The ventures and adventures of Batman and Trey
by Trey Nosrac
Driving through cornfields bordering County Road 27E, my wealthy passenger from Silicon Valley dropped a salvo of bombs.
“I’m moving to Ohio. I have loose ends to ties up in California. My mom is doing fine, but she will need me. At this point in my life, the family farm is where I want to be, it just feels right.”
Sounding like a complete jerk, I said, “What about me, what are you going to do, get a driver’s license or a self-driving car?”
“You keep driving me if you’re willing.”
“Willing? This has been my longest and best paying job since three weeks in 2010 when I unloaded semis filled with smuggled kitchen appliances in the middle of the night. Three of us worked in an abandoned warehouse that looked like a Steven King setting. My CEO for that caper was a skinny tattooed ex-con named Eric the Lip who I met at a mandatory meeting.”
He smiled, “Really?”
“Long story. Hey, from now on I want to be called Ground Transportation Coordinator.”
He gave me a thumb up.
I punched a pair of horn toots to make the new name official, then I said, “And I’m sick of dancing around what to exactly call you. Development Operations Director doesn’t roll off the tongue.”
He spread his hands, “That’s simple, my name is Tom.”
“Too boring, I give everybody nicknames, let’s go with Batman.”
“Billionaire Always Thinking,” I tapped my head with my index finger, “That spontaneous acronym took me 20 minutes to come up with.”
He gave a little head-clearing shake of his peach-fuzzed grey head. We traveled in silence for a few miles towards the interstate that would link us to the airport.
Then he dropped another bomb.
“When I come home, let’s go into the harness racing business.”
Like a bad actor, my jaw dropped. I took a few beats to recover, “Batman, we have a balance problem. I don’t have a balance. You, on the other hand, could buy every horse in a sale.”
“Your costs will be covered by your new position as an equine/advisor/mentor.”
“I’ve only been Ground Transportation Coordinator for forty-five seconds.”
He pointed at me, “We call that fast-tracking.”
I saluted, “Well, I call that bat-shit crazy. What’s next, you giving me the deed to your farm?”
I sounded like a six-year-old on Christmas morning, which was exactly how I felt when I yelled, “Are you serious? “
He nodded, “Prepare to take me to Harrisburg for the fall sale. Make a list of prospects. We are going to select a yearling, a broodmare in foal and an open broodmare for this first phase.”
Placing my left hand on top of my head I sputtered out, “I need details. How much is the bankroll? What state programs you want to try? Can I go to the Lexington sale? What is phase two, what sires, what’s the plan, and about a dozen other things that I can’t think of because my head is about to explode because if you haven’t noticed, I am currently overworked with TWO jobs.”
He smiled, “Well, obviously the plan is to make wise investments and make money.”
I tilted my head, “Well, obviously, you haven’t read my resume or rap sheet.”
“You’ll surprise yourself.”
“This is crazy, even on my scale of craziness.”
“It makes perfect sense. All of our talking about harness racing for the past two months has me curious. My semi-retirement gives me time for new adventures. You tweaked my interest.”
“Maybe a psychiatrist should tweak your medication.”
“Trey, you know about harness racing. You have owned racehorses. You can teach me about the sport. I own a fine fallow farm.”
We both froze and then I howled, “Did you really just say FINE FALLOW FARM?”
He winced, “I knew that would bite me as soon as it fell out of my mouth.”
“Well,…Batman…I’m too FUDDLED to ride you about using the words FINE FALLOW FARM for the moment. You might want to know that I have a tattoo on my left shoulder that says, “Not responsible for… much.” Seriously, I need supervision, at least boundaries, and possibly incarceration.”
He shook his head, “In my world, key employees don’t get lists of what to do. People have free rein to figure things out and be creative. We expect they will tell us what to do and for what reason.”
I snorted, “In my business world we keep a low profile, avoid responsibility, gamble and rarely listen to reason.”
He just smiled like the cat that swallowed the canary and said, “Look, this scenario is simple. You put me, a relative newcomer, into the harness racing business. You pick what you believe is the best path, walk me through each step and explain your thinking. Then I will add my two cents and together we will try a few new twists.”
“This business is very twisty and will cost you more than two cents.”
“I don’t plan on losing.”
“Nobody does. But you asking me to go into the harness horse business sounds like one of my lowlife pals saying, ‘Hold my beer and watch this.’”
He grinned, “So, that’s a yes, you’ll hold my beer?”
I whooshed out some air, “Just answer me this — What’s more important to you, making money or having fun.”
He bobbled his head side to side, thinking, and then answered, “I prefer both, but let’s go with fun.”
“Then I’m your man.” I tooted the horn again and held out my right fist for a knuckle bump.
He bumped back.
(**Reader’s Note; thank you for taking these “Devo rides.” This series will have a new title. The plan is to move from viewing the sport from theoretical to real. Please join us for The Ventures and Adventures of Trey and Batman – actual horses, sales, farms, state programs, stallions, broodmares etc.)