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J. Paul Reddam seems to have crammed several successful careers into a single lifetime: college professor of philosophy, founder of a mortgage loan company, and horse owner in both harness and Thoroughbred racing. Last year, he won the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes with I’ll Have Another, which was his response every time his wife offered him her homemade cookies.
Reddam, a 60-year-old native of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, has been called by his middle name since childhood to distinguish him from his dad, who was named John Paul. He can thank a friend, who was a groom at Windsor Racing, for exposing him to racing when he was a teenager, and it continues to be his passion.
He graduated from the University of Windsor with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy, got his Master’s at the University of Toronto, and his Ph. D at the University of Southern California. Reddam taught philosophy at California State University-Los Angeles and settled in Southern California with his wife Zillah and her daughter Chanel. Eventually, he turned to business. In 1995, he founded Ditech.com, a mortgage loan company which was the first to use television and billboard advertising for current rates. He sold the company to General Electric in 1999, then became the president of CashCall, a finance lending company in Fountain Valley, California.
During the ’80s, while he was still teaching, Reddam put together syndicates to buy harness horses. He claimed his first Thoroughbred, Ocean Warrior, in 1988.
Reddam had many successful Thoroughbreds before I’ll Have Another brought him to the brink of immortality. He bought a 75 percent interest in two-year-old Wilko in England before that colt won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in 2004. Red Rocks provided Reddam’s second Breeders’ Cup score when he captured the 2006 Turf. His other Grade 1 stakes winners include Square Eddie, Elloluv, Sharp Lisa, Cash Included, Swept Overboard, Pt’s Grey Eagle, and Crowded House.
I’ll Have Another outshone them all by winning the first two legs of the Triple Crown, only to be scratched the day before the Belmont Stakes and retired because of tendonitis in one of his legs. Ever the businessman, Reddam sold him for stud duty in Japan for $10 million.
In 2015 his 2yo colt Nyquist became the Eclipse Juvenile Champion following victory in the Gr1 Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
In 2016 his flagbearing colt followed up his victory in the Gr1 Florida Derby with a scintillating success in the Gr1 Kentucky Derby and now remains unbeaten in seven starts.