01/19/2018 10:36AM

Midwest stallions: Stroll continues at Iowa State University

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Iowa State University stallion Stroll previously resided at historic Claiborne Farm.

It’s not uncommon for a Kentucky stallion to become a regional program’s leading sire by earnings the moment he steps off the trailer to take up residence in that state.

Stroll found himself in that scenario early last year when he arrived at the Iowa State University Horse Farm in Ames, Iowa, after standing the first 11 seasons of his career at Claiborne Farm.

“A few breeders here were looking for a way to find a quality stallion to stand here rather than having to take all of their mares to Kentucky or elsewhere out of state to accomplish their same breeding goals here at home,” said Nikki Ferwerda, lecturer and farm manager at the Iowa State University Horse Farm. “He was their pick. There certainly was some negotiating, but they formed a partnership and ended up purchasing the stallion from Claiborne to stand him here.”

Iowa’s breeders responded by sending 39 reported mares to him during the 2017 season, the most of any stallion in the state, and Stroll’s runners placed him at the top of the Hawkeye State’s sire list at the end of the year by winners, stakes winners, and earnings.

Stroll, an 18-year-old Pulpit horse, finished the year with 47 winners from 92 runners. He had combined progeny earnings of $1,710,395. Leading the charge among Stroll’s offspring in 2017 was Grade 3 winner Walkabout and stakes winners Special Envoy and Skylander Girl. He also had five stakes-placed runners.

Stroll had three runners earn Beyer Speed Figures of 90 or greater a combined four times in 2017, led by Croninthebarbarian, who earned a 97 for winning a Gulfstream Park turf allowance in January. Earlier in the same meet, War Stroll earned a 90 Beyer when third in an optional claimer on turf. Special Envoy also earned a 90 Beyer as the winner of the Edward Evans Stakes at Laurel Park in June.

Stroll stands the upcoming breeding season for an advertised fee of $2,000.

Ferwerda acknowledged that a university farm might seem like an odd place for a stallion of Stroll’s stature to land, but the Iowa State operation is one of the state’s top breeding and consignment operations, used primarily as a skill-teaching facility as opposed to research.

“At this point, I think the university foals out as many or more foals for Iowa breeders as any other farm, and we breed as many or more of the clients’ mares from this state and surrounding states, so we’re very much a working breeding farm,” she said.

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While Stroll is a favorite to keep the Iowa sire title in his possession for the foreseeable future due to the proliferation of his Kentucky-sired runners, his first Iowa-sired foals will not hit the track as juveniles until 2020.

In the meantime, the race for top resident Iowa sire of 2017 went to Native Ruler by a clear margin.

The 14-year-old son of Elusive Quality was represented by 13 winners and had combined progeny earnings of $623,595, bettering next-closest Woke Up Dreamin with $524,015.

Native Ruler’s top runner of the year was the multiple stakes-placed Scrutinizer, who finished second in the Dan Johnson Sprint and third in the Cyclones Handicap, both at Prairie Meadows. Scrutinizer earned his sire’s highest Beyer Speed Figure of the year in July when he won a six-furlong Prairie Meadows optional claimer and earned a 96.

Other runners of note by Native Ruler included stakes-placed Zella Rose, Native Princess, Runfastandloud, and Cats Stormy Native.

Native Ruler stands at Abraham’s Equine Clinic in Cedar Rapids for an advertised fee of $2,000.

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