Oaklawn's Cella dies; track boss recalled as 'bigger-than-life' figure


Photographs by AP file photo

In an announcement in Hot Springs in February 1998, Oaklawn President Charles Cella announces “America’s Million Dollar Dare,” a $1 million prize for the winner of the Oaklawn Handicap. The race, on April 4 of that year, was won by Precocity, a Bob Baffert horse. Cella helped introduce a number of innovations that have helped draw many top thoroughbreds as well as racing fans to the track.

An icon of Arkansas thoroughbred racing for half a century died Wednesday.


Charles Cella, president of the Oaklawn Jockey Club in Hot Springs, is shown in this file photo. + Enlarge

This story is only available from the Arkansas Online archives. Stories can be purchased individually for $2.95. Click here to search for this story in the archives.

Log in to comment