Fauci (the Horse) Loses Race Badly in the Mud at Belmont Park

(Bloomberg) -- Fauci, it turns out, is not a mudder.

This is Fauci the horse, to be clear. His owners gave him the name this spring in honor of Fauci the man for all his efforts fighting the pandemic.

Well, the buzz on the backstretch was that Fauci -- who, unlike his diminutive namesake, is a big, powerfully-built thing -- was the goods: Fast and sharp, ready to roll. The betting public immediately bought into Fauci fever, making him the even-money favorite in his debut race today at Belmont Park.

But the rain came down and the dirt track got a good soaking, and perhaps young Fauci just didn’t care for all that slipping and sliding. When his rider nudged him alongside the early leader -- a colt by the name of Prisoner -- at the top of the stretch, he was easily repulsed and staggered across the finish line some five lengths behind.

Fauci’s debut was the highlight of opening day at Belmont, the first day of horseracing in the state of New York since the pandemic forced officials to shut down the sport in March. Racing will be held at the track on Long Island, without fans, through mid-July, when the circuit heads upstate to Saratoga Race Course for the summer.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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