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Gronkowski (the horse) finishes 2nd at Belmont Stakes

For the second time in five months, Gronkowski came up just short.

Gronkowski the horse, partially owned by New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, finished second behind Triple Crown winner Justify in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday.

Gronkowski (No. 6) was very slow out of the gate, fixed at the back of the pack for half of the race, but roared back to finish just behind the wire-to-wire champion.

The second-place result was a pleasant surprise for the tight end and his team, given that Gronkowski missed both the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes due to illness and that the No. 6 horse finished with 24-1 odds to win.

This is the second significant defeat for a Gronkowski-led team in 2018. The tight end's Patriots lost to the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LII in February.

Gronkowski the tight end purchased a stake in Gronkowski the horse on April 18 and was in attendance at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., on Saturday.

How the horse's finish affects the Patriot's contract talks remains to be seen.

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