Horse Named After Rob Gronkowski Has 'Minor Setback,' May Miss Kentucky Derby

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistApril 23, 2018

BALTIMORE, MD - MAY 19: Gunnevera gets a bath after completing his final preparations for the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on May 19, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Alex Evers/Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images)
Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images

Gronkowski the horse, the Kentucky Derby hopeful named after New England Patriots star tight end Rob Gronkowski, may miss the Run for the Roses.

"We've had a minor setback and we will know where we are in the next 24 hours," trainer Jeremy Noseda told Jon Lees of RacingPost.com.

Gronkowski the horse was scheduled to make the trip to Kentucky this weekend, but his status for the race is now up in the air. The horse, 4-1 in its career, earned a starting spot at the Derby by winning the Listed Burradon Stakes, though according to ESPN, he's never run in dirt or competed in a race longer than a mile.

If he can't compete, it would certainly be a disappointment for the Patriots star, who became a minority owner in the horse after learning he was named in his honor.

"When I heard about the racehorse being named after me, I started watching and got really stoked," Gronkowski (the human) said, per David Whitley of the Orlando Sentinel

"I really can't think of anything cooler than having a top-class thoroughbred named after me, except maybe having him win the Derby," he added, according to Jason Frakes of the Louisville Courier Journal.

That possibility now appears to be in jeopardy, though Gronkowski (the horse) was always a long shot at 45-1 odds.

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