As we unwind the dirty end of winter towards pitchers & catchers reporting and spring training, many of you may be tempted to whittle the hours via HBO's new series, "Luck". The show is produced by David Milch, who is responsible for some remarkable television, a genius who has redefined the genre in many ways (Deadwood, Hill St Blues, LA Law). Luck is set at Santa Anita park in LA, one of the last bastions of big time horse racing west of the Mississippi. The series features some heavyweights, including Dusty Hoffman, Nick Nolte, Dennis Farina, and the brilliant mofo's who played Dan Dougherty and Jewell from Deadwood, among others. As per usual, the dialogue crackles with Milch's peculiar mix of eloquence, profanity, intelligence,and the patios of the alternately seedy and glamorous horse track culture.
Milch, never one to spoon feed or insult his audience, drops viewers directly down into the grandstands, with not much in the way of explanation for some of the arcane in's and out's of track life. From the nuances of betting a pick 6, to claiming races, to trainers betting on races, to why you wouldn't want a jockey yammering about being on a good horse, and the fickle relationship between owners, trainers, jockey agents, and jockeys; many of the plot threads in Luck appear to be buiding upon a flimsy grasp of some previous horse gambling knowledge.
As a degenerate horse player for many years. I'm here to help. Post your horse racing questions, handicapping tips, questions about WTF is character X doing in situation Y, etc.....let me be your Luck sherpa. I'm not Alan Sepinwall. I'm merely offering to flesh out horse stuff. Don't let your lack of interest or familiarity with a crooked, unforgiving, and virtually obsolete nook of sporting culture get in the way of enjoying some good television.
FWIW, Liasion was done well before he clipped heels and lost his rider Sat in the Robert Lewis Stakes. Which may be good for his odds next time out. Alpha has looked good in NY, but not sure if his competition amounts to much. I'll Have Another, upset winner of the Robert Lewis, is one to keep an eye on.