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Kentucky Derby 136: Which horses have the pop-culture edge?

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Image Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty ImagesIt’s the first Saturday in May, and that means folks are gathering in living rooms across the country to celebrate the 136th running of the Kentucky Derby (airing 4-7 ET on NBC, with the race set to go off around 6:24). If you’re not the kind of person who appreciates having your hands covered in Daily Racing Form ink by day’s end, you might want to take a stab at rooting for some of the horses with pop-culture connections. I perused the 20 entrants to search for names or connections tangentially related to the world of music, movies, or television:

Mission Impazible (pictured): Whether you fancy Tom Cruise’s movie franchise or the iconic 1960s TV series, the little gray winner of the Louisiana Derby is the clear pop-culture standout in the field. (FYI: He gets the curious spelling of his name from his mother, La Paz.)

Sidney’s Candy: This horse is owned by Jenny Craig (she of the ubiquitous diet centers), so if you’re a fan of any of Craig’s current celebrity spokespeople — Jason Alexander (star of the devastating new drama George), Sara Rue, and Valerie Bertinelli — the Santa Anita Derby winner is your hunch bet.

Jackson Bend: If you’ve got a Jackson on your iPod — Michael, Janet, Jermaine, Rebbie, or heck even Jackson Browne — then you might want to get behind this colt, who’s never been worse than second in nine career starts.

Devil May Care: The lone filly in a field of boys should appeal to fans of The Devil Wears Prada, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead, The Devil’s Backbone, and dozens of other films with el diablo in the title.

Make Music for Me: Huge longshot has a slightly generic name, but if you’re one of those folks who’s obsessed with Rock Band or Guitar Hero, he might be worth a couple bucks to show.

Homeboykris: Idol fans nostalgic for season 8, take note! (Co-owned by Dodgers’ manager Joe Torre.)

The rest of the field consists of: Lookin At Lucky, Ice Box, Noble’s Promise, Super Saver, Line of David, Stately Victor, American Lion, Dean’s Kitten, Paddy O’Prado, Conveyance, Discreetly Mine, Awesome Act, Dublin, and Backtalk. (For the record, my money is gonna spread around among Ice Box, Discreetly Mine, Sidney’s Candy, and Super Saver.) Head on down to the comments to share your own favorites, or point out any entertainment-related associations I’ve missed! And Happy Derby Day!

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