The 3-year-old colt named Gronk will run at Churchill Downs on May 5. Phoenix Thoroughbreds, a global horse racing investment fund, purchased the horse for over $400,000 in England last year. Trainer Jeremy Noseda's family are big Patriots fans, so the horse was named after the player.
Terms of the deal with Gronkowski were not revealed.
Reached by the Wall Street Journal, Gronkowski said he hopes to meet the horse a few days before the Derby.
"I've never dealt with horses," he said. "Hopefully I can get a ride on the horse."
Gronkowski admitted that he has a lot to learn about the sport. He's treating the horse as an investment but also a source of fun.
"It will be a new experience. Hopefully it will be something I like. I like new hobbies," he said.
There has been speculation this offseason that Gronkowski might walk away from football. He hasn't been attending the start of the Patriots' offseason program.