A colt named after Tony Danza? Kentucky Derby horses with pop culture ties

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Image Credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images

UPDATE: Danza finished in the money in third place behind 2014 Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome and second-place finisher Commanding Curve.

ORIGINAL POST: There’s more pop-watching at this year’s Kentucky Derby than just spying celebrities wearing fancy, oversized hats and sipping Mint Juleps.

For instance, Danza (pictured), described as a “tough colt,” is named for Who’s the Boss actor Tony Danza. The horse’s father is named Street Boss, and a round of brainstorming led owners to the names Who’s the Boss, then Tony Micelli, Danza’s character on the show. Neither name was approved; they settled on simply Danza.

“It’s thrilling,” the human Danza told ABC News. “Wish my father was around to see this — he was a horse player and this would have been big.”

Another horse also received its name from a TV star: Uncle Sigh is a riff on Si Robertson, the wily uncle on the reality series Duck Dynasty. The colt’s owner is reportedly a fan of the A&E show.

Meanwhile, we’ve got a good idea about which horse actress sisters Kate and Rooney Mara will be betting on — probably the one co-owned by their dad. Chris Mara, senior VP of player personnel for the New York Giants, is a partner in Starlight Racing, which owns the colt Intense Holiday.

Samraat is also owned by a man with pop culture ties: Leonard Riggio is founder of Barnes & Noble bookstore chain.

And just in case you were wondering, General A Rod has no affiliation with baseball player Alex Rodriguez.

Coverage of the 140th Kentucky Derby begins Saturday at 4 p.m. ET on NBC.

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