Vice" fame is an executive producer and directed the pilot episode. Here is some more info on the series many racing fans have been looking forward to since it was announced by HBO:

Do the show's creators have real ties to horse racing?

Oh yes. Lead writer David Milch ("Hill Street Blues," "Deadwood") is a horse owner with two Breeders' Cup victories -- Val Royal in the 2001 BC Mile and Gilded Time in the 1992 BC Juvenile. Another longtime Thoroughbred owner and breeder, John R. Perrotta, is a consultant and writer for "Luck." And DRF columnist Jay Hovdey also consulted and wrote for the show.

Are any actors on the show involved in the sport?

Hall of fame jockey Gary Stevens, who played George "Ice Man" Woolf in "Seabiscuit," plays Ronnie Jenkins. And making her television debut will be Chantal Sutherland, who rode Game On Dude to a second-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Classic last month. She plays Lizzy.

Is Daily Racing Form in the series?

Yes! We provided thousands of copies of back issues to be used as props for fans in the stands, along with a few custom-designed front pages that reflect the plot of the series.

Will Santa Anita Park promote the show when its winter racing season begins this month?

Absolutely. There will be a "Luck Lounge" on the main floor of the grandstand, scheduled to open on Sunshine Millions Day, Jan. 28, the day before the show's official premier. Santa Anita will offer "Luck" tours and a VIP "Luck Experience" contest.