Gronkowski and Quip Out, Combatant and Instilled Regard in for Kentucky Derby
When the Kentucky Derby Points Standings were finalized following the last Derby prep races, both Gronkowski and Quip had earned their way to Churchill Downs for the Run for the Roses. But both will now miss the 144th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 5.
Gronkowski was the European invitee and leader in the new points system for European horses. But the horse named after the famed player for the New England Patriots will miss the Kentucky Derby after spiking a fever last weekend.
“We are beyond disappointed that Gronkowski will miss the Kentucky Derby,” said Tom Lundt, director of operations for the owner Phoenix Thoroughbreds. “To have a Derby contender with our first group of three-year-olds was a dream come true.”
Meanwhile, Tampa Bay Derby winner and Arkansas Derby runner-up Quip will skip the Kentucky Derby and prepare for the Preakness Stakes on May 19 at Pimlico.
“I talked to the ownership last week about the way he came out of the race and he came out fine and sound,” Quip trainer Rodolphe Brisset said. “But I feel like the three weeks is going to be asking too much. Of course I want to run in the Kentucky Derby, but I have to think about the horse first. To run in the Derby just to run is not the thing to do.”
Quip is a talented and improving colt by Distorted Humor, and he’s 3-1-0 in five starts.
“We have a horse who could definitely win a grade 1 down the line but that three-week time frame is just too short. He’s going to need a bit more time. So he’s going to be pointed to the Preakness.”
The departures of Gronkowski and Quip move Combatant and Instilled Regard into the No. 19 and 20 spots on the Kentucky Derby points list. The Derby is limited to 20 starters, and the ‘most exciting 2 minutes in sports’ is building momentum and major interest with betting predictions as the race nears in less than two weeks.