Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was looking forward to meeting the colt named for him next week at Churchill Downs. That won’t happen, because a slight infection forced the England-based Gronkowski to be withdrawn Monday from the May 5 Kentucky Derby.
Tom Ludt, who oversees Phoenix Thoroughbreds’ international operations, said Gronkowski spiked a fever last weekend and was treated with antibiotics. The colt is eating normally and responding to treatment, but Ludt said the owners want to put Gronkowski’s welfare first. Ludt said they are “beyond disappointed” to miss the Derby.
Gronkowski is 3-for-3 this year, and winning the Burradon Stakes at Newcastle on March 30 earned him the first European slot in the Derby under Churchill Downs’ points system.
In other Derby news, Quip was withdrawn from the Derby and will be pointed to the Preakness Stakes on May 19.