Luck is an American television drama series created by David Milch revolving around Chester "Ace" Bernstein, a career mobster who has just been released from a three-year prison sentence and who, with his long-time friend and driver, has become the owner of a promising Irish racehorse.
Ace immediately begins making plans to take control of the Santa Anita racetrack in Los Angeles, while simultaneously plotting revenge against the ones he holds responsible for sending him to prison.
The series aired in the USA on HBO from 11December, 2011 to 25 March, 2012. There are nine hour-long episodes in one season. Despite being renewed for a second season the series was cancelled after the deaths of three horses during filming.
Luck premiered in South Africa on M-Net and DStv's M-Net HD channel on Friday 24 August 2012, at 21h30. New episodes broadcast weekly.
From acclaimed director Michael Mann and Deadwood creator David Milch, Luck takes a provocative look at the world of horse racing - the owners, gamblers, jockeys and diverse gaming industry players.
As the series opens, Chester "Ace" Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) is released from three years in federal prison. He's met by his driver and bodyguard, Gus Demitriou (Dennis Farina), who fronts as the owner of the $2-million Irish horse that Ace just bought.
A brilliant but disreputable trainer, the Peruvian Turo Escalante (John Ortiz), introduces us to their prized Irish thoroughbred, who is being examined by his girlfriend, track veterinarian Jo (Jill Hennessy).
Meanwhile, veteran trainer-turned-owner Walter Smith (Nick Nolte) contains his optimism pinned on his promising "Big Horse" because he's wary. Of what, we're unsure, but we learn there's a dark history and a shadow of scandal behind the horse.
Four degenerate gamblers, Marcus (Kevin Dunn), Renzo (Ritchie Coster), Jerry (Jason Gedrick) and Lonnie (Ian Hart), meanwhile, are pooling their meagre resources to bet Jerry's hunch on the day's long shot, a high-stakes Pick Six winners contest.
Luck also stars Richard Kind as jockey agent Joey Rathburn; Tom Payne as a beginner jockey Leon, a.k.a. "Bug Boy"; Kerry Condon as Rosie, an exercise girl with jockey ambitions; and real-life racing Hall of Famer Gary Stevens as Ronnie Jenkins, a talented but boozy veteran jockey.
Continuing guest stars on the series include Patrick J. Adams, Joan Allen, W. Earl Brown, Bruce Davison, Spencer Garrett, Barry Shabaka Henley, Ted Levine, Jurgen Prochnow, Alan Rosenberg, Mercedes Ruehl, Chantal Sutherland and Sir Michael Gambon.
The pilot was directed by Michael Mann and written by David Milch.