With the pilot for HBO’s highly anticipated “Luck” already complete, production for season-one will resume at Santa Anita Oct. 31. Both the pilot and first season are scheduled to air in the fall of 2011.
“Luck” is the creation of writer/producer David Milch, who also created such blockbuster hits as “Hill Street Blues,” “NYPD Blue,” and “Deadwood.” Milch, who is also a multiple Breeders’ Cup winning Thoroughbred owner, is an ardent supporter of horse racing and has long wanted to do an episodic series of this nature, which will take the audience inside the sport in a very creative and in some cases, stark way.
The pilot, which was shot almost entirely at Santa Anita, was enthusiastically received by HBO executives and the cast, including actors Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Dennis Farina, John Ortiz, and retired Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, will remain intact for season-one. It is also expected that current jockey, Chantal Sutherland, will appear in a number of episodes.
“Touch wood, I think it’s going to be an incredible series,” said Stevens, who made his highly acclaimed debut as an actor in 2003’s blockbuster hit movie “Seabiscuit. “I’m very excited about production resuming. This is going to be a very candid and very vivid look at our sport. ‘Luck’ has every right to be a winner on every level—from the acting to production, directing and writing, I really think this series is going to blow people away.”
The first episode of season-one will be shot at Santa Anita and at Rod’s Diner, a nearby coffee shop on Huntington Drive. Filming will also take place at the 100 to One Club, a cocktail bar just east of Santa Anita’s Gate 5.
Action in the first episode includes interaction at Santa Anita’s Clockers’ Corner, box seat area, winner’s circle, paddock and barn area. Action will also emanate from Santa Anita’s press box, and racing and operations offices.
Action will shift to Santa Anita’s main track as soon as the all-natural dirt surface project that is currently underway is completed and it is deemed safe for horses to compete.
Production for season-one of “Luck” is scheduled to continue throughout Santa Anita’s upcoming winter/spring meeting, which runs from Dec. 26 through April 17.