HBO Shuts down Luck


posted by on OTTB

I’m not anti horse racing. I go the the track once in a while, I watch racing on TV more then most people, I love thoroughbreds. Their speed, heart and power and never thought I’d own one of my own. I am however happy as all hell that HBO finally shut down their production of “Luck” A drama series that is filmed at the Santa Anita Race Track, which was the track I went to when I lived in LA. The deaths of Three thoroughbreds caused the cancellation and shut down of the series. Two deaths happened during the shooting of the pilot and third happened just two days ago during an episode for the second season. The second season was ordered just after the pilot aired and rushed to production because it needed to coordinate with the track for filming.

Great Jockey, Good Actor

Maybe they should have waited to order more episodes, as its been clear for a while the ratings were pretty weak. True the horses were beautiful but the story was slow, the characters were abundant and totally unsympathetic in every way and Nick Nolte was at his all time worst. The scripts often had people assigning human narratives and emotions to horses and worst of all horses died in the making. Which is a terrible, thing. The only positive about the show itself was  it was nicely filmed and that Gary Stevens can actually act and act well.  I cant see how the racing business would be behind this show, it sure doesn’t make them look good. I can find very little chatter about this show in horse forums and ottb message boards and groups, but lets face it horses don’t just die walking back to the paddock. Who was handling these animals? Who after the first two deaths would allow their animals to be used by this production? Who was looking out for the thoroughbreds? In this case it looks like no one, so I’m happy it was shut down. Those beautiful animals that work so hard for us deserved better then to be sacrificed on the alter of mediocre TV.

UPDATE 2/19/12: From the AHA statement on the HBO Show “Luck”

“We have worked for more than 70 years to ensure the proper treatment of animals in film, and will now follow up with HBO to find out the disposition of the horses in the Luck barn and ensure that they are retired properly.”

This is very interesting. It seems as if Luck owned the horses they were using on set, which would explain a lot. They weren’t beholden to owners/trainers etc. Any trainers, handlers they had would have been taking their orders from HBO/LUCK themselves. This also could lend credence to the argument that they were using horses unfit for racing. I hope the AHA gets a group like “CANTER” (I know they have CA chapters) involved to help re-home these beautiful animals.

Tags: , , ,