CRAWFORD | Report: Gronkowski's Derby status in question after t - WDRB 41 Louisville News

CRAWFORD | Report: Gronkowski's Derby status in question after training setback

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The Steve Asmussen-trained Combatant could enter the Kentucky Derby field if Gronkowski can't make it (WDRB photo by Eric Crawford) The Steve Asmussen-trained Combatant could enter the Kentucky Derby field if Gronkowski can't make it (WDRB photo by Eric Crawford)
Gronkowski's status for the Kentucky Derby is in doubt after a setback in training on Monday. (Churchill Downs photo via Kempton Park/John Hoy) Gronkowski's status for the Kentucky Derby is in doubt after a setback in training on Monday. (Churchill Downs photo via Kempton Park/John Hoy)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – A setback in training has left the Kentucky Derby status of Gronkowski up in the air, his trainer told The Racing Post this morning.

"We've had a minor setback and we will know where we are in the next 24 hours," his trainer, Jeremy Noseda, told the publication.

Gronkowski, who qualified for the race through a first-time slot held open for a European-based colt, had gained a considerable U.S. following for his name – and the subsequent decision of New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski to buy a share of the horse from his ownership group, Phoenix Thoroughbred Limited.

Gronkowski was slated to ship to Churchill Downs this weekend, but is viewed as a longshot in the race. He’s won four of his six races in Europe, but has won only on synthetic tracks.

His last victory was in the Burradon Stakes at Newcastle.

Should Gronkowski not make it, the next entry up on the Kentucky Derby leaderboard would be for the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained Instilled Regard, after Steve Asmussen's Combatant went into the field when Quip's connections announced he would not make the race on Monday afternoon.

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