Louis Cella

Cella Elected to NJ Board of Stewards, Janney Reelected

Louis A. Cella has been elected to the board of stewards of The Jockey Club, filling the expired position of C. Steven Duncker. Stuart S. Janney III, the chairman of The Jockey Club, was reelected to the board. Cella has been a member of The Jockey Club since 2017. That same year, he was named president of the Oaklawn Jockey Club, succeeding his late father, Charles J. Cella, and became the third generation of his family to serve on the board of directors of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North...

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Oaklawn Add Nine Stakes, Increases Stakes Purses

Oaklawn Park has added nine stakes races to its 2022-23 season, bringing the total number of black-type events offered at the Hot Springs track to 45. In addition, purses to the stakes program have been bumped by $1.45 million for total stakes purses of $13.75 million, the highest in Oaklawn's history. The overall purse distribution for the season is projected to exceed $50 million. This will be the second consecutive year the Oaklawn racing season will begin in December. The new Oaklawn stakes include: Dec. 10 Ring the Bell S....

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Oaklawn Increases Purses

Oaklawn will offer across-the-board purse increases beginning  Mar. 11. Claiming and starter allowance races will receive a $4,000 bump, with maiden special weights and allowances up by $6,000. "The first half of the racing season has gone extremely well, and we could not be happier to be sharing that success with our horsemen," Oaklawn President Louis Cella said. "We are particularly proud of the quality of the horses we are seeing on a daily basis, and we are very excited for the great racing to close out our season." The...

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Cella Appointed to Equibase Management Committee

Louis Cella, president of the Oaklawn Jockey Club, has been appointed to the Management Committee of Equibase Company LLC, filling a board seat vacated by Daisy Phipps Pulito, racing manager of Phipps Stable. Cella was named present of Oaklawn Park in 2017, succeeding his late father. He is the third generation of his family to serve on the board of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations of North America (TRA), and a member of The Jockey Club since 2017. He also serves as a director of the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau and...

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Stall Apps, First Condition Book Available for Oaklawn

The richest meet in the 118-year history of Oaklawn is set to begin Dec. 3 and will feature maiden special weights for $84,000 and open allowances starting at $100,000. Overall, the 66-day season will offer purses between $45 million and $50 million. Stall applications and the first condition book are now available at www.oaklawn.com/racing/horsemen/. Stall applications are due Thursday, Oct. 21. "Our slogan has been 'A New Level of Racing' the last few years and that's exactly what we intend to deliver," Oaklawn President Louis Cella said. "Our purses will...

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Arkansas Derby Boosted to $1.25M, Date Changed for '22

The purse for the 2022 GI Arkansas Derby will be increased to $1.25 million--up from $1 million in 2021--and the race will be contested Saturday, Apr. 2, Oaklawn Park announced Tuesday. The date shift is a departure from the traditional three weeks before the Kentucky Derby and the increased purse makes the race the richest event among Derby preps. In 2022, Oaklawn will offer a record 36 stakes worth $12.3 million. In addition to the Arkansas Derby, three stakes will carry million dollar purses and 15 other stakes will offer...

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Oaklawn To Add December Dates

For the first time in its 117-year history, Oaklawn Park will add December dates to its racing calendar and will host 66 days of live racing beginning Friday, Dec. 3, 2021 through Sunday, May 8, 2022. The season will be conducted on a largely Friday-through-Sunday schedule with some exceptions. The track will be dark over the Christmas holiday Dec. 24-26 and there will be no racing on Easter Sunday, Apr. 17. As is their custom, Oaklawn will host a holiday program on Presidents' Day, Monday, Feb. 21. "For many years,...

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Oaklawn Raises Purses 15%, Top Allowances Now Worth $110K

Over the final eight weeks of its 2021 season, Oaklawn will boost purses by 15%, a total of $2.5 million, into overnight races, including increasing top allowance races to $110,000. The across the board increase also takes maiden special weights to $93,000 and raises the bottom purse to $27,000, and represents the largest in-season purse hike in the track's history. "It's been an interesting year to say the least, but it is very gratifying to announce this purse increase nearly a year after shutting the race meet and casino down...

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Louis Cella Named 2020 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Sportsman of the Year

Louis Cella, the owner and president of Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, has been honored as the 2020 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Sportsman of the Year for his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic. When most of the rest of the country--including live sports--shut down in March, he was one of a handful of racetrack principals who were able to continue live racing and do it safely. "In racing, we have an obligation," Cella told the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. "It's not like a retail store. You send your employees home and good luck and let's...

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Mark Casse On Clenbuterol Changes

Editor's Note: In Monday's TDN, Bill Finley made reference to Mark Casse's comments on Clenbuterol in a Mar. 2 Op/Ed in the TDN. Casse sent us this note in response. Much has changed since my Mar. 2 Op/Ed with regards to Clenbuterol. Canada made big changes to their Clenbuterol policy and, as a result, we have seen almost none of the nonsensical form reversals that had haunted us in the past at Woodbine in 2020. I was elated to see the Clenbuterol changes for 2021 in the Mid-Atlantic region. Also,...

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Oaklawn Releases New Proposed Integrity Initiatives for '21

Working in partnership with the Arkansas Racing Commission and the Arkansas HBPA (Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association), Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort has announced, subject to legislative approval, a series of significant proposed safety and integrity enhancements planned for the 2021 racing season. Key provisions include the prohibition of Clenbuterol within 60 days of a race, reduction in the maximum amount of Lasix without specific approval, and the mandatory use of safety whips in races. "We began working on these measures last spring," said Oaklawn President Louis Cella. "We hosted a...

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Oaklawn Planning 57-Day Meet with Four $1-Million Stakes Races in 2021

Pending approval from the Arkansas Racing Commission, Oaklawn plans to conduct its regular 57-day meet highlighted by four $1-million stakes races--$1-million GII Rebel S., $1-million GI Arkansas Derby, $1-million GII Oaklawn H. and $1-million GI Apple Blossom H.--and the richest purse structure in its 117-year history. The 2021 season, which will be accentuated by the opening of a multi-purpose event center and a luxury 200-room hotel overlooking the track, is scheduled to run Friday, Jan. 22--Saturday, May 1. In addition, 21 stakes will have their purses raised by at least...

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