Gronkowski buys stake in namesake horse ahead of Ky Derby

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Rob Gronkowski has bought a stake in his namesake horse that is set to run in the Kentucky Derby next month.

Gronkowski, a 3-year-old colt, has won all three of his starts this year. He earned a spot in the 20-horse Derby field by virtue of leading the point standings among Europe-based horses. The colt’s earnings of $79,496 would be the smallest in the field.

The New England Patriots star purchased a “substantial stake” in the colt, according to its ownership group Phoenix Thoroughbred III.

Gronkowski plans to be in Louisville for the May 5 race to meet his equine counterpart. He says he started following the Kentucky-bred colt after hearing it had been named for him and he reached out to the racing investment fund to see if he could buy in.

Both Gronkowskis possess imposing physiques. Gronkowski the human is 6-foot-6 and weighs 265 pounds. Gronkowski the horse stands 16.3 hands (5 feet, 7 inches and 1.70 meters) and weighs about 1,200 pounds.

Gronkowski is trained by Britain-based Jeremy Noseda and ridden by Jamie Spencer. The colt is a son of Lonhro, Australia’s horse of the year in 2003-04, and his dam is Four Sugars, a daughter of Lookin At Lucky, the 2010 Preakness winner.

Gronkowski says he can’t think of anything cooler than having a thoroughbred named after him except for winning the Derby.

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