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HBO series 'Luck' canceled after three horses die on set: Racetrack drama can't continue without horses

The HBO horse racing drama "Luck" has come to an end following the deaths of three horses used in production. Cast and crew were shooting the second season on Tuesday (March 13) when the third horse reared and fell, sustaining a head injury. The animal was euthanized. Both PETA and the American Humane Association demanded that HBO cease production involving horses, but HBO took it one step further and decided to axe the show entirely -- likely because it would be impossible to continue the series without using real animals. "It is with heartbreak that executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann together with HBO have decided to cease all future production on the series 'Luck,'" HBO wrote in a statement."Safety is always of paramount concern. We maintained the highest safety standards throughout production, higher in fact than any protocols existing in horseracing anywhere with many fewer incidents than occur in racing or than befall... //

HBO's 'Luck' Suspends Using Horses After Third Death

  HBO has temporarily suspended the use of horses during production on Season 2 of its drama  Luck  after a third horse was injured on the set and euthanized. The incident occurred early Tuesday when one of the horses in the stable for the  Dustin Hoffman / Nick Nolte  horse racing drama suffered an accident while returning to the stall. Dr.  Gary Beck , a veterinarian from the California Horse Racing Board, was on hand and noted the horse was on her way back to the stall when she "reared, flipped over backwards, and struck her head on the ground." Read More... //

‘Luck’ (HBO) Episode 7

HBO’s ‘ Luck ’ Episode 7 airs Sunday, March 4 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT) on HBO. Episode Synopsis: While Ace tours a prison outreach horse retirement  farm with Claire (Joan Allen), Israel tries to convince Smythe that his  boss  is on the level. Jerry and his erstwhile card dealer, Naomi (Weronika Rosati), try to win their way into a poker tournament. Lonnie (Ian Hart) decides to "go it alone" by putting in a claim for another horse, a filly named Niagara’s Fall. Read More... //  

‘Luck’ (HBO) Episode 6

HBO’s ‘ Luck ’ Episode 6  airs Sunday, March 4 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT). As Ace ( Dustin Hoffman) pitches his deal to buy a piece of the racetrack , Israel (Patrick J. Adams) visits Smythe (Michael Gambon), DiRossi (Alan Rosenberg) and Cohen (Ted Levine) onboard Smythe’s yacht, where he’s offered a "second salary" as an informant. An earthquake spooks many of the horses at Santa Anita, but Escalante (John Ortiz) decides to go ahead and race Mon Gateau. Read More... //  

‘Luck’ (HBO) Episode 5

HBO’s ‘ Luck ’ Episode 5 airs Sunday, February 26 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT). After learning that Pint of Plain, Gus’ (Dennis Farina) Irish horse, has been tentatively scheduled to race the next day, Ace forces Escalante to swap out Leon for a more experienced jockey, to Joey’s (Richard  Kind) chagrin. Marcus fears for his health and wonders why he’s so attached to Jerry, while Kagle (Peter Appel), who’s been fired from the racetrack, returns from a bender looking for a handout. Ace gives Claire a lucky check, and the two head to the track with Gus to watch Pint of Plain’s memorable debut. Read More... //

‘Luck’ (HBO) Episode 4

HBO’s ‘ Luck ’ Episode 4  airs Sunday, February 19 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT). As Chan (Dennis Dun)  challenges Jerry to his limits in a private poker game, Jerry’s pals look to pry him away from his gambling nemesis. Ace takes a meeting with Claire LeChea ( Joan Allen ), an activist who hopes to rehabilitate prisoners through their work with broken-down racehorses. He then visits his one-time partner Michael Smythe (Michael Gambon) to discuss his participation in Ace’s racetrack venture. With Ronnie out of commission and surrendering to old vices, Walter settles on Rosie as his jockey, but her euphoria is tempered by Leon’s (Tom Payne) not making weight. Read More... //  

‘Luck’ (HBO) Episode 3

HBO’s ‘ Luck ’ Episode  3 airs Sunday, February 12 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT). Ace enlists Nathan Israel (Patrick J. Adams), a cocky, young  whiz kid , in his plans. Walter decides to enter his colt, Gettin’up Morning, in his first race, but loses Ronnie as his rider when the jockey takes a tumble. Burned by Mulligan (W. Earl Brown) at the claiming race, Marcus, Renzo and Lonnie send Jerry to buy the horse back – and then return him to Escalante (John Ortiz) to train . Read More... //  

Luck Euthanized Two Horses

PETA is coming after Luck after two horses were euthanized during production, the organization announced last week, and now HBO has responded. According to PETA, HBO hasn't taken appropriate precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of the horses; according to HBO, after the second horse died, the production implemented new protocols, including "the hiring of an additional veterinarian and radiography of the legs of all horses." (The American Humane Association has a full rundown of all its on-set precautions , and it's weirdly fascinating: "Actors carried treats in their pockets and the goat and dog paid active attention to this detail." We bet!) Most of the episodes of Luck carry the AHA's "no animals were harmed" stamp, but the pilot and the seventh episode do not, because, yikes, two animals were harmed enough that they had to be put down. //

'Luck': Ace Reveals How He Wound Up In Prison

When Chester "Ace" Bernstein ( Dustin Hoffman ) first walked onto the screen in " Luck " (Sun., 9 p.m. EST on HBO), he was coming out from a three-year stretch in prison. This week, he opened up to his long-time driver Gus about the circumstances behind it. It appeared to be more exposition for the viewer, but Gus ( Dennis Farina ) had some pointed opinions of his own regarding what went down. As it turns out, Ace went to prison because he refused the nearly impossible situation the Feds put him in. After his grandson was caught with six kilos of cocaine in Ace's co-op, the kid was picked up and Ace was given a choice. Either roll over on his partner Michael, who had stashed the coke there in the first place, or see his grandson go to prison for the drugs. As Ace described the boy at the time, "You couldn't send him out to find six pounds of dog food the shape he was in four years ago." So he opted for a third choice. He took the fall for the drugs and did the time himself. Read More... //

‘Luck’ (HBO) Episode 2

HBO’s ‘ Luck ’ Episode 2  airs Sunday, February 5th (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT). Chafing  under his parole conditions but eager to move forward  in the racetrack  deal, Ace (Dustin Hoffman ) shows off his famous temper during a contentious meeting with one-time colleague Nick DiRossi (Alan Rosenberg) and a possible investor, Isadore Cohen (Ted Levine). Although Marcus (Kevin Dunn) is wary about flaunting his newfound Pick Six wealth, his three partners have no such qualms, as Jerry (Jason Gedrick) sits in at higher-stakes poker games, Renzo (Ritchie Coster) sets his sights on claiming one of Escalante’s (John Ortiz) mystery horses and Lonnie (Ian Hart) parties with two unscrupulous women. Read More... //