Beatbox by a Neck in the Fair Grounds Stakes 

Contact: Kevin Kilroy
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New Orleans, La (Feb. 17, 2024) – Exiting three second-place finishes in a row, Beatbox rallied up the rail to beat Strong Quality by a neck in the $175,000 Fair Grounds Stakes Presented by Horse Racing Nation (G3) at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots. Owned by Robert Comestro and Jeff Ganje, the dark bay horse covered the 1 1/18 miles in 1:49.96 over a turf course rated “soft.” In a thrilling finish, a neck also separated second from third as Johny’s Fireball rounded out the trifecta.

Facing ten older male rivals, the 6-year-old trained by Cherie DeVaux secured his first graded stakes victory. Beatbox was piloted by Joel Rosario. 

“He’s a really fun horse,” DeVaux. “It’s always nice when he comes out and runs his race. I think it was a different trip today than his last start with him coming up the rail.”

As he did when winning the Colonel Bradley last out, Strong Quality went to the lead, moving through the opening calls in :23.76 and :48.66. Breaking cleanly and swiftly from the rail, Johny’s Fireball let the pocket form around him, traveling in third. Overcoming an outside post to find a spot saving ground, Beatbox tracked in midpack through the far turn. As Strong Quality held the lead into the stretch, his inner rivals attacked from both sides with Beatbox threatening from the rail as Johny’s Fireball engaged the leader to his outside. The three dueled to the wire with the inner foe reaching the finish line first. Strong Quality maintained the advantage over Johny’s Fireball. Gigante rounded out the superfecta.

“Turning for home I had to make a quick decision to go outside or take the chance and go up the rail,” Rosario said. “The decision to stay inside really worked out for us in the end.”

As the 9-2 third choice, Beatbox paid $11.60, $5.20, and $3.40.

With a lifetime record of 17-6-3-2, Beatbox’s career earnings now total $410,248.

Additional Quotes

Norm Casse, trainer of Johny’s Fireball

“ He never stopped trying the entire stretch. Ricardo had him in a great spot and we were less than a half-length away from winning.”


About Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots

Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, one of the nation’s oldest racetracks, has been in operation since 1872. Located in New Orleans, LA, Fair Grounds, which is owned by Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN), also operates a slot-machine gaming facility and 16 off-track betting parlors throughout Southeast Louisiana. The 152nd Thoroughbred Racing Season–highlighted by the 111th running of the Louisiana Derby–will run from Nov. 17, 2023 through March 24, 2024. More information is available online at