There will be a Danza in the stands today at Churchill Downs and a Danza on the track. A horse named for the “Who’s the Boss” star is a contender in the Kentucky Derby, and the actor will be there to cheer him on.
Here’s what you need to know about Danza the horse:
1. ‘Who’s the Boss?’ Inspired His Name
Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, which owns Danza, apparently is full of “Who’s the Boss” fans, including Aron Wellman, the president of the group.
Wellman told ABC News that the group had several “Who’s the Boss” themes in mind because Danza’s father was named Street Boss, but two got rejected by the Jockey Club. The group ultimately settled on “Danza.”
Here’s how Wellman described it to ABC News:
Because of Street Boss, the theme, ‘Who’s the Boss’ came up, but that name wasn’t approved. Then we came up with Tony Micelli, his character, and that was denied by the Jockey Club. … Everybody loves Tony Danza. He’s an icon in American culture. It’s been a lot of fun and thankfully the horse has been a very good horse and has done the name proud.
2. Tony Danza Is Pumped Up to Cheer Him On
— Tony Danza (@TonyDanza) May 1, 2014
Danza (the actor) will be a guest of his namesake’s owners tonight in Louisville. He’s been tweeting encouragement to Joe Bravo, the jockey who will ride Danza tonight.
@TonyDanza thanks boss thinks he's going to have a great shot just bring bag full of luck and we can do this
— Joe Bravo (@bravoace) May 1, 2014
3. He Shocked Everyone and Won the Arkansas Derby
Danza entered the $1 million Arkansas Derby April 12 as a 41/1 longshot. But the horse pulled off a stunning upset, taking the lead down the stretch and running to a convincing victory in 1:49.68 and earning a spot in the Derby.
Watch video of the race above.
4. He’s Trained by Todd Pletcher
The renowned Todd Pletcher is Danza’s trainer. Pletcher has won the Eclipe Award as the sport’s top trainer four times, and has trained three horses who have won Triple Crown races, including Rags to Riches, who in 2007 became the first filly in more than 100 years to win the Belmont Stakes.
5. He Has the Third Best Odds to Win
Danza, who’s running from the fourth position, began race day with 10/1 odds to win. Only favorite California Crome (2/1) and Wicked Strong (7/1) have better odds.