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Nyquist the horse has plenty of company

Owner has seven others named after Red Wings players too

by NHL.com @NHL / NHL.com

It is unlikely Gustav Nyquist will ever catch Nicklas Lidstrom in the Detroit Red Wings record books.

But Nyquist's namesake horse has already stormed past Lidstrom's and will never be caught.

Nyquist, the 2016 Kentucky Derby winner, increased his career earnings to almost $5 million with that victory. He can add to his total Saturday in the Preakness Stakes.

Lidstrom the defenseman played 1,564 games over 20 seasons for the Red Wings. Lidstrom the horse earned $28,800 for winning by 2-1/4 lengths as the favorite in the eighth race at Hollywood Park on July 2, 2008. He never raced again.

Nyquist and Lidstrom are two of eight horses owned by Paul Reddam named for a Red Wings player.

"It's very hard to come up with unique horse names, so when you use a surname, they're generally not taken," Reddam told Canada.com before Nyquist and some others arrived. "So we've had Lidstrom, Hudler, Zetterberg and Datsyuk. I wish the horses had been better horses, but you don't really know when you're naming them."

Few of the horses had success that would match their namesake player. None have done what Nyquist has, winning all eight of his races and moving two steps from the sport's Triple Crown.

"I've been a Nyquist fan for a couple of years," Reddam said of the player. "To me, he's got kind of a special talent. He's a tremendous stick-handler. It's kind of exciting to have named the horse after him and find out that the horse is a superstar."

Reddam, 60, who sold his mortgage lending company in 1999, grew up in Windsor, Ontario.

"I've been a Wings fan since I was 5," Reddam told Mlive.com. "When I was that age, everybody [in Windsor] was a [Maple] Leafs fan or a Canadiens fan."

Reddam moved to Southern California in 1979 but made sure he was in attendance when the Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1997, 1998 and 2002. He was at Game 5 against the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2008, when Detroit failed to win the Cup by losing in the third overtime. The Red Wings did win it two nights later in Game 6 in Pittsburgh, without Reddam on hand.

The horse named for Pavel Datsyuk was Reddam's first named after a Red Wings player, and though it won three out of 24 races, it finished in the money 18 times.

Henrik Zetterberg was next, followed by Lidstrom, [Jiri] Hudler, [Niklas] Kronwall, Nyquist, [Petr] Mrazek and [Tomas] Tatar. Another, Great Wheels, was named in honor of Red Wings broadcaster Mickey Redmond.

Tatar hasn't run a race, and, excluding Nyquist, none other than Mrazek made more than $100,000. Mrazek is the only other horse still active; he finished second in the Lazero Barrera Stakes at Santa Anita on Saturday.

Nyquist will be the favorite to win the Preakness, and if he does, would have a chance to be the second horse in a row to win the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes, after American Pharoah became the first in 37 years to do it last year.

"I was excited about the Derby but not really nervous," Reddam told The Baltimore Sun after the Derby. "I think I'll be more nervous for the Preakness, just because this could all really happen."

Reddam had a chance in 2012, when his I'll Have Another won the first two races but was scratched because of injury as an overwhelming favorite in the Belmont.

"History is going to have to wait for another day," Reddam said then.

Here is a look at the career numbers for horses named after Red Wings players owned by Reddam (in order of career earnings; source: Equibase.com):

Nyquist (2015-16) -- 8 starts: 8 firsts, 0 seconds, 0 thirds -- $4,954,200

Mrazek (2015-16) -- 6 starts: 2 firsts, 4 seconds, 0 thirds -- $167,770

Zetterberg (2007-09) -- 13 starts: 2 firsts, 3 seconds, 3 thirds -- $94,320

Hudler (2009) -- 8 starts: 2 firsts, 2 seconds, 0 thirds -- $78,760

Datsyuk (2004-06) -- 24 starts: 3 firsts, 7 seconds, 8 thirds -- $78,740

Lidstrom (2008) -- 1 start: 1 first, 0 seconds, 0 thirds -- $28,800

Kronwall (2015-16) -- 9 starts: 2 firsts, 0 seconds, 3 thirds -- $23,890

Tatar (n/a) -- 0 starts

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