Gronkowski, a horse named after New England Patriots tight end and former Arizona Wildcat Rob Gronkowski, was officially ruled out of the Kentucky Derby after "spiking a fever over the weekend."
The owner and global racing & bloodstock investment group, Phoenix Thoroughbred, announced via Twitter that Gronkowski would not make the trip to Churchill Downs.
We very much regret that #Gronkowski will miss the @KentuckyDerby after spiking a fever over the weekend and being treated with antibiotics. He can't make the long journey to Louisville but is doing well pic.twitter.com/71CqtWnDub— Phoenix Thoroughbred (@PhoenixThoroug1) April 23, 2018
Gronkowski, the NFL player, bought a stake in the horse last week and became part-owner of the 3-year-old colt.
"It’s unfortunate Gronkowski the horse will not be able to race in the upcoming Kentucky Derby due to an illness. I fully support what is best for the horse. I know he will come back strong and healthy and I am excited to see him race again very soon," Gronkowski, the human, tweeted.
Gronkowski originally had plans to make the trip to Louisville, but won't be in attendance as long as his horse isn't competing.
“I will not be attending the Derby without my baby Gronk (the horse) being there,” Gronkowski told the Wall Street Journal.
Gronkowski, the horse, became eligible to race in the Kentucky Derby after winning the Burradon Stakes in England in March.
Fortunately, the horse is on antibiotics and is expected to be healthy shortly. The 144th annual Run for the Roses will be televised on NBC and will start at 3:30 p.m. local time.