Charles J. Cella

Charles J. Cella

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Charles J. Cella

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Charles J. Cella (born August 26, 1936 in St. Louis, Missouri) is president of Southern Real Estate and Financial Company and an executive in the American Thoroughbred horse racing industry and a racehorse owner.

Born and raised in St. Louis where he still makes his home, Charles J. Cella studied at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia, graduating with a B.A. degree in political science. He was a nationally ranked squash player and is a Life Member of the United States Squash Racquets Association.

Charles J. Cella is the third generation to head the Cella family's Oaklawn Jockey Club Inc. which owns and operates Oaklawn Park Race Track racetrack in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He had to take over as its president in 1968 on the death of his father, John G. Cella. John Cella had also owned Fort Erie Racetrack in Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada but sold it in the 1950s to E. P. Taylor. An innovator, under Charles J. Cella Oaklawn Park Race Track achieved even greater success, experiencing growth unequaled by any other racing facility in the United States.

Oaklawn Park is a member track with the Thoroughbred Racing Association and Charles J. Cella served as the association's president in 1975-76.

Charles J. Cella also owns racehorses, most notably Northern Spur who was racing in France when he purchased the colt in 1994 from his Japanese owner, Tomohiro Wada. Conditioned in the U.S. by Racing Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally, Northern Spur won the 1995......
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