Thoroughbred 'Gronk' closer to Derby berth

From ESPN - March 7, 2018

Gronkowski is a step closer to competing in the Kentucky Derby.

Not Rob Gronkowski, the New England Patriots tight end, but the horse named after him.

The horse won the Kentucky Derby Conditions Stake on Wednesday night at Kempton Park in southwest London, giving Gronkowski 20 qualification points for the first race of the Triple Crown at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, in May.

Kerri Radcliffe of Phoenix Thoroughbreds, which owns the horse, said the height - the same as Gronkowski (6'5") and size of the horse made Gronkowski an appropriate name.

"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," Radcliffe told the Racing Post last month.

Gronkowski, the player, actually played the role of a horse this season. After Patriots wide receiver Brandin Cooks caught a touchdown pass in team's 35-17 win over the Miami Dolphins, he jumped on Gronk's back and rode him like a horse. Gronkowski said after the game that their coaching staff yelled at the two for the celebration.

No team is more represented at Triple Crown races than the Patriots.


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