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Marc Fortier

Horse Named After Rob Gronkowski Qualifies for Kentucky Derby

[CSNBY] Report: Patriots' Gronkowski to miss game vs 49ers
Matt Maiocco

A horse named for New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski clinched a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.

The Kentucky-bred colt won the Burradon Stakes at England's Newmarket by 1 ¼ lengths on Friday, his 4th straight win.

Churchill Downs, home of the derby, announced Gronkowski's qualifying win on Twitter.

For the first time, Churchill Downs is allotting one spot in the 20-horse Kentucky Derby field to a European-based horse.

The horse's owner is Patriots fan Kerri Radcliffe of Phoenix Thoroughbreds. She tweeted after Gronkowski's win, even tagging the Patriots' star.

"I named him after my love for the Patriots," Radcliffe told NBC10 Boston. "I'm a huge fan."

She said she thinks the horse bears some resemblance to the 6-foot-6-inch tight end.

"He is big with a great hind leg and a great shoulder, but most of all, a gentle giant."

Gronkowski is trained by Jeremy Noseda and ridden by Jamie Spencer.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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