HBO’S ‘LUCK’ GIVEN GREEN LIGHT FOR FULL SEASON, CUTTING EDGE TV PROJECT TO BE SHOT AT SANTA ANITA

ARCADIA, Calif., (July 15, 2010)—As was announced in Daily Variety Thursday morning, Home Box Office (HBO) has committed “Luck,” a cutting-edge depiction of life on the racetrack, to an inaugural season, with shooting to commence at Santa Anita either this fall or early in 2011. Highly placed executives at HBO have indicated that “Luck’s” first season will consist of a pilot and seven to nine additional weekly episodes.

“Luck” is the creation of world renowned writer/producer David Milch, who is also a prominent Thoroughbred horse owner and as such, has won two Breeders’ Cup races.

The pilot for “Luck,” which is due to air on HBO late next year, was shot primarily at Santa Anita this past March and April. Milch enlisted the services of highly coveted director Michael Mann, whose credits include “Miami Vice,” “Ali” and “Public Enemies,” and Mann will remain in an advisory capacity for the upcoming series. Milch also procured the services of A-list actors Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Dennis Farina and John Ortiz.

Retired Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, who made his big screen debut in 2003’s blockbuster hit “Seabiscuit,” has also been engaged and will have a prominent role in the series’ pilot.

Although they will not all remain series regulars, it is believed those actors who contributed to the pilot will maintain a presence as “Luck” develops in seasonal episodic form.

“It’s hard to quantify how much we feel this could mean to Santa Anita and horseracing in general,” said Santa Anita Community and Events Coordinator Pete Siberell. “Anyone who’s watched ‘Hill Street Blues,’ ‘NYPD Blue’ or ‘Deadwood’ knows what David Milch is capable of. He has a heart-felt passion for racing and although he’ll be delving into to some dark areas on occasion, we feel strongly that “Luck” has the potential to have a similar impact to that of ‘The Sopranos,’ which also aired on HBO.

“This is great news and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Horseracing is experiencing many challenges right now and now, more than ever, we need to be reaching out to new people in a creative and innovative way. ‘Luck’ is going to generate a lot of buzz and it is going to get people talking about racing and about Santa Anita—which is fantastic.

“From what we understand, the people at HBO are absolutely thrilled with what Michael Mann has been able to put together thus far and we feel that people are going to view horseracing as they’ve never seen or imagined it before, with a compelling plot line, dynamic acting and film production that Mann is famous for.”

Live racing will return to Santa Anita Park with the beginning of the Oak Tree meeting on Sept. 29.

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