Named after Doctor Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert at the center of U.S. efforts to contain the novel coronavirus outbreak, Fauci has been installed as the 4-5 favorite in the third race.

The action at Belmont Park will be the first live sporting event held in New York in nearly three months as restrictions put in place by the COVID-19 outbreak begin to ease.

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"It would be fitting if Fauci won, to give the whole thing a bit of closure," the horse's owner Philip Antonacci told the New York Post.

Antonacci bought the two-year-old for $175,000 last year, according to a report in the Post and three months ago applied to give the horse the name Fauci to honor his family’s Italian-American heritage and the doctor who was a neighbor in Brooklyn. (Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, Editing by Ed Osmond)

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