Renzo is an unemployed gambler and regular at Santa Anita Park. He lives on his social security benefit and dreams of a big win. He is friends with fellow gamblers Marcus and Jerry and respects their ability to handicap horses. He is also friends with gigolo and gambler Lonnie.
Renzo used to live with his aunt. He has a brother who is in prison.
- Main article: Luck (pilot)
Renzo approaches Jerry and Marcus in the stands at the Santa Anita Racetrack waving a wad of cash at them, saying that he has his $255 disability payment. Marcus clarifies that Renzo has actually borrowed the money against his expected social security benefit cheque; called a payday advance by the lenders to get around usery laws. Jerry watches trainer Walter Smith’s horse round a bend as Marcus shows his picks to Renzo, explaining that it is Jerry’s only contribution to their syndicate. They are planning to bet on the pick six as a group.
Renzo marvels that Jerry has chosen only a single horse in the fourth race, admitting that he had assessed the race as being a semi-spread. Marcus checks the listings and notes that Jerry’s pick Mon Gateau, the fifth horse in the race, is being ridden by Leon Micheaux. Marcus denigrates Micheaux as an inexperienced jockey who has not won ten races in his whole career and notes that the horse has not won in two years. Renzo points out that Turo Escalante is training Mon Gateau and Marcus exclaims excitedly, reaching for Jerry’s picks.
An overweight security guard named Kagle asks Marcus, Jerry and Renzo to move along. Marcus sarcastically asks if anyone is morbidly fat and if anyone ordered a heart attack. Kagle says that he would not hold his breath, and then notes that Marcus cannot. Marcus asks when Kagle last saw his genitals without using a mirror. Jerry asks Kagle if he is looking at the pick six and Kagle admits that he holds a few opinions. Kagle asks if Jerry is going to bet and then moves along. Renzo tells Marcus that there might be more development at the coffee shop. Marcus asks Renzo to clarify and Renzo persists with being mysterious, explaining that he does not want to say in case it does not happen. Marcus calls Renzo a moron. Marcus warns Jerry not to borrow money from Kagle because of his high interest rate (3% a week).
Marcus, Jerry and Renzo arrive at the coffee shop. Renzo nods at a man in a yellow shirt, Lonnie, and says that he is there. Lonnie wonders why Renzo sounds surprised and Renzo says that he never guaranteed he would be there. Marcus asks Lonnie to stand back so he can manoeuvre his wheelchair to the edge of the table. Renzo introduces Lonnie, adding that Marcus has met him once before. Lonnie introduces himself to Jerry, recalling that they have also met once before. Lonnie invites Marcus to guess how he refers to him when discussing him with Renzo. Marcus suggests asshole and Lonnie reveals that he calls them the brains housing department because of their accurate picks. The waitress approaches and Jerry says that they will all have their usual. Lonnie continues to describe his respect for them and Jerry interrupts to prompt him to order. Lonnie orders eggs and bacon and Renzo backs Lonnie’s claims. Lonnie adds that Renzo has told him about their methods, describing them as genius. Marcus dejectedly says that their picks often lose. The waitress asks if Lonnie wants home fries and he declines, citing concern for his figure. Lonnie asks Renzo to relate what he always says and Renzo reports “let me once make half a score, I’ll bankroll that genius gimp.” Marcus shakes his head and hesitantly asks them to define half a score. Lonnie claims to have earned money as a gigolo and reveals a wad of cash.
Marcus, Renzo and Lonnie return to the stands. Marcus says that he will explain Jerry’s picks. He draws Lonnie’s attention to the single horse in the fourth race and elucidates Jerry’s method of handicapping based on the trainer’s reputation. Marcus explains that as a syndicate they are going to purchase enough pick six tickets to cover four horses in the fifth race and six horses in the sixth race. He clarifies that by betting a single horse in the fourth race they will be in a minority of viable ticket holders if that horse wins. He says that they are protecting themselves by spreading their bets in the subsequent races. They are buying enough tickets to have a bet on every horse in the final race so that they will be guaranteed a share of the $2,000,000 plus jackpot if their picks are proven up to that stage. Marcus rounds this up by saying that it is the gist of Jerry’s thinking. Lonnie repeats his nickname for them “Brains housing”. Marcus wonders where Jerry is and predicts that he will be feeling guilty for losing his stake in poker and borrowing money from Kagle.
Jerry rejoins the rest of the syndicate in the stands prior to the fourth race. The horses are led into the starting gate. Micheaux and Mon Gateau take their position in the fifth bay. The gate opens and Micheaux makes a middling start. Renzo asks Jerry for commentary and Marcus tells him to keep quiet. Micheaux is trapped against the rail by another rider. Mon Gateau’s pace increases as an opening on the inside presents itself. Jerry calls for the horse to take it. Micheaux guides the horse through the gap to victory thrilling the syndicate.
Jerry, Lonnie, Renzo and Marcus come inside. Lonnie says that he is on a roll and asks Renzo if he has told the others how he got his stake. Marcus points out that Lonnie has told them and Lonnie wonders if they want to hear it again. Marcus defers and Jerry quietly admits that he sold his picks to Kagle. Marcus is annoyed that Jerry has given Kagle the chance to share in the jackpot. Jerry claims that Kagle gave him $50 and that he accepted in order to pull his weight in the syndicate as he hands the money to Marcus. Marcus asks if Jerry knows that Kagle bought the ticket but is afraid to admit it and Jerry says that he does not know for sure. Lonnie and Renzo watch as the number six horse wins the fifth race – another of their picks.
Jerry cheers as the number 7 horse wins the 7th race, another of his picks. Marcus glances at the napkin to check. Lonnie questions which horse they are rooting for. Renzo announces that they are going to win the pick six because they have a ticket for each horse in the final race. Kagel approaches and offers them the opportunity to use a go-between to accept their winnings to avoid the IRS becoming aware of their identities for a fee. Marcus realises that Kagel did not bet. Kagel admits that he thought the picks were wrong, particularly backing Escalante’s horse in the fourth race, and says that he did not want to waste $864 buying the required number of tickets. Marcus crows about their victory. Kagel observes that Marcus cannot resist humiliating him. Jerry says that no-one is trying to humiliate him and Kagel asks Jerry to tell that to whoever put him in his overweight body. Marcus jokes that it was someone called Ronald McDonald. The screen displays the possible payouts (based on the number of betters who will share the jackpot) for each horse in the final race winning. The sixth and eighth horses are reported as being the maximum winners. Lonnie notes that lowest payout is $48,840 and Renzo says there would be nothing wrong with that. Marcus jokes that he would prefer the full 2.7 million as it would be less of an adjustment.
The syndicate return to the stands to watch the eighth race. Lonnie wonders which horse they are rooting for and Jerry tells him that it is the longshot. Micheaux, now riding a horse named Tattered Flag, progresses through the field and Jerry realises he was the jocky that won them the fourth race. Renzo adds that Tattered Flag is one of the longshots. Tattered Flag breaks her leg on the final bend of the race. Micheaux manages to bring her to a stop and dismount safely, talking to the horse to try to calm her.
With Tattered Flag out of the race the syndicate note that the number 2 horse is the remaining long shot. Lonnie and Renzo are confused when Jerry says that the chalk is drifting out. Jerry and Marcus watch in awe as the number 2 horse takes the lead and finishes first. Lonnie asks what is happening and Jerry says that they have won. Lonnie jumps up and down calling that he is the champion of the world. Renzo backs away, mouth agape. Marcus runs down their winnings. Jerry asks Marcus to humour him and Marcus shows him the winning ticket. Jerry sings under his breath as he gazes at the screen. In the office the track manager takes a call from his boss, saying that the tellers have been alerted to the win.
The Track Manager gives a television interview about the pick six win. The syndicate emerge from the track behind him. Renzo details his plans for his share including sending money to his imprisoned brother and to his aunt. Renzo wonders if they should admit that they are the winners and Marcus says they will wait until tomorrow. Lonnie suggests that they stay in a motel with connecting rooms so they can both party and keep an eye on one another.
- Main article: Episode 1.2
Renzo and Marcus share breakfast at their usual diner. Marcus notes that Escalante has entered Mon Gateau in a claim race with a lower sale price despite him winning his last race. Marcus believes Escalante is trying to offload the horse and is dubious of Renzo’s proposal that they buy the horse for the claim cost. Renzo believes they should own the horse because Mon Gateau’s win was the key to their pick six windfall. Jerry enters as Marcus suggests that it would be better to flush the $8000 the horse would cost down the toilet because it would save them paying the sales tax. Renzo observes that Marcus has reservations and Marcus says that nothing gets past Renzo. Renzo announces Jerry and stands up to let him into the booth. Marcus sarcastically notes Jerry’s appearance. A man arrives at the door to the diner and holds his hands up quizzically. Renzo excuses himself, claiming he is going for a smoke. Marcus asks how much Jerry lost and Jerry takes offence at the suggestion. Marcus wonders what size game Jerry was playing in and Jerry says that it was a $10-20 bet, just a small step up. Marcus reminds Jerry that they were careful to avoid publicity about their winnings and chastises him for throwing money around at the casinos. Jerry says that they have got nothing to hide. Marcus notes that Renzo is acting the same way wanting to claim Mon Gateau. Jerry says that he noticed Escalante had dropped the price of the horse. Marcus predicts that Lonnie will be bragging about his winnings to the older insurance agents he has been having sex with before being overcome by a coughing fit. Jerry urges him to calm down and Marcus profanely refuses.
Renzo and Goose Kellog, the horse trainer who drew him outside, discuss the process of claiming a horse. Goose says that Renzo is under no obligation until he puts in the claim and Renzo confirms that Goose has seen Mon Gateau. Goose confirms that he knows the horse. Renzo tells Goose that he hopes to partner with Marcus, Jerry and Lonnie in the ownership of the horse. Goose is more interested in ensuring Renzo’s ability to pay the claim cost. Renzo tries to mentally calculate the cost of a share in the horse but is unable to reach a figure. Goose tallies the cost of the horse as $8,800 including sales taz and Renzo agrees to pay the sum on his own and give the horse to his friends as a gift. Goose asks Renzo to accompany him to the track.
Later Renzo poses for a photograph for his horse owners license. Goose shows him through to have his fingerprints taken.
Renzo arrives back at the motel with coffee and doughnuts for the others. Lonnie tells Marcus that the conversation is impairing his “mental adroitness with its contra-negativity” and walks away. Marcus derisively repeats the phrase to Jerry and predicts that the insurance agents would have bad intentions towards Marcus if they found out about his winnings.
Renzo follows Lonnie to give him his coffee and says that Marcus is having a bad day. Lonnie notes that it is always a bad day with Marcus. Renzo says that it is a period of adjustment and Lonnie counters that he feels like he is falling. Renzo asks Lonnie to consider continuing their partnership under a new concept and Lonnie ends the discussion by saying that he is overdosing on concepts. As he walks away Lonnie calls back a thank you for the coffee.
Marcus and Jerry argue about spending the winnings at the track. Renzo joins them as Jerry walks away. Renzo asks when Jerry will return and Jerry says it won’t be that day. Marcus calls after Jerry, saying that Jerry will now use their argument as an excuse for further gambling. With Jerry gone Marcus asks Renzo what is wrong. Renzo reveals his plan to claim the horse and invites Marcus to join him as a co-owner. Marcus refuses, saying that Renzo is in no position to buy a horse and lacks the intelligence to be an owner. Renzo counters that Marcus might be more aware of the positions of others if he weren’t so busy hurting their feelings. Marcus drives himself away.
Renzo completes a claim form as Goose watches over his shoulder. Goose notices that Mon Gateau’s legs are bandaged. Goose suggests that either Mon Gateau has a problem or Escalante is trying to pretend he does so that the horse is not claimed. Renzo asks why Escalante would do this and Goose elucidates that Escalante will be trying to lengthen the odds on his horse while protecting it from being claimed. Goose urges Renzo to follow him. Escalante exits the barn at the same time as them and Renzo notices him, asking Goose to confirm his identity. Goose notices Renzo’s reverence and tells him that Escalante is human. Goose tells Renzo that the horse looks good.
Renzo files his claim and high fives Goose. Marcus drives his chair into a disabled area of the stands. His neighbour greets him and asks who he has bet on. He tells her that it is the fourth horse. She wishes him luck and he awkwardly reciprocates. He notices Renzo with Goose and disparages his friend’s choice of trainer.
Leon is led out to the starting gate. The starter’s assistant asks if he is ready and Leon uncertainly affirms. The gate opens. Ace smiles as Gus nods excitedly. Renzo and Goose watch intently. Mon Gateau is trapped between two other riders. Renzo is taken aback and checks with Goose that it is their horse. Leon pulls back on the reins and Mon Gateau tosses his head in defiance. Leon eventually slows the horse enough to go outside his competition. He then allows the horse to reach its full speed and overtakes the riders who had boxed him in. Leon progresses through the field. Renzo cheers excitedly. Leon wins lengths ahead of the field. Renzo and Gus clap the horse together. Escalante, Leon and Mon Gateau pose for their photograph. A Steward’s Assistant places a claimed tag on Mon Gateau. Renzo asks Goose if they should be in the claimed area already. Goose says they need to find out if there is going to be a shake and Renzo asks what he means.
Leon is weighed holding his saddle as Goose, Renzo and Mulligan wait in the claimed area. Goose tells Renzo that there is going to be a shake because Mulligan also claimed the horse – they will have a 50% chance of getting ownership. Renzo is perturbed. The Steward’s Assistant conducts the shake and Mulligan gets the horse. Renzo is disbelieving.
Renzo and Goose walk past the receiving barn as Mulligan leads Mon Gateau inside. Renzo laments the missed opportunity. He reiterates his plan to give the horse to his friend and wonders what will happen now. Goose suggests that he knows someone with a two-year-old horse for sale.
Renzo knocks on the adjoining door and reports his failure to claim Mon Gateau to Marcus. Marcus sarcastically congratulates Renzo on his choice of trainer and wonders if Goose is in the hall of fame yet. There is a knock on Renzo’s main door and he asks Marcus to wait before going to answer. Renzo finds Lonnie slumped against the wall, bruised and battered. Renzo calls Marcus out and the two of them help Lonnie atop Marcus on the chair. Marcus then reverses back into his room. As the others are struggling to help Lonnie, Jerry pulls up.
- Jerry: Syndicate partner and friend
- Marcus: Syndicate partner and friend
- Lonnie: Syndicate partner and friend
- Kagel: Loan shark
- Goose Kellog: Horse trainer
- Chris Mulligan: Rival horse trainer
- Turo Escalante: Rival horse trainer
- "255 simoleons" ("Luck")
|Season one appearances|
|Luck||Episode 1.2||Episode 1.3|
|Episode 1.4||Episode 1.5||Episode 1.6|
|Episode 1.7||Episode 1.8||Episode 1.9|