Charles Cella's Crafty Shaw, a graded stakes winner during four consecutive years, has been retired because of an ankle injury, trainer Pete Vestal said today.
The 7-year-old Crafty Shaw, who surpassed the $1-million mark in career earnings late last year, makes his seasonal debut as 119-pound highweight Saturday in the Hanshin Cup Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington Park.
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.
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.
Oaklawn Park owner Charles Cella wanted to do something big to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the racetrack that had been a part of his family since 1904. So big, in fact, the sport of horse racing has never seen anything like it.
Instant Racing, a pari-mutuel gaming system currently available at wagering outlets in Arkansas and Wyoming, will be expanded in those two states early this year.
Saturday's $100,000 Essex Handicap at Oaklawn Park is shaping up as a showdown between the speedy Crafty Shaw, winner of the race in 2002, and Pie N Burger, a late comer to the race when a field of eight was entered Thursday.
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.
Oaklawn Park announced Wednesday that it will not only double the purse for next year's Arkansas Derby (gr. II) from $500,000 to $1 million, but also will offer a $5-million bonus should any horse sweep the Rebel Stakes, Arkansas Derby, and Kentucky Derby (gr. I).
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