A deal has been struck for NFL star Rob Gronkowski to acquire a share in his namesake Kentucky Derby contender, trained in Newmarket by Jeremy Noseda, it was reported on Thursday evening.
The three-year-old colt Gronkowski, owned by Phoenix Thoroughbreds, has won his last four starts, all on an all-weather surface, and is firmly on course for the 'Run for the Roses' at Churchill Downs, following his last-time-out success at Newcastle.
New England Patriots tight end Gronkowski, a two-time Super Bowl winner, has been attracted by growing attention in Noseda's runner since Newcastle, and said on www.gronknation.com: "This horse is a winner and I love a winner.
"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!"
He added: "I really can't think of anything cooler than having a top-class thoroughbred named after me. Except maybe having him win the Derby."
It is expected Gronkowski will be at the May 5 event, having been at Churchill Downs in 2015 with among others quarterback great Tom Brady.
Phoenix tweeted: "Welcome to Phoenix Thoroughbreds, @RobGronkowski! We can't wait to be with you during Derby week in Louisville!"