12/21/2011 11:57AM

California stallion Bertrando retired from stud duty

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Bertrando, a five-time leading sire in California with 53 career stakes winners, has been retired and will be pensioned at River Edge Farm, according to an announcement from the farm where he last stood.

The retirement will end one of the most successful and enduring stallion careers in California history. Since being retired in 1995, 22-year-old Bertrando has sired 494 winners, including Grade 1 winners Officer, Karelian, Unfurl the Flag, and Bilo. His progeny have earned $40.8 million so far, good for third-best lifetime on a list of California sires maintained by the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association.

A California-bred son of Skywalker out of the Buffalo Lark mare Gentle Hands, Bertrando first stood at River Edge Farm, owned by the late Marshall Naify, who was a partner in the syndicate that bought the horse’s breeding rights. He was later moved to Ballena Vista Farm. In 2011, he stood for $8,000 live foal.

While racing, Bertrando was voted the champion older horse of 1993. He retired with seven wins from 25 lifetime starts, including victories in four Grade 1 stakes.