New Tall Dark Stranger In Town

28 October 2022 in Harnesslink International, New Zealand


During the week Macca Lodge in Southland became the home of the first New Zealand bred foal by harness racing stallion Tall Dark Stranger (Bettor's Delight).

Rocknroll Arden and her Tall Dark Stranger foal (Judy Stiven Photo)


The colt foal was born on Wednesday and is out of Rocknroll Arden (Rocknroll Hanover) which is owned by West Otago breeders John and Judy Stiven.

“He’s up there with the best foals she’s left according to Mister Macca (Brent McIntyre),” John Stiven said.

Tall Dark Stranger was a $330,000 yearling purchase at the 2018 Lexington Select Sale. He has a great depth in his pedigree. His dam Precocious Beauty. the World Champion Dan Patch and O’Brien Award winning Two Year Old Pacing Filly of the Year, is also a sister to successful pacing stallion Sportswriter and out of a sister to Swinging Beauty ($893,268) and the grandam of Downbytheseaside ($2,179,558).

Tall Dark Stranger


His wins at two included the $750,000 Metro Stakes Final and $600,000 Breeders Crown Final while at three he won the $1 million North America Cup Final and Meadowlands Pace Final.

Tall Dark Stranger paced a mile as a three year old in 1-47.1 and won over $2 million.

In his first season at stud in America he covered nineteen millionaire mares, and his 2022 book is full and closed there. His New Zealand and Australian book are limited to just sixty mares.

“To me he was one of the best horses to come off the track since Somebeachsomewhere. He was sensational on the track and he’s by Bettor’s Delight out of an Art Major mare which is one of the big crosses in Australasia. His dam side is as good as it gets. All these things added up so I’m giving him a good crack.”

Tall Dark Stranger is standing at $16,000 in New Zealand which Stiven says is on the high side for a first season sire.

“That is often when those top end colts come off the track. The Americans like to get into them in that first year. He only served something like twenty five mares here so we should have something a bit unique for the sales.”


Rocknroll Arden and her Tall Dark Stranger foal (Judy Stiven Photo)


Rocknroll Arden won six races in her twenty seven race career.

Her wins included the Group Three Caduceus Club of Southland/Nevele R Fillies Classic. She was group placed in numerous fillies features including the Group Three American Ideal Stakes, Group One Sires Stakes Championship, Group One Two Year Old Diamond, Group One Sires Stakes Fillies Championship, Group One Northern Oaks and Group One Nevele R Fillies Series Final. In her three year old year she raced against the likes of Venus Serena, Ideal Belle, Raksdeal and Willow.

As a broodmare Rocknroll Arden has left Arden Roanoke (13 and $111,635) and Arden's Delight (3). The mare’s 2020 colt foal by Captaintreacherous was bought by JC International for $40,000 at the 2022 NZB Standardbred Sale in Christchurch.

The Stivens are now awaiting three other foals by Tall Dark Stranger to be born, with Arden’s Rose (Somebeachsomewhere-unraced), Arden’s Choice (Panspacificflight-7 wins) and Venus Serena (Mach Three-16 wins) all due. Exciting times ahead.