03/12/2012 9:35AM

Luck Episode 7 Recap: Slowly I turned ...


When you leave things to chance, you never know what you're going to get. It's the name of the show, after all: Luck.

Lonnie the track rat thinks he has spotted the next Mon Gateau -- a claiming horse that has far more ability than the trainer is letting on. He announces to the other three track rats that he's going to put in a claim for a filly named Niagara's Fall prior to her race that afternoon. With bug boy Leon Micheaux on the mount, the filly looks terrific out of the gate. But just when it looks like she's about to put the race away, she pulls up lame in the stretch. The diagnosis: ruptured flexor tendon.

Lonnie's claim goes through, but Niagara's Fall will never race again.

Instead of a speedy filly, he's stuck with a broodmare. Marcus blames Lonnie for not giving his trainer Turo Escalante enough time to get the inside scoop on the horse's fitness. Lonnie acknowledges his impetuous behavior but also chalks up this stroke of bad luck to a Three Stooges bit about "Niagara Falls." He believes he should have known better than to buy a horse connected with Larry, Moe, and Curly.

Looking to capitalize further on his hot streak, Jerry enters a World Series of Poker satellite tournament. Naomi the card dealer is there, too, trying to earn her way in, but she doesn't last long at the table. Jerry is cleaning up, though, and during the dinner break meets up with Naomi outside. He offers to sharpen her gambling skills. "Having learned so little, I can offer to teach you everything I know," he says. They end up hitting the jackpot together in the driver's seat of his car.

Afterward he shows up at the motel to show off his two prizes for the day -- a WSOP ticket and Naomi.

Meanwhile, aboard Mike Smythe's yacht, Ace Bernstein's double agent Nathan Israel is realizing he's getting much more than he bargained for when Smythe starts grilling him about Ace's plan. Israel tries to talk his way out of it but Mike isn't budging. "With all due respect," Israel says, "You fail to appreciate Mr. Bernstein's full sincerity." Smythe sees through Israel's gambit and keeps pressing. Finally, Israel makes a fatal mistake by using one of Ace's pet phrases: "Answers a question with a question." Smythe bludgeons Israel with a crystal ashtray and, as the kid's blood pools on what must be very expensive carpet, announces, "100 percent solidarity with Ace! Syntax is how I know, syntax!"

Ace spends the day at Claire LeChea's farm for recovering Thoroughbreds and inmates. He then heads to the Indian casino to make a public handshake with the head of the casino; they know Smythe's spy is within range taking pictures. Ace wants to fuel the idea that he's got the gaming lobby bought and paid for.

Rosie the jockey has a gambit of her own in mind, though for much smaller stakes. She needs to know if trainer Walter Smith will be keeping her as Gettin' Up Morning's jockey. She enlists Joey Rathburn as her agent to speak to Smith on her behalf. Smith realizes he can't keep her hanging when she could be gaining mounts at Golden Gate Fields or Portland Meadows. At the same time, Ronnie Jenkins shows up to tell Smith he's in rehab and wants his old mount aboard Morning back. Smith has to choose between inexperienced Rosie and the washed-up Jenkins.

Predictably, Smith puts his trust in Jenkins, hoping the old pro can stay on the wagon. But while he's working out to try to make weight, Jenkins eyes a bottle of dope and can't resist. Smith will be putting his prized colt into the hands of a junkie.

Back at the Escalante stable, Jo the veterinarian decides to tell Escalante that she's in foal but gets sidetracked by a wayward boy. Feeling motherly, she pays the boy's uncle $10 so that the boy, Eduardo, can spend the day at the track with her. But when she has to leave the track with Niagara's Fall, Escalante is left to watch the kid. He ends up giving him a ride home and, perhaps seeing a bit of himself in Eduardo, lets him know how to get in touch with him in the future. When Escalante gets home, he learns from Jo about her pregnancy and, to her surprise, is much more accepting of the idea than she had hoped.

-- Jacob Luft

More Luck Episode 7 coverage:
I Screen You Screen: Still in custody
WSJ: 'Luck,' Season 1, Episode 7: TV Recap
OregonLive.com: 'Luck' recap: Michael Gambon yells 'syntax!' in a scary English way

VanessaG More than 1 year ago
Did everyone see the series was cancelled due to the latest horse death?
Robin Dawson More than 1 year ago
This was the final straw that broke the camel's back. And believe me, there were a few camels in this series. As Mr. Wales implies...this series should never have passed the Vet and has now been mercifully vanned off.
walesfoodmusic More than 1 year ago
after making the DNF advisory,this scribbler tried to get Ladbroke's to give me a price on such an event,to no avail.To put it mildly they didn't have a clue what "Luck" was.Trust those lime pots to avoid anything going on in former colonies !
walesfoodmusic More than 1 year ago
Judging by the paucity of comments and their ill-formed comments this series is about to be vanned off with the ignominious post-script of DNF.And VanessaG,what happened to your dialogue with Robin?Things were looking up ! walesfoodmusic@yahoo.ca
VanessaG More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately, my job has demanded my undivided attention the last few weeks and I haven't had the opportunity to check up on the blog. Perhaps Robin is no longer watching as he didn't seem to enjoy the series all that much. I'm sorry that it's almost over for the season, though, as I have found it very entertaining and have enjoyed the parallels in the story line with those of horse racing. New viewers may not recognize that Nick Nolte's story of Delphi is actually that of Alydar, Affirmed's Triple Crown foe, or that Claire LaChea's story parallels that of owner Maggie Moss. I hope our community is enlightening newcomers with these stories as real life is just as entertaining as Hollywood!!
Robin Dawson More than 1 year ago
You're right, Vanessa..I gave up watching after 4 episodes, taking your advice to save myself from further misery. Quite frankly I'm very disappointed in the quality of this series because I respect Jay Hovdey as a writer and his wife, Julie Krone, was the best lady rider there has ever been, by far. (Sutherland, Napravnik etc. aren't in the same class) So I was expecting so much more, and, as has been pointed out by others on this blog, the horses and staged races are just so bogus: a grade 6 pony club could have done better. As for the Alydar analogy, I think its rather apropriate that such an ill-fated horse, managed by such chumps (Veitch, Lundy etc.) lives again amongst such a painful cast. He deserved and still deserves better..bless him. As for the Mosses...these are the same bad losers who railed against Rachel Alexandra...so I guess they belong in this sorry saga, too.
VanessaG More than 1 year ago
Maggie Moss isn't related to Zenyatta's people. She is a lawyer and a horse owner who has campaigned mostly in the Midwest and I think, don't quote me, that her home track is Prairie Meadows. She started a retirement home for Thoroughbreds and uses felons to help care for the horses as well as to help the felons learn to care for something other than themselves as well as to help them aquire job skills. Surprisingly, she often prosecuted against the same felons she has working on her farm. HRTV has an Inside Information segment on her that is very informative. She won owner of the year in the late 2000's. Somehow new fans should be made aware of these facts. Any news from Mr. Milch?
Robin Dawson More than 1 year ago
Please accept my apologies. I've done Ms. Moss a disservice. As for my script...it (Sandbaggers) was sent to Jay Hovdey who says he hasn't read it yet, or sent it on to David Milch. You can e-mail me at rddcan@gmail.com, if you like, and I'll send you a copy.
VanessaG More than 1 year ago
Robin I sent a response to your last post during the episode 3 recap. However, DRF was in the process of changing up the blog format and I don't think my response was posted. I was commiserating with you on feeling shut out by the Jockey Club and how we seemed to share similar feelings about casino infused purses. I had a story to share with you about the current mentality of our industry's leaders that I'd like to share with you in this email. Perhaps it will help take some of the sting out of being blown off by the JC. My home track is Fairmount Park. It is located in an Illinois suburb of St. Louis, Mo. This is just a bottom level claiming and low level allowance racetrack but the attendance is fairly good despite track management's odd marketing strategy and almost no support from the St. Louis media. For instance, opening day at Fairmount Park somehow manages to coincide with the first home game by the Cardinals. Who thinks up this schedule and more importantly, why? One day I was chatting with Lonnie Brooks, who is (I believe) the president of the track's Horseman's Benevolent and Protective Association. He is a tireless advocate for the horsemen and he travels to all the Illinois government hearings concerning allowing slots at the tracks. I was asking him why more wasn't being done to promote racing in the media and to bring in a larger attendance. He told me that attendance wasn't the issue, really, that the slot infused purses were the issue. Fairmount, you see, has to compete with the Indiana and Iowa tracks where $5,000 claimers can run for $10000! I think Fairmount only offers a $2500 purse. I didn't realize it before, but now I see why this is such an issue for our industry leaders. For the tracks that don't have slots, they have to rely on betting handle to keep the purse structure at a competitive level. I question whether the younger generation has much interest in horse racing and they may find learning how to bet a bit overwhelming, but that is what tracks need the patrons to do, bet their money. This is why I felt so strongly about Luck being knocked. It is a way to introduce people to the magic of the track. It at least shows novices some of the stories that go on at the track as well as educating the fans as to what goes on during a claim of foul or what goes on when horses are claimed. It probably could be so much more, but at least it is something. At least someone who has the finances and the connections to make a TV series about horse racing is doing it. I think as a community, we should support Milch's efforts but he at least is doing something. It is better than nothing.
walesfoodmusic More than 1 year ago
wow....very happy to see this re-hookup
Ronald Friedman More than 1 year ago
It wasn't the 3 stooges.It was the greatest comedy team of all time. Hint: "who's on first?"
ALEJANDRO ANZA More than 1 year ago
abbott & costello
Greg Scherr More than 1 year ago
As a slight correction to your synopses, jock Jenkins didn't eye a "bottle of dope" he saw a bottle of what is obviously an old prescription for pain pills ( vicodin?) definitely a difference between the two, otherwise, excellent recap. Does Israel live??????
VanessaG More than 1 year ago
No, I think the poor young man is destined for fish food in the next installment!!
Greg Scherr More than 1 year ago
I think you're correct and that won't please Ace too much
kingsailor2 More than 1 year ago
Only two more episodes this season -- just too short--am enjoying this series so much.