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Gronkowski the horse out of Kentucky Derby due to illness

Three-year-old was named after New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski

Rob Gronkowski bought a stake in the horse last week

CNN  — 

Gronkowski won’t be scoring a touchdown at the Kentucky Derby. Gronkowski the horse, that is.

The English-based three-year-old – who earned a spot in arguably the most famous horse race in the world by leading the European points series – contracted a fever last weekend and is being treated with antibiotics, his ownership group, Phoenix Thoroughbreds, said in a tweet.

“We very much regret that Gronkowski will miss the Kentucky Derby after spiking a fever over the weekend and being treated with antibiotics,” it wrote. “He can’t make the long journey to Louisville but is doing well.”

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Bred in Kentucky, the horse was named after New England Patriots Pro Bowl tight-end Rob Gronkowski.

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When the football player found that out, he bought a stake in the colt last week and was due to meet his namesake at Churchill Downs in the buildup to the race, which takes place May 5.

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This is the first year a horse from Europe was due to take part in the Kentucky Derby, although Gronkowski the equine wasn’t one of the favorites. Last week Gronkowski was an 80-1 longshot in Las Vegas for the 144th running of the race, well behind favorite Justify.