Thoroughbred owner and breeder Alex Lieblong is the new chairman of the Arkansas State Racing Commission, following the decision of longtime chairman Cecil Alexander to step down.
- By Frank Angst
- Thoroughbred Racing, Thoroughbred Breeding, Breeders' Cup, Northeast Region, Kentucky
Northern Spur, champion grass horse of 1995, died earlier this month at a New York farm following a bout with colic. An Irish-bred son of Sadler's Wells, Northern Spur was 25.
Cyber Secret, winner of the 2013 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) for Charles Cella, will move from Journeyman Stud near Ocala, Fla., to Dr. Linda Robbins' Starfish Stables near Hot Springs, Ark., for the 2016 breeding season.
Cutler Klein will enter the freshman class at Vanderbilt University as the 2015 recipient of the 57th Fred Russell-Grantland Rice TRA Scholarship for sports journalism.
Charles Cella, president of the Oaklawn Jockey Club, announced Dec. 10 that the Arkansas racetrack will waive its $2 general admission fee for the 2015 season that begins in January.
Cyber Secret, a multiple graded stakes winner by Broken Vow, will stand the 2015 breeding season at Brent and Crystal Fernung's Ocala-based Journeyman Stud.
Charles J. Cella, president of Oaklawn Racing & Gaming, announced Sept. 18 that the Arkansas track in 2015 will offer purse bonuses for horses that run and win without furosemide (Salix or commonly called Lasix).
Multiple graded winner Cyber Secret lived up to his favored billing in the Prairie Bayou Stakes at Turfway Park Dec. 21, setting a track record for 1 1/16 miles of 1:42.26 on the Polytrack en route to a 4 1/2-length victory.
Oaklawn Park specialist Cyber Secret ran away with the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) for track owner Charles Cella April 13 as heavily favored Fort Larned folded.
Charles J. Cella's Cyber Secret, a son of Broken Vow, edges pacesetter Golden Ron by a head in the March 9 Razorback Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park.
Falling Sky, a 3-year-old colt by Lion Heart, sold for a session-topping $425,000 at the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co.'s winter mixed sale. Gross and average up during consignor preferred and the horses of racing age segments.
Trainer Lynn Whiting, preparing Cyber Secret for the $500,000 Rebel Stakes (gr. II) March 17, says he'd like nothing better than to recreate some of the magic of Lil E. Tee's Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victory in 1992.
With 21 3-year-old entrants for the Southwest Stakes (gr. III) Jan. 20, Oaklawn Park has split the race into two divisions worth $250,000 apiece.
Officials at Churchill Downs said Feb. 7 that another 3-year-old has been added to the list of early nominations to this year's Triple Crown, bringing the total to 398 that were nominated at a cost of $600 each.
Terry Wallace, who has called the races at Oaklawn Park in Arkansas for 37 consecutive years, will retire from that position but continue serving in other roles, the track announced June 16.
After throwing $5 million at racing's two female superstars to run in the Apple Blossom Invitational (gr. I), Oaklawn Park's president got half of what he and the horse racing world wanted to see.
A major TV network deal is pending and the race will be carried during prime time... Read Blog
Is Charles Cella 'overpaying' to bring Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta together? Read Blog
Oaklawn Park owner Charles Cella said the owners of both champions agreed Feb. 11 to run their horses in the Apple Blossom Invitational Handicap (gr. I) on a new date of April 9, for a $5 million purse.
Oaklawn Park president Charles J. Cella has upped the purse of the April 3 Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I) to $5 million provided champions Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta both start.
In a race featuring several early 2010 Triple Crown prospects and named after a past Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victor, Dryfly, a bay gelding by Jump Start emerged the decisive winner.
Citing continued success in all product lines during its current live racing season, Oaklawn Park officials March 21 announced a second purse increase.
- By Tom LaMarra
Oaklawn Park officials have no immediate plans to expand the racetrack's gambling-machine offerings, but they said a Sept. 27 ruling by the Arkansas Supreme Court to uphold a law that permitted electronic gaming devices at the track is a major step forward.
Services for Donna Trant, personal secretary to Oaklawn Park owner and president Charles Cella, will be held Tuesday, June 5, at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Mrs. Trant, 52, died June 1 of cancer.
As promised during a 2005 election to approve expanded gaming at Oaklawn Park, the family of owner Charles J. Cella presented the Oaklawn Foundation for the Future of Hot Springs with a check for $1 million, the largest single gift ever to a Hot Springs
By James E. Bassett III -- When one thinks of Charles J. Cella, a myriad of descriptions flash by. "Indescribable" comes easily to mind, overshadowed by "indomitable" or perhaps "indestructible," followed by "unpredictable" or almost surely "unpersuadable." But lest we overlook the obvious, certainly it would be "unforgettable."
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.
- By Dan Liebman
By Dan Liebman -- If Smarty Jones wins the Kentucky Derby it will be a great story...but it should not be allowed to distort Smarty Jones' earnings as a racehorse or his sire's place on the list of 2004 leading sires.
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.
The Essex Handicap (gr. III) at Oaklawn Park Saturday is expected to feature two previous winners of the 1 1/16-mile contest -- Crafty Shaw and Maysville Slew -- as well as 2002 Arkansas Derby (gr. II) winner Private Emblem, who is undefeated at Oaklawn Park.
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 will kick off its 100th season of racing Jan. 23 with expected full fields and enticements for on-track patrons.
Trainer Peter Vestal has elected to keep Charles Cella's Crafty Shaw at home for Friday's $500,000-added Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Crafty Shaw's connections are weighing their options after the horse's recent Schaefer Mile win...Take Charge Lady could make her final start in the Nov. 27 Falls City.
Favored Crafty Shaw defended his title in the $100,000 Michael Schaefer Mile Saturday night at Hoosier Park with a 2 1/4-length win over Cool N Collective.
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).
Medaglia d'Oro, whose connections bypassed last weekend's Dubai World Cup, will lead a small field to the post with top weight of 122 pounds in Saturday's $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II).
Defending champion Crafty Shaw heads a field of 10 for Saturday's featured $100,000 Essex Handicap (gr. III), the first hundred-grand stakes of the 2003 season at Oaklawn Park.
Crafty Shaw's victory in the Nov. 16 Schaefer Mile at Hoosier Park has earned the 4-year-old son of Crafty Prospector a shot at the Nov. 29 Clark Handicap (gr. II) at Churchill Downs.
Crafty Shaw and rider James Lopez rallied to victory in the featured $100,000 Michael G. Schaefer Mile Saturday at Hoosier Park.
Crafty Shaw rallied from off the pace to win the $100,000 Turfway Park Fall Championship (gr. III) Saturday at 1 1/8 mile, snapping a four-race losing streak.
The 2001 season hasn't been kind to Oaklawn Park, and Arkansas in general. Wild swings in weather since December have made it tough for the track maintenance crew and the state's residents, who aren't coming to the races as much as they used to. Track owner Charles Cella said he will continue to overpay purses in the hope relief is just around the corner.
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