New York-based Dr. Anthony Fauci, who serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has risen to celebrity status over the past several months while advising the president and other authority figures on the coronavirus. Not only has the 79-year-old become a household name, but he now has a racehorse named after him, and a successful one at that.
Fauci, a horse hailing from Lindy Farms/Ice Wine Stable in Somers, Connecticut, sprinted to a narrow, one-length victory over second-place finisher Unitedresolute Thursday at Keeneland Racetrack in Lexington, Kentucky. The two-year-old completed the 5 1/2-furlong course in a brisk 58.65 seconds with Tyler Gaffalione at the reigns. Fauci, who finished second in his racing debut at Belmont last month, has already earned $54,800 in career winnings with most of that loot coming from Thursday’s triumph (that netted him a cool $42K). The colt, trained by former jockey Wesley Ward, was purchased for $175,000 last fall.
We’ve seen horse names inspired by pro athletes before. Gronkowski, named for the star Patriots tight end (now of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), finished runner-up to Triple-Crown winner Justify at the 2018 Belmont Stakes. But naming a prized thoroughbred after one of the nation’s foremost coronavirus experts? That might be a first.