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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 charity.
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 -- 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 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).
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.