A  from the White House. The Antonacci family, like Fauci, is Italian-American and from Brooklyn.

“We wanted to honor the service that he’s given to the whole world: beside COVID, fighting all the other infectious his whole life,” Antonacci said. “Throughout the whole thing, he seemed like a voice that knew what was going on and, without trying to be too political, kind of calmed things and provided real data behind what was going on.”

Antonacci hoped to name a filly after Dr. Deborah Birx. In the end, though, Antonacci said he didn’t have horse good enough to name after the coordinator of the White House’s virus task force.

This colt who debuted Wednesday was named Fauci in part because his owners thought he’d be a special horse. Trainer Wesley Ward has seen that since the then-unnamed horse got to his barn in September.

“He’s a beautiful colt, done everything right on the track in the mornings, got a beautiful mind on him to where he’s not fractious or anxious and seems very, very intelligent,” Ward said. “He’s just a real easygoing guy. Not much bothers him.”

Antonacci has sensed a lot of hype surrounding the horse because of his name. Since the global pandemic began, Dr. Fauci’s likeness has been used for a plush doll, a bobblehead and a donut, and he has a namesake beer.

And now a thoroughbred.