Cella

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Oaklawn, Cella to Receive Eclipse Award of Merit

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Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., which celebrated 100 years of operation in 2004, and the Cella family, which has privately owned the track all that time, has been awarded the Eclipse Award of Merit, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Jan. 6.

Cella Pays Up; Chapmans Get Their Bonus

Oaklawn Park owner Charles Cella traveled from Arkansas to Pennsylvania Monday to hand-deliver a $5 million check to Roy and Pat Chapman, owners of Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Smarty Jones.

Centennial (Cella)bration: Oaklawn Turns 100

Brainstorming for ideas to celebrate Oaklawn Park's centennial in 2004, track owner Charles Cella turned into the $6-million man late last summer. At the ripe old age of 67, Cella stunned his colleagues when he said he was going to offer a $5-million bonus to any 3-year-old that swept Oaklawn's Rebel Stakes and Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and then won the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). He also raised the purse of the Arkansas Derby to $1 million.

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