Horse named after football star drops out of Kentucky Derby

April 26, 2018

The Super Bowl and the Kentucky Derby are two famous American sporting events during which some of the country’s top athletes take the stage — but one event highlights human athletes, and the other equine athletes.

Football star Rob Gronkowski plays for the New England Patriots, a team that participated in but ultimately didn’t win this year’s Super Bowl. Gronkowski put his chips in for a different chance at victory in this year’s Kentucky Derby when he became the part-owner of a three-year-old, 1200-pound horse also named Gronkowski (who, yes, was named after the human Gronkowski.)

Sadly, it appears that Horse Gronkowski will be unable to participate in the race on May 5 after developing a minor infection and fever that makes him unable to travel.

“It’s unfortunate Gronkowski the horse will not be able to race in the upcoming Kentucky Derby due to an illness,” tweeted Human Gronkowski. “I fully support what is best for the horse. I know he will come back strong and healthy and I am excited to see him race again very soon.”

According to horse ownership group Phoenix Thoroughbreds, the horse is expected to recover fully, and is responding well to antibiotics.

Gronkowski the horse has won three races this year, qualifying for the Kentucky Derby after a win at the Burradon Stakes in Newcastle, England. And this certainly isn’t the end of the road for the horse. Phoenix Thoroughbreds announced they plan to take him to the Belmont Stakes this June in Elmont, New York.

Human Gronkowski is also not expected to be sipping mint juleps at the race. “I will not be attending the Derby without my baby Gronk the horse being there,” he told The Wall Street Journal.