horse and jockeyWith America’s endless fascination with horse racing, and his own personal history with the sport, it’s no surprise that David Milch decided to introduce a new HBO series with horses right at the heart. Boasting such fame as Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Kevin Dunn, and even real life former jockey, Gary Stevens, “Luck” promises a thrilling ride.

While many books, such as Seabiscuit, Ruffian, Wild Ride, and Secretariat have offered the public a glimpse into the inner workings of the thoroughbred racing industry, never before has a television series revolved around it.

This time, not just the details of the pick six, trifecta, and boxed bets are revealed, but the intricate relationships that comprise life at the track are given their due time as well.  Viewers are introduced to “Ace” played by Dustin Hoffman, as the ex-con race horse owner trying to make his way back onto the track.

Then there’s Walter Smith (played by Nick Nolte) as the up to no good trainer, trying to make his daily bread in any way he can, and Jerry (Jason Gedrick) a washed up handicapper waging everything to win back a few dollars — and perhaps a bit of pride.

But the cast of characters aren’t the only underdogs. In the first race, Mon Gateau, a 12-1 racehorse, who hasn’t run in two years is going to try his hand (hoof) at a 2.2 million dollar purse.

As you watch in suspense and cheer him on, you get the feeling that winning this race is about much more than just which horse is the fastest. It’s about redemption, and all the human frailties that threaten it.

Here are a few reviews:

Horse and jockey photo available from Shutterstock.