Nyquist's owner chose Red Wings namesake to spite Colorado Avalanche partner

Windsor, Ontario native has several horses named after Red Wings players

It's no coincidence Detroit Red Wings forward Gustav Nyquist shares his name with one of the 20 horses racing in Saturday's Kentucky Derby

UPDATE: Nyquist wins 2016 Kentucky Derby

In fact, horse owner Paul Reddam has several horses named after Red Wings players. The native of Windsor, Ontario is a big Detroit Red Wings fan. He has other horses named Kronwall, Tatar and Mrazek, to name a few. 

And wouldn't you know, this all ties back to a fierce hockey rivalry. 

"It's a hockey team that I've followed basically my whole life," said Reddam. "We are partners with the hockey player Erik Johnson, who plays for the Colorado Avalanche. And so just to bug Erik I thought, well, we'll name a couple of our horses after Red Wings."

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Kentucky Derby by the numbers

Nyquist is the one getting all the attention right now. 

"It's sort of a random thing that Nyquist was named Nyquist," said Reddam. "Unfortunately for Erik, he does not have a stake in Nyquist. After (Nyquist) won the first time, he said, 'Can I have a stake in Nyquist?' I said, 'Bud, it's too late.'"

As for the hockey player Nyquist, he's not a huge horse racing fan but he's definitely cheering on his horse namesake.

"I hope Nyquist wins, because I don't know any other horses out there in the field and he's my favorite right now," said the Red Wings forward.

He won't be at the Derby this weekend. He left for Russia this week to compete for Sweden at the 2016 IIHF World Championship.

A History of Kentucky Derby Races | Graphiq

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.