Author: Alex Dudley
Just like many punters, American Football stars also get their kicks from following horse racing. But given the financial benefits that some of the top stars and owners get, it should come as little surprise that they reinvest it into horse racing.
After all, investing in a racehorse is somewhat similar to investing in your house. Should the horse become successful and win big races such as the Kentucky Derby, then it can be sold on for massive sums for breeding purposes. It is still a win-win even if they aren’t successful, as the owners of the horses get to go to the more significant events and live life like a VIP at trackside, which is the ultimate dream for any racing fan.
While NFL betting is prohibited to American Football players, they can spend money on the horse racing as long as it complies with the strict NFL regulations. Therefore, because of that reason, you often see sports stars go into racing once their career is over. One star that has been keen to do that is big Gronk.
Following Gronk’s retirement earlier this year after winning the Super Bowl with the New England Patriots, the rumours were ripe about what he was going to do next. Many wondered whether he would opt for a career as a wrestler, having played a small part during WrestleMania 33. However, it seems horse racing will be the short-term answer to that after he has partnered with Phoenix Thoroughbreds.
He announced in 2018 that he had reached an agreement with the stables to buy a substantial share of the horse fittingly called ‘Gronkowski’. It was thought that the four-year-old was going to have an excellent chance at winning the Kentuck Derby, with Gronk stating that the main reason why he invested was because “the horse is a winner and I love a winner.”
However, since his investment into the horse, the form of Gronkowski has plummeted. After winning on four occasions before his investment, since the 2018 interest, it has failed to win and has struggled to the adjustment to Grade One company. He has finished second on two of his six runs, but that is as good as it has gotten. Most recently it came second in the Dubai World Cup at Meydan to Thunder Snow. This could potentially mean that good form could be on the way, and the former Patriots will hope that is the case as he isn’t used to losing.
Another New England Patriots star that loves the racing is Wes Welker. Before taking over as assistant coach at Houston Texans, he invested a sum of money into Undrafted. Welker may have a keener eye for talent than Gronkowski, as his horse went onto win multiple Grade One races, including the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the 2015 Royal Ascot Festival.
His love of horse racing far exceeds just owning one horse, as he has also invested in Tammie in Hat Creek Racing and is involved in other co-ownership partnerships. But Undrafted is by far his most successful connection.
The former Atlanta Falcons star is a keen racing fan and frequently attends the tracks in his local area. He also took a significant step by investing in the Hat Creek Racing connections. Furthermore, he owns his own farm in Kentucky, just a stone’s throw away from the Derby course. His best horse that he has been connected with is Con Te Partiro.
The most famous win that it enjoyed was in the Royal Ascot stakes, where it held off stiff competition in the form of Rain Goddess. However, it has only experienced one more win since that festival success in 2017. Although that win did come this year in the Arrowfield Dark Jewel Classic at Scone, so there could be more victories ahead.