Dustin Hoffman: ‘If you Google Paulick Report’…

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In an interview about his film directorial debut, Academy Award-winning actor Dustin Hoffman reveals his “shock” over the cancellation of the HBO series Luck last year due to allegations of animal abuse on the set.  In the Q and A with Fox411, Hoffman said he was “beyond disappointed” with the show’s abrupt ending and that it was a “shock to the system” for the more than 400 people involved in the production.  He was asked what happened:

Hoffman:  “If you Google Paulick Report, it’s a site for horse racing, and in that report is the real reason why the show was cancelled. It was a collaboration between PETA and TMZ. It’s interesting, sites like TMZ, they’re mistaken for news. We did “All The President’s Men” and you had to have two sources and they don’t need any sources, they’re gossip, but the general public believes what they say.

“It still deeply wounds me, not for myself, not for the show, but the pain they caused 400 crew people to have and I don’t think they lost a moment’s sleep. It’s completely distorted. Anyone who raises horses know they break their legs. The accusations they made were distorted. Every time we’d race the horses we’d rest them. They’d race 20 seconds, then we’d rest them for an hour. 

“I think they (PETA) were looking to get contributions. Somebody ought to do a movie about them.”

Hoffman said it won’t be him because he doesn’t “want to be involved in the subject matter.” His new film, Quartet, his first movie as director, is a comedy about a group of elderly classical musicians at a retirement home.

For the record, TMZ denies it got the facts wrong on the Luck cancellation and said its stories were “in sync with what was reported on the Paulick Report.”
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  • JLC

    I think the whole thing is a shame.  If for any reason they may have been having trouble with the safety of the horses, I don’t see why, with all the big budgets some of these productions have, they could not have hired the wranglers/trainers/safety experts that worked on, say “War Horse” for Steven Spielberg or “Seabiscuit”, where I believe there were no horse casualties.  I love the horses more than anything, and pray for their safety every day.  But, to think there is ever ANY casualty-free horse environment; well–I’ve got some Fairy Dust to sell you.  

    • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

      Oh so True…Just Own One or Two!!!…ty…

    • nu-fan

      JLC:  Or, used special effects to simulate racing.  Couldn’t they have used old racing films and alters the colors of the silks?  At least, for long shots?  What the movie studios can do in this day is amazing.  If this show could afford to pay the salaries for these wonderful actors, didn’t they have enough money to come up with another way around using horses in such potentially more dangerous situations?  I don’t know but regret that the show was cancelled.

    • MA

      Matt Chew was the head trainer for Seabiscuit and Luck, not to mention many other movies, TV shows, and photo shoots.

  • JLC

    I think the whole thing is a shame.  If for any reason they may have been having trouble with the safety of the horses, I don’t see why, with all the big budgets some of these productions have, they could not have hired the wranglers/trainers/safety experts that worked on, say “War Horse” for Steven Spielberg or “Seabiscuit”, where I believe there were no horse casualties.  I love the horses more than anything, and pray for their safety every day.  But, to think there is ever ANY casualty-free horse environment; well–I’ve got some Fairy Dust to sell you.  

  • Guest

    It still stings me that Luck got cancelled.  Dustin Hoffman was poised to become the worst villain in television history.

    • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

      Now Babe will have to due???…ty…

    • nu-fan

      Guest:  Really?  I didn’t see his character is being that much of a villain.  It was the other thug (with the English/Irish accent) that was the arch villain.  Hoffman’s character was tough, had a “questionable” past, and was ruthless but he also didn’t snitch.  Isn’t that why his character landed in prison?  I remember that scene when his horse got injured during one of the faces.  It was Hoffman’s character who stayed all night with the horse until the tests came back the next morning.  How could someone who does that be the ultimate villain?  Loved that show!

  • Guest

    It still stings me that Luck got cancelled.  Dustin Hoffman was poised to become the worst villain in television history.

  • Dadscountrygirl

    I love Dustin Hoffman, enjoyed “Luck”, but he’s holding a grudge against the wrong things here. I don’t have the injury and death count at hand, but it was startling…have to agree with JLC, they didn’t seem to be working with an experienced crew. People die on film and it’s fake; to not be vigilant when working with horses or other animals is just careless and stupid.  For him to say that “horses break their legs all the time” leads to the assumption that it’s fine and dandy to show this to a mass audience. We might’ve lost more racing fans than we gained with that attitude.

    • Ida Lee

      Well said…my 10 lbs of savage Miniature Pinscher fury is always “threatening” the 60 pounder next door.  So he’s never outside alone & we keep him away from harm. These people decided they were going to make a TV series on horse racing and it’s less than admirable connections and players. So they took on the responsibility of working with horses who “…break their legs all the time”.This to me means…we need to be extra careful with these animals…they’s pretty frail physically. And not…well, OK we lost 3 horses (I think) in one season but that’s acceptable because “they break their legs all the time”. That is not an acceptable attitude nor is it an appropriate response to PETA or TMZ. 

  • Dadscountrygirl

    I love Dustin Hoffman, enjoyed “Luck”, but he’s holding a grudge against the wrong things here. I don’t have the injury and death count at hand, but it was startling…have to agree with JLC, they didn’t seem to be working with an experienced crew. People die on film and it’s fake; to not be vigilant when working with horses or other animals is just careless and stupid.  For him to say that “horses break their legs all the time” leads to the assumption that it’s fine and dandy to show this to a mass audience. We might’ve lost more racing fans than we gained with that attitude.

  • Susansalk

    Does that mean Mr. Hoffman reads the Paulick Report?! That’s so cool Ray, congratulations!

  • Susansalk

    Does that mean Mr. Hoffman reads the Paulick Report?! That’s so cool Ray, congratulations!

  • ronawsumb

    I loved that show. Nolte was magnificent. And the four gamblers, I could relate.

    • Pinetime

      I also loved the show-and “Jerry”-Jason Gedrick got a plug when he appeared on last season’s-”Dexter” when another character said to him-”you’re in Luck”. I almost fell off my chair-unseating 6 dogs!

    • nu-fan

      Ronawsumb:  There were so many wonderful characters (and actors) in that show but, yes, Nolte’s was, perhaps, my favorite.  Because of the guilt that he shared about a previous horse that he trained, he really took care of his current horse, which (if I remember correctly) was the offspring of that previous horse.  And, the gamblers: They were all great! 

  • ronawsumb

    I loved that show. Nolte was magnificent. And the four gamblers, I could relate.

  • Patti

    Hey Ray, I thought the game was called, “Six Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon,” NOT “Dustin Hoffman.” Now you know why it’s better to look like the former, not the latter!

  • Patti

    Hey Ray, I thought the game was called, “Six Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon,” NOT “Dustin Hoffman.” Now you know why it’s better to look like the former, not the latter!

  • Pinetime

    I also loved the show-and “Jerry”-Jason Gedrick got a plug when he appeared on last season’s-”Dexter” when another character said to him-”you’re in Luck”. I almost fell off my chair-unseating 6 dogs!

  • Meyer1127

    WOW it must be great to have that much power.Some folks should keep their mouths shut if they don’t have a clue what they are talking about Mr Hoffman.

  • Meyer1127

    WOW it must be great to have that much power.Some folks should keep their mouths shut if they don’t have a clue what they are talking about Mr Hoffman.

  • Astarthor

    Quote, “They’d race 20 seconds, then we’d rest them for an hour”.

    Hum, racing 2 furlongs, which required them to get up to speed so they could put on a good show and then slow down. So they really went about 4 furlongs (in company which compelled them to naturally compete with each other) and probably galloped out after that for a mile total, every hour for the cameras. What real horseman would do that with horses that were no longer capable of competing in races, much less fit race horses? Think about it!

    So glad a program that portrayed racing as filled with degenerates, ex-cons, cheaters, abusers and mob connected is off the air! It did nothing to attract the new generation of racing customers. 

    • Winngcolrz

      Those horses were EX racehorses. I daresay most of them were never actually successful at racing or even earned much, if any, money. But they were bred for it, had the looks AND the ability mentally to do another job, which was PRETEND to be a racehorse. They were hardly EVER at top racing speed for the actual footage (that was actual race footage). Those horses were galloped and trained, shod and treated like actual racehorses, not like a saddle horse. Per HSUS standards, they could only be used for X amount of time in every X hours. Even the pony horses (the ones that were used as outrider’s ponies) who are fit in their own sense, could only work so much. Saddles had to be removed and horses bathed and returned to barns.

      Face it, astarthor, the only reason racing exists TODAY is because of gamblers. They still do nothing to attract and keep new racing customers.

  • Astarthor

    Quote, “They’d race 20 seconds, then we’d rest them for an hour”.

    Hum, racing 2 furlongs, which required them to get up to speed so they could put on a good show and then slow down. So they really went about 4 furlongs (in company which compelled them to naturally compete with each other) and probably galloped out after that for a mile total, every hour for the cameras. What real horseman would do that with horses that were no longer capable of competing in races, much less fit race horses? Think about it!

    So glad a program that portrayed racing as filled with degenerates, ex-cons, cheaters, abusers and mob connected is off the air! It did nothing to attract the new generation of racing customers. 

  • ziggypop

    “raises horses know they break their legs”? So what’s a couple of broken legs and dead horses for TV?  The only thing he is upset about is the lack of more money in his bank account because the show was cancelled.

    He just lost a fan.

    • Knowitall

      He was pay or play. He got paid.

  • ziggypop

    “raises horses know they break their legs”? So what’s a couple of broken legs and dead horses for TV?  The only thing he is upset about is the lack of more money in his bank account because the show was cancelled.

    He just lost a fan.

  • http://twitter.com/ButlerCreektwh Butler Creek

    I am still upset over the allegations that shut down LUCK. I loved that show (and racing) and still think with Mr. Hoffmans’ clout and money, he should get it back together, film it in NOLA, KY and AK tell Hollywood, Peta and Hsus … to stuff it, and put the show on TVG or HRTV. Even my vet here in TN loved it was glued to it. Even though my area is Walking Horse not thoroughbred country if you are involved in any horse industry you loved LUCK. Dustin. put it back on, please…..

    • nu-fan

      Butler:  Yes, I was disappointed as well.  Cancelled my subscription to HBO after its run since that was the only show on that cable network that I thought worth watching.  Have been hoping that the series would have been released on DVD but haven’t found it yet–and, I’ve looked.  Great show, great stories, great actors. 

  • http://twitter.com/ButlerCreektwh Butler Creek

    I am still upset over the allegations that shut down LUCK. I loved that show (and racing) and still think with Mr. Hoffmans’ clout and money, he should get it back together, film it in NOLA, KY and AK tell Hollywood, Peta and Hsus … to stuff it, and put the show on TVG or HRTV. Even my vet here in TN loved it was glued to it. Even though my area is Walking Horse not thoroughbred country if you are involved in any horse industry you loved LUCK. Dustin. put it back on, please…..

  • Ida Lee

    Well said…my 10 lbs of savage Miniature Pinscher fury is always “threatening” the 60 pounder next door.  So he’s never outside alone & we keep him away from harm. These people decided they were going to make a TV series on horse racing and it’s less than admirable connections and players. So they took on the responsibility of working with horses who “…break their legs all the time”.This to me means…we need to be extra careful with these animals…they’s pretty frail physically. And not…well, OK we lost 3 horses (I think) in one season but that’s acceptable because “they break their legs all the time”. That is not an acceptable attitude nor is it an appropriate response to PETA or TMZ. 

  • Jim1333

    Unfortunately it was a badly written show that dramatized the worst possible aspects of horse racing.   Movies like SeaBiscuit and Secretariat showed the positive aspects of racing and were well received.  I think the people who cancelled Luck did the sport a favor. 

    • Equineplay2003

      Well said

      • John F. Greenhaw

        Maybe someone can do a sequel to the great “LET IT RIDE”

        In fact, the age of the original cast would fit nicely with the demographics now attending the tracks.  JUST KIDDING, there are more and more younger people attending certain tracks than  in recent years.  Those “certain tracks” know how to promote a sporting event and treat their patrons as  a welcomed guest.  The current state of racing is not near as dire as many believe, as is evidenced by the handle numbers.  But, track management has to make coming to the track a “EVENT”

        Mr. Hoffman—get in touch with your buddy, Mr. Dreyfus, and see if you two can’t throw this idea around to your Hollywood pals.  Seriously though, Let It Ride was a very good movie and the rags to riches storyline is as appealing now as it ever was!   

        • Kim Howell (Anita Xanax)

          The very thought of such a production makes me absolutely giddy with anticipation!! Let It Ride is one of my all time favorites!

    • perks

      I have to agree, it was over-dramatized dark and twisty and I didnt think it was a positive for anyone or remotely resemebled day to day horse racing.  I’m sorry everyone lost their jobs but dont miss the series at all.

    • The Great One

      Whom was Secretariat well received by? It was a critical and box office disaster. Inaccurate to the point of stupidity and Disneyfied to the point of absurdity, they made the story of the GOAT to step foot on a racetrack an idiotic underdog story. The characters were were not interesting and the acting was mailed in. But hey, it made the sport look good, to people with absolutely no taste in entertainment and less knowledge about what really goes on at racetracks.

      • Fact Checker

        Absolutely wrong on both counts. The film Secretariat was a relative box office success, grossing $60 million by the end of its run and regardless of what people think, racetracks are not dominated by the trashy types of characters portrayed in the Luck. Facts are stubborn things. (Seabiscuit grossed $148,000,000 by the way.)

        • The Great One

          Learn to read. I never said anything about “Seabiscuit”, as mentioned in a previous post, that movie is fantastic, even nominated as Best Picture. “Secretariat” GROSSED $60 mil, true. With a production budget of $35 mil and before promotion, the film netted $25 mil. That puts it squarely in the top 100 movies… of 2010. The hype about this movie was that it would be every bit the Oscar contender that “Seabiscuit” was, and was positioned to make a lot more money. If you liked it, fine. It just means that the fact is you can’t smell a turd, even if you are looking at one. And once again, if you haven’t seen a degenerate at a racetrack, you haven’t been to a racetrack. 

          Relative success. What does that even mean? It was the 58th highest grossing movie that year, behind such works of art as “Grown Ups”, “The Tooth Fairy” and some other Tyler Perry crap. Facts are a stubborn thing, make sure you don’t trip over them in your next post.

  • Jim1333

    Unfortunately it was a badly written show that dramatized the worst possible aspects of horse racing.   Movies like SeaBiscuit and Secretariat showed the positive aspects of racing and were well received.  I think the people who cancelled Luck did the sport a favor. 

  • John Greathouse

    In the Lasix debate I have warmed that PETA is lurking in the weeds and Racing will be in for a shock if Lasix is banned and it goes wrong. PETA will try and put us all out of business

  • John Greathouse

    In the Lasix debate I have warmed that PETA is lurking in the weeds and Racing will be in for a shock if Lasix is banned and it goes wrong. PETA will try and put us all out of business

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    I never herd a word about PETA’s involvement in getting the show wiped out…But it doesn’t shock me one bit…I live a stones throw from their headquarters in Norfolk Va. & know enough about its founder Ms. Ingrid Newkirk & her $tar $tudded crowd to throw my 2 cents worth in the ring…”She has spent half her life (63yo) trying to get in peoples faces”…One day I went over to her home (she doesn’t own a house are a auto) to get in her face about “THE GAME”…Don’t get me wrong here, they have done some wonderful things for the “Critters” & they have gone slam overboard on others as she thrives on EXPO$URE/PUBLICITY (something “THE GAME” needs a ton of!!!)…I spoke with one of her go between ladies about T-Bred Horse Racing & told her my wife & I have owned six of them & raced them in Maryland…I ask her if I could speak with Ms. Newkirk about “THE GAME”…Her reply was NO way that I had to deal with her…So I got in her face & she ask me to leave the joint which I did…What i’m trying to say here… ONE FIGHTS FIRE with FIRE BABY!!!…PERIOD…Get more insight about PETA & its founder Ms. Newkirk…The Virginia Pilot 12/30/12…Frontpage…ty…

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    I never herd a word about PETA’s involvement in getting the show wiped out…But it doesn’t shock me one bit…I live a stones throw from their headquaters in Norfolk Va. & know enough about its founder Ms. Ingrid Newkirk & her $tar $tudded crowd to throw my 2 cents worth in the ring…”She has spent half her life (63yo) trying to get in peoples faces”…One day I went over to her home (she doesn’t own a house are a auto) to get in her face about “THE GAME”…Don’t get me wrong here, they have done some wonderful things for the “Critters” & they have gone slam overboard on others as she thrives on EXPO$URE/PUBLICITY (something “THE GAME” needs a ton of!!!)…I spoke with one of her go between ladies about T-Bred Horse Racing & told her my wife & I have owned six of them & raced them in Maryland…I ask her if I could speak with Ms. Newkirk about “THE GAME”…Her reply was NO way that I had to deal with her…So I got in her face & she ask me to leave the joint which I did…What i’m trying to say here… ONE FIGHTS FIRE with FIRE BABY!!!…PERIOD…Get more insight about PETA & its founder Ms. Newkirk…Virginia Pilot 12/30/12…Frontpage…

  • Equineplay2003

    Well said

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    Oh so True…Just Own One or Two!!!…ty…

  • http://Bellwether4u.com James Staples

    Now Babe will have to due???…ty…

  • perks

    I have to agree, it was over-dramatized dark and twisty and I didnt think it was a positive for anyone or remotely resemebled day to day horse racing.  I’m sorry everyone lost their jobs but dont miss the series at all.

  • roger

    PETA only survives because of weak backboned politicians that “stammer and sweat” about this special interest group SPEAKING OUT to the liberal media.

    • nu-fan

      Roger:  But, I really wonder if the public backs PETA or not?  They have such an extreme viewpoint that, I believe, is not shared by most people.  I wonder if TMZ had more to do with this cancellation since it is more mainstream.  People watch TMZ but how many even know what PETA is up to?  I wonder what really would have happened if the studio had ignored PETA or TVG?  But, at the same time, I wonder why the studio couldn’t have used special effects to use for their racing shots?  It seems very easy, today, to alter film; they might have been able to use older racing footage.  Might have been cheaper as well.  And, it might have reduced the chances of injury.  Don’t know, just wondering….

  • roger

    PETA only survives because of weak backboned politicians that “stammer and sweat” about this special interest group SPEAKING OUT to the liberal media.

  • Soccermom711

    Learned something new today.  Dustin Hoffman is short-sighted, narrow-minded and ill-informed.  Who knew?

    • Watcher1

      Do you realize how few Hollywood actors went to college?  Why anyone pays attention to their opinions has always been beyond me.

      • Jeffrey

        Do you realize how many short-sighted, narrow-minded and ill-informed college graduates there are?

        With that sharp insightful intellect of yours I do hope very much that you patronize the betting windows early and often.

    • Perks

      And willing to make stupid statements “horses break legs all the time”.

      • Roisin

        Yes, and that alone tells me all I want, or need, to know about Mr Hoffman!

  • Soccermom711

    Learned something new today.  Dustin Hoffman is short-sighted, narrow-minded and ill-informed.  Who knew?

  • Hadrianmarcus

    PETA is not nor never has been about the ethical treatment of animals. PETA is always and will always be about the self-promotion of PETA. As for Luck…it was an opportunity for the positive promotion of the beauty of horse racing. And like most opportunities in this industry…it was an opportunity lost.

    • matthew

      well put.  PETA is as fraudulent as A-Rod’s career stats.  They make money and grab attention, animal care is secondary, if that.

  • Hadrianmarcus

    PETA is not nor never has been about the ethical treatment of animals. PETA is always and will always be about the self-promotion of PETA. As for Luck…it was an opportunity for the positive promotion of the beauty of horse racing. And like most opportunities in this industry…it was an opportunity lost.

  • Knowitall

    He was pay or play. He got paid.

  • Knowitall

    Reminds me what an excellent piece that was by RP back in March.

  • Knowitall

    Reminds me what an excellent piece that was by RP back in March.

  • Forego

    DUSTIN HOFFMAN is a prime example of the PUBLIC PERCEPTION this industry fail to address. Stop pointing the finger! this industry has done NOTHING…NOTHING to promote itself and do something about their negative image.

    It is always about the insiders. The insiders who are just milking whatever is left in this FAST DYING INDUSTRY…

    • matthew

      the industry isn’t “dying”.. electronic wagering on horses is only skyrocketing.  track attendance and handle may be decreasing, but the industry isn’t dying.  it is simply evolving, maybe not what you want it to evolve into, but evolving.

  • Forego

    DUSTIN HOFFMAN is a prime example of the PUBLIC PERCEPTION this industry fail to address. Stop pointing the finger! this industry has done NOTHING…NOTHING to promote itself and do something about their negative image.

    It is always about the insiders. The insiders who are just milking whatever is left in this FAST DYING INDUSTRY…

  • Kim Howell (Anita Xanax)

    Now THAT’S a hashtag! #quotedbydustinhoffman Well done Team Paulick Report!! Always on point!

  • Kim Howell (Anita Xanax)

    Now THAT’S a hashtag! #quotedbydustinhoffman Well done Team Paulick Report!! Always on point!

  • Watcher1

    Do you realize how few Hollywood actors went to college?  Why anyone pays attention to their opinions has always been beyond me.

  • Tinky

    No matter how good one is at counting toothpicks…

  • Tinky

    No matter how good one is at counting toothpicks…

  • nu-fan

    Guest:  Really?  I didn’t see his character is being that much of a villain.  It was the other thug (with the English/Irish accent) that was the arch villain.  Hoffman’s character was tough, had a “questionable” past, and was ruthless but he also didn’t snitch.  Isn’t that why his character landed in prison?  I remember that scene when his horse got injured during one of the faces.  It was Hoffman’s character who stayed all night with the horse until the tests came back the next morning.  How could someone who does that be the ultimate villain?  Loved that show!

  • nu-fan

    Ronawsumb:  There were so many wonderful characters (and actors) in that show but, yes, Nolte’s was, perhaps, my favorite.  Because of the guilt that he shared about a previous horse that he trained, he really took care of his current horse, which (if I remember correctly) was the offspring of that previous horse.  And, the gamblers: They were all great! 

  • nu-fan

    Butler:  Yes, I was disappointed as well.  Cancelled my subscription to HBO after its run since that was the only show on that cable network that I thought worth watching.  Have been hoping that the series would have been released on DVD but haven’t found it yet–and, I’ve looked.  Great show, great stories, great actors. 

  • nu-fan

    Roger:  But, I really wonder if the public backs PETA or not?  They have such an extreme viewpoint that, I believe, is not shared by most people.  I wonder if TMZ had more to do with this cancellation since it is more mainstream.  People watch TMZ but how many even know what PETA is up to?  I wonder what really would have happened if the studio had ignored PETA or TVG?  But, at the same time, I wonder why the studio couldn’t have used special effects to use for their racing shots?  It seems very easy, today, to alter film; they might have been able to use older racing footage.  Might have been cheaper as well.  And, it might have reduced the chances of injury.  Don’t know, just wondering….

  • The Great One

    I enjoyed the show. Really enjoyed it. Just about everything Michael Mann is involved with is gold. For the people on here who think that it “did a disservice” to the industry, well, you are entitle to your opinion, but that is the dumbest opinion I have read on this subject. It is not the writer, producer and directors jobs to make fluff television to “promote the sport”. Their job is to make great television, to create drama and story lines, interesting characters, not think “Gee, I wonder if this paints racing in a gray light?” And to say that it portrayed racing in a gray light is actually better than telling the truth about our great sport: Frog and pig juice (and all of the other illegal medication that they get away with), unscrupulous trainers and owners, cheating jockeys with machines, inept regulators and negligent track management. Jesus, the truth is worse than the fiction. 

    And if you have never seen a degenerate at a racetrack, you have never been to a racetrack. Degenerates keep this sport going, betting crap races all over this country seven days a week. If it weren’t for the so-called degenerate (racing and slots), the grace and beauty of this sport would be nearly gone, because it sure isn’t the occasional bettor or non-betting fan that keeps this game alive.

    And for the brain dead that think everything in the entertainment media should be like “Dreamer” or “Secretariat”, I am surprised that you can actually work a keyboard to type that crap. “Seabiscuit” was a good movie, a little Hollywood-ized, but a really solid and entertaining movie (don’t forget that it was nominated a numerous Oscars, including Best Picture). The other two are not only two of the worst horse racing movies ever made, but two of the worst movies ever made, period. “Dreamer” doesn’t just require the suspension of belief, it requires the suspension of brain activity (because the recently claimed and repurchased $15k plater is going to get into a rearing hoof-fight with the “bad guy race horse” in the paddock before winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic. It wasn’t the tale of Mariah’s Storm, it was the tale of Rick’s Natural Star, with a happier ending). And “Secretariat” was wildly inaccurate and so Disney-fied I nearly left the theater (right about the scene where they were all dancing around the horse while giving him a bath, or was it when Diane Lane stared an abscess out of his mouth and his groom ran from the stable area to the frontside to yell at nobody in particular?) These two movies not only offered nothing artistically, but also did nothing to bring awareness to the sport. 

    It is pathetic that people latch onto anything that they think can make this game culturally relevant to the mainstream public. None of this will save the sport, not movies or television programs, not c-list celebrities being treated like superstars at racetracks simply because they like horse racing. It will happen when the customer culture at racetracks changes. When the customers are treated like the track wants them there, when they are given entertainment value for the money that they spend, as opposed to the current model of customer service that has the track trying to squeeze every last dime out of anybody that steps foot in their facility. Customer service at racetracks is light-years behind any other entertainment driven industry, and that is why attendance and handle are so dismal at all but a select few racetracks.

    As for “Luck”, everyone of those characters were based on real people around the racetrack: the shady trainer, the daily degenerate group, the jocks and exercise riders, the agents. The mob-type characters were a little overblown, but their story line was to produce drama. It is said that art imitates life, and when that mirror gets  held up to you, you may not like everything you see. That is what happened with “Luck”, it showed a lot of the good and great moments that racing produces, it also showed the glimpse of the day-to-day realities that people in racing face, as well as the industry as a whole. I remember reading one industry leader criticize the show by saying that it never shows anybody in the stands. Well, go to any racetrack on a Wednesday afternoon, throw a grenade and see if anybody gets hurt. Yes, it ultimately was a fictional show, but, like all good art, it based itself in reality, a reality that you people apparently are not comfortable with.

    • nu-fan

      The Great One:  Great comments.  I might not agree with each and every point but you did lay it out very well.  There is a world of difference between the horseracing industry and the movie industry–and, those that are in both.  Yes, Secretariat was all Disney but it still made for a great film–for the family.  Still enjoy seeing Seabiscuit–over and over again.  Never saw Dreamer; don’t know why.  But, Luck did have characters that are typified at most tracks.  And, it IS drama, not a documentary.  One thing that the show did well for the racing industry were the little info spots that they had explaining some aspects of horseracing.  I learned a little from that.  Where else does one see any attempt to inform the public about horseracing and wagering?  If the show had continued, I believe that a few more people might have gotten curious enough to actually go to a real race.  That, in itself, could have helped stem the decline in fan interest.  And, yes, the tracks are in some other bygone era regarding business, marketing, and customer service concepts.  Unbelievably behind the times!  Wish that you, I, and some others could have found a spot to chat about Luck.  It would have been a very interesting chat!  Thank you for providing your thoughts about Luck.  Lots a great insight!

    • matthew

      exactly my point, Mann wasn’t shooting a documentary, it was fictitious piece of brilliance, and fun.  

    • John F. Greenhaw

      GREAT ONE,
      Congratulations my friend, you have just gone to the top of the list of best posts on the Paulick Report! 
      It is clear that you are no novice in this sport and have the experience necessary to view facts, matters, and other things in a proper perspective, unlike so many other regular posters.  Thanks!
      However, you did make me feel like I’m somewhat of an elitest.   I see the sport of racing as being in a transition, but far from being a dying sport.  Yet, this is the consensus among most contributors to the PR.  This sport is reliant upon the bettors who play the crap races on a week day, and God Bless them!  But, on any given weekend at tracks such as Saratoga, Oaklawn, Santa Anita, Del Mar, Arlington, and Keeneland,  the crowds are good and the excitement is thrilling.  I guess that I’m fortunate that these are the tracks which I frequent the most.  But, let us not ever belittle nor dismiss the importance of the bettor to this sport, for they are truly the life-blood which drives this sport!  Without the bettor, all bets are off!   

  • The Great One

    I enjoyed the show. Really enjoyed it. Just about everything Michael Mann is involved with is gold. For the people on here who think that it “did a disservice” to the industry, well, you are entitle to your opinion, but that is the dumbest opinion I have read on this subject. It is not the writer, producer and directors jobs to make fluff television to “promote the sport”. Their job is to make great television, to create drama and story lines, interesting characters, not think “Gee, I wonder if this paints racing in a gray light?” And to say that it portrayed racing in a gray light is actually better than telling the truth about our great sport: Frog and pig juice (and all of the other illegal medication that they get away with), unscrupulous trainers and owners, cheating jockeys with machines, inept regulators and negligent track management. Jesus, the truth is worse than the fiction. 

    And if you have never seen a degenerate at a racetrack, you have never been to a racetrack. Degenerates keep this sport going, betting crap races all over this country seven days a week. If it weren’t for the so-called degenerate (racing and slots), the grace and beauty of this sport would be nearly gone, because it sure isn’t the occasional bettor or non-betting fan that keeps this game alive.

    And for the brain dead that think everything in the entertainment media should be like “Dreamer” or “Secretariat”, I am surprised that you can actually work a keyboard to type that crap. “Seabiscuit” was a good movie, a little Hollywood-ized, but a really solid and entertaining movie (don’t forget that it was nominated a numerous Oscars, including Best Picture). The other two are not only two of the worst horse racing movies ever made, but two of the worst movies ever made, period. “Dreamer” doesn’t just require the suspension of belief, it requires the suspension of brain activity (because the recently claimed and repurchased $15k plater is going to get into a rearing hoof-fight with the “bad guy race horse” in the paddock before winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic. It wasn’t the tale of Mariah’s Storm, it was the tale of Rick’s Natural Star, with a happier ending). And “Secretariat” was wildly inaccurate and so Disney-fied I nearly left the theater (right about the scene where they were all dancing around the horse while giving him a bath, or was it when Diane Lane stared an abscess out of his mouth and his groom ran from the stable area to the frontside to yell at nobody in particular?) These two movies not only offered nothing artistically, but also did nothing to bring awareness to the sport. 

    It is pathetic that people latch onto anything that they think can make this game culturally relevant to the mainstream public. None of this will save the sport, not movies or television programs, not c-list celebrities being treated like superstars at racetracks simply because they like horse racing. It will happen when the customer culture at racetracks changes. When the customers are treated like the track wants them there, when they are given entertainment value for the money that they spend, as opposed to the current model of customer service that has the track trying to squeeze every last dime out of anybody that steps foot in their facility. Customer service at racetracks is light-years behind any other entertainment driven industry, and that is why attendance and handle are so dismal at all but a select few racetracks.

    As for “Luck”, everyone of those characters were based on real people around the racetrack: the shady trainer, the daily degenerate group, the jocks and exercise riders, the agents. The mob-type characters were a little overblown, but their story line was to produce drama. It is said that art imitates life, and when that mirror gets  held up to you, you may not like everything you see. That is what happened with “Luck”, it showed a lot of the good and great moments that racing produces, it also showed the glimpse of the day-to-day realities that people in racing face, as well as the industry as a whole. I remember reading one industry leader criticize the show by saying that it never shows anybody in the stands. Well, go to any racetrack on a Wednesday afternoon, throw a grenade and see if anybody gets hurt. Yes, it ultimately was a fictional show, but, like all good art, it based itself in reality, a reality that you people apparently are not comfortable with.

  • nu-fan

    Loved that show.  It had great story lines and great characters.  And the acting?  Excellent!  I wish that the show’s writer kept in touch with fans of this show.  There was a scene in it–after Hoffman’s character had that surveillance camera installed next to the stall of Hoffman’s horse–where that episode ended with the horse looking up at the camera light–and, looking at us.  I’ve wondered what that last shot meant.  Maybe nothing but it, still, is very clear in my memory.  Would like to ask the writer if there was a message in that shot.  Maybe, he will read this article and contribute some information to all of us about this show.  After all, if Dustin Hoffman reads the PR, perhaps, the writer does as well.

  • nu-fan

    Loved that show.  It had great story lines and great characters.  And the acting?  Excellent!  I wish that the show’s writer kept in touch with fans of this show.  There was a scene in it–after Hoffman’s character had that surveillance camera installed next to the stall of Hoffman’s horse–where that episode ended with the horse looking up at the camera light–and, looking at us.  I’ve wondered what that last shot meant.  Maybe nothing but it, still, is very clear in my memory.  Would like to ask the writer if there was a message in that shot.  Maybe, he will read this article and contribute some information to all of us about this show.  After all, if Dustin Hoffman reads the PR, perhaps, the writer does as well.

  • The Great One

    Whom was Secretariat well received by? It was a critical and box office disaster. Inaccurate to the point of stupidity and Disneyfied to the point of absurdity, they made the story of the GOAT to step foot on a racetrack an idiotic underdog story. The characters were were not interesting and the acting was mailed in. But hey, it made the sport look good, to people with absolutely no taste in entertainment and less knowledge about what really goes on at racetracks.

  • matthew

    It was a DRAMA folks!! As in DRAMA, not necessarily involving FICTION.  It’s a shame, and I agree with Hoffman.

    • matthew

      NON-FICTION*

    • nu-fan

      Matthew:  Yes, it was drama and fiction. It wasn’t meant to be a documentary or a public relations piece for the racing industry.  But, I do wish that Dustin Hoffman would have thought a little more about what he was saying.  I bet he regrets his comment, “Anyone who raises horses know they break their legs.”  I can’t imagine that he really thinks that this is a normal occurrence.  Perhaps, that is why he is an actor/director and not a writer.  Better at using other’s words rather than his own.

      • matthew

        choice of words: agreed.  Better words would be “accidents do happen, and the animals were treated with the utmost care and consideration.”  

  • matthew

    It was a DRAMA folks!! As in DRAMA, not necessarily involving FICTION.  It’s a shame, and I agree with Hoffman.

  • matthew

    NON-FICTION*

  • nu-fan

    JLC:  Or, used special effects to simulate racing.  Couldn’t they have used old racing films and alters the colors of the silks?  At least, for long shots?  What the movie studios can do in this day is amazing.  If this show could afford to pay the salaries for these wonderful actors, didn’t they have enough money to come up with another way around using horses in such potentially more dangerous situations?  I don’t know but regret that the show was cancelled.

  • nu-fan

    The Great One:  Great comments.  I might not agree with each and every point but you did lay it out very well.  There is a world of difference between the horseracing industry and the movie industry–and, those that are in both.  Yes, Secretariat was all Disney but it still made for a great film–for the family.  Still enjoy seeing Seabiscuit–over and over again.  Never saw Dreamer; don’t know why.  But, Luck did have characters that are typified at most tracks.  And, it IS drama, not a documentary.  One thing that the show did well for the racing industry were the little info spots that they had explaining some aspects of horseracing.  I learned a little from that.  Where else does one see any attempt to inform the public about horseracing and wagering?  If the show had continued, I believe that a few more people might have gotten curious enough to actually go to a real race.  That, in itself, could have helped stem the decline in fan interest.  And, yes, the tracks are in some other bygone era regarding business, marketing, and customer service concepts.  Unbelievably behind the times!  Wish that you, I, and some others could have found a spot to chat about Luck.  It would have been a very interesting chat!  Thank you for providing your thoughts about Luck.  Lots a great insight!

  • nu-fan

    Matthew:  Yes, it was drama and fiction. It wasn’t meant to be a documentary or a public relations piece for the racing industry.  But, I do wish that Dustin Hoffman would have thought a little more about what he was saying.  I bet he regrets his comment, “Anyone who raises horses know they break their legs.”  I can’t imagine that he really thinks that this is a normal occurrence.  Perhaps, that is why he is an actor/director and not a writer.  Better at using other’s words rather than his own.

  • MA

    Matt Chew was the head trainer for Seabiscuit and Luck, not to mention many other movies, TV shows, and photo shoots.

  • Fact Checker

    Absolutely wrong on both counts. The film Secretariat was a relative box office success, grossing $60 million by the end of its run and regardless of what people think, racetracks are not dominated by the trashy types of characters portrayed in the Luck. Facts are stubborn things. (Seabiscuit grossed $148,000,000 by the way.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1096788047 Pattie Mulderig

    Nice that you got some free advertising out of it! 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1096788047 Pattie Mulderig

    Nice that you got some free advertising out of it! 

  • Winngcolrz

    Those horses were EX racehorses. I daresay most of them were never actually successful at racing or even earned much, if any, money. But they were bred for it, had the looks AND the ability mentally to do another job, which was PRETEND to be a racehorse. They were hardly EVER at top racing speed for the actual footage (that was actual race footage). Those horses were galloped and trained, shod and treated like actual racehorses, not like a saddle horse. Per HSUS standards, they could only be used for X amount of time in every X hours. Even the pony horses (the ones that were used as outrider’s ponies) who are fit in their own sense, could only work so much. Saddles had to be removed and horses bathed and returned to barns.

    Face it, astarthor, the only reason racing exists TODAY is because of gamblers. They still do nothing to attract and keep new racing customers.

  • matthew

    exactly my point, Mann wasn’t shooting a documentary, it was fictitious piece of brilliance, and fun.  

  • matthew

    choice of words: agreed.  Better words would be “accidents do happen, and the animals were treated with the utmost care and consideration.”  

  • matthew

    the industry isn’t “dying”.. electronic wagering on horses is only skyrocketing.  track attendance and handle may be decreasing, but the industry isn’t dying.  it is simply evolving, maybe not what you want it to evolve into, but evolving.

  • matthew

    well put.  PETA is as fraudulent as A-Rod’s career stats.  They make money and grab attention, animal care is secondary, if that.

  • Jeffrey

    Do you realize how many short-sighted, narrow-minded and ill-informed college graduates there are?

    With that sharp insightful intellect of yours I do hope very much that you patronize the betting windows early and often.

  • desertrailrat

    Ray’s site is now linked on TMZ, sandwiched between stories about Lindsey Lohan and Ron Jeremy.  Hey Ray, hows it feel to be the Harvey Levin of racing?  (kidding!)  Free pub though!

  • desertrailrat

    Ray’s site is now linked on TMZ, sandwiched between stories about Lindsey Lohan and Ron Jeremy.  Hey Ray, hows it feel to be the Harvey Levin of racing?  (kidding!)  Free pub though!

  • The Great One

    Learn to read. I never said anything about “Seabiscuit”, as mentioned in a previous post, that movie is fantastic, even nominated as Best Picture. “Secretariat” GROSSED $60 mil, true. With a production budget of $35 mil and before promotion, the film netted $25 mil. That puts it squarely in the top 100 movies… of 2010. The hype about this movie was that it would be every bit the Oscar contender that “Seabiscuit” was, and was positioned to make a lot more money. If you liked it, fine. It just means that the fact is you can’t smell a turd, even if you are looking at one. And once again, if you haven’t seen a degenerate at a racetrack, you haven’t been to a racetrack. 

    Relative success. What does that even mean? It was the 58th highest grossing movie that year, behind such works of art as “Grown Ups”, “The Tooth Fairy” and some other Tyler Perry crap. Facts are a stubborn thing, make sure you don’t trip over them in your next post.

  • John F. Greenhaw

    Maybe someone can do a sequel to the great “LET IT RIDE”

    In fact, the age of the original cast would fit nicely with the demographics now attending the tracks.  JUST KIDDING, there are more and more younger people attending certain tracks than  in recent years.  Those “certain tracks” know how to promote a sporting event and treat their patrons as  a welcomed guest.  The current state of racing is not near as dire as many believe, as is evidenced by the handle numbers.  But, track management has to make coming to the track a “EVENT”

    Mr. Hoffman—get in touch with your buddy, Mr. Dreyfus, and see if you two can’t throw this idea around to your Hollywood pals.  Seriously though, Let It Ride was a very good movie and the rags to riches storyline is as appealing now as it ever was!   

  • Derby Dew

    I was a huge fan of “Luck”.  The first couple of episodes could have been better (having a horse break down early in the series was a big mistake… should have held off on that scene until after the fan base was developed).  Once we became more familiar with the characters, each new show was awaited with much anticipation.  I have no doubt that with another season under its belt, “Luck” would have gained a larger following.  The casting was brilliant causing fans of the show to really care about the characters.  My only complaint was that Nick Nolte spoke most of his lines in a soft growl to which I had great difficulty understanding.

    As for Peta, they are the NRA of the animal world.  Over the top in their extreme views.

  • Derby Dew

    I was a huge fan of “Luck”.  The first couple of episodes could have been better (having a horse break down early in the series was a big mistake… should have held off on that scene until after the fan base was developed).  Once we became more familiar with the characters, each new show was awaited with much anticipation.  I have no doubt that with another season under its belt, “Luck” would have gained a larger following.  The casting was brilliant causing fans of the show to really care about the characters.  My only complaint was that Nick Nolte spoke most of his lines in a soft growl to which I had great difficulty understanding.

    As for Peta, they are the NRA of the animal world.  Over the top in their extreme views.

  • John F. Greenhaw

    GREAT ONE,
    Congratulations my friend, you have just gone to the top of the list of best posts on the Paulick Report! 
    It is clear that you are no novice in this sport and have the experience necessary to view facts, matters, and other things in a proper perspective, unlike so many other regular posters.  Thanks!
    However, you did make me feel like I’m somewhat of an elitest.   I see the sport of racing as being in a transition, but far from being a dying sport.  Yet, this is the consensus among most contributors to the PR.  This sport is reliant upon the bettors who play the crap races on a week day, and God Bless them!  But, on any given weekend at tracks such as Saratoga, Oaklawn, Santa Anita, Del Mar, Arlington, and Keeneland,  the crowds are good and the excitement is thrilling.  I guess that I’m fortunate that these are the tracks which I frequent the most.  But, let us not ever belittle nor dismiss the importance of the bettor to this sport, for they are truly the life-blood which drives this sport!  Without the bettor, all bets are off!   

  • Racherasaro

    I loved the show and was very disappointed that they cancelled it!!!

  • Racherasaro

    I loved the show and was very disappointed that they cancelled it!!!

  • Kim Howell (Anita Xanax)

    The very thought of such a production makes me absolutely giddy with anticipation!! Let It Ride is one of my all time favorites!

  • Racherasaro

    I do not agree that it was a badly written show..I thought it was well done and yes it dramatized certain elements of racing but it was based on what does happen..anyone who doesn’t think that there must never have hung out on the back side or the front-side for more than the big races because I saw both the good and the bad in my time working there.It was a show man!

  • Racherasaro

    I do not agree that it was a badly written show..I thought it was well done and yes it dramatized certain elements of racing but it was based on what does happen..anyone who doesn’t think that there must never have hung out on the back side or the front-side for more than the big races because I saw both the good and the bad in my time working there.It was a show man!

  • Perks

    And willing to make stupid statements “horses break legs all the time”.

  • Guest

    If you google PETA and then click on their ad at the top of the page, it will cost them a few bucks each time. A good way to start each day!

  • Guest

    If you google PETA and then click on their ad at the top of the page, it will cost them a few bucks each time. A good way to start each day!

  • Roisin

    Yes, and that alone tells me all I want, or need, to know about Mr Hoffman!

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