Kentucky Derby field will have a horse named after Rob Gronkowski

Kentucky Derby, New England Patriots


Rob Gronkowski may not know yet if he’s going to play football this year, but he can sleep secure in knowing that a horse named in his honor will make The Run for the Roses in May.

All-everything tight end Rob Gronkowski is facing a few months of offseason uncertainty. He might return to the New England Patriots. He might retire after a string of injuries that has plagued him in recent years. He might even be traded, as weird as it would be to see him in another uniform. But one thing we know for sure is that a horse bearing his name will run in the Kentucky Derby.

Yes, you read that right. A horse named Gronkowski and named for the tight end has qualified for the Kentucky Derby field. The Kentucky-bred colt will make history as well, becoming the first horse ever to make the Derby in a slot specifically reserved for a horse based in Europe.

Gronkowski (the horse) got his name because he is 6-foot-5 just like Gronk (the human), and because Kerri Radcliffe, the team manager of Phoenix Thoroughbreds, is a Pats fan.

The name just became obvious, as Radcliffe explained to The Racing Post.

I love the New England Patriots and as Rob Gronkowski is six-five and about the same wide I thought it would be an appropriate name for the horse as he’s built much the same.

Still, this raises so many questions. Will Gronk be there to cheer on the horse named for him (ESPN reminds us he’s done the Derby before)? Will the winning jockey do the Gronk Spike with the roses after claiming victory?

Gronkowski is also trending in the right direction, winning his four most recent starts, but it remains to be seen how he’ll fare against horses who have run in the U.S. There should be plenty of New England fans willing to take a chance on him winning at Churchill Downs as well.



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