BOSTON (CBS) — When Rob Gronkowski goes to this year’s Kentucky Derby, he won’t just be there as a casual spectator.

That’s not to say he won’t enjoy a handful of libations as he gears up for the most entertaining two minutes in sports. But he’ll also be at Churchill Downs as a part owner of a horse — one that also happens to shares his name.

The Patriots tight end has acquired a substantial stake in Gronkowski, a three-year-old colt who qualified for the Kentucky Derby back a few weeks ago.

“This horse is a winner and I love a winner,” Gronkowski said in a release announcing the deal. “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 and is now headed to the Derby. I’m all in: Welcome to the Gronk family, Gronkowski the Horse!”

“It will be a new experience. Hopefully it will be something I like. I like new hobbies,” Gronkowski told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. “Hopefully I can get a ride on the horse.”

Gronkowski also told the Wall Street Journal that “Hopefully I can get a ride on the horse.” When the 265-pound Gronkowski was told that he may be just a tad too heavy for the thoroughbred, Gronk seemed even more intrigued by the possibility.

“I’m not trying to ride it for a full speed ride. I just want to get the feel of what it’s like to be on top of one,” he said. “Maybe I’ll go for a full speed ride once I get comfortable.”

The horse named Gronkowski. (Photo Credit: Equuis Photography)

That poor horse. Gronkowski (the horse) will get to meet Gronkowski (the football player — and likely a few of his brothers and possibly some Patriots teammates) a few days prior to the Kentucky Derby, which is on May 5.

“I really can’t think of anything cooler than having a top-class Thoroughbred named after me,” said Gronkowski. “Except maybe having him win the Derby.”

Gronkowski the horse has won four of his six races, but he’ll likely be a long shot in the Run for the Roses.


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