Fauci The Racehorse Tries To Lock Down A Victory At Belmont Park

The colt, named after coronavirus task force expert Dr. Anthony Fauci, took on the neigh-sayers for opening day.

This Fauci better hope losing isn’t contagious.

A horse named after coronavirus task force expert Dr. Anthony Fauci placed second Wednesday at Belmont Park in Elmont, New York, after entering the race as the betting favorite. Prisoner pulled away for the victory after the two were nearly even for the first part of the race. (See the replay below.)

The meet celebrated a rainy opening day without fans after the pandemic lockdown began in order to help prevent the virus from spreading further.

Philip Antonacci bought the 2-year-old for $175,000 last year and registered the name Fauci to honor the doctor, who was a neighbor of his family in Brooklyn, according to the New York Post.

(Antonacci also wanted to name a filly after Anthony Fauci’s task force colleague Dr. Deborah Birx but didn’t have a good enough horse, the Associated Press reported.)

Fauci, with jockey Tyler Gaffalione aboard, paid $2.40 to place. He crossed the wire in the 5-furlong event about 4.5 lengths back ― a “socially distant second,” the Post joked. Guess Fauci wasn’t immune to a stiff challenge.

Indoctrinate finished third, while Garoppolo, whom the Sporting News said is named after 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, finished fourth.