At this point Bob Nastanovich is at least as well known as a race horsing enthusiast as a member of Pavement and Silver Jews. Nastanovich is, for instance, the only known American to have attended race meetings at all 60 British racecourses, and he’s been involved with the sport in various capacities including owner, breeder, and handicapper for 30 years. So it’s perfectly reasonable that America’s Best Racing interviewed him about his passion — more like John Darnielle talking wrestling than Darnielle talking goats. Nastanovich names his all-time favorite tracks and horses and comments on the state of the sport, and early on he explains how he got into this stuff, something I’ve always wondered:
As a 6-year-old, I lived in Virginia and got caught up in the Secretariat mania. My principal Alan Chenery was a cousin of Penny Chenery. In the 80s, I got hooked on the game as a player when road tripping to Charles Town from Charlottesville. I should have been studying. I hung out at Aqueduct and in the New York City off-track betting parlors when I was a New York bus driver. In the early 90s, I moved directly across the street from the clubhouse entrance of Churchill Downs. It was during this period that I became an owner and breeder.