Updated on 09/15/2011 1:10PM

Officer admirers saluting Bertrando


ARCADIA, Calif. - Bertrando is having a career-best season at stud this year, attracting the attention of stud farm owners in Kentucky and Japan.

While the 12-year-old Bertrando remains at River Edge Farm in Buellton, Calif., farm owner Marty Wygod, who holds a majority interest in Bertrando, says he has received inquiries about the stallion's status.

One factor in Bertrando's future is what his colt Officer accomplishes in October. Officer was to start as a heavy favorite in Saturday's Champagne Stakes at Belmont Park, a prep to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Oct. 27.

A championship season by Officer would enhance Bertrando's value , and make it difficult to keep him in California, Wygod said.

"You can never tell what will happen, but my preference is to stay here unless he outprices the market in California," Wygod said.

Whether or not Bertrando stays in California, his stud fee has not been set for 2002. He stood for a published price of $30,000 in 2001. "It all depends on what happens," Wygod said. "We're going to into a recession, there are a lot of variables."

In recent years, California has retained its top stallions, developing a core of young stallions that have helped develop a statebred program that may send as many as four horses to the Breeders' Cup.

In the mid-1990's, Skywalker and Prized were transferred from

California to Kentucky, but out-of-state inquiries regarding In Excess a few years ago resulted in that stallion being syndicated, and kept in the state at Vessels Stallion Farm.

By any measure, Bertrando is having an outstanding year. His progeny have earned more than $2.8 million through Thursday, the most among California-based stallions.

One of his top fillies, Queenie Belle, won the Grade 2 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap last weekend at Santa Anita and is being pointed for the $2 million Breeders' Cup Distaff.

As a top regional sire, Bertrando's yearlings are also in demand. In August, a Bertrando filly topped the Del Mar Yearling Sale, selling for $200,000. On Tuesday, at the Barretts October Preferred Yearling Sale, a Bertrando colt owned by River Edge Farm led the sale at $120,000.

Purchased by Northern California trainer Jeff Bonde, the colt is out of Reason To Be. Her dam, A Real Native, produced Bountiful Native, a winner of $468,475 and a California-bred champion.

"I hope he's another Officer," said Russell Drake, the farm manager at River Edge. "It's probably hard to raise another as good as Officer, but this colt is pretty close. He was a nice well-balanced colt. He looked like the type that ought to be a runner."

Bold Badgett euthanized at 16

Bold Badgett, the sire of three stakes winners, was euthanized last month after suffering a knee injury following surgery, according to Bud Johnston of Old English Rancho.

Johnston said the 16-year-old Bold Badgett suffered a major injury to the knee while coming out of anesthesia. He said the stallion had a long-existing knee injury that had affected his mobility.

"It was an elected surgery, but he was in so much pain," Johnston said. "I guess his bones were a little brittle."