In a ceremony held the morning of Jan. 11, Oaklawn Park officials unveiled a bronze sculpture of 2015 Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah.
The statue, which was commissioned by the late Charles Cella, is part of a redesigned entrance to the grandstand.
General Manager Wayne Smith welcomed the crowd, and both President Louis Cella and Deputy Chief of Staff for External Operations Bill Gossage, (standing in for Gov. Asa Hutchinson), gave a short speech. Attending the ceremony were about 100 fans, Oaklawn employees, state and city officials and members of the Arkansas Racing Commission and Arkansas HBPA.
The artist, James Peniston, was also in attendance. Peniston's father was a long-time friend of Charles Cella and his mother designed the Oaklawn hedge, but this was his first bronze of a horse. It took him over a year to complete the statue.
American Pharoah prepped for his sweep of the 2015 classics with a victory in the G2 Rebel and G1 Arkansas Derby.
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