Indie Rock Legend Bob Nastanovich and horse racing
"To me, there's really nothing more exciting than a good horse race. And they happen every day in all parts of the world. In this day and age we're able to access racing starting at seven o'clock in the morning in the U.K. and Ireland, and if you want to, still be betting them at one or two in the morning from Australia and New Zealand. So it's a very good time to be a horse player, in terms of access. You used to have to drive to the racetrack; now, you can just sit in the comfort of your own home and lose several hundred dollars a day."
How did this go from being an obsession to an actual, paying job? You start off playing the horses heavily, and then one thing leads to another. I lived directly across the street from the clubhouse of Churchill Downs for 15 years, and during that period, I expanded my interest into owning horses, and eventually breeding them, and subsequently I've taken on a wide variety of jobs in the industry. It's become a heavy-duty pursuit.
Was it tough to break in?
Yeah. There aren't a lot of jobs, and the jobs are hard to get. Horse racing tends to be filled with a lot of people at a wide variety of levels that were handed their job via networking or, in a lot of cases, nepotism. One of the reasons why the industry suffers, from a proficiency standpoint, is that there are a lot of people holding down jobs by default and they're sort of miserable. So I started working thinking that I could make a positive impact on the sport at different levels, just because I love it so much.
I'm trying to do the math here — what does that run you per month, per horse?
Generally, depending on your trainer, it's anywhere from $2,500 to $5,000 a month, [depending on] whether it's a slow horse or a fast horse. You can do it cheaper than that. People that own their own and train them, they can probably do it cheaper. But in order to take care of a racing thoroughbred properly, you need to spend a lot of money. It depends; I have one trainer friend that charges $60 a day that's outstanding, and I've got another one that costs about $100 a day. They both do an excellent job; they just have a different way of going about it.