Alex Quoyeser is one of five members of the Boat Racing, LLC partnership that owns a significant financial stake in Hot Rod Charlie, the third horse they ever owned who posted a front-running two-length victory in the $1 million Twinspires.com Louisiana Derby on March 20 at Fair Grounds. Hot Rod Charlie then ran third in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve on May 1.
Boat Racing was the inspiration of Patrick O’Neill, the nephew of trainer Doug O’Neill and bloodstock agent Dennis O’Neill, and his former Brown football teammates Eric Armagost, Dan Giovacchini, Reiley Higgins, and Quoyeser. The partnership is named for a beer-chugging game they played as Theta Delta Chi fraternity brothers.
Quoyeser took some time out of his schedule for a fun question-and-answer session before Hot Rod Charlie, or “Chuck” as they like to call him, competes in the Belmont Stakes Presented by NYRA Bets June 5 at Belmont Park. Boat Racing campaigns Hot Rod Charlie along withhos other owners Greg Helm, William Strauss, and Gainesway Thoroughbreds.
What was the Kentucky Derby experience like?
It was like hosting a family reunion, college reunion, and bachelor party jointly with my four best friends. It was the perfect intersection of each of the Boat Racing LLC members’ families and individual friends crossed with our mutual college friends. It was perfection.
Describe the feeling of having a horse finish third in the Kentucky Derby and now racing in the Belmont Stakes:
Leading up to the race, all of the Boat Racing guys agreed that the result didn’t matter to us. Hot Rod Charlie took us to places we never could’ve dreamt of. When ‘Chuck’ turned for home, I thought he had a good chance to win, so my immediate reaction to him crossing the wire third was one of subtle disappointment. Then, my perspective immediately reverted back to my original mindset. While we were hoping to win, we beat 16 of the best horses in the world that day, and 20,000 others who didn’t qualify for the race. We hit the board in the Kentucky Derby!
Are you superstitious? If so, what race day superstitions do you have?
I’m not superstitious at all.
My introduction to horse racing occurred when:
Pat (of Boat Racing LLC) bought TVG Network for our cable box when we lived together as seniors at Brown University. My introduction came watching races with him on TV.
What I do for a living:
I’m the Operations Manager for Lyft’s electric bikes and scooters platform in Los Angeles and Santa Monica.
What I like about Thoroughbred racing:
The experience at the track. Nothing like a full day of eating, drinking, and gambling while sitting in the sun with good friends.
How I became an owner:
Reiley, Eric, Dan, and I spent a few days at the track with Pat and his uncles. We’ve stayed close since college and wanted to continue to find ways to have cool experiences together. One day at the track, the idea of getting into ownership was hatched. The rest is history.
Best advice to someone considering ownership:
Do it with people you trust, diversify your portfolio with several small investments, and enjoy the ups and downs!
Favorite place at the racetrack in which to watch a race:
Wherever my people are. It could be the worst seat in the house, but I’d still want to watch next to the people I came to watch the races with.
Should the Breeders’ Cup rotate from coast to coast or have a permanent home?
Rotate from coast to coast. I’d even suggest moving the calendar up a month to bring some of the northern tracks into play.
My top three favorite racetracks in order:
Most influential person in my career:
My dad. He’s been a source of wisdom for me my entire life. From teaching me algebra when I was in middle school to advising me on career moves, he’s always willing to offer guidance.
My out-of-the-box idea for Thoroughbred racing:
Highlight the jockeys more. Turn it into a fantasy sport or something.
Other sports/teams I follow:
Houston Astros, Houston Texans, Buffalo Bills
My favorite athlete of all-time:
Mitch Morse (he’s my first cousin)
What book(s) I am reading or have recently read:
“Green Eggs and Ham”
Hobbies away from Thoroughbred racing:
Golf, fantasy baseball
“Happy Gilmore,” “Wedding Crashers,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” and “It’s a Wonderful Life”
Favorite TV/streaming shows I watch:
Favorite vacation spot:
The Beatles, Blink-182, Florida Georgia Line, and Avicii
Websites I visit daily:
The ESPN Fantasy website (either baseball or football)
I’d like to have dinner with the following three people inside racing:
Doug O’Neill, Dennis O’Neill, and Leandro Mora
I’d like to have dinner with the following three people outside of racing:
Marianne Quoyeser, Joe Quoyeser, and Oliver Quoyeser
Best racetrack food can be found at:
Dollar Days at Golden Gate Fields
Accomplishment I am most proud of:
Graduating from Brown University
My philosophy on life:
Life’s greatest treasures are your family, your friends, and the memories you make with them.
Things I collect:
A. A. Milne
Favorite animal other than a horse:
Golden retrievers. Any time my girlfriend, Caroline, and I see one, I make sure she stops to appreciate it with me.
Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended:
Game 7 of the 2017 World Series. Let’s go Astros!!
Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me:
Friendship, camaraderie, and competition
Top three fashion brands you prefer to wear:
Lululemon, Peter Millar, and Rhoback
Favorite month of the year:
What apps are on your phone?
Lyft, Slack, and Venmo
My biggest gambling score ever at the racetrack was:
My first time ever at the track, I didn’t know how to bet and I accidentally created a trifecta bet when I meant to create an exacta box. The trifecta hit, and it paid out 50x.
What is your go-to or signature bet to make at the racetrack?
If you could pick walk-up music that would play Hot Rod Charlie entered a winner’s circle after a win, what song would you pick?
“Good Life,” by Kanye West
Favorite fall holiday cocktail:
Favorite summertime cocktail:
Favorite all-time racehorse:
Favorite race horse currently competing:
Hot Rod Charlie
Favorite international racing event:
Boat Racing would really love to go to Royal Ascot at some point.
Three ways to attract more fans to the sport:
Headline musicians on race day, interactive horse racing fantasy leagues, and more instruction around how to bet.