Dustin Hoffman

HBO has picked up the gritty drama Luck.

From executive producers David Milch and Michael Mann, the show looks at denizens of the horse-racing world such as owners, jockeys and gamblers. Dustin Hoffman (The Graduate, Meet the Fockers) plays the tough and intelligent Ace, who just finished a stint in prison protecting all his gambling cronies.

"Michael Mann delivered a pilot from David Milch's brilliant script that took our breath away," Michael Lombardo, HBO's president of programming, said Wednesday in announcing the pickup.  "We are truly excited that these two artists, and our extraordinary cast headed by Dustin Hoffman, will be bringing Luck to life."

The cast also includes Kerry Condon, Ritchie Coster, Kevin Dunn, Dennis Farina, Jason Gedrick, Ian Hart, Jill Hennessy, Richard Kind, Nick Nolte, John Ortiz, Tom Payne and Gary Stevens.

Luck will begin shooting in the fall at Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia, Calif., along with several other Los Angeles locations.