Cella

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Oaklawn, Cella to Receive Eclipse Award of Merit

Oaklawn, Cella to Receive Eclipse Award of Merit

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.

Centennial (Cella)bration: Oaklawn Turns 100

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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