Rob Gronkowski may be able to bet on a horse named after him at Kentucky Derby
After winning a stakes race win in London, Gronkowski is a step closer to running for the roses
Gronkowski is a great name for a horse -- especially one running in the Kentucky Derby. The intriguing possibility of Patriots star Rob Gronkowski being able to bet on a thoroughbred named after him at Churchill Downs in May took one step closer to becoming reality on Wednesday night at a stakes race in London.
Gronkowski won the Kentucky Derby Conditions Stakes at Kempton Park in southwest London, per ESPN's Darren Rovell, giving the thoroughbred 20 qualification points for the Kentucky Derby in May, the first race of the Triple Crown.
Kerri Radcliffe of Phoenix Thoroughbreds, which owns the horse, said the height -- the same as Gronkowski (6-foot-5) -- and size of the horse made Gronkowski the easy choice for a name.
"I love the New England Patriots, and as Rob Gronkowski is 6-5 and about the same wide, I thought it would be an appropriate name for the horse, as he's built much the same," Radcliffe told the Racing Post last month.
And just like Gronk, the player, Gronk the horse is a terror in the open field once it gets going full stride. Just check the tape from his win in London, where after getting bogged down in the midfield in the early going, Gronkowski's jockey Jamie Spencer made an ambitious move around the field on the home bend and the horse did the rest.
The leader at the end of the "European Road to the Kentucky Derby" series earns a spot in the first leg of the U.S. Triple Crown on May 5, provided they have been nominated, per Racing Post.
It also bears pointing out that no team shows out at the Kentucky more than the New England Patriots. At Churchill Downs last year, Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo and Julian Edelman were in the grand stands. And in 2014, then-Patriots wideout Wes Welker handed out $100 bills after winning more than $50,000. Officials at Churchill Downs later said an error resulted in significantly overpaying him.
Gronkowski himself last showed up at the Kentucky Derby wearing a plaid suit in 2015.
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