It’s official. Rob Gronkowski and Gronkowski the horse are together at last. The legendary New England Patriots tight end has purchased stake in the three-year-old colt carrying his name in to the 2018 Kentucky Derby.
In typical Gronk fashion, the outspoken football player had this to say: “This horse is a winner, and I love a winner,” Rob Gronkowski said. “When I heard about the racehorse being named after me, I started watching and got really stoked when he started winning. He’s won his last three races and is now headed to the Derby. I’m all in: Welcome to the Gronk family, Gronkowski the horse!”
Phoenix Thoroughbreds director Tom Ludt also chimed in by saying, “We are very excited to have this talented racehorse running in the Derby and to have Rob Gronkowski join our team. His involvement only adds to our growing credentials worldwide and can help us introduce the best of horse racing to a whole new audience.”
This may feel like a silly thing (and it is) but having Rob Gronkowski at the actual Kentucky Derby is only going to raise an already surging profile for the biggest race in terms of mainstream appeal. Plenty of celebrities are involved with the sport of thoroughbred racing, like chef Bobby Flay, but Gronk is a special magnet for fans. His namesake is a longshot to win, but has already gained a ton of traction simply because of his name. He’s no slouch either as he was cosigned for $$404,492 as a two-year-old.
Gronkowski may have won more higher profile races had he been able to transition his European Road to the Kentucky Derby points over to American soil but trainer Jeremy Noseda learned the hard way that derby points stay in the country of origin. There is no bigger of a beloved longshot compared to this horse. People are going to go nuts, including his new co-owner.
“I really can’t think of anything cooler than having a top-class Thoroughbred named after me,” Rob Gronkowski continued. “Except maybe having him win the Derby.” Gronkowski (the horse) is currently around 33-1 to win the 2018 Kentucky Derby on May 5th.